This has potential to be such a deep and expansive topic. Replay value is described as the entertainment value of playing a game more than once. I believe you can directly relate a majority of all game’s replay value to which generation of gaming it came out of.
We are currently experiencing somewhere between the 7th and 8th generation of gaming which spans between Microsoft’s 2005 release of the XBox 360 and the most recent from 2010 Nintendo DSi XL handheld console. Though we have already seen the beginning of the 8th generation through the Nintendo 3DS and the PS Vita, the console representatives are just around the corner. On November 18th, the first member of the 8th generation console club, Nintendo’s Wii U was released, showcasing 3D capabilities, and a controller with an interactive screen. Maybe reminds you of the Sega Dreamcast which came with the option of a memory card that had a small game screen on it.
With the unending advances in videogame technology leading the charge in gaming today, also changing is what makes a game great, though this doesn’t necessarily automatically take away from gameplay, it occasionally will put the game story and musical scores on the backburner when creating a game. There are still games being made with great replay value, but they are fewer and further between due to the focus on higher technology.
One way I look at it is that with all the realism being advanced and cultivated in the industry, it to some degree takes away from the wonder and the capability of immersing your imagination into the gameplay. When you play a 16-bit classic like Final Fantasy III on the Super Nintendo ( VI on the Playstation), the graphics wouldn’t be described as poor based on the capabilities of the time, yet you can only show so much with 16-bit graphics. They make up for this with the character design and art direction, depicting beautiful gods and goddesses that are instantly recognized by devout players who don’t need much convincing to start the game over.
With today, games are becoming some real with 3D capabilities and motion controls etc. that they leave very little room for the imagination to create on its own. In turn, with less imagining going on during gameplay, the games become less and less memorable to the player. This obviously depends on what the player is looking for in a game, but inevitably you could argue that because of this, the greater the games get technically speaking, the likelihood that a player will choose to start this game up again down the road gets smaller and smaller.
But then again…. wow… that’s beautiful. The future of gaming is looking more and more gorgeous every year. Heck, even every month, a new ridiculously good looking game comes out and raises the bar. . . But at what cost? Okay that may be a little bit dramatic, but if gorgeous yet empty games keep getting released, for many gamers, it may be a waste of money, especially the older generation of gaming enthusiasts. Some games are getting created with a beginning and an end just to vamp and hype up the sequel.
One way the future has captivated many audiences though is making games online competitive and with exceedingly difficult goals. It has also become a much more personalized industry allowing players to customize much of their gameplay. Completing goals and earning achievements are a main focus of many of today’s most popular games, especially those that are online and utilize online multiplayer.
So new games still have their charms and hooks and leads. In fact, there are probably as many great games being made today as there were 10, even 20 years ago. The only difference is the progression of aging gamers compared to young impressionable gamers as well as the technical capabilities. A benefit of this advanced technology is the much higher accessibility games thanks to the internet. That’s just how the business works. Thankfully, there are plenty of games, new or old, that are available to play. Play any game ya like, if the replay value sucks, than grab a new one!