Should most JRPGs be around this games length?

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#1 Edited by Xanadu (341 posts) -

I just finished STOT last night and was really surprised at how short but dense the game was. I would've loved more game play but not at the expense of weakening the overall package. My question to you duders is do you think newer JRPG's should take note from South Park? I loved bravely default but after chapter 4 was a nightmare, sometimes it feels like the developers of these games are just not taking our time into consideration. What do you duders think? Do you love the grind or would you like to see JRPG devs tone this aspect of the genre down in favor of denser stories?

#2 Posted by wemibelec90 (1629 posts) -

Should some games be that short? Absolutely. I do think there are JRPGs that are deserving of their lengths (Persona 3 and 4 come to mind, as the S.Link stuff is fun), but most are bloated and lengthy for no reason other than to pad game length or extend a story that doesn't need it. I think developers could learn from this game on how to keep things fresh and moving.

#3 Edited by Bumpton (445 posts) -

Personally, it'd get me to actually play a couple JRPGs... Chrono Trigger is literally the only one I've ever played to completion, and the sole reason I've not played more is length. They clearly don't need to make them all that short, but every once in a while would be nice. JRPGs can be a ton of fun! Just not for 175 hours...

#4 Posted by TruthTellah (8801 posts) -

I do think that some RPGs are aided by a shorter length. Though, others also benefit from that larger size. I wouldn't suggest that JRPGs -should- be around this game's length, but I would support some JRPGs considering a more limited but denser scope. :)

#5 Edited by Hailinel (24413 posts) -

No, to put it simply. Games like the Final Fantasy series, or Xenosaga, Dragon Quest, or Persona wouldn't be the experiences that they are if they didn't take the time that they do. It's not that Bravely Default's designers don't take your time into consideration. It's that you personally don't have time for Bravely Default. And it seems odd to ask this specifically of JRPGs when games like Skyrim and the like can be time-sinks that are just as long, if not longer. Even multiplayer shooters can eat up hundreds of hours of a player's time.

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#6 Posted by HeyGuys (345 posts) -

It depends on the game. Obviously if the can't justify its length, and many JRPGS can't, then that's a problem but there are plenty of cases where the length serves the game's purpose. Persona 4, for example, is a game most people can agree is an example of a JRPG done right that would never work within the constrains of a 12-15 hour time frame.

#7 Posted by Xanadu (341 posts) -

@hailinel: I agree with you about experiences like Persona being diminished if the game is shorter. The reason why I task it specifically to JRPGs is because I am a man who likes his stories. A game like Skyrim's main story can actually be completed in a dozen or so hours, multiplayer games obviously don't have the same kind of single player stories and are meant to be time sinks. A lot of JRPGs ask you to put in over 60 hours plus to get through the story. JRPGs definitely can and should be great epic adventures but I was simply making a point that I would like to see what Japanese game developers could do when thinking about density and not quantity.

#8 Posted by believer258 (11802 posts) -

@hailinel said:

No, to put it simply. Games like the Final Fantasy series, or Xenosaga, Dragon Quest, or Persona wouldn't be the experiences that they are if they didn't take the time that they do. It's not that Bravely Default's designers don't take your time into consideration. It's that you personally don't have time for Bravely Default. And it seems odd to ask this specifically of JRPGs when games like Skyrim and the like can be time-sinks that are just as long, if not longer. Even multiplayer shooters can eat up hundreds of hours of a player's time.

The difference is that Skyrim's main story can be completed in a few hours and the rest of the content is just "side stuff", most of which is pretty isolated. Your bit on Bravely Default is rather unfortunate, as there was just a thread complaining about how four chapters of the game are just repeated boss fights. As for multiplayer shooters, there isn't a story to go through or an actual endgame to get to. You don't "finish" a multiplayer shooter, that's like comparing watching a long trilogy of movies to watching seasons of Law and Order - one is a contained story, the other is a new story every episode. Dragon Age Origins would have been a much better example.

As someone who didn't really get into JRPG's until a few years ago, with Chrono Trigger, I can safely say that I would appreciate better paced JRPG's. That's not to say that I want to see shorter JRPG's, but I do want to see JRPG's justify their own length without content that feels like padding. Chrono Trigger is 25 hours long and all of it feels consistent, mostly interrelated, and interesting - that's how JRPG's should be.

All of that said, 13 hours sounds a little too short for the genre. I wouldn't complain if it was a really good 13 hours, but it still sounds like it's too short to capture that "epic" feel that a lot of these games go for.

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#10 Posted by MEATBALL (3194 posts) -
@hailinel said:

No, to put it simply. Games like the Final Fantasy series, or Xenosaga, Dragon Quest, or Persona wouldn't be the experiences that they are if they didn't take the time that they do. It's not that Bravely Default's designers don't take your time into consideration. It's that you personally don't have time for Bravely Default. And it seems odd to ask this specifically of JRPGs when games like Skyrim and the like can be time-sinks that are just as long, if not longer. Even multiplayer shooters can eat up hundreds of hours of a player's time.

^What this man said. (That said, Bravely Default's last couple of chapters could have been shorter, the recycled content just drained my desire to keep playing)

South Park was about as long as it needed to be and it made sense for that game. I would be thoroughly, bitterly disappointed if it became some sort of shining standard, though (thankfully, the people making excellent JRPGs probably aren't paying any attention to Stick of Truth).

And if length is preventing some people from getting into JRPGs, then maybe the genre/the games just aren't for them. That's okay. MOBAs and RTSes aren't for me, for example, but I'd never dream of asking those genres change to suit my whims.

#11 Posted by Hailinel (24413 posts) -

@xanadu said:

@hailinel: I agree with you about experiences like Persona being diminished if the game is shorter. The reason why I task it specifically to JRPGs is because I am a man who likes his stories. A game like Skyrim's main story can actually be completed in a dozen or so hours, multiplayer games obviously don't have the same kind of single player stories and are meant to be time sinks. A lot of JRPGs ask you to put in over 60 hours plus to get through the story. JRPGs definitely can and should be great epic adventures but I was simply making a point that I would like to see what Japanese game developers could do when thinking about density and not quantity.

Some narratives need those sixty hours. Some don't. Eternal Sonata takes about thirty hours. The Last Story can be beaten in about twenty to twenty-five, but in its case, I'd say that the game is too short. It could easily have been longer and allowed for more time to build on the characters and story. The overall experience of playing Persona 3 doesn't require more than may sixty to seventy hours, but I played nearly twice that time just because that's how I felt like playing. I didn't need to see and do everything I did in Persona 3 in order to actually finish the game with the best ending. The same goes for Skyrim; sure, you can beat the game in twelve hours, but how many people would actually, realistically do that? (Especially considering that the main story in Skyrim isn't exactly the game's strength.)

Your bit on Bravely Default is rather unfortunate, as there was just a thread complaining about how four chapters of the game are just repeated boss fights. As for multiplayer shooters, there isn't a story to go through or an actual endgame to get to. You don't "finish" a multiplayer shooter, that's like comparing watching a long trilogy of movies to watching seasons of Law and Order - one is a contained story, the other is a new story every episode. Dragon Age Origins would have been a much better example.

As someone who didn't really get into JRPG's until a few years ago, with Chrono Trigger, I can safely say that I would appreciate better paced JRPG's. That's not to say that I want to see shorter JRPG's, but I do want to see JRPG's justify their own length without content that feels like padding. Chrono Trigger is 25 hours long and all of it feels consistent, mostly interrelated, and interesting - that's how JRPG's should be.

All of that said, 13 hours sounds a little too short for the genre. I wouldn't complain if it was a really good 13 hours, but it still sounds like it's too short to capture that "epic" feel that a lot of these games go for.

I'm aware of that Bravely Default thread, but I haven't read it. I'm still in the early going on that game and will be judging it for myself. And my mention of multiplayer shooters has to do with the idea of the developers "not respecting the player's time". It seems absurd to say, "games in this genre shouldn't be any longer than X hours" when games in other genres could have dozens or hundreds of hours sunk into them. Whether you prefer to spend your time engaged in a JRPG that takes maybe sixty hours to finish or three hundred hours playing Call of Duty multiplayer, that's up to you. It's also up to you to find the games you actually want to put the time into. Judging genre titles by the hours it takes to complete them does not take into account the actions you're actually performing during those hours, or the pacing of the narrative.

I mentioned The Last Story above, and while I enjoyed the game a lot, its pacing left a lot to be desired. That game could have been twice as long, easily, and it would have been much better for it. Pacing does not mean "Economy of story in a shorter span of time." It means telling the story with a flow that's befitting of the time you give it. If it takes fifty or sixty hours to tell the story you wish to tell with good pacing, then that's much better than trying to cram it into something that's no longer than fifteen to twenty.

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#12 Posted by Zeik (2368 posts) -

They should be as long as they need to be. If they can do what they want and make a satisfying game that's only like 15-20 hours then cool, but that shouldn't be a goal any more than trying to make a game long just for the sake of being long.

But I do like a good lengthy JRPG. There is value in a condensed experience, but one of the advantages of a JRPG over most other genres is the slowly build up relationships with characters over the course of many hours.

#13 Edited by Slag (4251 posts) -

I think the density and quality of the experience is more important than the length. Too many JRPGs and WRPGs get caught in a trap where they pad out the length with some lame and dull sidequests. So yeah some could stand to be a little shorter. Haven't played it yet but South Park:SoT sounds like it might have gone a little too far in the other direction.

If a game is chock full of meaningful story content and mechanically fun side quests by all means give me a 100+ hours, I never got bored in games like Dragon Quest Viii. Think I dropped 120 hours on that one and easily that much DQIX before the randomly generated bonus dungeosn eventually bored me. But the battle systems were good and there was fun stuff to get so it made the sidequests for the most part worth my time. Borderlands 2 was another one where the hours melted away, not an RPG but it might as well be.

but if it's drab filler fetch quest city like Kingdoms of Amalur:reckoning no thank you. That's the key, the side stuff has to be mechanically entertaining enough to make you want to play them without the carrot of story chunks. There are RPGS that over-rely on bad minigames for side stuff and that feels like it drags out the experience.

To be fair this just isn't a RPG problem it plagues pretty much every single player action game genre, it's just more noticeable in those games given their typical longer length.

#14 Edited by believer258 (11802 posts) -

@hailinel: I still don't think the multiplayer shooter comparison is fair. Multiplayer shooters aren't stories. There's no "endgame" or whatever, whereas a JRPG always needs something to keep you moving forward. Ideally, that's an interest in knowing what happens next in the story. Putting down a multiplayer a shooter is pretty easy. You play a good multiplayer shooter for as long as it takes to get tiring, and then you put it down, satisfied with your time spent. Putting down a JRPG isn't as easy because you might be interested in what's going on, but the content might start to feel padded out at some point or it might feel like the story is going off on irrelevant tangents. I don't know about you, but putting down a game because its mechanics and story aren't going anywhere leaves me dissatisfied and disappointed.

EDIT: Also, 20 hours should be plenty of time to build up character relationships. If your characters still aren't believable, developed people by the 20 hour mark, then something has gone seriously wrong with your writing.

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#15 Posted by Hailinel (24413 posts) -

@hailinel: I still don't think the multiplayer shooter comparison is fair. Multiplayer shooters aren't stories. There's no "endgame" or whatever, whereas a JRPG always needs something to keep you moving forward. Ideally, that's an interest in knowing what happens next in the story. Putting down a multiplayer a shooter is pretty easy. You play a good multiplayer shooter for as long as it takes to get tiring, and then you put it down, satisfied with your time spent. Putting down a JRPG isn't as easy because you might be interested in what's going on, but the content might start to feel padded out at some point or it might feel like the story is going off on irrelevant tangents. I don't know about you, but putting down a game because its mechanics and story aren't going anywhere leaves me dissatisfied and disappointed.

EDIT: Also, 20 hours should be plenty of time to build up character relationships. If your characters still aren't believable, developed people by the 20 hour mark, then something has gone seriously wrong with your writing.

Twenty hours isn't always nearly enough time. If your barometer for RPG story length is Chrono Trigger, which is abnormally short, it's also a fairly simplistic story with characters that are not that complex or are left largely ignored. The characters are very thin in terms of their relationships and presentation. It's not necessarily a bad thing in Chrono Trigger's case, as it does quite a bit with what little it actually presents, but there are still a lot of holes in the plot and thin characters that are never much more than the archetypes they're derived from. Compare it to, say, Persona 4, which takes its time in exploring its characters and plot. The game starts off with a lengthy introduction that's easily four hours long, from the opening scenes to the point when you're given freedom to explore and play as you like. But those first four hours are vital in establishing the setting, the scenario, a number of the main characters, and the relationships between them. That is also roughly a third or so of the time that it takes to play through South Park: The Stick of Truth.

The point behind Persona 4 is that you spend a full year in the shoes of its main character and experience the story from his viewpoint. Meeting the various residents of Inaba, getting to know them, investigating the TV world, helping your friends, and then just being a student doing student things. Could you try cramming everything that Persona 4 does in the span of twenty hours? Well, sure you could try. But it's highly, highly unlikely that the resulting experience would be nearly as affecting or engaging as the game that actually exists. The reason that people like the characters, whether they be the party members or NPCs like Nanako, is because the game gives us the time to be with them, and to experience all manner of moments with them. Cut away from that, and you cut away from the overall experience, just as reading a Cliffs Notes Lord of the Rings gives you the plot, but none of the actual impact or emotion behind it.

As far as the multiplayer shooter comparison is concerned, I stand by that. If you're going to play such a game for two-hundred hours, don't sit there and tell me that an RPG that takes sixty hours to complete is too long. It's not the amount of time that a game takes that should be a determining factor, but how that time is used. If a multiplayer shooter is such that it keeps you engaged for hundreds of hours, then it sounds like a game that's a good fit for you. If someone else plays the same game and can't be arsed to play more than the tutorial and training modes and a few hours of multiplayer before putting it away forever, that obviously isn't the game for that person. But that person might find a JRPG that takes sixty hours to complete a far more engaging and entertaining experience than you, the two-hundred-hours-in-a-shooter guy.

Again, it is not solely the length of the game that should be at issue. It's how that length is used and whether you get what you want out of it. And not everyone is going to feel the same level of engagement, regardless of how long a particular game is. Gone Home takes a scant few hours to complete, and there are people that would quit to desktop after fifteen minutes to play something else.

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#16 Edited by Zeik (2368 posts) -

To be fair, P4 did not NEED to be as long as it was. There's plenty of filler in those games that could be cut if it weren't for the specific structure of the game.

And while 20 hours is a tad short, it's not unreasonably short. Suikoden 2 is not much longer and I place that at the top of my list of JRPGs.

#17 Posted by Hailinel (24413 posts) -

@zeik said:

To be fair, P4 did not NEED to be as long as it was. There's plenty of filler in those games that could be cut if it weren't for the specific structure of the game.

And while 20 hours is a tad short, it's not unreasonably short. Suikoden 2 is not much longer and I place that at the top of my list of JRPGs.

Sure, P4 could have been shorter in some respects, but the overall experience is such that the content that is there doesn't feel overstuffed or stretched thin.

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#19 Edited by Zeik (2368 posts) -

I enjoyed every minute of P4 when I first played it, but the calender system does kind of wreck the pacing IMO. P3 and P4 could definitely have a much tighter narrative than they do. Or more balanced at least. You can go hours and hours without anything meaningful happening and then spend another couple hours being bombarded with story.

#20 Posted by Random45 (1140 posts) -

Should some games be that short? Absolutely. I do think there are JRPGs that are deserving of their lengths (Persona 3 and 4 come to mind, as the S.Link stuff is fun), but most are bloated and lengthy for no reason other than to pad game length or extend a story that doesn't need it. I think developers could learn from this game on how to keep things fresh and moving.

Having just beaten Persona 4: The Golden, I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind if some of the fat was cut off. Especially if you save Marie, there's just a month of NOTHING to do. I really hope Persona 5 does away with the whole Calendar system, and does something else for you to level up social links.

#21 Posted by Random45 (1140 posts) -

Should some games be that short? Absolutely. I do think there are JRPGs that are deserving of their lengths (Persona 3 and 4 come to mind, as the S.Link stuff is fun), but most are bloated and lengthy for no reason other than to pad game length or extend a story that doesn't need it. I think developers could learn from this game on how to keep things fresh and moving.

Having just beaten Persona 4: The Golden, I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind if some of the fat was cut off. Especially if you save Marie, there's just a month of NOTHING to do. I really hope Persona 5 does away with the whole Calendar system, and does something else for you to level up social links.

#22 Posted by HeyGuys (345 posts) -

@zeik said:

I enjoyed every minute of P4 when I first played it, but the calender system does kind of wreck the pacing IMO. P3 and P4 could definitely have a much tighter narrative than they do.

I disagree, at least with P4. One of the strong suits was its one day at a time feel and its ability to use daily life to make the player feel integrated with the school and community of Inaba.

#23 Posted by believer258 (11802 posts) -

@hailinel: You can definitely establish complex characters and a deep story in twenty hours. One of Persona 4's issues is that it takes four hours to get started, and the game's main plot points are repeated by the characters ad nauseam far too often. It's rarely difficult concepts to grasp, either - High school, check. Supernatural happenings, check. Murders, check. Your uncle is a police chief who is away from home too often, check. Your cousin is still in the Japanese equivalent of Elementary school but stays home far too often, check. Yosuke is a dick, check. Chie is a tomboy, check. Yukiko is super shy and naive, check. You could have all of these things established in half an hour, maybe an hour, but P4 takes four hours. I do love me some Persona 4, but please, don't pretend like P3 and P4 lack padding in some places. Get to the end of the dungeon? Oh, no, you have to go back a few floors and find an easily-missable key! Doesn't that sound fun!? No, frankly, I was all ready to fight the boss. Persona 4's plot is pretty flimsy as well, and gets even more annoying when they have to "confirm the situation" or re-state the game's plot details to you thus far. It's not like the game couldn't have kept a journal or something on-hand if the player feels like they need a refresher course.

As far as Chrono Trigger goes, its characters often do fit into story archetypes but none of that game feels overly long or unnecessary. You could probably cut out some parts without much issue, and it still has some plot holes, but so much of its story and so many of the activities you do are pretty cleverly interrelated. It's a game that doesn't really feel segmented despite being full of content, and that's what I'm really after. That doesn't mean that I want every JRPG to be 25 hours and under. Instead, I want every JRPG to make all of its content feel meaningful. If the developer can make fifty hours interesting, then sure! Make it fifty hours long. Spending ages setting up your plot and moving it along at a snail's pace for "character development" is not making all of your content feel meaningful. I know there are far fewer characters, but The Last of Us introduces and kills off well-developed characters in the time it takes for JRPG's to really get started.

And on the topic of multiplayer shooters, your argument is still pretty flawed. If you can play a multiplayer shooter for a hundred hours, why can't you play a JRPG for sixty? Well, because multiplayer shooters don't ask that much time out of you. There's no padding, no story beats that are dragging out for too long, or anything of the sort. There's ten to twenty minutes where you run around a map trying to fend off the enemy team and accomplish an objective. Once that twenty minutes is over, you've got about a minute, maybe two, and then you're jumping back in. None of your time feels like it's wasted. You're not digging through the boring parts to get to the good ones, you're always in a good one, and if you're not having fun then you turn it off and come back later to a different match with different people and start having fun again. And, again, once you're done, you're done. The game doesn't sit there, begging you to find out how the story turns out despite only sprinkling bits of it here and there at a time.

The attitude after shelving a multiplayer game is "I got my time out of this and it was fun." The attitude after shelving an unfinished lengthy JRPG can, too often, be one of frustration after giving up on it.

Again, it is not solely the length of the game that should be at issue. It's how that length is used and whether you get what you want out of it.

I definitely agree, but apparently you and I disagree on what constitutes "too fucking long". At some point that's not a matter of taste, that's a matter of "they spend ten hours doing what should have been done in two", which is bad writing in a nutshell.

And, on a final note, I do really like some JRPG's but I am starting to tire of some of the genre's tropes and I don't really have the time or patience to play a bunch of fifty hour games. One fifty hour game is all right. Several fifty hour games isn't.

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#24 Posted by Zeik (2368 posts) -

@heyguys said:

@zeik said:

I enjoyed every minute of P4 when I first played it, but the calender system does kind of wreck the pacing IMO. P3 and P4 could definitely have a much tighter narrative than they do.

I disagree, at least with P4. One of the strong suits was its one day at a time feel and its ability to use daily life to make the player feel integrated with the school and community of Inaba.

Well, I'm not so sure I agree that they accomplished that. Most school days lasted like 5 seconds and about the only time you really interact with non-s. links is to pick up quests. It's not like NPCs had something new to say every day. I think they could absolutely accomplish as much as they did in that regard even without experiencing each and every day.

#26 Posted by Berserk007 (203 posts) -

If South park had incorporated grinding in it to make leveling a moderate chore (maybe it's somewhat different in Hard mode), it would have easily topped over 40+ hours, but it's all in what you want I guess and in this case they nailed their core market I think. Overall though it really depends product to product, but as a standard I would say 35-40 has always been the spot to shoot for.

#27 Edited by csl316 (8451 posts) -

Really depends what they're going for. South Park is super tight. But if Persona 4 was compact you wouldn't get invested in the characters and the flow of gameplay would completely change.

Depends if it's a mechanics-heavy RPG or something that's 90% focused on story and stuff. They both have their place.

My sweet spot is 15 to 30 hours in either case.

#28 Edited by Hailinel (24413 posts) -


And, on a final note, I do really like some JRPG's but I am starting to tire of some of the genre's tropes and I don't really have the time or patience to play a bunch of fifty hour games. One fifty hour game is all right. Several fifty hour games isn't.

That's your problem and not one with the genre itself. I personally don't like playing multiplayer shooters, but I wouldn't presume to tell the people that make those games to change them to suit my tastes.

As far as Persona 4 is concerned, what you're calling padding really isn't. What it sounds like you want is the characters to be defined by their archetypes and to just go with it. It doesn't sound like you want that growth of character, or the establishment of characterization more complex than "tomboy" or "dick" because anything more complex takes more time. Do some points get repeated often? Yes. Is how those points are repeated padding? Not really. Just like it's not really padding that you need to find a key to open a particular dungeon door. Is it less straight-forward than the average dungeon exploration in the game? Yes. Does it suddenly require a greater amount of time to complete the dungeon? Not really. Especially if you already found the necessary key while exploring the floor it's found on the first time through.

I can tell you this. I would not have been as profoundly shaken by Nanako's apparent death scene as I was had I only spent fifteen hours to get there. That is a scene that works as well as it does because of the amount of time that you spend with her, in addition to her father and the way that they interact with you and your friends. It is a powerful moment in the story, perhaps the most powerful, and it absolutely needed time to build to that point and to make the player character and the player care for her to a strong degree.

As for Chrono Trigger, the game is briskly paced, but at the expense of detail that I would have loved to have. It's not a game where I would cut anything, but there are points where I would have actually added more. Queen Zeal is one of my favorite characters in the game. She's a memorable villain figure that puts more personality into the endgame than just Lavos itself. But she's also very thinly depicted, in the game for only a few scenes, and does little more than praise Lavos and try to murder her children. There's really not much character to her at all despite being an important antagonistic figure. If you look at Final Fantasy VI, a game from the same era as Chrono Trigger, it also has a batshit insane lunatic as a major antagonist in Kefka. But Kefka is given the time to show how evil he is, and in what ways, in addition to where the clownish lunacy stops and his sadistic, nihilistic nature begins.

Chrono Trigger is a great adventure and has fun moments and interesting characters, but it shouldn't be confused for a narrative of significant depth. On that point, numerous other entries in the genre outshine it.

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#29 Posted by TruthTellah (8801 posts) -

Short books and long books can be good. Short movies and long movies can be good. It's not the length that defines the quality but how well they use that length. Too many JRPGs do pad out their length and detract from the total package, but that doesn't mean all or even most should drastically shift to shorter lengths.

It's a matter of improving the content within the games or making sure that length is worth it. If a team feels the scope is too large, they shouldn't feel obligated to make a 40 hour game if a 20 game would be far more appropriate. I love my long JRPGs, but some could certainly benefit from shorter lengths.

#31 Posted by HeyGuys (345 posts) -

@zeik said:

@heyguys said:

@zeik said:

I enjoyed every minute of P4 when I first played it, but the calender system does kind of wreck the pacing IMO. P3 and P4 could definitely have a much tighter narrative than they do.

I disagree, at least with P4. One of the strong suits was its one day at a time feel and its ability to use daily life to make the player feel integrated with the school and community of Inaba.

Well, I'm not so sure I agree that they accomplished that. Most school days lasted like 5 seconds and about the only time you really interact with non-s. links is to pick up quests. It's not like NPCs had something new to say every day. I think they could absolutely accomplish as much as they did in that regard even without experiencing each and every day.

Would you believe me if I said it was more than the sum of its parts? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't but I felt, at least in some way, they accomplished that.

#32 Edited by ZolRoyce (667 posts) -

It's not about the length it's about how you use it.
If you have a good idea for an RPG and really believe that the hours upon hours upon hours of content is worthwhile then go for it.
But you start to use the word 'padding' or any thing like that then stop.
A game should be as long as it is good, not longer just to appease people.

#34 Posted by Yesiamaduck (1014 posts) -

The actual length of all JRPGs is about 3 hours, the other 4,000 hours is grinding or having a shrill quirky character yapping at you in unskippable cutscenes in a story no sane person would give a shit about.

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#35 Posted by BeachThunder (11847 posts) -

Wait, what's a JRPG?

#36 Posted by BlamBlam (46 posts) -

It was absolutlely acceptable length to me. Game had no filler to speak and was better than any clip show or best of episode could be. Obviously I'd like more, but its unreasonable considering its development history. I'm just going to hope for good sales to spark the possibility of DLC.

Obsidian tosses in some non quest or story dungeons, has a just a few more weapons/equipment/loot options (not even needed for myself) combined with a slightly higher level cap for a more gradual leveling curve and we're looking at a 20-25 hour experience and its biggest critique is gone. The game had to come out though and the show creators held up their end of it

#37 Posted by Sinusoidal (1420 posts) -

Like most reasonable people here have already said: it depends on the game.

I blew a good 100+ hours on Xenogears back in the day and loved every moment of the absolute batshit crazy plot, characters and setting, severe warts on the second disc and all.

The 30+ hours I spent finishing Eternal Sonata were pure agony enduring what surely must the most agonizingly cliché, boring and stupid JRPG ever made. Though admittedly, the game could be the perfect length, and it would still suck.

I've played through Final Fantasy VI a good three or four times now, the first time through, I leveled almost every character to 99 just for the hell of it.

Nier got incredibly tiresome when they asked me to beat the game for the fourth time in order to get those last 2 seconds of ending. ( I Youtubed it, sorry Nier I liked you up to a point, but then you started making unreasonable demands.)

Some games warrant spending a good 100 hours in their world. Others definitely do not.

#38 Edited by Sinusoidal (1420 posts) -

Like most reasonable people here have already said: it depends on the game.

I blew a good 100+ hours on Xenogears back in the day and loved every moment of the absolute batshit crazy plot, characters and setting, severe warts on the second disc and all.

The 30+ hours I spent finishing Eternal Sonata were pure agony enduring what surely must the most agonizingly cliché, boring and stupid JRPG ever made. Though admittedly, the game could be the perfect length, and it would still suck.

I've played through Final Fantasy VI a good three or four times now, the first time through, I leveled almost every character to 99 just for the hell of it.

Nier got incredibly tiresome when they asked me to beat the game for the fourth time in order to get those last 2 seconds of ending. ( I Youtubed it, sorry Nier I liked you up to a point, but then you started making unreasonable demands.)

Some games warrant spending a good 100 hours in their world. Others definitely do not.

#39 Edited by TruthTellah (8801 posts) -
#40 Posted by Castiel (2578 posts) -

To be honest length is the one thing that keeps me from playing most jrpgs. It's a shame course I wanted to start playing more jrpg-like games but so far the only games I have played have been Costume Quest and The Stick of Truth. They have both been great introductions to the genre and yes I know that they are a simpler version of jrpgs, but that's why i loved them so much. That and also that they have a damn near perfect pace.

But as soon any jrpg requires me to do hours upon hours of mindless grinding and backtracking then I'm done and that's why I don't care about most jrpgs. It's filler just for the sake of being filler.

That's why I'm looking forward to Costume Quest 2. Atleast western developers knows how to make jrpg-like games that I actually want to play.

#42 Edited by Sinusoidal (1420 posts) -

@castiel said:

To be honest length is the one thing that keeps me from playing most jrpgs. It's a shame course I wanted to start playing more jrpg-like games but so far the only games I have played have been Costume Quest and The Stick of Truth. They have both been great introductions to the genre and yes I know that they are a simpler version of jrpgs, but that's why i loved them so much. That and also that they have a damn near perfect pace.

But as soon any jrpg requires me to do hours upon hours of mindless grinding and backtracking then I'm done and that's why I don't care about most jrpgs. It's filler just for the sake of being filler.

That's why I'm looking forward to Costume Quest 2. Atleast western developers knows how to make jrpg-like games that I actually want to play.

I find it's really a very popular misconception that JRPG = grinding. Most of the the JRPGs I've played were entirely beatable without grinding at all. In fact, grinding takes out a lot of the challenge and thus fun of using all of your resources to win a fight. Hell, Kefka's a bloody joke at high levels.

#43 Edited by MachoFantastico (4620 posts) -

Yes, I'd love to see more better paced JRPG's without all the filler crap they put in there. That said, I know some folks love that stuff and I guess one could argue it makes for better value for money... sort of.

Thought The Stick of Truth lasted as long as it should have and never outlasted it's welcome.

#44 Edited by Encephalon (1243 posts) -

Obviously, making any sort of blanket statement about what is best for a genre is specious. It depends on tons of stuff.

That said, I do think RPGs in general have probably been harmed, design-wise, by their audience's expectations regarding length. Bravely Default is a great example of devs sabotaging their own game by, seemingly, padding their way toward an arbitrary hour-count.

#45 Posted by Morningstar (2150 posts) -

Of course not.

#46 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7615 posts) -

@hailinel said:

No, to put it simply. Games like the Final Fantasy series, or Xenosaga, Dragon Quest, or Persona wouldn't be the experiences that they are if they didn't take the time that they do. It's not that Bravely Default's designers don't take your time into consideration. It's that you personally don't have time for Bravely Default. And it seems odd to ask this specifically of JRPGs when games like Skyrim and the like can be time-sinks that are just as long, if not longer. Even multiplayer shooters can eat up hundreds of hours of a player's time.

That definitely depends on the game. Things like Dragon Quest VII were clearly padded out for no reason other than to make the game seem "big" and I personally feel Final Fantasy IX would have been a stronger game if it had just ended on the second disc, instead of going into all of that convoluted cloning business after the main plot up to that point had finished. But there are definitely other games that would suffer greatly from being cut down.

#47 Posted by ChosenOne (203 posts) -

I'd love to see a bunch of donwloadable 8-10 hour JRPGs, that would be awesome. But nah, not all games. I enjoyed Stick of Truth's lean approach but I'd be severely dissapointed if Persona 5 cames out and it was only 8 hours long.

#48 Posted by ChosenOne (203 posts) -

I'd love to see a bunch of donwloadable 8-10 hour JRPGs, that would be awesome. But nah, not all games. I enjoyed Stick of Truth's lean approach but I'd be severely dissapointed if Persona 5 cames out and it was only 8 hours long.

#49 Posted by geirr (2532 posts) -

I'd probably play more of them if they were this short.

#50 Posted by anywhereilay (144 posts) -

No, to be honest the gameplay in the stick of truth was way more simplistic than most JRPGs and it became repetitive way faster (I still haven't completed it because of how easy and dull I'm finding the game).

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