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Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus

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1 Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:20 am

Lorerunner sometimes says that every game should have new game plus. But I have some concerns that are blocking me from seeing this as true for me.

The main way I can see it being good is for non-gameplay reasons, i.e., you don't enjoy the gameplay much so you want to fast forward through it with an overpowered character so you can see the story again (cheating basically). But my answer to that would be to design the game so that gameplay is more enjoyable and better paced, so that it doesn't require new game plus to make it less tedious.

New game plus would allow you to get a lot more use out of abilities/actions/equipment that are obtained near the end of a game, but then why not just give the player those things slightly earlier or have things that are just as interesting at the beginning of the game?

I'm not sure if this is appropriate to post here or not, sorry. I'm not use to discussing anything ever

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2 Re: Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:24 pm

NG+, for me, adds two huge things to a game. I could say 'replayability' but that's a cheat, and the game has to be GOOD for me to want to replay it to begin with, right? So that's off the list. Let me explain in a way by using FFVII as an example. Let's say I want the super awesome materia combos with the best gear and limit breaks. To do so requires me to basically be on the last disk and, literally, in the last dungeon at which point I will have earned such things. Woo! I never do this on replays though because... for me, there's no point. Working that hard to enjoy such a thing for like 10 minutes isn't worth it to me. Now there's two ways to solve this; one is to put such awesome stuff earlier in the game, but doing so is a risky venture for fear of dragging out people who think that optional awesome stuff early means too-easy gameplay. It also has the problem of how you implement it so its either natural or logical to find or, and this is more likely, involves a walkthrough or gameFAQ to ascertain. So this option can (and has in the past) work, but it's riskier than, say, just adding in NG+ which instantly means that if I put that work and effort into getting that gear or those items... then I can ENJOY using them throughout the game, instead of just in the last ten minutes. See, for me it's not about having built-in cheats, but rather having a satisfying reward for effort put in, allowing me to savor what I have earned fully instead of getting it for a few brief tidbits then moving on. To go back to Chrono Trigger as the ur example, I honestly am not sure where that game would sit on my list if not for NG+... definitely still in the Top 28, but not nearly as high, because I get to enjoy the rewards of my efforts and I know that, which leads me to my next point.

The fact that I'm AWARE of the fact that there's no rush and there's no "I have to get everything this playthrough" usually allows me to play ... well, however I want to really. If I feel like idly going through, I can. If I feel like searching every crevice, I can. If I feel like intentionally hampering my gameplay for challenge or roleplay... well, you get the point. There's no stress or pressure because I know on repeat playthroughs I can get anything I miss, or if I feel like it I can build up a 100% save and use that one to enjoy said efforts as mentioned in the previous point. It's all about options, in other words, and I'm almost always hugely in favor of options when it comes to gaming. NG+ is fully optional, after all, one never has to employ it if they don't want to.

I of course would love to hear from other people's thoughts with regards to NG+, but this is (in summary) a brief look at my thoughts on the matter.


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3 Re: Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus on Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:11 pm

For me, the spectacle fighters like God of War and Devil May Cry have been my favorite implementations of NG+. Replaying the game maxed out with all your gear can be more fun than the first playthrough. Giving the player all the awesome gear from the beginning defeats some of the purpose of playing the game, and doesn't make sense narratively as gaining new weapons are done by defeating bosses like in Megaman.

God of War 2 gave you all of your powers from the previous game in the opening sequence, and used an awesome sequence to take it all away from you. Ultimately, this was done to fuel the story, but the gameplay would have quickly become too easy had Kratos kept all his power.

I would like to see more games take the Dark Souls 2 approach to NG+. In DS2 there are actually new items that can only be found in NG+. Since every item has flavor text attached related to the story, there are even minor story elements to expand on the lore. Four of the bosses capitalize on this because you discover they have a connection to Dark Souls 1. Given the nature of Souls games, this can generate an added layer of speculation amongst the fans.

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4 Re: Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus on Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:30 am

Dark souls series ng+ is what comes to mind for me. Some people like to create new players and play the first run over and over. Difficulty can be altered in so many ways on the first run alone, so when you add in higher difficulty (not necessarily artificial) the added runs satisfy the players who like overcoming huge hurdles put in their way. In dark souls 2 you have additional enemies on ng+ runs. Bosses can act differently or have buddies to back them up. They really improved the feature imo.

I've power gamed through games that I enjoy before. Overpowered and not challanging though. If the game difficulty or challenge is increased/altered while allowing you to use whatever you've aquired in the first playthrough then that sounds great to me. Even better if you are able to access new locations/solve puzzles differently or implement new combat tactics/abilities throughout the second playthrough. Not sure ive got a good example of that though.

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5 Re: Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus on Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:03 pm

I'm not sure I could add anything on the topic that wasn't already said above.

Really, OP, if you happen to have enough free time, I'd suggest looking up a first time video playthrough of a Devil May Cry game on youtube. Then, look up a NG+ playthrough (usually done on higher difficulties because that's the major part of the content that gets unlocked after a full playthrough on either Easy or Normal).

Observe the differences. Exact same levels with exact same enemy types, bosses, placement of goodies (except those that you can pick up only once per save file) and enemy encounters. In some places even the amount of enemies that spawn into those encounters are the same.

But the differences are not limited to the enemies simply having higher health / shorter intervals between attacks - the enemies gain new attacks as well, oftentimes invalidating an otherwise tried and true method of dispatching the player may have developed and got accustomed to (uppercut type of attack either complicating or completely preventing any attempts to jump over the enemy's head are a big one, for example).

To which the player can answer with having access to all weaponry, their devil trigger and a good chunk / all of special moves and health upgrades. Which can often have previously undiscovered ways of interaction between each other because some type of enemy doesn't appear on later stages when weapon x becomes available and the player didn't replay any of the previous levels with their updated arsenal.

The severity of difference between difficulty levels vary rather strongly between games of the series, but generally the player is given a number of new options to play around with and is forced to experiment with them in conjunction with what they had around previously to try and up their game because their opposition certainly did.

One of the more obvious (and hilarious to watch) examples of this is the Legendary Dark Knight mode in 4. Which, if I remember right, plays exactly the same as the normal Hard mode, but with something like four to ten times the mook monsters. All other rules are exactly the same, yet the playthrough is quite a bit different.

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6 Re: Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus on Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:54 am

Well from what I have noticed alasta, game developers have to find the proper balance between game play challenge and story pacing to a game.



Last edited by 789TheN00B on Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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7 Re: Understanding the appeal of New Game Plus on Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:54 am

Lots of big text blocks to explain something so simple?

NG+ is mostly necessary in RPGs. And what's a common factor in most RPG design? Grinding. Fodder. Tedium. RNG-based loot drops. You know: stuff that is time-consuming and not much fun. New Game Plus, more often than not, means that you only ever have to go through that nonsense ONCE. Want to replay the game? You can--without having to slog through all the boring bits.

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