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After getting back into console gaming I've been wondering this for a while. In April Microsoft gave away Ryse: Son of Rome in GWG. It was one of the Xbox One's launch exclusives. Reception to it was lukewarm at best, which is kinda bad for an exclusive, and average score is like 3/5 or something. So I decided to play it and see if it's so mediocre as people thought. What I found was a game with excellent replay value despite being short. It has a lot of the bad things modern games are plagued with (excess tutorials even in the hidden Legendary difficulty, excess linearity, excess tips), but the gameplay is incredibly fun and satisfying. I always find myself itching to come back to it and perfect my skills. Combat system is easy to learn but somewhat difficult to master, you can get through the game with button mashing but, especially on Centurion and Legendary difficulty, you can get killed very easily if you do so, even when fully upgraded. Storywise, this game is pretty much "Gladiator meets 300", which is a fantastic thing at least to me since Gladiator is one of my favorite movies of all time and I loved 300 as well, and I've found myself cheering for and enjoying controlling Marius and laying waste to hordes of Briton barbarians and traitorous Praetorian guards. Marius himself is a vastly better character than the likes of Kratos could ever hope to be, despite not being all that unique. There's some cheap and unnecessary female nudity in it but that shouldn't really be as much of a bother as people make it out to be, especially since one of the last bosses is a female warrior who is not sexualized despite having much exposed skin. Seriously, it baffles me why this game got such mediocre reviews. Which leads me to the point I'm trying to make. Aren't we trying to overanalyze games? I mean, we do spend hard-earned cash on them, and the contemporary gamer's average age is older than it was before, so gamers are more vocal and have better judgment than before, at least in theory. But people often misunderstand what's like to get your money's worth for a game. They associate it too much with length, and we end up with massive games that take 200 hours to get 100% in and even more to reach platinum in. There's no more room for us to replay a game time and time again, and hone our skills in it until we can play blindfolded. We were able to do this in the past with games that lasted 2 hours at best, games that were mostly derived from arcade games, which had to be short and difficult. But now, an Assassin's Creed game for example takes around 35-40 hours to complete all the quests in, sometimes even more, and there are a lot of small things that you may still miss, such as 100% sync and guild objectives. There's no more time for you to perfect your skills unless you dedicate your efforts to that series exclusively. Ironically, Ubisoft usually gives you three save slots (Watch Dogs had only one, which I consider a flaw in that game, but still). I remember when the Switch got released people would say "you beat Zelda, now what?". I have the perfect answer. Beat it again. Enjoy it again. Beat it better. Look for details you've missed first time around. Go online and swap strategies with people. Try different things. Don't drop it after beating the story. There's so much more to a game than the campaign. There always is. Being hardcore, or at least being a fan of gaming, means you invest time into the games you love. When you always keep looking for the newest thing, you're starting to tread casual territory. Furthermore, I feel like people are asking more and more for Hollywoodian levels of game script and production. Sorry, not gonna happen. Hollywood itself is stuck in a deep creative rut as of late, and historically games have always had inferior storytelling to other forms of entertainment. I see this a lot here at SF, people really do expect an FE to have storytelling on the level of LotR or something like that. Richer environments and lore than ASOIAF. And one day this push will break the industry. Games are not selling enough to maintain the high production values people ask for. And we shouldn't be asking for this stuff either. Videogames have always been the field of cheap fun and satire. And they were better for it. In short, we're just caring about this stuff way too much. It does cost money of course, so we're entitled to complain, but there's a point when we must wonder whether we're pushing it too far.