Replay Value Menu: Have It Your Way

You just beat the final boss and are watching the end credits, wondering if you skip them will you miss anything important, like a hidden cut-scene or Easter egg. The credits finally finish and you bask in the glory of another completed video game experience. Now what? Do you start another game from your backlog or do you play something you have already finished? Or do you restart the game you just completed and try to find all the things you missed the first time around?

One of the things I always look for when purchasing a game is replay value. But what is replay value? To some people, it’s something as obvious as a New Game+ feature, where you can play the game again with your character already leveled up, which allows easier exploration, but makes the battles a cakewalk. This is especially handy when games like Chrono Trigger have many different endings.

Speaking of endings, does the drive to see all of them make you replay a game again and again? Or do you create saves at different points in the game, so you don’t have to replay everything in order to make the different decision and reach the new ending? Or do you just jump on Youtube and watch the endings online, laughing at the fools who did all the grunt work while you reap the rewards?

Some people I have spoken to on message boards claim that harder difficulty levels equal more replay value, but I really disagree with this. Playing the game again but with (usually) cheaper AI does not constitute a good time for me. I am going to attempt this with Bioshock as an experiment, but I don’t have high hopes. And even if I do enjoy myself, I don’t think this is something that works with every game.

What about Trophies or Achievements? I know for many this causes more replays than they would normally go through, but I can’t get behind it. During the course of a game, I may take the time to do a few things in order to get some more Trophies, but once I am done, I am DONE. I may come back to the game later and get a few new Trophies during a replay, but I don’t really go out of my way too often to get them. I know some people think it’s like getting a high score, but it’s not. People who have the most money to play the most games will get the most Trophies/Achievements, which takes all the fun out of it for me. Some people play games just to get the easy ones and boost their Level/Gamerscore. Not impressed.

For me, replay value stems from a game that was such a joy to play that, given enough time has passed, I will want to play again. There are games I was sure I would want to play again, but once I started them, I just did not have the drive to do it. What makes you replay a game? Are there any factors I have left out that appeal to you when deciding if you want to play a game again?

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Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

10 thoughts on “Replay Value Menu: Have It Your Way”

  1. At the moment i’m hooked on replaying Boderlands, and it allows me to keep my level on the second playthrough. I guess the appeal for a replay of Borderlands is that there are side quests that literaly just get thrown aside the first time you play it, purely because you want to finish the storyline, this is a big one for me because my friend told me that a lot of the side quests contain mini-boss’ and that in itslef is a good reason for me to replay

  2. Nice article Anthony.

    I think replay value is becoming a much bigger factor for video game purchases largely due to the rising prices. Why should I spend $60 on a game I’m only going to play for 10 hours. Granted, that still comes out to $6 an hour for entertainment, which is still more bang for your buck than most other staples in media, but still.

    I like to try and replay a game at least once if I love it, mainly just to see what I missed the first time around. Recently, I’ve been doing this like crazy with Dragon Age, and earlier this year with Resident Evil 5. Those two and Gears of War are the only games this gen really where I’ve wanted to beat it over and over.

    As for achievements/trophies, they can add some extra incentive to go back and play game modes or play styles that I wouldn’t have tried normally, and ultimately I get more enjoyment out of that.

  3. Anthony I’m hoping I’m just paranoid but I can’t help but feel that Trophy part was aimed at me! lol.
    Multiple endings aren’t really a hook for me as I rarely (by coincidence) don’t play many games with multiple endings. Harder difficulties don’t make me revisit a game except for trophies (damn, there I go again!). Also, Bioshock is no different on hard.
    And now to focus specifically on trophies. I just find them fun to get and to me it fills me with a sense of acomplishment. But you do raise a good point about the cheap tactic of easy trophy games. I’ve never done this and I don’t plan to. I also find that they make me do things I wouldn’t have otherwise in a game. I also replay games to get my money’s worth.

  4. I personally have been enjoying my game fly account. As I have aged, I just can’t find myself playing some of these games more then a week. Game fly has saved me quite a bit of money that way. I play the game, beat it, and send it back. I would highly recommend gamefly to anyone that has the same tendencies.

  5. Haha, no Skuba, that was at people in general. Trophies are fun and they do make you try things you would normally not try, but I don’t feel the need to get them. That’s all I was saying.

    prelude, I agree. Gamefly is a life-saver.

  6. I like to do it right the first time. (My first playthrough of Fallout 3 took 60 hours w/o DLC) But when I play a hyped up game I play it to enjoy the cinematic expierience (Modern Warfare 2) and then play it through on hardest difficulty, then finally for any collectibles after that.

  7. I only really go for all the achievements if i really like the game, like fallout 3 or oblivion. damn bobbleheads.
    Those two games, however, are the ones I’ve probably put the most hours into.Gamefly is my money saver too, i look back at purchases like force unleashed or madden 07 and shake my head.

  8. Great article man. I’ll try to keep my points brief.

    “wondering if you skip (the credits) will you miss anything important, like a hidden cut-scene or Easter egg.”

    I remember sitting through the longest credits of my life after GTAIV hoping for something… I don’t even remember if there WAS anything, just how F’ing long the credits were…. waste! WASTE!

    In terms of general replay value, I think it’s revolutionary games that usually hold that status… Not necessarily because the game is playable in alternate ways, just because of the nostalgia that goes along with it… Like playing Max Payne again, doing those classic bullet-time dives, or loading an old save in Fallout 3 and going exploring, or the GTA games just for a few minutes and goofing off.

    I think some of the best have been the indie games of late. For example, if I’m working on the PC and just want to take a break, I can throw on some Trials 2, play for a quick 10 or 15 minutes, and then laugh at how pathetically my “World Scores” match up against other players. Things like that never really get old, because you’re always challenging yourself, even if only for a few moments of childish giggles.

    Also: I don’t think difficulty levels in linear games adds ANY replay value… What it does to me is force me to exclaim “WTF! I’ve done this, I know where to go and how, but now I’m just dying a lot more and getting frustrated.. WHY-T-F am I playing this again?!?”

    canadian 2cents.

  9. I think a major factor is the actual length of the game itself. A game can be great and have a long playthrough, but it’s hard to enjoy laboring through a second time.

    Neverwinter Nights was a great game, and I played the like 60 hours or so it took me to beat it. I realized being a ranger made the game sooooo much more difficult, but i still enjoyed it. I tried playing it again, but couldn’t get through the first chapter because of how tedious and long it was.

    So I definitely think the length of a game affects it’s replay value.

  10. The best replay value I get out of a game is usually exploring the world of the game after the game has finished, if it’s one of those types of games, or playing the game again with new items and bonuses. Trophies and rewards themselves never do anything for me if I don’t get something other than satisfaction from them. More difficulty can also be fun sometimes, but again, it’s more fun when you get new content for finishing a game.

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