Remember last week I wrote that post about the life cycle of a game/when does a game get “boring”? [click here] Well, in that cycle their was a two keys aspect relating to replaying games: the “I’m bored” phase or the “Rebirth”.
The real question though is not about game cycles now but the replaying of a game. See, you don’t necessarily have to be bored or have to be stuck to go back and replay a game. In fact, you can replay the game for sheer fun, directly after beating the game or sometime later in the future, or you can go back and play at a higher difficulty for the game because you want to play at a higher difficulty/ you unlocked it or for more goods or achievements.
Though is replaying a game something you want to always do? In every game obviously replaying is a matter of optional choice, you don’t have to do it. But when a game achievement is to beat a game on Hard when you don’t even have the hard difficulty, because you must beat the game once to unlock it, doesn’t this replayability because almost a mandated chore? Think of the Ratchet and Clank series; in all their games once you beat the first run through you can keep your leveled weapons and play a second time at a harder difficulty, only for one Gold trophy so you can get their Platnium (so in a gaming aspect it is more of now I have to replay the game) I LOVE, the Ratchet and Clank series and that has never bothered me, but to have beat the game to get the hardest difficulty bothers me.
I play games for challenges, achievements, and enjoyment; but that opinions varies for every gamer. I like to play to a game one time through fully enjoy it, I think replaying a game gives away to allure factor of the game, making it not seem as good as your first playthrough/run. I know people who play Kingdom Hearts on easy or whatever the first mode is but, in that way they do not receive the secret ending and have to replay the game instead of me who plays the game on critical gets 100% and enjoys the next game on my list. Why would you want to play a game you know you are going to have to replay? I’m sure every gamer has a new game on his mind/list of what he needs to finish or wants to play. Forced replays make our backlogs seem horrible, heck backlogs sometimes involve us playing the game we were stuck on, but that is a different issue (again read previous article linked at top).
There is a difference between replays for game value and forced replays. Think along the lines of Chrono Trigger, the game features multiple endings, so in essence you must play the game multiple times if you want to unlock all the different endings. Same for Catherine and Final Fantasy XIII-2, they were created for the purpose of unlocking different endings, but that doesn’t mean you have to replay the game to get them, as the endings come at different points at the game. Games are meant to be replayed there is no denying that, be it Mario Party with friends or one-player or Grand Theft Auto, but replaying is something we should only do for pleasure, not be a mandatory part of games.
Michael Troina writes features and reviews Nintendo games for Analog Addiciton. When he’s not writing or playing games or sports, he’s out at his job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures as the web-slinger we all have come to love…either that or he’s getting sandwich saving one world at a time. Find him anywhere with this flavors.me/michaeltroina