Value for money comes up more and more in recent years. I don’t know what’s changed. Maybe games are a little more expensive than they used to be, but I don’t honestly think they’ve gone up enough to justify what seems to be an uproar about prices. Maybe it’s the after-market costs that have undoubtedly grown this generation, or maybe it’s just the internet amplifying disdain that was always there.
Does a longer game equate better value for money? Well no, not really. People make this argument over and over but it’s frankly ridiculous. Look at Desert Bus, that game is essentially infinite in length with each run between Tuscon and Las Vegas taking 8 hours to complete. I don’t think anyone would argue that due to its length its actually worth more than other titles. Perhaps there should be some link between length and value, but it’s shouldn’t be an exact link.
What does length actually mean anyway? Do you mean just the length of the core campaign? What about the hours that you can wring out of a game’s multiplayer or co-op play? How about replay value, or games with collectibles? Length really does seem like a very poor way to judge almost any form of entertainment. It only really makes sense when you’re looking at buying something like cloth or wood, and even then you want to consider a significantly more important variable – quality.
Surely we should judge a game’s value for money on how much we actually enjoy the experience, it’s far easier to judge than the length for a start. It does have the downside that it’s harder to judge before you play the game; although a review can give you some idea of what to expect you really have to play it for yourself to see how much you enjoy it.
So that’s my take on it – judge a game’s value on how much you enjoyed it, not how much play you got out of it. What’s yours?