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Does the last impression of a game fool you into thinking it was better than it was?

Bragr

Member
Say you play through Assassins Creed Odyssey, you love the first 20 hours and find the rest of the 40 hours mediocre and samey.

Then you will find smaller 6-hour games that nail all 6 hours and has a good ending, yet it pales in comparison to the 20 great hours you got from Odyssey early on, yet you value the smaller game more because it didn't feature the mediocre ending and you mostly sit back with the last few hours in your memory.

What does this mean, how do you value game time even if only half the game is just ok? I'm saying this because I just played through Forza Horizon 5, where I loved the first part of the game, but I found the last half of the game to be just alright and I sit back with just an ok impression. Yet, I also played through FAR: Changing Tides recently, which I sit back with a great impression of, more than Forza Horizon 5, yet I know that I got at least 15 hours out of Forza that I loved early on, more than FAR: Changing Tides, yet my end impression is better for FAR.

How do you value game time when your mind fucks you and you only remember the last impression, even if you know that's only a small part of the story.
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
I've been meaning to play FAR but was put off by reviews, what did you like about it? Whats the general flow of the game?
 

Kupfer

Member
I do not rate games by playing time.
If I spend 60€ on a game that entertains me for 8 hours, it was worth it. I wouldn't spend 10€ on an AC because I know it will feel like work to me, which I have enough of in real life.
I also like to compare it to going to the movies. There are also quickly 2 x 17€ + snacks, so a good 50€ spent. For a great evening with the partner it is worth it to me but all the time. I completely avoid games that I know are going to be a bit of a grind.
 

Xeaker

Member
A game that is good from the beginning to end even though it is shorter is still better than a game that is good for a long time but then draggs on and on in the end.
 

Reizo Ryuu

Member
You shouldn't remember only the end of it, unless the game was actually supremely unremarkable for those 20 hours; I remember all the highs and lows and my general feeling while playing/watching anything, and I'm definitely not going 20 hours into a game without a bunch of highs and positive general feeling about it. There's no way I'd spend another 40 hours if those 20 before it weren't positive, then it just becomes work and I play games for fun.
 
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EDMIX

Member
Nah. A game needs to still be good from beginning to end. Having a good ending doesn't mean I'll forget all the bad shit in the game or something. I think lots of games have great beginnings and great endings, yet are still shit games overall.

As in, you can have 1 hour be good in the opening, 1 hour be great in the ending fixing all the lose ends and such with the story...yet 80 hours of bad in between or meh or something. So i never let the opening or ending or something decide if I like it overall, I need the whole game to be great all over for me to really feel its great or something.
 

Shin Quaver

Neo Member
As much as I like some decent value for money I'd take a short game that's fun or intersting over long slog of a game like AC Odyssey ends up becoming.
I see what you mean about thinking fondly of the early stages of a longer game but I reckon most games are more interesting early when you're new to it, which for me just means my enjoyment drops off if they can't introduce something to justify the length of the game.
Honestly I'm more liable to jump onto something else that gives me more value for my time when I notice an impending grindfest.
 

LordOfChaos

Member
Probably does

Bioshock Infinite held a place in my heart for years after it was done in a large way because of that ending, but trying to replay it I just stalled out somewhere in the middle remembering how many defend the room grind pieces there were.
 
I don't like how most games end. Most games drag on too long and end bosses are often annoying, when I'm really ready to just wrap up the game.

So, probably the opposite for me. Often the end of a game sours my opinion a bit on a game I may have really been enjoying for the first 2/3rds of the campaign.
 

ZywyPL

Gold Member
Then you will find smaller 6-hour games that nail all 6 hours and has a good ending, yet it pales in comparison to the 20 great hours you got from Odyssey early on, yet you value the smaller game more because it didn't feature the mediocre

It doesn't work like that IMHO, if a game bores me to death after not even a quarter of its length, whether it's 2 otlr 20h, I'll be left with impression that I've only wasted my time and money. On a contrary, if a game is engaging from the get-go to the very end, I'll remember it as a great exoerience, even of the gameplay mechanics, story or visuals are very simple.
 

Bragr

Member
I would actually stop at around 25 hours. Not going to spend tenths of hours is a game that bores me.
It doesn't work like that IMHO, if a game bores me to death after not even a quarter of its length, whether it's 2 otlr 20h, I'll be left with impression that I've only wasted my time and money. On a contrary, if a game is engaging from the get-go to the very end, I'll remember it as a great exoerience, even of the gameplay mechanics, story or visuals are very simple.
I'm not talking about obviously boring games, but games that you find good enough to continue playing.

Take something like Halo Infinite, I was really into the campaign for a while, but thought the ending was a miss. It affects my entire feel of the game. I think the game is likely better than my current impressions. If that makes sense.

You can't really control these things, it's human, you sit back with the big bangs and the ending, but a lot of the "meat" of a game is half-remembered.

For example, I think God of War is a good example of a game that had some so-so levels (flying imp elf things) but had such a spectacular ending, that you can't help but get enraptured by the game.
 

kiphalfton

Member
A game can over stay it’s welcome. That’s why I don’t get how people can play any game that takes 20+ hours to beat, as let’s be honest most games just don’t have good enough gameplay for that kind of duration.
 

Bragr

Member
I've been meaning to play FAR but was put off by reviews, what did you like about it? Whats the general flow of the game?
It's very relaxing, slow, you feed fuel into your boat and once in a while, the boat hits something, which means you go unto the land to do a puzzle so you can continue sailing.

What I enjoyed is how adding fuel is like a management game, you have to manually burn the fuel and fix your boat as you sail along. It's a moody slow game about taking care of your boat, looking for fuel, doing light puzzles, and getting the hell away from everything.
 

Neilg

Member
I only have this issue with games where the experience is incomplete without finishing the story.
Racing games - 20 great hours are still 20 great hours and I never forget that, no matter what happens after it.
Persona 5, which was a massive test of my patience during the middle section and about 20 hours too long, i was still annoyed at how much it wasted my time by the time it was over, even though i should have enjoyed the ending.

the first 10 hours being great are irrelevant if you feel like you're going to miss out on something by just dropping it - a story-based rpg being put down half way through and never seeing the end is one better not started at all. feeling like you've got sunk cost fallacy or the quality of a game dropping after the opening is annoying.

I'm playing cyberpunk for the first time right now, nearing the end and having an interesting experience - for every bad / boring quest, there's one with an interesting story/hook - once this is done even though there's a good 20 hours across the game which were disappointing, it was balanced and not 20 bad hours in a row like persona, momentum is kept up, and my overall opinion is staying very high.
 
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Belthazar

Member
I value my time more than I do my money with entertainment. If I enjoy 20 hours with a game but then it wastes another 20 hours of my life I still think it failed as a product, if a shorter game is enjoyable for its entire runtime then it's all positive.

So, I'd rather play 4 different games like that than to play one game that lasts the same but is only good on the first half, even if I have to pay more in the end.
 

Magic Carpet

Gold Member
I've been meaning to play FAR but was put off by reviews, what did you like about it? Whats the general flow of the game?
I'm currently playing the second one. The first one was a short, bittersweet adventure. Nifty mechanics that have you driving a large machine across a world that seems to have been through a cataclysm. Game is not very hard but you do have to figure out a few puzzles to move your giant machine through the world.
The second game is a bit more involved as it has a second underwater screen. I've only just started it but it seems to be good so "Far". :messenger_winking:
 

Kssio_Aug

Member
It probably does. But the most common is the opposite: sometimes the game is pretty solid but the end sections are frustrating (unbalanced) or drags a lot, and then it totally takes the magic away.

I believe the last impression is really important for a game, if the devs intend to have it stick well to the players mind.

However, how I try to evaluate the games I play, is considering all the aspects of it, from the beginning to the end, the main content and the extra content, both quality and quantity (too much is also usually not good) and it's overall pace.
 

Bragr

Member
It probably does. But the most common is the opposite: sometimes the game is pretty solid but the end sections are frustrating (unbalanced) or drags a lot, and then it totally takes the magic away.
Mass Effect 3, for many, the last hour ruined the entire trilogy. Which is frankly ridiculous if you enjoyed it up until then.
 

Kssio_Aug

Member
Mass Effect 3, for many, the last hour ruined the entire trilogy. Which is frankly ridiculous if you enjoyed it up until then.
I'm definitely not that radical when it comes to games, because for me, the story is almost always a secondary element for my enjoyment (gameplay being the first). So I agree the reactions against ME3 were exaggerated, at least the way I look at it. For me, the game more easily disappoint me if it fails at the end for gameplay reasons.

An example: Doom 64. I think the game was pretty fantastic as a whole, but the last boss is bullshit because you are not suppose to have the special upgrade for the Unmaker if you never looked for a guide or knew about it beforehand, and without it the boss ridiculous overpowered. For me, the game is still great, but because of that, it's just not as clever and special as Doom I and Doom II.
 

SJRB

Gold Member
What games have mediocre or straight up bad opening/mid but amazing ending?

I honestly don't know.
 
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Laptop1991

Member
I don't really remember the endings that much, i remember levels or areas in the game where i'm totally immersed that i remember far more.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
I only play games until I stop having fun with them, so I may play those first 20 hours I enjoyed over and over and never touch the remaining 40 hours. I dont have enough time to slog through boring stuff just to see an ending or to chase completion trophies. The way to justify not finishing games is to not pay full price at release. It's a lot easier to stop caring when you paid $30 to $40 instead of $60 to $70.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
Ending are super important because they cap off an experience. Whenever you look back on a book, movie or game it will always be from the viewpoint of how it ends. This is why it's so important to finish a narratively driven experience because the ending will give you context for the entire experience, or at least it should anyway if they know what their doing.

However for none narrative games which focus primarily on gameplay it won't matter as much, although it's nice to get right. That makes sure the title leaves a positive lasting impression.
 

K' Dash

Member
Nope, the other way around though? I can think of Mass Effect 3, I loved the game but that ending soured it for me, so much that even after they added content and patched the ending I just couldn't care anymore, before that I would consume every bit of Mass Effect media out there.
 

Zannegan

Member
I think it depends on why the last hour was so good/bad.

Stories absolutely can be ruined by a bad ending, which is why so many reacted so strongly to the ME3 ending debacle. Gameplay, on the other hand, can be fun while it lasts and dropped without consequence once it starts going bad.

So, I think it's fair to let a good or bad ending color your perception if a game in regards to story, but if you keep suffering through bad or boring gameplay to get to the ending, that's kind of on you... unless you have to get through bad gameplay to complete a good story, I guess. Thankfully that's not a problem in most games.
 

Pagusas

Elden Member
sure, look at Mass Effect 1. I’d argue the main body of the game was actually pretty poor, but it’s last hour or two? some of the best gaming narrative moments ever, it stuck the landing so well it made the rest of the game better
 

Deerock71

Member
I have to say you're right. Watching Block Brosnan run his chiseled granite hand boulders across Natalya Simonova's tree bark hair while they crashed their emotionless craggy Easter Island faces into each other really did make the Goldeneye 64 experience seem better than it was.
 

Gojiira

Member
Not sure I agree with that at all tbh.
I dont think games these days make a good first impression let alone a last one, with some exceptions.
Is it just me though? Early game tends to be just tutorial after tutorial, and how many games these days sequel bait or have underwhelming finales?
So for me at least, early, mid, late doesn’t matter unless the game is consistent.
 

ZywyPL

Gold Member
Not sure I agree with that at all tbh.
I dont think games these days make a good first impression let alone a last one, with some exceptions.

When it comes to AAA games, I almost always want to bail out even before those awful forced tutorials end. It's like taking a driving test everytime you want to drive somewhere.
 

pure_savagery

Neo Member
I go by whether or not I ever replay a game. Impressions and feelings tend to change and fade away over time, but if I replay a game two or three times, that’s how I know it was actually good. And if I don’t, it probably means it wasn’t as good as I thought it was at the time.
 

jigglet

Member
Maybe Super Metroid?

The last part after you get all her abilities is just amazing. It's still objectively a AAA+++ game but I have to admit a lot of that game was a bit of a slog for me.
 

ButchCat

Member
The problem with answering your question OP is that very few games actually finish on a high note.
 
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Kokoloko85

Member
Alot of the time my rating drops even for good games when they give me a shitty last boss that is way harder than anything in the game…
Kena last boss comes to mind.
 

Graciaus

Member
The ending being garbage is way more likely bringing down the overall experience. But the opposite could happen although I can't think of many examples.
 
The Last of Us 1 and 2 did that to me in a big way. Amazing stories (both) that can only be appreciated form the end of each game.
 
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