Screenshot by Flickr User:

Into the Nexus, I Hardly Knew Thee

Screenshot by Flickr User:
Screenshot by Flickr User:

I went on a bit of a spending spree around Christmas time. When I was stocking up on supplies for this year’s masquerade, I decided, while I was at it, I might as well buy a whole bunch of Ratchet and Clank figurines. As if that wasn’t enough, I also decided this was a great time to catch up on some of the games I had missed from the series, as well, so I went ahead and bought Quest for Booty and Into the Nexus (the latter was just $10, which was a pretty good deal, I think, and I am well aware of the fact that Nexus is supposed to come with a downloadable copy of Quest for Booty, but I like hard copies, darn it!).

Now, the reason I didn’t bother buying these games at first was because I heard they were short. I mean, it’s great that Insomniac has been making so many R&C games, but any joy this might bring is greatly lessened when many of their games lately are so absurdly tiny. I don’t want to spend all that money on a game that’s 5 hours long. I know they are priced cheaper than typical games, but I’d much rather pay full price for a full-length game myself. And yet, the pain of feeling left out spurred me to buy these games to see what I had been missing because I am weak like that.

Well, I started out with Into the Nexus, and while it was packed with fun, I have nothing to say about it. I mean, they had some pretty cool planets to check out (Yerek and Silox were pretty fun, plus I love abandoned towns), and the Netherverse levels that Clank got to explore were pretty challenging (and they have a whole Zurkon family now!), but it was so darn short, which in turn made the story feel a bit rushed. I would have liked to see more of Vendra, as I found her rather interesting, but…you already know my issue, right?

So, whether or not I would recommend this game (same goes with Quest for Booty, which will surely be done by the time this post is published) depends on how much you’re willing to spend on something so short. And so it got me thinking, what is the minimum length a game needs to be before you’ll buy it? Games cost so much nowadays, and there are so many to choose from, I’m sure most of us would rather get a game that feels like a good use of our money.

I think my ideal length for a video game is 20-30 hours. 40 hours if it’s a really fun game. I typically play an hour a day, and I like my games to at least take me 3-4 weeks. That changes depending on the game, as platformers usually take me 2 weeks, while RPG’s often take me 2 months. Of course, there are exceptions, like Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, which I can zip through in the span of a single morning when I’m feeling crazy, and I thoroughly enjoyed Portal 2 despite its length because it was such a unique concept. It’s not that I thought Into the Nexus wasn’t worth the time or the money spent on it. I simply thought it could have greatly benefited from being longer, whereas the other two games I mentioned were the perfect length for what they were. And you may have noticed that this is a short post. Well, now you understand my pain. Unless you’re glad this post is shorter than usual….

So, what is your ideal length for a video game? Do you prefer games you can lose yourself in for months, or do you enjoy short games that require less of a commitment?

A Duck That Is Also Too Short…


18 thoughts on “Into the Nexus, I Hardly Knew Thee”

  1. Never did get those either, but have always wondered if they were really any good. Are they closer to Tools of Destruction or A Crack in Time in terms of how the gameplay feels?

    As for game length, I like games that range from 15-30 hours best. Longer RPGs are fun, but I can only play one for so long before wanting to move onto something else. Those longer games have to have a real hook in order to stay interesting (like DA:I, in which I sunk over 60 hours before finishing it.)

    Longer was better when I had more time to devote to games, Now though? Stuff that’s more bite-size is kind of nice every so often… Maybe its time to try these Ratchet games after all.

    1. I think the gameplay feels more like Tools of Destruction.

      That’s about the game length I prefer, as well. Though, I guess the good thing about really long games is you can quit and come back. That doesn’t work with really short ones. For me, short games have to be really special to be worth it. Like Portal 2. It’s shorter than I like, but totally worth it.

  2. It depends on the game. If it is a 2-D platformer, I think 15 hours for full completion is an excellent length. 3-D platformers need to be slightly longer.

    Then there are games like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, which I am playing right now, and from which I expect at least fifty hours of gameplay.

    1. I agree with those game lengths. The old Donkey Kong Country games on the SNES were pretty short, but perfect. But, platformers like Banjo-Kazooie really benefit from being longer. I should play some platformers. I’m in the middle of RPGs at the moment, and I’m getting sleepy….

  3. I love the first 3 Ratchet & Clank games, they’ll always be my favorites. The fourth one, I wasn’t so keen on, because it wasn’t really story driven, you were just stuck in that arena the whole time.

    I got Future: Tools of Destruction on release and I loved it, I still do now! They bought back a story line, which was super important to me, as well as the beautifully up-scaled graphics. Unfortunately, I never got chance to play anything else from the series after that.

    Although, that being said, I’ve just got a new job, so I’ll be able to buy them now. Not to mention that seeing your post has reignited a spark and now I can’t stop thinking about R&C! So thank you for that :) Not enough people talk about them anymore!

    1. The original trilogy was great. I never played Deadlocked because it didn’t look like a typical R&C game. I would definitely suggest getting A Crack in Time. That is my second favorite game, after Up Your Arsenal. I definitely prefer the games with stories. I wasn’t a fan of Full Frontal Assault, as the gameplay was changed too much, and there wasn’t much of a plot.

      Yeah, I wish R&C was more popular. It’s one of my favorite series, and yet not many people seem to know about it.

  4. Also, in answer to your question, my ideal game play time in terms of story, would be somewhere between 30 and 50 hours for a first time play through. I’ve always got some mass RPG on the go, such as Fallout 3, so I like to have an additional game with a good story I can play along side it so I don’t get sucked into the waste land too much!

    1. It’s good to have another game to play in addition to RPGs. I have a bunch of un-played RPGs on the PS3, plus I recently got a new Wii U, which allows me to take a break from the RPGs and play some regular games. RPGs can suck the life out of me when I play them too much.

      1. Yeah man, I totally agree. The Mass Effect series, as well as games such as Fallout 3 ruined my social life almost completely. There’s still a few in my collection that have still got the cellophane wrapping on, because I know they’re gonna be massively time consuming and I don’t have the time to commit to them right now, with work and stuff. Which relates to my other comment, this is why I love the Ratchet & Clank series, because it has a wonderful story and it’s really easy to pick up, even if you put the game down, play something else for a few weeks and then go back to it. And as always, has a relatively decent play time.

      2. R&C is awesome on so many levels, period. I’m currently in the middle of playing the remix of Kingdom Hearts 2, and while the game is great, and I love all the extras, I’m just getting rather overwhelmed. I’ve played 50 hours, and there is still so much to do! I think I need to take a break and play something else before I go crazy.

  5. For a time, I was getting into shorter games, but then I started (re)playing Dragon Age: Inquisition and Xenoblade Chronicles, so…so much for that endeavor, haha. But game length doesn’t really come into play when I go to buy a game. First and foremost, I buy a game if I think I’m going to enjoy it. (Replay value is a bonus, but not a driving factor.) Thinking back on the games I’ve enjoyed most, I probably put in an average of 30-40 hours of gameplay, and that can include completing a story and some sidequests. But I’m with Hatm0nster in terms of an ideal range of hours. If I can get a solid 15-20 hours of fun out of a game, I’m happy.

    1. Replay value is pretty important to me because I used to run out of games to play, and I didn’t have enough money to buy new ones for long spans of time, leaving me to replay what few games I had until they got boring or not play at all. I guess this really led me to value long games that will keep me occupied until I can save enough money for a new game. I make exceptions, like with the case of Portal 2, which was totally worth it, despite it being shorter than most games I buy. But, I never got Journey, for example, because it is supposed to be short. I should at least watch a gameplay video of it on youtube, though. It looks interesting. Then, I might change my mind.

  6. I feel that if games had a solid, respectable difficulty, they might feel more rewarding, despite their short length. Devil May Cry 3 was one of the last games that really gave me a run for my money. A 20-40 hour game can feel like a drag if I’m just going through the motions. The Evil Within is a prime example. Run from point A to point B, silly cut scene.
    Ratchet & Clank, I have always meant to get back into this series, but with so many games, I just got lost.

    1. That’s definitely true. I don’t want a long game just for the sake of it. Portal 2 was short, but it was a solid, really good game. Quest 64 is a game that took me many, many hours to beat, but it was pretty much just an endless cycle of walking and fighting enemies. Needless to say, I never plan to play that game ever again. I have so many better games to play now.

      I’m not sure what R&C games you’ve played, but if you want to get back into the series, I’d say try the original trilogy on the PS2, and Tools of Destruction and a Crack in Time on the PS3. The others are either very short, a bit too different, or, as is the case with the handhelds, not very good. Up Your Arsenal and A Crack in Time are my favorites.

      1. Cool, I’ll take note of that. The last one I’ve been playing was Size Matters on the PSP. I like it. I need to rebuy the third game and Tools of Destruction.

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