Thank god I have finally been able to rest and *just* got back into gaming. I just passed X-COM again, and it was just as fun and aggravating the second time around... I'm pretty sure this is the one game where I am consistently swearing (so I've been told).
As I made my way through X-COM I have been watching a friend play through Final Fantasy XIII on PS3. Honestly, I have been put off Final Fantasy's since I finished IX all those years ago, even though I kept buying the frigging games anyway...
I was rather surprised watching her play the game. The story was a lot better and the characters were not as annoying (with the exception of Hope). After watching a video review of the game a while back on Zero Punctuation, I didn't want to go near my copy of FFXIII with a nine and a half foot pole. After watching someone else play it however, I am debating playing it myself.
I remembered one part of the Zero Punctuation review that stuck with me. It was the gripe that the story didn't really get interesting until about twenty hours in. I then started thinking, "Ok, well when is an acceptable amount of time in which the game starts getting interesting?" and of course, "by whose standards?" It took my friend less than ten hours to become engaged in the Final Fantasy XIII story.
She mentioned to me that she had to change the way that she was playing games, she had to just play and enjoy the game. It was a little different watching her. She usually gets upset while playing and yells about the shortcomings of the game.
Anyway, this sweet spot for length of time I'm sure has a lot to do mainly with game genre and the type of audience, although you want the player engaged as quickly as possible (obviously). I also believe that the franchise also plays a part in how long the player is willing to wait to become engaged.
Either way, maybe I shouldn't watch game reviews until I've tried it myself, although it's hard to get through the numerous "good games" out there as it is :S
What do you get when you mix a Cloud and a Squall? LIGHTNING! *ba dum dum dum* I'll be here all week people...