Jimquisition: Linearity versus Replayability

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Linearity versus Replayability

Sometimes, Jim wishes he could be you so that he'd also experience the joy of enlightenment each Monday. This week, we look at the mythical struggle between linearity and replayability.

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Agreed 100% with this point. I both tend to enjoy linear games more than non-linear ones, and can replay any game I enjoy (just finished playthrough #13 of Mass Effect. Hell, I've even played Enslaved: Odyssey to the West more than once, and people tore it down for its lack of "replay value"). Any game that is good has infinite replay value for me.

Good episode as always, Jim.

Couldn't agree more.

I'm really sick of the trend of shoehorning multiplayer into every single game that doesn't need it.

Finally! Tired of having this argument with people. Now I can just send them to this video. That also insults them!

All brains are mental, I don't think you had the best choice of words there. But yes all a game needs to be is good, and it can achieve replay value with or without out extras. The Escapist is pretty heavily pro single player so I doubt you'll get many arguments.

Nice video, your becoming one of my favourite contributors to the Escapist.

I'm still waiting for him to make any points that haven't already been covered better and funnier by ZP and/or EC.

I agree! I do miss those fun platformers of yore.

As always, excellent video.

Now time to go play some Super Meat Boy...

To me, the best way to add replay value is to create a world with many optional easter eggs and quests, that way on your second time through you may find something you didn't catch the first time around. It isn't necessary, though.

Terrific, well done Jim!

Eg: crowning Jem of my childhood, Rachet & Clank, the charming wonder of Insomniac games has been inclining more and more to multiplayer & hub-based cheap thrills instead of the happily explorative, richly comediac, FUN single player joy. (don't get me started on all 4 one)

I miss Rachet and clank :,(

I completely agree with the points made. Although the story was ridiculous ace combat 4 distant thunder was an all time favorite game when I was young and I've replayed it countless times (It did have incentives e.g. more planes).

Definitely agree. It almost seems that people forgot what "replay" means. Not "play beyond" but "play again".

Oh...and I also have replayed FFIX a few times as well.

So true, and wow, I'd not considered the wider aspect such as companies diverting time/money away from the single-player to create / support the multiplayer, and dead space 2 is a damn good example of that.

Tell it, preacher!

I'm still waiting for him to make any points that haven't already been covered better and funnier by ZP and/or EC.

When was this covered by eitherr of those?

I thought we all knew this already. Oh well, I guess there are some people out here that are still this narrow minded.
Btw, did anyone else feel like pulling their eyeballs out when the picture of "Jim Sterling King of gaming" appeared on screen?? :>

Good show - I still don't like yu very much - but good show.

I think Jim should sing at the end of each episode :P

Jim Sterling:
Linearity versus Replayability

Sometimes, Jim wishes he could be you so that he'd also experience the joy of enlightenment each Monday. This week, we look at the mythical struggle between linearity and replayability.

Watch Video

Would be nice to also present more ways in which developers can assure their games are worth replaying. So far, you've basically just said, "Well, you listen to good songs, read good books, or watch good movies over and over, don't you?" And yeah, people do. And yeah, the fact that these don't change upon multiple experiences is notable.

So, having a great story is one way. Having enjoyable gameplay is another. Super Mario World had levels with multiple finish lines, or those goofy "collect 3 coins" that compel me to play the same level five times--because in my heart, I must have the coins. Both Spiderman 2 (Gamecube) and Just Cause 2 kept me coming back simply for the feel of the travel mechanics. Hulk: Ultimate Destruction let me level cities.

It's not that you didn't make a good point with the episode... it's just it felt like all wind-up, and no punch. Maybe talk about ways in which multiplayer can work against replayability--for instance, because the player can't be assured that the next time through will be dependably fun, if they happen upon jackasses or cheaters in online play. Or about the myriad ways in which developers can properly incentivize replaying the game--some of which were mentioned above.

You raise a good issue. Follow through with that.

And now, I can just spam this link on people who actually post, with mind numbing enthusiasm, about how they can't "justify" a game without multiplayer and/or co-op. The PS2 was only a few years ago, guys.

I agree, this has been an awesome episode.

I'm really starting to like this.

I think Jim should sing at the end of each episode :P

Yes. Even if it is to get around copyright use.

Cool another FF9 fan, also my most replayed games are Sonic 2 and Veiwtiful Joe.

The truth is strong in this one. I know I've played through Cave Story plenty of times, (at least five times with the good ending) and it's still fun. Though it is certainly nice to throw in a few scraps of items that you have to replay to get (like the three different main guns in Cave Story) it's still the game itself that matters most.

Totally agree.

Seeing people refuse to buy games that are purely single player (and even when they're exceptionally well-received) because they have no "replay value" is mind-boggling.

Great. I thought I had Ace of Base purged from my head. I hate you now, Jim!

(Just kidding... and I did laugh when you started singing The Sign.)

I thought this episode was slipping back a little bit in style but overall I thought it was okay.

The points he made where good but I would like to add something. My friend said he can't play through multiended games more than once becuase he is decisive and he picks what he think is the 'correct' way. So even if a game has these options in it, they can still dissapoint as a replayability option.

To me what adds replayability to game isn't multiplayer (which is kind of an empty premise for me as I like story) but the ability to play through with different styles or 'specs'

Like playing through oblivion as a theif then a mage then a knight character. It's somnthing that a lot of games don't need, but somthing that helps me to enjoy the game another way without not much else changing.

PS: The use of the 'duh chin' made me laugh a lot, makes me wonder if Americans do that too. xD

OK Jim, here's the thing: I agree with you about 95% of the time, but....listen carefully here...YOU DON'T HAVE TO ACT LIKE A DICK TO BE ENTERTAINING. It's not like if you stop ripping off Yahtzee we'll all just lose interest, OK? You're a smart guy. PLEASE start acting like one.

You know what games like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D need? Online Multiplayer.

The problem with online multiplayer is that some people are paying monthly for the service and feel cheated if every game doesn't use it in some form. Especially on 360 where most of the gamers on that console are on XboxLive, then if the Xbox 360 players get an online multiplayer then the PS3 players would feel cheated. If they don't to sell a game without online multiplayer it is either going to be really good solid campaign, or committing video game suicide.

Unfortunately Online multiplayer is not always the decision of the developer, but the publisher. They say "This game will have online multiplayer, or we will not be funding your game." Publishers do not understand that not every game is designed for multiplayer.

If you are making a game designed for single player it cannot be half-assed; gamers will know.
Conversely, if you are making a game designed for online multiplayer then who really cares about the campaign? The single player mode is just there to justify selling a new game *cough*CallOfDuty*cough

I remember when cheat codes and new game plus was enough to get gamers by but now it seems that there's a need to shoot a friend in the head to validate a gaming experence. I blame to dumbass masses that seem to just got into gaming because of a certain FPS. Then fact producers are so damn spineless to their publishers to tell them no to tacked on MP because it's gonna make the game shit because it doesn't work.

The problem is there are a lot of people who wouldn't read a book a second time and wouldn't watch a movie a second time regardless of quality, and therefore wouldn't reply a video game. These people are likely the minority, but they are a loud minority.

It probably doesn't help that some games have a bad single-player mode and the only thing carry them is an achievement system and the multi-player. Too many of these games exist t give many players the idea that a linear single player mode isn't enough to make someone want to play the game again.

"Timmy, what did you learn today?"

"Cuntmushroom! It's my new favorite word, mommy!"

OT: Completely agreed. I want to see a CoD game that has no competitive multiplayer, then it can go back to the awesome campaigns from 2 and 4.

The next one would probably be a Jimquisition edition of Jim's article titled "The Path of o Divergence", which is linear vs. sandbox.

Great video, but I could do without the permanent scarring that is Kuja's man-thong. eurghhhhh

I saw the sign...


Man I look forward to this every Monday! I've always liked you Destructoid and I also love you here too! I agree with you a lot on this issue, especially when games with multiplayer tacked on lose the single player/narrative focus I'm used to. Take Assassin's Creed Brotherhood for example; it had an exceptional multiplayer with new and inventive gameplay, but the single player lacked what I expect from an Assassin's Creed game.

Thats just my 2 cents; keep it coming Mr. Sterling!

Wow, so replay value is replay value? Good thing we have the hard-hitting jimquisition to tell us that! Keep aiming for those challenging targets, Jim.

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