Games That Are Too Long
There's been a lot of discussion about games that are too short (Mirror's Edge and Dead Space were both dinged for their length), but what about the other end of the spectrum. What games stand out to you as being too long? Would you rather play a game that was too long than one that was too short?
I've recently been playing through Okami on the Wii, and my enjoyment of the game has decreased considerably the longer the game has gone on. The Celestial Brush is a fantastic mechanic, especially with the Wiimote, and I would love to see it in another game. The visuals are very pretty, and the world is well-designed to match them; I'm especially fond of the monster designs drawn directly from Japanese mythology. The weird combination of Zelda-style upgrades (via new brush techniques and "heart pieces") and experience points (via praise) doesn't really work for me but isn't too intrusive (although I would like a stray bead counter). All-in-all, I'd say that I'm enjoying the game ... except for the story.
It's not that the story isn't interesting so much as that it never ends. The game is clearly meant to be divided into three acts with the player exploring a different part of the world in each act, but the acts are so clumsily woven together and are so repetitive that the game's charm has evaporated. Rather than telling parts of a larger, cohesive narrative each act is structured as a complete story arc; the only problem is that there isn't any hint that this particular story is building toward the next until you've finished it and discovered that you're not yet finished. The evil has gone west, now go defeat it there. You defeated the ultimate evil? No, you didn't. It went north, now go defeat it there. You defeated the ultimate evil? No, you didn't. &c. I would have loved this game had it ended after the first act, but the fourteen some-odd hours I've played since then have felt like little more than padding. No new mechanics of consequence have been introduced since the end of the first act, and the characters I've encountered have felt like variations on characters from the first act.
I would so much rather play a game that was six hours long with a tightly written story than have that same game stretched out to twelve or twenty hours. I play for tight, exciting experiences and get tired of grind and flab.