We all want to feel like our time doing anything is well spent. From binge watching a new show to grinding for that last trophy to unlock a Platinum, the ability to be able to say ‘I have accomplished ‘x’ in this time, so it was time well spent’ is always a great feeling of satisfaction. Despite my issues with the Playstation 4 remaster of Final Fantasy XII I have managed to sink almost forty hours into it in the last month. The reason for this is simple; the ability to play at four times speed.
I have lots of other games that I could be playing so I appreciate it when a game is confident enough to provide an optional addition like this. The only possible downside is that when I boot up a different game I miss the ability to increase the speed of the gameplay enabling me to get more done in less time. Final Fantasy XII is a game that you absolutely must commit to periods of grinding in if you want to enjoy and progress through the story, as simply making a beeline for your next objective will frequently find you in a world of pain. You can imagine my delight at being able to spend just fifteen minutes grinding as opposed to the hour it would have taken on the PS2 version.
Learning from this example, this week I am going to talk about five other games that would benefit from the introduction of a four times speed option. I do not in anyway dislike these games or their gameplay, but feel a boosted speed option would only serve to heighten my already high opinion of them.
I’ve said it before but Dark Cloud was my first ever ‘favourite’ game. I love the dungeon crawling, soundtrack and town building, and played through it multiple times on PS2; achieving the Platinum for it when it launched on PS4. Unfortunately, particularly now in 2020 as opposed to in 2001 when the game launched, I feel lots of gamers will be put off by this admittedly quite repetitive gameplay loop for the first couple of hours. Dark Cloud really requires time and attention to grow into the phenomenal classic it certainly becomes if given the chance to do so.
A faster speed option would allow players to fast forward through some of the grinding moments that a typical dungeon crawler comes equipped with, and despite how much I love the game, I don’t see how that would be a bad thing. The 100 floor post-game dungeon, the Demon Shaft (I’m only now thinking that sounds sexual) would also be a much lighter load.
I don’t think a faster mode would improve its sequel, Dark Chronicle, as the Ridepod that the game gives you very early on already serves as a more time efficient way in sweeping a level.
Again, I love Death Stranding and gave it the highest score possible in my review posted recently on the site. The only thing I could mark it down for, but didn’t as it would have been grossly unfair for a story driven game, is that it has absolutely no replayability whatsoever. I watched clips of YouTubers playing the game after I’d finished the story, and noticed little hints and nods here and there that you are not supposed to understand until you complete the game.
If there was such a thing as a fast walking speed mode, perhaps only available in New Game Plus that could be activated and deactivated at the touch of a button, I think it would be much more likely that players would be willing to experience Death Stranding again to pick up on the bits they may have missed on their first run.
As Final Fantasy XII was the next game I went to after finishing Death Stranding’s story (the grind to Platinum will come later) the revelation of the four times speed option made me think first of this game. While I loved the walks across new areas it didn’t take long for it to start testing my patience until the introduction of vehicles. In order to reduce the amount of gamers put off by the early realisation that they have unknowingly purchased what is in no small way a walking simulator, an option to almost bypass these long treks might have helped Death Stranding to retain a healthier player base.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is a survival game but with stacks of busywork and time filler packed around the odd enjoyable moment of gameplay. I’m not entirely indifferent to this title however, and if I could have skipped all the boring travelling time and long treks across a new planet that doesn’t quite capture the imagination as much as I’d hoped when I landed on it, I would definitely look back on my time with No Man’s Sky much more favourably.
If I had the ability to land on a planet, glance in every direction and decide I’d rather spend my time elsewhere and immediately leave the planet in my mirrors at breakneck speed, then I would definitely do that.
Oh wait, lightspeed exists..
Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture
This entry is solely for selfish reasons but I’m confident it would be appreciated by those gamers who want it for the same reason I do. I am speaking of course about trophy hunters. I enjoy a good walking simulator as much as anyone, but after I’ve taken my time exploring on my first playthrough and wound up at the story end, I don’t want to have to go through the same slog I just have for hoovering up the final trophies.
Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is a brilliant game that I have played through a couple of times, but for me it has one glaring issue. That issue is that certain trophies don’t unlock until the very end of the game, and should you have missed even one tiny pre-requisite to unlocking them then it is back to the start for you!
Other walking simulators would benefit by this too. I had a good time with Firewatch the first time I played it, and decided a few months after finishing that I’d like to explore it again. This was cut short by the fact the story lead me around by the nose, and I just couldn’t get back to that same level of immersion as I had before. Let me skip through the opening story dumps and into the beautiful world exploration and then we’ll talk Firewatch!
Devil May Cry 5
This is more out of curiosity than a need for it, but who wouldn’t want to see if they could play Devil May Cry 5 with the speed greatly increased? The franchise is already famous for having lots of different difficulty modes, none of which affect game speed, so this could be a fun new challenging way to play the game.
Admittedly I’ve never played the game on more than easy mode for the simple fact that I don’t want to as I don’t enjoy challenge. However, even I would be willing to have a crack at a high difficulty mode if the main obstacle was a much faster pace.
Those were my top five picks for games that should follow Final Fantasy XII’s example and introduce a four times speed mode. Let me know what games you would add this feature to on Twitter @RespawningUK or @MaliceVER and I’ll be back to speak to you again very soon. Thanks for reading!