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Games that take too long to start


dumpster
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Just now, Alex W. said:


I think you can appreciate a difference between good cinema and bad cinema without me having to solve this age old puzzle. :lol:  But to this specific example, there’s not a thread about how movies or books or songs take so long to actually start that people give up and never get past the set-up. I think I might even say “competent cinema”. It’s just generally assumed that no part of the movie is a chore you have to push through.

 

Again subjective. I can guarantee you that a huge amount of people will hate and give up on the prior mentioned prolonged intro of the film Aliens.

The point I'm making is that a game doesn't need to go "look here's a toy to play with" immediately to be compelling. It's interactive media that can be whatever it wants to be, and you don't get the final say on what game is or isn't compelling when it's narrative focused. 

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Just now, JPL said:

I finished RDR2 years ago, but I’m still waiting for it to get going.


In Hollywood terms, the inciting incident is basically in the penultimate chapter, and then the story doesn’t have a thematic climax until the epilogue after all the major antagonists have already left the story.

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1 minute ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

Again subjective. I can guarantee you that a huge amount of people will hate and give up on the prior mentioned prolonged intro of the film Aliens.

The point I'm making is that a game doesn't need to go "look here's a toy to play with" immediately to be compelling. It's interactive media that can be whatever it wants to be, and you don't get the final say on what game is or isn't compelling when it's narrative focused. 


If you think it’s wholly subjective and nobody has a say about it, maybe don’t join the thread where people try to discuss it and say things about it?

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It has been mentioned earlier: Yakuza Like A Dragon. It finally gets going in like chapter 9, every up to that point is setup on top of setup, which is what... 30 hours? By far the worst and longest opening of any Yakuza game I've played.

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To address Alien specifically, yes there are people who don’t get on with the introduction because it’s long. There are people who don’t get on with the introduction because it has music in it. What does matter is that there’s this clear purpose to it and there’s a whole mechanism by which is contributes to the effectiveness of the rest of the movie. For games that defer their gameplay - like if Alien deferred being a thriller movie for 60 minutes and opened as a soap opera instead - I would be very interested in what that achieves, and how necessary it is.
 

“It’s how things are done” and “many people like it” are explanations for “why are games like this made” and “why do people buy games like this”, which are different questions.

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11 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

But to this specific example, there’s not a thread about how movies or books or songs take so long to actually start that people give up and never get past the set-up

 

As a counterpoint though, there's a lot of posts about TV shows that say "well, it doesn't really start to get good until Season 2 or 3..."

 

Unlike games though, all other media make skipping easy.

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4 minutes ago, Alex W. said:


If you think it’s wholly subjective and nobody has a say about it, maybe don’t join the thread where people try to discuss it and say things about it?

 

Why? Is my opinion also invalid? 

It was also originally a point I was making that you then replied too, that I pointed out that the quality of narrative content is totally subjective. 

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1 minute ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

As a counterpoint though, there's a lot of posts about TV shows that say "well, it doesn't really start to get good until Season 2 or 3..."

 

Unlike games though, all other media make skipping easy.


And I think we can all agree that a series not getting good until its second or third or fourth season isn’t to be shrugged off. A series that manages to start strong is doing something better, creatively.

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Most of the Monster Hunter games I've tried take bloody ages to get to the gameplay. Freedom Unite on the PSP was the worst. I think I spent a good 8 hours on the tutorial missions. By the end I really couldn't give a shit. 

 

Another is Star Ocean: Til The End Of Time on the PS2. You spend a good hour walking around a shopping centre/arcade/whatever before going into one of the worst tutorials ever where it's lesson after lesson after lesson in a black space with grid lines. They try and teach you the whole damn game. I swear it would take you a good 2 hours+ to complete. I didn't complete it. 

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6 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

Why? Is my opinion also invalid? 

It was also originally a point I was making that you then replied too, that I pointed out that the quality of narrative content is totally subjective. 


To be honest, no, I don’t think that “your opinion on this is irrelevant because it’s subjective” is a valid opinion on this anything. It’s just a way of ending a conversation.

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Just to add, Resident Evil 7 is a great game and the opening is brilliant - the first time you play it.  It's the way that Capcom didn't acknowledge that everything up to the attic boss fight is scene setting and story.  It's a prologue, an extended intro.  Once you complete the game it really should offer the choice to start a new game at the family dinner.

 

Having never played a JRPG before I bought Persona Golden for the Vita and literally couldn't see what the hell it was.  I posted on here at the time and someone replied that the game really opens up so slowly and it's around the 20 hour mark when you're playing the game in full.  I couldn't quite believe was I was reading and gave up.  JRPGs not for me it seems.  

 

I don't mind the long intros especially, I just think you should have the choice of skipping them.  

 

It's all about how they transform - they start off as a great, atmosphere setting intro, then become an annoying barrier to starting a new game.  Especially in Resi 7 when the game is so short.

 

Weirdly in the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes the in game clock stops during cut scenes.  Seeing as how you can usually still control your character as they talk on the radio or whatever, it means that skipping the cut scene makes your game timer longer.  Watching it play whilst walking forwards saves you time.

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9 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Having never played a JRPG before I bought Persona Golden for the Vita and literally couldn't see what the hell it was.  I posted on here at the time and someone replied that the game really opens up so slowly and it's around the 20 hour mark when you're playing the game in full.  I couldn't quite believe was I was reading and gave up.  JRPGs not for me it seems.


It’s not you, it’s P4. I enjoy the game a lot but even I think that intro is massive compared to most JRPGs. In any case, it shouldn’t be cause to give up on the genre entirely. :) 

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I think a notable mention is deserved for Spider-Man PS4 and Miles Morales. A short cutscene and then you’re handed control mid-swing through the skyscrapers of New York. Straight into the fun stuff. Side mission bloat (pigeons!) is a different question however. 

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1 hour ago, Alex W. said:


To be honest, no, I don’t think that “your opinion on this is irrelevant because it’s subjective” is a valid opinion on this anything. It’s just a way of ending a conversation.

 

A conversation which you actually started! which I too am absolutely cool with ending, and - in a very mature manner - I can also let you know that in my opinion, on your opinion it is - in my opinion - about as valid as 15 year old cinema ticket with a giant "invalid" stamp in big red ink on it. 

 

...btw, I don't actually think that, opinion is just opinion which is entirely subjective to the person who holds that opinion. 

 

Games take to long to get going? Some do, some don't. I guess it's down to your subjective feelings on the matter, on a game by game basis. 

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It occurs to me that Hideo Kojima gave us the archetype of “game that launches you in to the experience you’ll be having for the next 20 hours” and “game that takes ages to actually begin”, simultaneously:

 

MGS3 opens with a bristling, thrilling action set piece which is abruptly interrupted by a 20 minute slide show with a history voiceover.

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3 hours ago, Alex W. said:


I think you can appreciate a difference between good cinema and bad cinema without me having to solve this age old puzzle. :lol:  But to this specific example, there’s not a thread about how movies or books or songs take so long to actually start that people give up and never get past the set-up. I think I might even say “competent cinema”. It’s just generally assumed that no part of the movie is a chore you have to push through.

I'm struggling to think of any superhero origin bit of a film being anything other than a chore (and I'm not referring just to characters where I know the origin, but for those I've never heard of too. Actually, I think Guardians of the Galaxy was good, but not sure about any others.)

 

I agree with your general point though, I suppose superhero films I will put up with the boring bits to get to the good stuff because the whole thing is two and a half hours, but for games I'm far less generous these days.

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2 hours ago, dumpster said:

Just to add, Resident Evil 7 is a great game and the opening is brilliant - the first time you play it.  It's the way that Capcom didn't acknowledge that everything up to the attic boss fight is scene setting and story.  It's a prologue, an extended intro.  Once you complete the game it really should offer the choice to start a new game at the family dinner.


You have to think that a major

evolution for a service like Game Pass will be this kind of customisation on your starting point for a game, especially when one of its major selling points is jazzed up versions of titles you’ve already played.

 

I mean, sure I could be interested in seeing what Skyrim’s like with a higher frame rate but there’s no way I can be bothered with escaping the executioner’s block and Helgen again. Ideally I’d like to be dropped in a few hours along.

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35 minutes ago, Gabe said:

I'm struggling to think of any superhero origin bit of a film being anything other than a chore (and I'm not referring just to characters where I know the origin, but for those I've never heard of too. Actually, I think Guardians of the Galaxy was good, but not sure about any others.)

 

I agree with your general point though, I suppose superhero films I will put up with the boring bits to get to the good stuff because the whole thing is two and a half hours, but for games I'm far less generous these days.


Yes! They are pointless! Especially in Marvel movies where it’s the same format over and over. And I think it’s fine to think that’s an issue even if lots of people (me included) just breeze through that. And it’s also fine to know it’s a flaw but also feel it doesn’t really harm the overall result if you’re in to it.

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Zeldas are an interesting one. Most of the major 3D releases seem to have forgotten about the effectiveness of Link to the Past's immediate opening. Right up to Skyward Sword, which forces you into doing a whole string of boring character interaction before it lets you out of the starting area. It's only with Breath of the Wild that they finally got it right.

 

I also played FFXIV recently. It's not a type of game I usually play and I just wanted to get a taste of it. It took an age to set up and register and start a game. Then it goes into a tedious ship journey before dumping me in some city and bombarding me with tons of jargon. I haven't been back since. Just put me in a quest from the start and show me how it works.

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6 hours ago, KRP said:

I always start these jrpgs with the intention of really sinking into the atmosphere and absorbing the dialogue, but by around hour ten the strict adherence to genre tropes means I eventually end up mashing through the dialogue. In most cases the writing is so uninspiring, that I struggle to see why jrpgs are so popular.

 

 

I don't think JRPGs are popular for the story, or if they are, it's in the same way that mills and boon novels are popular for the story - people going in knowing exactly what they are going to get. 

 

It's the Hero's Journey almost every time, with few surprises. The Hero's Journey plus numbers getting bigger, and little (or zero) manual dexterity required on the part of the player - primarily you are navigating menus.

 

I can see why they are popular but they are incredibly basic games.

 

5 hours ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

Difficulty in a game is so unbelievably subjective though, and isn't in any way required for something to be compelling. A lot of JRPG's using that example - Yakuza / Okami / Dragon Quest - are scene setting and narrative heavy before layering on complexity, as that's the initial focus. 

A lot of JRPGs are paced terribly. As others have said, it's 'scene setting' that typically is the same thing said over and over and over again for 5 hours, whilst assuming that the audience are idiots.

 

Throw in some boring archetypes and perhaps something offensively stereotypical (if it's Japanese) for good measure. 

 

To be honest, most games have pacing issues and most games start too slowly. It's a real shame.

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Yeah, people playing JRPGs for original writing and nuanced characterisation are barking up the wrong tree (with the possible exception of Persona, but then that's self-consciously different from other games in the genre). JRPGs live and die by the enjoyability of their battle systems and how successfully they make you feel progressively powerful.

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1 hour ago, Isaac said:

I don't think JRPGs are popular for the story, or if they are, it's in the same way that mills and boon novels are popular for the story - people going in knowing exactly what they are going to get. 

 

It's the Hero's Journey almost every time, with few surprises. The Hero's Journey plus numbers getting bigger, and little (or zero) manual dexterity required on the part of the player - primarily you are navigating menus.

 

I can see why they are popular but they are incredibly basic games.

 

They're Microsoft Excel number manipulation experiences with basic bitch levels of emotional investment. But there's nothing wrong with that. Fans just happen to find certain exercises in number manipulation more satisfying than others. To stick with Persona - I've skipped over a number of spin-offs because the high-school premise of the story can't carry a gameplay format that I'm not interested in (Q, Dancing). But an elaborate game of spot-the-elemental-weakness has enough bolted onto it that I can sink tens of hours into it. :P 

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12 hours ago, Timmo said:

I think this is one of the symptoms of game creators feeling like they have to have lots of hours of runtime, prioritising that over replayability. Most games are much too long these days.

 

I'll return to Titanfall 2 again and again because there isn't an ounce of fat on it and most of the storytelling is done during gameplay. I'm unlikely to replay The Last of Us 2 because it's just too drawn out.


Is Titanfal 2 good then? Never played them. Might give it a go because I’ve always liked your penguin avatar 

 

12 hours ago, Alex W. said:


In Hollywood terms, the inciting incident is basically in the penultimate chapter, and then the story doesn’t have a thematic climax until the epilogue after all the major antagonists have already left the story.


:lol: that’s got to be the best summary I’ve seen, it’s a mess. I gave up about 2 hours into act 5, I fucking hated it. Self-indulgent nonsense

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4 hours ago, Gabe said:

I'm struggling to think of any superhero origin bit of a film being anything other than a chore (and I'm not referring just to characters where I know the origin, but for those I've never heard of too. Actually, I think Guardians of the Galaxy was good, but not sure about any others.)

 

I agree with your general point though, I suppose superhero films I will put up with the boring bits to get to the good stuff because the whole thing is two and a half hours, but for games I'm far less generous these days.

The origin stories are my favourite bits for the most part….when it all gets to smashy bangy I eventually get a little less engaged. Exception probably being end game perhaps. 
 

some have mentioned unskippable cut scenes. I wish you could pause and save  in the middle of them a bit like who movies usually do on streaming services or Blu-ray players. 

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1 hour ago, Floshenbarnical said:

 

 

You might have hated it but it's a shame to spoil that very specific moment for anyone in a thread not directly related to the game in question. It's not that old.

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5 hours ago, Gabe said:

I'm struggling to think of any superhero origin bit of a film being anything other than a chore (and I'm not referring just to characters where I know the origin, but for those I've never heard of too. Actually, I think Guardians of the Galaxy was good, but not sure about any others.)

 

53 minutes ago, iknowgungfu said:

The origin stories are my favourite bits for the most part….when it all gets to smashy bangy I eventually get a little less engaged. Exception probably being end game perhaps. 

 

In the first superhero films in a series, I tend to enjoy the origin parts of the story, but then find it less interesting when they try and raise the scale of the threat/switch to the main villain for the climax.

 

For example, the most fun bit of Batman Begins is watching him become Batman, but I've never really been convinced by the stuff with fear gas bursting out of Gotham's water pipes. The first Raimi Spider-Man does a great telling of the origin, but when the movie switches to what's ostensibly its primary story, with Dafoe putting on the Goblin suit and becoming the main threat, things get much less interesting.

 

Same with Iron Man 1; great fun watching Tony tinker with the armour and take it out on test flights, but my least favourite stuff in the movie happens once Jeff Bridges reveals himself to be the villain. Same with Captain America: there are great moments after Cap goes on his first mission and rescues the prisoners, but the second half is the weaker half.

 

One of the reasons so many superhero sequels are improvements on the first entries is that the sequels tend to feel like they're hitting the ground running and making the whole movie one story of consistent quality. Whereas the first films tend to be a well-told origin story mashed together with a perfunctory new movie-specific story.

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