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Old 04-04-2011, 01:41 AM   #1
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Default replay value in Adventures

I've always loved adventure games ever since I first tried one on the Amiga (and I dabbled in text adventures before then even) but in the last decade or so (...suddenly I feel old!) I've also crossed over into RPGs rather more, the two genres do share a lot of elements and many RPGs have some emphasis on character interaction, inventory, 'puzzles' (granted puzzles in RPGs are almost always of the ludicrously easy variety unless they're completely optional, and even then sometimes easy) and of course story. but I can't help noticing that there's one thing that seems to crop up a lot more often in an RPG than an adventure game and I can't really think of a good explanation as to why...
replay value

I'm not just talking about a game that you want to play again because it's just that good, but about a game that you can play again and again and have it be different. thinking about it, the adventure game genre is the perfect genre for this kind of thing, yet it's the RPGs that seem to use it more

off the top of my head I can only think of a few adventure games with real replay incentive;
Bladerunner - uses a combination of random flags generated at the start of play and consequences of decisions the player makes to offer differences each playthrough
Kings Quest 6 - if I remember correctly there were two different ways to complete it, a good ending and a great ending, depending on whether you take the easy or not so-easy solution to a particular puzzle
Indiana Jones: Fate of Atlantis - has three different paths to Atlantis (Team, Wits, Fists) which all play out differently but converge on the same finale
Maniac Mansion - puzzles can be solved in different manners depending on who's in your party

and even then, only Bladerunner and KQ6 really offer different endings (Indy has a couple of 'bad' endings like letting Sophia die). granted not many RPGs have much in the way of ending variety either and those that do tend to have problems with it in sequels (Elder Scrolls for example pulled the Warp of the West out of their arses to explain the contradictory endings of Daggerfall and despite attempts at having KotOR 2 let you explain your decisions in the first game it's now been retconned as the hero of 1 being male and Jedi).

Dreamfall had a few bits that can be different, as did it's predecessor The Longest Journey, but those were just small scenes (though both games were great enough to inspire replays anyway). The Dig had a very slightly different alternative ending

if I missed any then please remind me. it may even be that there's some great adventure games out there that I've never played, just waiting for me to play them again and again
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:59 AM   #2
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Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive. Replay value very high: easy and hard mode for puzzles, various endings, and 3 routes depending on Tex' responses which have consequences. For instance, if Tex behaves like a jerk on a date, he will be too late for his next appointment with a witness.

The Last Express. Real time. Many ways to end the game prematurely. A couple of problems have more than one solution. You can't be in too places at the same time, so on any playthrough you will miss conversations, stuff going on elsewhere.

In the 1st Degree. FMV. Dialogue trees where your choices have consequences. More like an interactive movie, with many different endings. It's rather hard to find the best one.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:35 AM   #3
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I basically never replay games in any genre (at least before 10+ years pass), and different paths don't really interest me at all. I'd rather developers spend more time making the one path great. Or doing something like Warren Spector tries to do (and succeeded with Deus Ex) - there is basically one "path" but you can play it in vastly different ways. For me, Deus Ex was a stealth game that involved a lot of crawling through vents etc. - for others it was a FPS where you rush into every area through the front door with guns blazing.

I did replay adventure games quite a bit when I was a teenager, not any more. I have started going back to games that I haven't played in a decade plus. It's interesting - if I played an adventure game multiple times in say 1995, I will remember most of it now and won't get stuck. However, a game that I played just once within the last 2-4 years will be very new to me now. Sherlock Holmes and the Serrated Scalpel will be almost as hard as when I first played it in 2007 I'm sure, and I can't remember a THING about Rose Tattoo which I played after that.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:32 AM   #4
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Replay values are great, but they always frustrate me. Like with all of the small different scenes in "The Longest Journey", I would save and then do both paths, because I hate missing a conversation tree, or a missing scene, etc. Like in the Choose Your Own Adventure books, I would turn to both pages and see what was best.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:00 AM   #5
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Very little replay value for me. I'm always baffled to read people say they've played Loom 20 times or whatever. I play them once only, although I will sometimes go through parts of a game again immediately after finishing it to get screenshots. But once the game has been 'put away' and uninstalled I will never play it again, just maybe enjoy the screenshots from time to time for my favourite games.

For me, it's no longer exciting once I know what's around the corner and redoing the same puzzles again or trawling through all the same dialogue again is just a chore. Sure, the moment you first hit on a solution it's satisfying, but doing the same thing again is just mechanial. That thrill can only be recaptured by overcoming new problems in new games.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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i too replay adventures from time to time.it's more sentimental to me.and also if i replay a game it's because i had a great time with it the first time.so i replay them to remember the fun time and atmosphere.i don't really have an opinion on different endings since i haven't played any adventures featuring them.but i'd be interested.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #7
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Of all the games I've ever played, I've found Gabriel Knight 3 to have the most replay value. Yes, it's partially because it's just so damned good, but it's especially because there's just so many nuances that you might've (and probably have) missed the first (or second, or third) time playing it. And it's not like these RPGs where you have different choices and get different scenes or different endings or something. It's the same story, but every time (well, unless you've scored max points which I doubt unless you used a guide (or are playing for the nth time)) you find something that explains things more, shows what happened it the background etc. And that to me is true replay value. Not the easy path A/path B thing but real details everywhere that makes even the same experience feel much more complete every time you replay.

(Edit): I don't really care about different endings, especially if they slide from good/best - bad/worst. For me the only real ending is the optimal (/good) one and I don't see a reason to play "badly" because I want to see what happens. I'm not sure if I've ever played any game more than once just to see different endings etc. Might as well just check Youtube (and that I have done).
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:51 PM   #8
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thanks for the additions and comments, and I did forget one myself. can't believe I forgot Shadow Of Memories/Destiny considering it's one of my favourites :S
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:04 PM   #9
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thanks for the additions and comments, and I did forget one myself. can't believe I forgot Shadow Of Memories/Destiny considering it's one of my favourites :S
In all my years of gaming, the only games i've played more than once are Monkey Island 1 and 2, Borderlands and Arkham Asylum. None of these have any replay value as in different content (although i suppose you could play as a different character in Borderlands but i didn't) but what they do have is either a fantastic story, huge amounts of fun, or both.

I don't think games with multiple endings or different paths have any replay value for me, because the majority of the game is still going to be the same, and considering i hate games without "quick save" because replaying even a 5 minute bit of the game winds me up to no end, playing the whole thing again just seems like a huge waste of time to me.

I'm the same with movies to some extent. When people say they've watched their favourite movie twice, back to back, or over 100 times in their life, i can't understand it. How can you not be bored of it? My favourite movie is Terminator 2 and i think i've watched that 4 or 5 times and that's plenty for the time being.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:24 PM   #10
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Well, even when there's nothing changing with the story, I still like to replay games, because of the story/characters, etc. I've played the Myst games, Dark Fall games, and Longest Journey hundreds of times, even though everything pretty much stays the same.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #11
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I don't replay adventure games much, however I love watching other people play adventure games that i've played. Seeing them work things out is fun, and I can give out hints that don't flat out say what you have to do. This I find is how I "replay" a lot of adv. games.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by marcd2011 View Post
I'm the same with movies to some extent. When people say they've watched their favourite movie twice, back to back, or over 100 times in their life, i can't understand it. How can you not be bored of it? My favourite movie is Terminator 2 and i think i've watched that 4 or 5 times and that's plenty for the time being.
I hardly ever replay games, but I often re-watch movies. I don't re-read regular books much either (although I might break that trend with the Song of Ice and Fire series shortly), but do re-read graphic novels. I've been wondering why this is so for me. I thought it might be length of time spent - a movie or graphic novel takes 2 hours or less, a game or regular book takes 8-20+. That explanation doesn't hold up though because I will happily re-watch great entire television series such as Sopranos, which can take 50+ hours.

Maybe it's because TV and film have many phenomenal works of art, whereas games are awesome but just are not on that level yet (and this is coming from somebody who believes all games are art). Again though this argument would seemingly fall apart since I don't re-read books, and obviously there are sublime books that deserve re-reading.

In any event - anybody who would watch something like Terminator 2 as an adult 100 times is an idiot. They could have at least watched Sopranos or The Wire during that time, or watched T2 95 times and subbed in The Godfather 1-2, Citizen Kane, The Third Man, and Mulholland Dr. in for the remaining 5 at the very least.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:32 PM   #13
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I've always enjoyed replaying adventure games, and quite a lot of them too... I still enjoy replaying the various adventure game classics from both Sierra and Lucasarts, and I actually enjoy it just as much as I ever did.

Sierra games especially are fun to replay, which I suspect is because they made so many of them... that even when I play their various games quite a lot at times... there seems to always be a few games I haven't played in quite a while.

But I love replaying most of the Lucasarts adventures as well, with the possible exception of the first Monkey Island game - as that was the first adventure game I got really hooked on, way back in my Amiga days - and it's the adventure game I've played the very most out of any I've played, by a LARGE margin.
Being so young back then, I could enjoy replaying the game over and over without waiting more than a few days in between... so I ended up completely memorizing pretty much everything about the game, down to the last line.

So I played that game to death, which takes a lot for me when it comes to adventure games... I don't get tired of them easily.

Still have the awesome feeling of nostalgia though, obviously
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:14 PM   #14
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Though the gameplay of the typical adventure game is mainly typical and linear, there are games that simply deserve to be played more than once, especially if one consider games as "art" (and they should in lot of cases), or if the game itself has the sentimental meaning for a person. Generally, my attitude is that good movie, music, book and finally, the game, is not a disposable item. Just think how much effort, knowledge and skills all of these forms or art require to be created.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:59 PM   #15
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Yeah I agree, only that replaying adventure games, while similar in many ways to watching a good movie more than once, or reading an interesting book several times, still feels more fun to replay than either of those things, in my opinion.

Maybe because adventure games are somewhat of a mix between books and movies... they're generally much longer than movies, with a lot more dialogue, descriptions, things happening... so in that regard, they have more in common with books.
While obviously having nice graphics and sound, and how you control your character in third person and all that is quite reminiscent of movies.

So in a way, they're like a mix of the best of both worlds... I greatly enjoy movies but more often than not (when talking about good movies, obviously) I find myself wishing they were longer and more fleshed out.
And with books, I find myself thinking how cool it would be to be able to actually see and hear everything.

But also, I think because they're interactive, that automatically makes them more interesting to replay, even when you remember everything you need to do in the game... even in those cases, it seems to me to make a big difference just having to actually actively do all those things rather than passively watching a movie again/reading a book over.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UPtimist View Post
It's the same story, but every time (well, unless you've scored max points which I doubt unless you used a guide (or are playing for the nth time)) you find something that explains things more...
I think, even with a guide it is impossible to reach maximum points, because in some situations you just haven't enough time for every possible action.
Spoiler:
e.g. after the two men of prince James had been murdered.

Has Fahrenheit already been mentioned? This game has a big replay value, as well.

But as far as I'm concerned the only reason for replaying a game is just because I really like it. And I also prefer games in which you can't miss anything in the first playthrough. Even then you can find something new in the story every time playing resp. playing the game doesn't distract you any longer from comprehending the story in every detail.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:15 AM   #17
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Fahrenheit does indeed have great replay value for an adventure'ish kind of game... however, one negative aspect I found about replaying it was my original impression of the game sunk a little bit upon replaying it... as it's revealed to you just how many of the various choices you make don't make very much impact and how it ends up being much more linear than it would appear during your first playthrough.

But even so, methods like those can really help, that's true.
Several possible endings isn't a bad way to add some replay value when done right (Fahrenheit had more than just different endings, I realize that... talking generally now).
Such as some of the Tex Murphy games, always interesting to go back and try out different dialogue options and such.
The way they did it in Riven seems quite pointless though... where you can save the game at a point very near the end, and it's only from that point on that the game 'branches' out to what ends up in different endings.

But it's definitely something I need to have fun replaying a game.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:46 AM   #18
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Who cares for replay value in the current times where there's not enough time to play through all the interesting and easily available games around? The great majority of gamers don't even finish a game through the first time around.

I'd prefer the designers to invest more in overall quality rather than replay value.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:46 AM   #19
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Return to Mysterious Island comes to mind, because of all the item combinations.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:23 AM   #20
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Definatelly Farenheit for mutiple endings and Dreamfall in the different options area.
I add Secret files cause I heard there is a patch for an alternative ending.
And In different choices I think an example is Kyrandia: Malcom's revenge because even in the first chapter there are 6 different ways of getting off the island. (I haven't tried them all)

But in general, I have to quote :

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhetfield21 View Post
i too replay adventures from time to time.it's more sentimental to me.and also if i replay a game it's because i had a great time with it the first time.so i replay them to remember the fun time and atmosphere.
Agree 100% !
... and the fact that I found out a new easter egg from time to time from the forums, that makes me wanna play it again.
Or i usually replay a games especially from a series when I read about a forthcoming sequel to it !

Or it could be just a bit of melancholy that makes me play it again........ah the good old days.....
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