Games That Should Have Been Shorter


#1

The recent thread on Okami got me thinking about other games that were long, for one reason or another.

The first that comes to mind is the freshest because I recently played through it: Bravely Default for the 3DS. HowLongtoBeat.com lists an average run at 57 hours and a completionist run at 92.5 hours. For a JRPG, that’s not unusual. But what really annoyed me about Bravely Default is that after you beat the main story, you have to run through it, like, 5 more times for reasons that don’t make a lot of narrative sense.

What other games ended up outstaying their welcome?


#2

Resident Evil 6. I still cannot believe that the game was that long. I was banging my head on the table when the bonus chapter showed up after I finished the game.

A post-mortem of that game would be the most interesting thing because…how can you spend that much time and money on a game, nail the fundamentals and ruin it by having an absurdly long journey that stops being meaningful real fast…


#3

Not all of Persona 5 but the last dungeon has pacing issue and level design makes the length of it feel longer then it needed to.

Bravely Default concept of how it story works really does work if you only did it in a short period.

I Prey (2017) feels too long for it own good with the last hours feel padded on.


#4

EVERY GAME.

Seriously, though. Except for games that are designed specifically to be long, like open-world experiences or JRPGs that have to tell an epic story so actually need that time, I think a lot of games could trim some fat in gameplay segments. I like it much more when a game is able to consistently introduce new things and make sure I don’t spend too much time doing any one activity. I imagine that for a lot of games, this is just a problem with the designers not considering that something could go stale until the players react?

Bravely Default is the most bloated game I’ve ever played and I’m glad it was in the first post on this thread, lol. Hesitant to try any other game by those devs after that.


#5

This is part of why I’ve drifted from a lot of narrative-focused games.


#6

I guess there is some pressure to make certain types of games a certain length, or to have long games in general… because there are probably more players complaining games are too short for $60 than there are players saying they’re too long.

For example, I think Mafia III could have been an amazing narrative-focused game (it’s still really good) and the open world feels so thrown-in and rushed, only there to bloat time and pad out the experience between the great mainline experiences. The two parts of that game, the exciting main missions and required “side” missions, are so at odds with each other in quality that it feels like a forced move the devs didn’t really want to make.


#7

Despite being built for you to try and fail and try again, the Xcom games (the two modern ones, never played the originals) are kind of long for that to be practical and fun instead of frustrating. They let you get too invested and murder your dudes too easily to be as long as they are.

I’m sure somebody will disagree, since the investment and length is part of the challenge. But it’s just hard to get into something when I have to restart like 5 hours in, multiple times, and know that even when I do better and last longer next time I still might not see the end of the game.

I still love these games, and enjoy them a lot, but I feel like they could be more compelling experiences if they were a bit shorter and leaned more into being replayable by everyone instead of just the diehards.


#8

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

When I finished that game, I think my in-game clock said close to 70 hours. Part of that was because I’d often leave the game paused while I browsed the internet, but also partially because that game is chalk full of tedious busy-work between dungeons.

I remember it taking me something in the realm of 6-7 hours to reach the game’s first dungeon. That’s longer than some entire games. I could have played and finished Portal 2, Metal Gear Solid, most Metroid games, or dozens of others in the time it took me to reach TP’s first dungeon.

But the worst example I always like to cite is right after the game’s halfway point, and that’s how you get to the Sky Temple. The game explicitly tells you that’s your next destination, but you have to do some other stuff first.

So at some point your childhood friend, Ilia, suffers trauma and gains amnesia as a result. Link has just left the Temple of Time with an item that, now that he’s in present day, doesn’t work anymore. Somehow, these two things are connected.

To restore Ilia’s memory, you are told to go from Kakariko Village (where she currently resides) back to Hyrule Castle Town, where the doctor who rescued her lives. He apparently has something of hers that may help jog her memory. Now, it’s been a few years, but I think at this point in the game, you’ve never had to go to his office before so once you arrive at Castle Town, you have to find some of his medicine as Wolf Link so you can learn the scent and follow it back to his office.

Once you get there, you learn that Ilia’s keepsake has been stolen by a band of roving skeletons. Where are these skeletons? Are these a specific band of skeletons? He doesn’t say, just that skeletons have the keepsake. I remember heading out in to Hyrule Field and just killing every skeleton I could find one night to no avail, but there’s actually a very specific “zone” between Castle Town and Hyrule Field proper where they spawn (I had to look that up in a FAQ).

Wait until nightfall, kill the skeletons, and out pops the keepsake. Great! You take it back to Ilia in Kakariko Village expecting the job to be done, but it only restores a part of her memory. She still needs help remembering. This is when you’re told about The Hidden Village located in the mountains on the other end of the map. The woman who found Ilia and brought her to Hyrule lives there. Maybe she has something to jog Ilia’s memory.

By this point, at least an hour has passed since the game said you should go to the Sky Temple.

When traveling from Kakariko to Hyrule and back, you probably just used fast travel. What would’ve been minutes on horseback is reduced to a few seconds, and by this point in the game, a good chunk of the field is covered in these fast travel warps. But you’ve never been to the Hidden Village before, and true to its name, it’s HIDDEN. So you’ve gotta ride there and find it. Using some dungeon items, you find a bombable wall leading to an old wild-west-styled town – The Hidden Village.

Despite being “hidden” and clearly unlived in for many years, it is crawling with enemy snipers, initiating one of the game’s few stealth sequences. After killing the dozen or so snipers and clearing the town, a short old woman named Impaz comes out and thanks you for protecting her. She hands over Ilia’s next keepsake: a whistle. Item in tow, you head back to Kakariko Village again and present it to Ilia, who finally remembers everything. The whistle is a present she was going to give to Link, which will allow him to summon his horse from anywhere – even though as I already pointed out, fast travel will get you most places without needing to ride there.

Anyway, mission accomplished!

…Yes? No? No.

There’s still the question of the item you have, from the Temple of Time (The Dominion Rod). With Ilia’s memory restored, you learn that Impaz has a book that may help with that. Since just visiting a place isn’t enough to set it as a fast travel point, you must now ride all the way back to The Hidden Village a second time just so you can pick up the book.

Two hours have passed.

You grab the book from Impaz, but not before some Twilit monsters drop out of the sky. The good news: The Hidden Village is now a fast travel point. The bad: you never, ever, ever need to come back here for any reason whatsoever. Great game design there.

Book secure, you return to Kakariko Village yet again and present it to Shad, a researcher who knows how to decipher the text in order to get your Dominion Rod working again. Long story short (as if that were ever true in this game), the NEXT leg of this quest chain is to ride around Hyrule Field looking for magic Owl statues – and, once again, fast travel is in this situation isn’t especially useful, because most of the statues are located in random places that are nowhere near fast travel points. You just have to keep your eyes peeled from horseback, and a full lap around Hyrule Field in this game can take quite a while.

Three hours have passed.

Dominion Rod finally restored to full power, you return to Shad and use it to reanimate an ancient piece of technology: a giant canon! Surely, now, finally, you can use this canon to blast off to the Sky Temple, right? Wrong! The canon’s BROKEN! You’ve gotta go find someone to repair it!

The repairmen are a pair of circus performers living near Lake Hylia, and after paying them to take a look at your canon, now three and a half hours later or more, you can FINALLY reach the Sky Temple as the game originally instructed.

And that’s just one example of a game with multiple moments like that, where it feels like the only reason it exists in the game is to put hours on the clock. I mean, shit, that game opens with a trading quest to buy a slingshot that is instantly made obsolete.

Twilight Princess is a game that could have been 30 or even 20 hours long and been significantly better for it.

I’ve heard Skyward Sword is even worse about some of this stuff, and that’s definitely the leading reason I’ve never had the urge to play it.


#9

Fallout 4.

I put over 110 hours into that game and didn’t make it to the end. I didn’t even mess around with the settlements and there were a LOT of sidequests I didn’t even start despite picking them up. Too much content? Too much content.


#10

Concur with @Blaze, Zelda fanboy here, but TP is such a drag, soooooooooooooooooooo laborious.
I get tired just thinking about it.


#11

I felt Tearaway Unfolded went on for longer than it should’ve been. The amount of Scrap fighting sections made the game tedious by the time I finished it. I wish I could’ve played it without the additional content (never played the Vita version), as I enjoyed some parts of the main campaign.


#12

I don’t think this is exactly what was asked for, but sports games are too long. Just about any major sports franchise - Madden, MLB the Show, FIFA - takes 45 minutes to an hour to play a simulation-type game. Most of them have arcade modes or the option to play shortened periods, but you lose a lot of the realism that way.

The time spent playing one season of Madden could instead be spent playing multiple narrative games, and I’m not really willing to make that tradeoff anymore. The only one I still play is The Show, but that’s just because I am a baseball addict.

I’m not exactly sure what the solution is, although I think one problem is that they’re all bloated with TV-style presentations.


#13

Persona 5 comes to mind as a recent example. The last quarter of the game could have used some decently sized cuts.

In general I think open world games feel waaaaaay too pressured to pack content into every single inch of the game. Not only is it daunting a lot of the time but for me it distracts from the main story they’re trying to tell. Fallout specifically has always suffered from that for me. You’re picking up so many quests and listening to so much dialogue that it feels like everything just starts to run together after a while.


#14

If Persona 5 was half as long I might still sort of like it. As it stands it’s like 60 hours too long. BOTW could be cut in half and what it would lose in bland Studio Ghibli knock off vistas it would gain in feeling less like an overstuffed walk through the parts of Kansas that are only slightly more exciting than all the corn fields.

Nioh is also like 30 hours too long. Prey I have less issue with then some but it could lose a few hours. Okami for sure but let it needs to lose are the over long cutscenes at the start more than anything else. And real talk, the second act of Nier A Tomato adds nothing to warrant playing through all of act one again and 9S suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks


#15

Bioshock took a total narrative nosedive after its big twist; I feel like the whole post-Ryan Atlas section could’ve been cut entirely and I still would’ve been satisfied.


#16

One of the absolute worst things is the primary ingredients for building cool shit or protective shit are all incredibly rare so instead of getting to a settlement and building things you go “ah fuck I only got three copper wires I can’t do shit here” and you trudge from storage to storage teeing to savage a handful of helpful shit.


#17

@ChefLuBu I still haven’t finished Fallout 4 because I keep fucking around with settlements and also I just… I don’t care about Shawn. I don’t give one single fuck about this infant. Establishing supply lines and throwing up scavenging stations for your settlers to work on might help with those problems you’re having though.

Honestly, the only games I can think of that managed to be Long Enough are the Dishonored games, which are all pretty short apparently. Death of the Outsider is evidently only 5 hours long, which sounds like total horseshit to me, but then again I actually tend to go everywhere in those games.

My issue with games that are too long is that, like, if your game starts to feel tedious and cluttered with too much busy-work, then it’s going to feel too long. If you can manage to string everything together well enough, I won’t even notice how long I’ve been playing until I check. Which I almost never do.


#18

Mafia III’s decision to go open world felt very misguided. There is literally nothing to do in that world, and it added eight or ten hours of unnecessary gameplay. All you ever do in that game in between the story missions is shoot people and drive, nothing else. I loved the story, but all the hoops and extra hours you had to jump through to see that story was so bad.

Persona 5 is also another one for reasons others have stated above. The last couple of dungeons in that game are tedious as hell.


#19

The Witcher 3!

I love this game, it’s such a fantastic world full of characters that actually behave like adults but man oh man could just about every quest line be edited in half.

It took me over 12 months to finish the main story line as I just got real bored in parts and put the game down. The middle of the main quest where you try and rescue Dandelion drags on and on. Then I got to what I thought was the finale and there’s about 5 more hours to go!

It’s almost a shame that these huge open world games are in vogue. Developers are cramming in more and more content at the detriment of pacing. A bit of editing can make a game more engaging and more respectful of players time.


#20

Both LA Noire and Mafia 3 are games that would’ve been way better if they cut out the open world and were just mission to mission. Maybe the development of LA Noire wouldn’t have been a bunch of people getting tortured for 18 months then!