|Replay: Why It Should Be Valued in a Video Game
|Created by Josh-March 15th, 2006
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was one of the most highly renowned games of 2003. I don't blame the critics and even
the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for recognizing this game in numerous ways, including Game of the Year in
its respective platform. This is a great game, but there is one thing that it is missing that many critics, and even many
gamers, seem to overlook. That's the replay value.
Replay value is defined by me as the amount of time the main game has, and then add in all of the extras and other
modes. Typically, most games are considered great in replay if it has 20 hours of genuine replay value. Sports games and
RPGs should have a little more time, like around 40 hours. That is because those types of games are generally games that
could last forever, and should have some main portion to beat.
We gave Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time an 8.1, and have received numerous responses to this score. Many think we
were being way too harsh in the review. One might be able to argue a few of the other flaws that the game had (like sound,
and control), but I find it inarguable the very short amount of replay. This game barely lasts six hours. Many other games,
even mediocre games, at least have some depth to it. These games may last 20 hours and be a bad game, but at least they
last a while.
Many gamers argue that they would rather play a short game that's excellent than a long game that is bad. Since replay is
only one factor of five that make up a video game, I would have to agree with that statement. However, that shouldn't give
developers an excuse to shorten the game up. I read somewhere that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was supposed
to have a few more dungeons. I heard that the weird collecting of the Triforce parts was to make up for the dungeons that
these would be in, and it ultimately made the game a little shorter.
I haven't played Resident Evil 4, but I heard that it is one of the best games ever made. I also heard from almost everyone
who has played through this entire game that it is about 24 hours long. I don't think that if it was 4 times shorter it would
be such an excellent game. Just imagine all of the scenes, and moments that may not have been there. With this logic, I
cannot understand how The Sands of Time was received so well.
I envision a version of Sands of Time that has depth to it. The version we all got had very few puzzles, and very few things
to do. In fact, it really ends up being tedious. Yes, the puzzles that are there are set up very nicely, but then it is flooded
with senseless monster battles. Some argue that this game accomplishes in six hours what many games accomplish in 20+.
That statement simply isn't accurate. One cannot beat around the bush and say that this game has length. And if this
game was 20 hours long, it would have had time to develop the story even more and allowed for tons more puzzles.
IGN gave Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time a 9.6. They gave Resident Evil 4 a 9.8. I'm not sure how you can compare a
24 hour game to a six hour game so closely. And in my experience with Sands of Time and what I've heard of RE4, RE4
probably has more polish in sound and control, and just overall. Perhaps many critics like those at IGN were caught in the
amazement of Sands of Time, which had some amazing moments. That still doesn't justify its short length.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time did one thing. It proved that a short game can still be great. Can a short game be
excellent? If every other aspect of the game was perfect, than a six hour game can be excellent. Unfortunately the only
aspect that is even near perfect is the graphics. And I will say that because the other aspects besides replay hold up fairly
well in this game, the game wasn't a wasted effort.
But there's one thing one has to consider. Almost all games come out with a retail price of $50. If all games retail the
same, it makes sense to buy the game that is going to give you more for your money. Sands of Time was an excellent
rental, and nothing more. But perhaps the success of the first game and the promise of more content in the sequel caused
the sequel, Warrior Within, to sell more copies in one day than Sands of Time sold in its retail store shelf lifespan.
There are some people who have or have had unlimited funds, or more precisely have or have had parents who will buy
their kids anything they want. For those people, you might be able to ignore the small replay value, since you'll be either
renting or buying another game the next day anyway. For people like me who didn't have parents who would just buy a
video game for them every day and are still on limited spending, it makes sense to buy the one game that will last.
Even if you can buy any game you want, why spend $50 on a game that you can rent and be done with for only $5?
Whenever you buy a game from a store, you are telling the companies that this is exactly what I want to see in the future.
The critics who are ignorant to compare the short game of Sands of Time as closely to games like Metroid Prime and RE4
are also putting in our minds that the game is worth buying. I would like to see games that are even longer than 24 hours
in the future. This will not only satisfy gamers needs for a long and satisfying game experience, but would lead to more
sales. If it takes more people to develop the game to make it longer and still be released in a fair amount of time, then
that wouldn't be so bad. That would increase job growth in the industry. The increases in sales would help pay off those new
employees, and keep the industry alive.
I don't think you had to read this article to be aware of the games that are out there that are short. Games like Prince of
Persia: The Sands of Time are just too short to be considered worth purchasing. I am hoping that if you read this article
that you'll take that into consideration when you buy another game. Make sure you're really going to get something out of
it. If you consider Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time an excellent game I hope it's for the aspects not involving replay.
And if you thought that Prince of Persia was long, you really need to play Metroid Prime; Or if multiplayer modes are your
cup of tea, then Super Smash Bros. Melee. Ultimately, I would most certainly hope that more people will value the
developers who actually give depth and length to their games, and buy into those games that merit a long play time. These
are the games that set the standard for how long we want an excellent game to last, and will lead us into the future with
even more of these long, and excellent games to enjoy.