Storytime: All Night Long

Not to be mistaken for Lionel Richie’s All Night Long, but close enough. This time, I want to dig into all-night gaming with a little story. Those long nights playing with just one game is an experience that every gamer should have encountered at some point.

We have all been there. There is just that one game that got you hooked up. Once you started playing, the hours will just flew by. First you hit midnight, then night becomes dawn with morning light and birds singing. Suddenly, noon comes around. One day was just over in a blink of an eye. It is a nice feeling to complete a game after that. Nowadays, I don’t do these kinds of ridiculous binges anymore. It is unhealthy and it messes up your body clock pretty badly. If I would have done it now, I would probably need two days to recover. About 10-15 years ago, it wasn’t a problem at all.

There was no big hype for multiplayer as well back then – no easy to access MMORPGs, no pubg, no STEAM…Anyhow PC gaming meant nothing to me. As I have noticed recently, all the games I played during those nights, are actually story driven, such as:

  • Metal Gear Solid 3
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Yakuza 4
  • Zone Of Enders 2nd Runner
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Final Fantasy X-2

These are just a handful of examples I have played. They are designed to keep players on their toes after each arc or chapter. They keep them interested and attached to the story. “I want to know more.” “What’s going to happen after this event?” It actually exhibits similarities to a good running TV series that you can binge-watch. You don’t really care what time it is or if you are hungry. You just want closure and see happy endings.

Another discovery I made, is how there are moments of pause in those games, just like for TV series, there is an ending for each episode. You can collect your thoughts or do something else before you continue. I believe there is a perfect example in Metal Gear Solid 3. After fighting a sniper boss, you need to climb up a ladder that takes the same amount of time as the opening theme.

It was super confusing on my first run, but it started to make sense to me later. The player has gone through multiple buildings and patrolling goons and horrible bosses before reaching this level. The game actually gives you time to relax, a short break from the core game. Not sure if it was intentional, but I will always remember it.

Another example was Final Fantasy X-2 where there is a whole chapter -there are five chapters in total in the game- where the sole purpose is to communicate with the NPCs. I kid you not. You can’t do dungeons, you can’t do experience building, you can’t gather gil (currency). Nothing. Instead you can interact with characters you have met from previous chapters and have a small chat. It is ridiculous, however, I believe it fits the theme of the game.

Grab some tea while chatting with uncle Wakka

Surely, players of this generation have other alternatives to binge on their nights.  I would imagine that multiplayer shooters, online battle arena or MMO will be the majority.

So, what is your game for all night gaming? Share with it me! I will be glad to read it.

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