We’ve got a pretty good split of people on this site: matt and Gavin tend to have a greater appreciation for “older” games, and Albert and I are constantly drawn to the new and shiny.

So, what happens when you’re all about the new and shiny, but a game you really enjoyed once upon a time releases new content. This week, State of Decay: Year One edition is released, with tons of improvements and even discounts for previous SoD owners. Also this week, Starbound gets the best addition: Space pets. I’d love to see space pets, and I actually own the original SoD, but I’m also still trying to wrap up Dying Light, and I’ve got at least 3 other games waiting in the wings already to take it’s place.

So, what does it take to get you to come back to an old game you already own or have already played? New content? A whole face lift?

Monday, 1:21 pm – Gavin

Interesting question!  This discussion is going to touch on a lot of things, not the least of which is the inherent replay value of a game.

I think it’s worth mentioning that there aren’t a lot of games that a) I really like and b) I don’t plan to go back to at some point in the future.  If the game doesn’t have some sort of open nature (not necessarily open world, but is open to customization and can be approached from multiple angles) then it’s perfectly fine to play it, like it, and not want to play it again.  I’m likely to be in that camp with the original Bioshock – a great game, but I don’t feel any pull at this point to replay it.  Maybe I’ll pick it up again in a few years’ time, but not for now.

Once you’ve exhausted your “fun” quotient of a game, it’s entirely reasonable to move on.  Some are more skittish than others and will bounce from one new game to the next, and others, such as myself, labour tediously over a game until we’ve gotten blood from a turnip.  My rationale for that is that I don’t know when I’m going to be able to play the game again once I’ve beaten it, as I do have others in my library that I’d like to hit up, so I do everything that I can at once.  This has manifested itself currently in my playthrough of Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Director’s Cut: Colon as me becoming practicably invincible due to all of the ugprades I was able to purchase because of all of the sidequests and hacking that I’ve done.

A few weeks ago, I hopped into Skyrim for about half an hour, just to see if I was feeling it and wanted to explore.  I went through one dungeon, Falmar’s Tooth, and I have to say…I was a bit bored.  Everything just felt too same-y, which I know was a common complaint amongst those who held that belief, but it just didn’t feel inspiring.  Perhaps it’s because of the flow of the game – I had already beaten Alduin and was the death lord imperial of Skyrim, so when bandits attacked me, it just didn’t feel as though it belonged.  Naturally I crushed them like bugs, but it wasn’t satisfying or logically consistent.  Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood, but it did nothing for me.

I had the same experience with Just Cause 2 last week.  Wanted mayhem, created mayhem, enjoyed mayhem, but mayhem got old quickly.  It’s also why I’m tentative about Just Cause 3 – what else are they going to do differently (read: not just same-but-better, but different) that will make me want to play this game?  I had the same problem with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as well!  Just last week, popped it in, started playing, wasn’t having fun.  Now, I know that part of my aversion to the modern military shooter was Spec Ops: The Line drilling lessons in violence and morality in gaming into my brain, but I didn’t even find the movement to be satisfying.

I don’t want to give off the impression that I think that Skyrim or Modern Warfare or Just Cause 2 or Bioshock are bad games, because that’s ridiculous – I think they’re fabulous games.  I’m just done with them for now.  I don’t think that anything is going to spur me into wanting to play them again beyond simply being in the mood for a grand fantasy epic or a ridiculous 1980s action movie or a space-age fantasy mind-trip.

Gaming that is more discrete can attract me by simply releasing “more”.  By this, I mean games like Mario Kart 8 releasing more levels and characters – there’s a definite start and end and it is logically consistent to eject you to the start menu when you complete that discrete parcel.  A new level, a new track, that type of thing.  Zelda is not a franchise wherein that approach would work, whereas Super Mario World could make it work.

The mark of a great game is that I’d like to replay the game without something new – I’d like to just re-experience the original game.  While I am playing DEHRDC:C which is technically a new game, had that not been released, I would have happily replayed the vanilla DEHR, and I was fully prepared to do that.  I’ll get around to replaying a whole host of what I’ve got in the future, and that’s comforting for me.  I like my old favourites!

Monday, 9:02 am – Ricky

I had a busy but great weekend! Picked up the new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and played that along with some Mario Kart 8. This system really has some great games. Just pick one up and hop right in. Gavin mentioned he tried the demo for Pikmin 3 and liked it, so I might try to give it a download this week. I’m also going to try and finish Dying Light at some point… I’m less optimistic that that will happen but I am optimistic that I am a great queen like a la-di-da poofta.