Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

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astrodomekid
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Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby astrodomekid » December 16th, 2021, 12:59 am

As I've researched video games over the years, one thing I've noticed is that the bigger and more powerful consoles become, the bigger games become. It's a pretty elementary fact, and one that helps drive our anticipation towards future releases. In fact, it's one of the main reasons why I'm excited for games like "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga". So much to do, so much to see, so much to keep us coming back for more... what's not to love?

But there's one thing that's been in the back of my mind for quite a while now: when does a game contain too much content? It's a little hard for me to fully explain it on my own, but it first hit me when I watched Todd in the Shadows' episode of Trainwreckords on Van Halen III. In it, while describing the incoherent nature of the album's first single "Without You", he gives the following comparison:

"You ever play a video game that has, like, a billion features, and shoot things, but there's also stealth mode, plus you can hunt, and find treasure to sell, find materials, craft them into different items, and build your homestead, and make potions that'll make you 1% faster, you can take your guns and turn them into other guns, but eventually you gotta be like, 'What's the basic idea?! What's the main mechanic that takes me from one step of the game to the next?'"

With how games have evolved over the last 20+ years, I wouldn't be surprised if any of my fellow gamers on this site have ran into their share of games like this. What games in recent years have you played that had so much going on you had trouble figuring out how to get from point A to point B?

Tron
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby Tron » May 21st, 2022, 10:02 pm

I always wanted to play Civilization, but it looks like the learning curve is comparable to taking a college course so uhmmm naww thanks

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Stalvern
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby Stalvern » May 21st, 2022, 10:24 pm

Same but with Dwarf Fortress. Fascinating from afar, but learning it would involve a level of dedication that my real life has never permitted for a game.

Zack Burner
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby Zack Burner » May 22nd, 2022, 8:39 am

Some people won't like me for saying this, but I think Super Mario Galaxy is both overrated and overwhelming. Too much to take in, and the mechanics can drive some people like me bonkers especially the frequent invertedness.

Alucard1191
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby Alucard1191 » May 22nd, 2022, 11:45 am

Stalvern wrote:Same but with Dwarf Fortress. Fascinating from afar, but learning it would involve a level of dedication that my real life has never permitted for a game.



OMG this. I have a few friends that were really into it for a little while, but that is too overwhelming.

For my own part, a lot of the first person Bethesda RPGs like Skyrim or the Fallouts are honestly too much. looking back I'll also put the Baldur's Gate series on here. (I count playing BG Expanded editions basically as one long game)

Games like Oblivion and Skyrim, (And honestly even New Vegas) just have so much content. So many skills you can do, ways you can play, factions to ally with/against etc. I mean, I like the idea of it, and in my 20's sure I could dive into something like that, but now as a late 30's adult who works full time and has a wife and house that's falling apart and yada yada yada? A game that can easily go over 100 hours long and can be replayed a bunch of times with different characters is too daunting for me even to start.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » May 22nd, 2022, 1:13 pm

Too much content? No such thing.

There's too much padding that kills the pacing. There's too many underdeveloped mechanics that make playing the game a chore or unwinnable without a FAQ. There's games that suffer from feature creep, and forget what people actually want from the game in the first place.

And for sure, there's trying to draw blood from a stone, long after all the developer's inspiration has run dry. And there are players obsessed with doing everything a game offers, even if it means torturing themselves.

But some of the best games in the world went the extra mile and packed in way more content than anyone was asking for.

What percentage of players have seen everything Super Mario Bros 3 offers, much less a modern AAA sandbox?

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Stalvern
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby Stalvern » May 22nd, 2022, 4:53 pm

Yeah, the OP clearly means features and mechanics, not actually content. People seem to be answering accordingly.

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Matchstick
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby Matchstick » May 22nd, 2022, 4:56 pm

Twelve or thirteen years ago, I had my first exposure to the Angry Video Game Nerd. It was a short-lived affair, but I enjoyed a few videos from that time, like the ones about Spider-Man and the Sega CD. I can't remember exactly the video where he first coined the phrase (might have even been Simon's Quest?) but I remember him describing Metroid-style titles as "Where the Hell do I go?" games.

As someone who's always liked the Metroid series - and games like them - I find this freedom of exploration refreshing, and liberating. But I've met plenty of other gamers over the years who complain that the games just make them feel overwhelmed, giving them too many different pathways to explore right off the bat and leading them down many "wrong" paths that just get them killed quickly.

Truthfully, there's quite a bit of trial and error involved in those games, especially when they're first getting going. But those are the types of games that I have personally heard described as being "overwhelming."

Myself, I find many RPG style games that give you skill trees and dozens of categories for statistic tracking to be a bit overwhelming - but in many cases, I find I can just "tune out" the extra stats and simply focus on playing the game. Any extra perks I might get from leveling up or finding rare items are a nice little bonus, but not something I choose to obsess over.

Plus, in most cases, an extra 1% or 2% stat boost doesn't make that much of a difference, anyway. But it's nice to have the options to improve a bevy of skills if you choose to do so. Options are rarely a bad thing!

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:Too much content? No such thing.

I guess that's kinda what I'm getting at ;)

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 22nd, 2022, 8:17 pm

It's an interesting topic. It takes me back to the late 90's when the "open sandbox" games were beginning to become a reality, starting in earnest with Super Mario 64. Once the Grand Theft Auto games took hold, it seemed like the possibilities were limitless. You could play a game for the rest of your life.

But at some point I started growing weary of these types of games. It was neat being about to explore indefinitely, but it could also be a huge time sink. And if you have a pile of games in your backlog, sometimes you just want to "get to the point".

This is why I eschew side quests in adventure games. I feel like getting through the main storyline is hard enough. I don't want to dedicate too much time to any one game.

icepeople
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Re: Games that are overwhelming (i.e. too much content)?

Postby icepeople » May 23rd, 2022, 1:52 am

No Man's Sky.

Pretty much the ultra version of galaxy trading games going back to the early retro days that had massive galaxies generated by algorithms. You can literally spend your entire life buying, selling, fighting, urgrading, etc....but even the most hardcore addicts eventually realize no matter how big a space badass you become there's no such thing as victory.


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