Have you ever thought about the importance of a new game plus?
What often goes through your mind when you purchase a video game? Like most games, there will only ever be a certain amount of time before you reach the end. Then you would’ve finished the whole game. What now? Do you shelve it off to the side never to play it again? After the experience has been claimed, what’s the point of going back?
Baring multiplayer, a lot of games often have a campaign, a story, and an experience to offer. But like everything, that has to end too. But there are times where you just want to go back and relive the moments. What makes a second journey down the beaten path more enticing? I mean, you already know everything, so what’s the point? If you’re like me and you really love a game, then just once is never enough.
And here, is where the benefits of a new game plus can really help.
Re-experience Your Glory Days
For me, after a certain amount of time has passed, I yearn to re-experience what a game has to offer. Though at times, I don’t often want to wait that long. I’ll give you an example of one experience that I have.
I absolutely fell in love with The Witcher 3. I bought a used copy of the complete edition so I had all the DLCs and the expansions. It took me 137 hours to complete all of it and I still have things to discover. However, just one playthrough wasn’t enough for me. I yearned to go back and experience the journey of Geralt again. Thankfully, the game offered a new game plus with added challenges.
That being said, at the time I didn’t want to have to go collect all the ingredients to make another potion, look for materials to make a new set of armor, and invest my points into Geralt’s skills all over again. I wanted to carry what I already have without making it too easy for me. Thankfully, Witcher 3’s new game plus feature adjusts the difficulty to make a fresh start even more difficult without losing my progress.
You see my point? Being able to go back to the beginning with added challenges extends the longevity of any game. It keeps the experience from dying out too soon even after you’ve already completed the journey.
“But hey,” you ask me. “…why not just start a new game?”
And that’s a good point. Since almost every game can allow you to start a new game (I’m looking at you Phantom Pain) a new game plus isn’t necessary to experience the game’s content again. And this is correct. But not everybody would want to start from scratch. Let me explain. Imagine having to grind tediously for an item or to get a certain skill. Now imagine having that taken away from you for you to do all over again.
There’s a difference with revisiting the experience from the beginning and starting over again from scratch. Everyone wants to relive their glory days but nobody wants repetition.
What keeps an experience from being repetitive?
I can’t really say. That depends on the game. As for me, I usually find that JRPG’s turn based combat system to be rather monotonous. After a certain amount of time, I eventually get bored fighting the same type of enemy fifty times in a steady position before I level up. But that’s just me.
Ultimately, it really depends on the person if they find an experience repetitive. Why would you want to watch a movie that you really like even though you know already what’s going to happen? It can be difficult to truly find something fresh every time we boot up a game, because no matter how good it is we will eventually get bored of doing it.
But this doesn’t mean that developers should put no effort into making a game as fresh as possible. Longevity can increase the value of a game tenfold. Especially more so if the experience is legendary. Thus, a new game plus would be an extremely convenient feature.
Starting the Adventure Again
Now that’s not to say a new game in itself is pointless. But it does take time for familiarity to wear off before you want to experience the grind again. Starting out without your earned items from your previous save has its own enticing challenges. Case in point, you could pretty much just change the difficulty to something harder.
It’s just that new game plus are for those who want to experience the game again after finishing it just recently. The thought came to me after I finished one of the games I had to review, Call of Cthulhu. The game had no new game plus so to speak and I had to start over from scratch. Which was a shame because I wanted to carry over my stats I built up over my previous save and see where that would get me.
I guess that means that you never truly appreciate something until it’s gone. Now I don’t think this is a pivotal topic to be aware of, but it is one that I thought would be interesting to discuss. The more one pays attention to what really makes a game great, the more appreciation they’ll have for it.