Lectures
layton
Previously On Gaming – The Reason Your Backlog Is Enormous

I foresee a new group of gamer rising. Maybe that’s a little cheap to say because I’m confident I’m talking to a few of you now. You buy a game, only to get around half way or 20hrs through it to find yourself stopping. Maybe you bought it to tide you over for a game you wanted a lot more, maybe your life changed and you were forced to put it down, or any number of common reasons. The point is that picking it up again will be difficult in say six months or a year or more. If you’re like me, you’ve sold or traded in a few games just to get that one you were sure you’d enjoy, only to find yourself missing it next year as the game release began to slow.

You’re in a difficult position now. Either begin again, wiping the slate completely clean, or start from where you left off and face those bosses the enemies that you were struggling with when you were amazing at the game. Not all of us beat every single game that we buy, because we want to buy so many of them. This is what the game industry needs. The consumers who maybe buy 5 or more games in a month don’t need to be restricted, but encouraged and capable to return despite the circumstances. Ladies and gentlemen, we need a recap system.

This Is How

When I began playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village, I wouldn’t so much get frustrated with the puzzles as as I was with how much time would go on between them. It was a game where later down the line the puzzles upped themselves in intensity as well as solution time. The game really is no more than one puzzle after another wrapped in a story, and that story might actually be 10 pages long versus the 30hrs of puzzles it takes to get it all. It was nice that even when I put it down for months at a time I’d still have a good idea where Layton was. It wasn’t so much that the story was simple, or that there was none to begin with (I’d honestly have forgotten anything as many times as I left it), but every time I came back I was given a short, basic recap of the events that had transpired. This wasn’t complex. It was a 10 second slide show and it helped me understand what direction I was heading.

This Is How Not

Persona 4, Lost Odyssey, Final Fantasy XII – noticing a trend? All RPGs. I’ve put these games down, maybe 20 hrs or so in, and I’m not looking to go back as long as I’m mum on who killed my what now. If these games just took Layton’s approach to filling me in on what I might have done in hours 15-19, I might be encouraged to pick up where I left off, rather than feeling like I wasted 60hrs of combined effort in these games. Maybe I should stop getting into RPGs? Why, when something so simple could be done to push me back into these games.

Buy Less Noob!

Not really a constructive answer. Sure, it’s a good economic reason, and probably a bit better for the overall backlog, but this is a simple change that needs to be brought about. Think about it. I know half of my games are in my backlog because I got into them and honestly have no idea where I left off. So let’s say I only bought one game, didn’t play anything else till I finished it. If that trend caught on, how many Modern Warfare 2‘s would have been sold this November? I’m no good with hypothetical sales charts, but I hope you get what I’m saying. While I’ve got the imaginary chalk board out, how much could this increase sales of RPGs if I knew that if I got in a good 20hrs I could come back at my leisure. I know I’d make quite a few more worry free purchases knowing this. I might even be able to play a few more than just jumping back into a multiplayer title.

Do It, Then We’ll Talk

I don’t care what reason you spout off Mr. Developer, it wouldn’t be as hard as you think to do this. If you’re not willing to, here’s another thought. Mr. video blogger, do you have a capture card and a lot of free time? You do it, and make a million dollars off of it. I’m of the opinion of two people can do it for free, a few dozen paid employees can too. Publishers, I can’t be the only one here seeing this. Do it.

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3 comments
Michelle
Michelle

Yes you're quite right, more often than not we have more access to games than we know what to do with. I do think more and more games are making an effort to let us easily bookmark our progress - just look at how many games let you save anywhere, that was a dream when I was growing up. I must take note with one of your examples though - Final fantasy 12, I played a good 20 hours also before leaving the game - then returning to it after six months, perfectly able to continue playing and understanding what I had to do. Why? Because of the map - it gave me a clue of where I needed to go next and a helpful index of where that location was all in-game easily found. It can be done. Of course, we can always buy less games too.

Bereaver
Bereaver

Most people who own ps3 don't trade in games. Fact or Opinion?