There are a few key ingredients that go into the perfect game- or even a good game. Some games may have a fantastic story while others focus on the depth of character development. However, there is a more technical aspect that is often overlooked.
The aspect of average play time. It’s comes down to a simple question: how long does a satisfying session of gameplay last?
There is no umbrella answer either. Some games like Kirby and Mario don’t need to take up 3 hours of your life at a time. You can get a satisfying serving of Kirby in 30 minutes. Quite honestly, I love Kirby games, and I can’t play them for more than 45 minutes at a time.
On the other hand, some games need a long time to satisfy players. Take the Final Fantasy series for example. These games are based around methodical progression. Battles aren’t lightning-quick, and deciding between equips can take a while too. After that, you haven’t even experienced any new pieces of the story, and you’ve probably been playing for an hour already.
Actually, Final Fantasy IV is a perfect example. FFIV is a fun game. I love the characters, the story, and battling is surprisingly enjoyable. However, I’m stuck in a rut. I need to grind in order to move on to the next part of the story. But I can’t. I allocated around an hour a day to playing FFIV because I want, want, want to progress, but I can’t get anywhere in an hour. I need more time to find my bearings.
Other games like Fire Emblem allow you to pace your progression. If you feel as though 6 hours is enough for one day, you can pause in the middle of a chapter. In fact, you can pick up right where you left off- no penalty. Sure, there are ‘save points’ in between each chapter, but each chapter varies in length. There is no real rhythm to the game, so that allows for you- the player- to create your own gaming rhythm.
I have to say that the lack of pacing is worsening my experience of Final Fantasy IV. I definitely have fun when I play it, but I can never get in the groove. I never feel satisfied when my hour is up. But I love the Final Fantasy series. I love the how the strategic elements mesh with compelling stories and characters.
Not every game gets the recipe exactly right. When it comes to Final Fantasy IV, I have to find more time to mend my situation. FFIV is screaming for my time, and I’m caving in. I may not sleep as much, but I’ll be satisfied.
Editor Note: At Pure Nintendo we like to offer a forum for fans of all ages and styles to voice opinions about the thing the love, Nintendo. If you would like to write something for Pure Nintendo, feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org