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It's Short, So It Sucks!

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"Seven levels? Please, I did that almost in my sleep. It is difficult, but still beatable in a very short amount of time. And once you are done, there isn't a whole lot of incentive to play it again. Yes, you can change ships and weapons load outs, but the levels play exactly the same. So there's little to no replay value once you've beaten it."
This review of Gradius V. Gradius V is a 90-minute shmup.

Games in the 1970s and early 1980s usually had no fixed ending; if you survived, you kept going. Then came home consoles and personal computers. Suddenly you had games with a definite length, lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Sure, the ending probably wasn't much, but an arcade mentality still existed for most genres, meaning there was very little saving and a whole lot of soul-crushing difficulty. As such, unless you were very skilled, you probably aren't beating that game the same day — or in some case, the same weekend — you picked it up, meaning gamers were still more or less satisfied.

Fast-forward to the 1990s and 2000s, where more arcade-style genres began to take a backseat in popularity to adventure and role-playing games. Now games were expected to last dozens of hours, with hour-long games quickly becoming regarded as short, budget titles to be avoided at all costs. The mentality developed that a game's length must be directly proportional to its price, and it's a mindset that has only gotten stronger as we enter the present day. In other words, it's short, so it sucks: it doesn't matter what genre the game being targeted is: first person shooters, shoot 'em ups, RPGs, Action-Adventure, you name it. If you can beat the game in a day or two, or worse, in one sitting, expect review sites to, at best, cut off a whole point or letter grade.


Truth is, there is nothing (inherently) wrong with a short game. First of all, a game being short doesn't mean it's of poor quality. It literally just means that it's short. A shorter game of consistent, concentrated quality is ultimately going to be more preferable to games that were artificially stretched out with padding and other forms of fake longevity in response to this trope, but would otherwise be just as short.

Secondly, as gamers grow older and chose to continue the hobby, they find that adulthood has more time-consuming responsibilities and complications than childhood: college/university, work, family life, and paying for your own necessities of food, water and shelter leaves you with less time to play games, to say nothing of leaving you with less money to buy them. As such, there are a good amount of people who actually prefer a shorter game that can be beaten in a few days, or even hours, so they can get on with more urgent aspects of their lives, or at least move on to the next game (or the New Game Plus, or whatever post-game content is available in the present one).


Additionally, long games tend to satiate the player after a single playthrough, leading to the mentality of “oh, I'll put this game away or sell it.” In comparison, shorter, arcade-like games, due to being designed specifically around having high replay value, are less likely to do this. You may find yourself undergoing multiple playthroughs of such a game, with the total of those hours matching or even succeeding the time you may have spent with that year's big AAA action-adventure title. Games for handheld consoles and mobile phones also fall under this idea of "short is good", since they're designed to allow for quick intermittent play while you're out on a normal day in contrast to the longer play sessions you may have on PC or console. This is further mitigated by handheld games commonly being cheaper.

Still, as the general price of games remains high, gamers may blanch at paying full price for such a game, making this perhaps a legitimate complaint for a review, though a more apt label would be “it's short, so it's too expensive.” Some reviews have forgiven shorter games that are either budget-priced or cheap downloads (Portal is a commonly cited example, lasting around 3-4 hours, but originally sold in a $50 bundle with four other AAA games). Sufficiently egregious examples come across as a Mission-Pack Sequel masquerading as actual games.

Note that the minimum amount of time necessary to complete a game is never actually paid attention to, as very few games remain unbeatable within the space of a single day for the dedicated and experienced; it's only the amount of time it takes on an ordinary, first-time playthrough that draws this ire.

It's Easy, So It Sucks! is a sister trope. This is not the inverse of Bigger Is Better in Bed. It is the inverse of Ending Fatigue though, which is where you feel that the story has gone on for too long.

If people are screaming this because the work happened to be awesome for how little there was, and they're upset there wasn't more of them to enjoy, then you have yourself a case of Awesomeness Withdrawal.

This page is not about complaining about games that are too short. This is when the fandom (or hatedom) and reviewers make the complaint.

Non-Video Game Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • For a while, younger fans were generally introduced to anime throughout the most popular series, many of which ran (or continue to run) for hundreds of episodes (Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Naruto, Inuyasha, etc.), it isn't uncommon for such viewers to notice the vast quantity of 26-episode anime (and, later on, 12-Episode Anime) and apply this mantra.
    • Ironically, this is running full circle. Nowadays, everyone is saying that any anime that runs for more than 26 episodes, let alone 50, gets all sorts of criticisms thrown at it for simply how long they are. There are often reasons for this, especially in adaptations from manga, but results can vary.
    • In the case of adaptations, this complaint is simply bundled in with how completely it reproduces its source. Adaptation Distillation reduces this complaint while a gutted adaptation of the same length elicits more. There can also be a lot of subjective differences among fans disappointed that a scene important to themselves was left out of the adaptation.
    • At least one animator has discussed this from a creative standpoint, lamenting the downsides of working on an adaptation that only lasts for 13 or so episodes. She feels that the anime ends before the animators can really get a sense of the characters and how to use them, as well as occasionally resulting in weak endings.
  • Blood: The Last Vampire, as a film, is only 45 minutes long, including the opening and closing credits. Despite being a very well-made film, many anime fans seem to regard it as bad solely for its short length.
    • The same is true of Dead Leaves, another anime film clocking in at about 45 minutes.
  • FLCL, at only six episodes, has gotten the criticism.
  • I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying has 26 episodes... which are each about three minutes long. Unsurprisingly, it gets this reaction from people who already find a 13-episode anime too short, since it's a fraction of that length.
  • I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up is a Yuri Genre manga by Naoko Kodama that is only three chapters long and, along with an unrelated one-shot, comprises a single volume. Many people who read it were unpleasantly surprised to find out that the third chapter is the last. The fact that it ends abruptly, with little having changed between the two leads, doesn't help.
  • Persona 5: The Animation is often criticized for this. The game can easily take 100 hours to complete, but the anime only has 26 episodes that are each about 25 minutes long, plus two 50-minute OV As, making the series about twelve and a half hours long, and resulting in numerous cuts. The pacing is significantly quickened, and important bits of exposition and Character Development are cut out. Most Confidants who aren't party members or affiliated with the Velvet Room are Demoted to Extra, with the exception of Sojiro. The party tends to clear most dungeons in a montage, despite the fact that Persona 5 featured more complex and elaborate dungeons than its predecessors. Some viewers consider this a poor adaptation, while others argue that it's a decent way to experience the story if you don't have time to play the game.
  • Puni Puni Poemy at only two episodes.
  • Yukino Plan is a 4koma Yuri Genre manga with only two chapters. The only indication that the series is over is a "THE END" at the end of the second chapter.

  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire often gets the complaint that a herd of supporting characters with strong personalities and screen presence are left battling for limited screentime (and all end up being shortchanged), and more time could have been devoted to exploring the setting as well.
  • The Golden Compass was attacked for how short it was, resulting in a very rushed pacing that hurt the story. The original director claims that a whole hour of footage was cut due to Executive Meddling.
  • One of the major criticisms against the Jonah Hex movie is its 81-minute runtime (with about nine minutes of that being credits). Probably doesn't help that all of its action movie competitors are closer to 2 hours.
  • Justice League (2017) was criticized for being too short at 120 minutes for an ensemble film. After the divisive audience reception to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. executives mandated that the film should last no more than 2 hours, allegedly to allow for more screenings per day and address the complaints that Batman v Superman was too long. The problem is that while a shorter run time would be appropriate for solo movies, this ended up hurting an ensemble film like Justice League since there is less time devoted to developing each hero. A lot of footage was cut from Zack Snyder's originally intended version and eventually made it to the Director's Cut, which is a whopping four hours long.
  • This was one of many criticisms of The Last Airbender. They somehow took 20 episodes and edited down to only 103 minutes (for rather vague reasons), meaning that whole scenes had to be either dropped, replaced with narration, or combined in ways that just made it a mess. And that's not even including the scenes that were added that ruined what the series set up.
  • When The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was released, it received complaints about being notably shorter than its predecessors despite the adventure theme.note 
  • Winnie the Pooh (2011) was criticized in some circles for being only about an hour long, partly because the movie was so good that they wanted it to keep going. It got infinitely worse once people realized it was the last 2D-animated movie Disney ever made (so far).
  • Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the shortest entries into the MCU, and much of the controversy around the film stems from complications caused by that (such as cutting out subplots that had been hyped like Valkyrie's love interest, some of Gorr's Character Development, etc), and though some appreciated the breezy experience, especially those who have gotten sick of some recent superhero movies boasting very long runtimes, it's not uncommon to find people who cite the short length as a mark against it compared to the other MCU films.

  • For decades there has been debate in literary circles as to what defines a true "novel", with some scholars/readers stating any book less than a certain length is not a true novel. Shorter books as a result often get the label "novella" attached, even if they're 150-200 pages in length. Aside from semantics, this has also stretched into quality arguments, even though there are literally thousands of examples of subversions, such as Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, to name only three.
  • While there's some acclaimed short story authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Anton Chekhov, Jorge Luis Borges and, more recently, Noble Prize winner Alice Munro, the format in general is often regarded as "inferior" in literary circles and is much harder to be picked by publishers due to the public in general prefering novels to short story collections.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The first-ever James Bond adaptation, Casino Royale (1954) from Climax!, is a whopping 54-minutes long. This is fairly forgivable as it was produced solely as a low-budget CBS 'movie of the week', performed live, and happens to be a damn good adaptation of the source novel, despite the Americanization of James Bond.
  • Doctor Who:
    • From 1963-89, the series was presented as a serial, with storylines sometimes taking a month or longer to unfold. When the series returned in 2005 it adopted a more US-style format consisting of standalone single episodes and a couple of two-parters per season (though each season to date has had a background story arc of some sort). Some die-hard fans complained (and continue to complain) that they miss the more leisurely pace that four, six, or more weekly episodes afforded the viewer.
    • In the '80s the series actually moved to something closer to the current format with an experiment during the Colin Baker era of splitting stories into two 45-minute episodes (as is done now) and with a few Peter Davison stories clocking in at two 25-minute episodes (not much longer than a stand-alone 45-min episode from post-2005 series). Another thing worth mentioning is that, especially in the Eccleston and Tennant eras, there were complaints that some writers (often those who grew up watching the 63-89 run) were scripting stories that were more suited to 4x25mins rather than a single 45min episode meaning that sub-plots were resolved extremely quickly, there was poignant dwelling on the death of characters the viewer had only known for about 15 minutes, etc, etc.
  • A recurring complaint about the last two seasons of Game of Thrones, though particularly Season 8, was the shorter length; all the other seasons had ten episodes each, while Season 7 had seven episodes and Season 8 just six. Many viewers felt this resulted in storylines being rushed through to wrap things up in time, leading to perceived Plot Holes, Character Derailment, Aborted Arcs, Ass Pulls and an overall unsatisfactory outcome for a long and complex story. A common belief is that the last season would've worked better if they'd taken the time to develop the plots more.

  • Fryderyk Chopin's Op. 28, Preludes, consists of 24 short pieces for solo piano, the vast majority of which could be played in under 2 minutes. His contemporary Robert Schumann called them "sketches, beginnings of études, or, so to speak, ruins, individual eagle pinions, all disorder and wild confusions."
  • Back in the vinyl era, Village Voice critic Robert Christgau opined that albums needed to be at least 30 minutes to give a listener their money's worth of music. Even when he liked the album, he would still note the exact running time of a short album in a review.
  • The song "Parachutes" off of Coldplay's debut album of the same name gets this reaction from some fans, considering it's only about 45 seconds long.
  • This was also a complaint about Devo's "Whip It", one of the first really famous songs to become a hit as an MTV video. The song is not only very short but ends very abruptly - and it is so catchy that you really, really want it to keep going.
  • Green Day's 2020 album Father of All... got flack from critics and fans due to its 26-minute runtime since most of their studio albums have a runtime of over 30 minutes with the shortest prior to this being their 31-minute debut album 39/Smooth (barring the album's expanded 56-minute version 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, which combines the album with their first two EPs Slappy and 1,000 Hours) and the longest being their 69-minute album 21st Century Breakdown.
  • Short albums are the norm in Grindcore. For example, Gridlink's first two albums are both less than thirteen minutes long, and their third and final album is less than twenty-two (though the CD version was bundled with instrumental "karaoke" mixes of the tracks which doubled the length of the album). Assück's two albums are both around fifteen minutes long (though Anticapital was bundled with some bonus material on CD that brought the album length up by around nine minutes). And so on. This is one of the reasons that grindcore is a polarizing genre. Most grindcore albums are longer than Gridlink's and Assück's, but it's still uncommon for grindcore albums to exceed thirty minutes in length, though this may simply be because many listeners would find grindcore albums that long to be exhausting.
  • Kanye West went through a distinct phase of around 2018-2020 (mostly surrounded by a hectic Creator Breakdown and wildly divided creative attention) where he produced several albums for himself and others, but never broke 30 minutes long. While the broad critical reception towards each project varied significantly — Kids See Ghosts (24 minutes) and Pusha T's Daytona (21 minutes) were acclaimed, but ye (24 minutes) and Jesus Is King (27 minutes) were heavily divisive — just about everyone noticed their short length, which didn't help for those with more negative opinions. It took until 2021's Donda for him to reach a hearty album length again (109 minutes), though that album was controversial for other reasons.
  • Keith Urban's Get Closer album received some complaints of this nature for only having eight songs on it.
  • Ne Obliviscaris' second album Citadel received this complaint, despite being nearly forty-eight minutes long. This may be because the band's first album, Portal of I, was over seventy-one minutes long. It may also be because Citadel featured only three songs.
  • Nick Drake's final album, Pink Moon, was criticized at the time of its release for being only 28 minutes long. His producer has said that, given its bleakness, it really did not need to be any longer.
  • Subverted with The Ramones' debut album, Ramones, which is a little over 29 minutes long. One reason why it's so popular with fans and critics was that the songs were short and to the point, while at the same time packing a punch, making what little time the music was playing worth it.
    Joey Ramone: They're not short songs, they're long songs played fast.
  • Likewise, They Might Be Giants' album The Spine was criticized for being less than a half-hour long. On the other hand, TMBG recorded so many songs during these sessions (the leftovers being released on two EP's, plus two spare songs released online) that fans have made their own jam-packed extended versions of the album.
    • TMBG's Factory Showroom was criticized not for total length but because it only had 13 songs, compared to their usual album lineup of 18-20 songs. This was due to the songs being a bit longer than usual.
  • Weezer's second Self-Titled Album (a.k.a. The Green Album) occasionally got this complaint by fans, since it's only 28 minutes long. That's only 4 minutes shorter than Pinkerton was, but some were still disappointed that the band's first album in five years was under a half-hour long.
  • Wintersun's Time I received a lot of complaints about its short length, despite the fact that it is explicitly labelled as being only half of an album.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In WWE this was the fate of most women's matches from roughly 2009-2014. Due to WWE's belief in the Girl-Show Ghetto, matches were rarely given much time. It was considered a good day if a ten-minute slot was given (compare this to the fifteen and sometimes twenty-minute time frames others would get). Finally averted as of 2015 and WWE attempting to take women's wrestling seriously. It once got so bad that there were 10-women tag matches that would last a grand total of a minute of actual in-ring time.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Quite a few players are put off by how the Exit: The Game games cost $15 each even though they can only be played through once, which takes a few hours at most. Worse, playing it involves defacing components, so you can't even resell or give away your used copy.

    Web Original 
  • Inverted by this Cracked article — one of their complaints is about developers (particularly of open-world titles) artificially padding their games with filler in order to avert this trope. They specifically cite Portal as proof that games don't have to be over fifteen hours to be fun.
  • The Sonic Fan Film suffers from this; it was in development for roughly 2 1/2 years, had Jaleel White from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), and Sonic Underground voicing the titular protagonist, yet the film lasts less than half an hour with a plot that goes all over the place.
  • Sonic for Hire is given flak sometimes for "being too short", with episodes lasting about 2-3 minutes long and being posted every Sunday during an ongoing season.
  • The eighth episode of Movie Fights only lasts for about half an hour (instead of the usual 90 minutes) due to the producers being in a rush to celebrate Thanksgiving. As a result, the gladiators were barely given the chance to defend their choices, and a lot of people were not pleased with the end result.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: This is a lot of the fans' main complaint regarding Season 4, being only 12 episodes long which are nowhere near to Season 3's 28 episodes. In general, at least for the later seasons, fans often complain that ten minutes is not enough for an episode's showtime.
  • A frequent criticism levied by MauLer towards other reviewers and video essayists. He feels that the ten to twenty-minute format often used by essayists is often insufficient for them to meaningfully argue their thesis or points they present in their videos. They simply do not afford themselves the time to support their arguments with supporting details and evidence. The inverse of this happens with MauLer’s critics, citing that the videos he makes are too long and sometimes go longer than the movie or show he is critiquing, thus creating a meme known as "long man bad".
  • Red vs. Blue had this for two seasons in a row. Season 17, Singularity, while well-liked got criticism for being the shortest season yet, with only 12 episodes, most of whom weren't longer than usual. Season 18, Zero, was even shorter with 8, while trying to introduce a whole new cast and still dedicate most of the running time to flashy action scenes alongside the plot, and as a result, the pacing is very off, some moments feeling too slow and others moving a mile a minute, with none of the characters getting the time to properly explore their characterization.

    Western Animation 
  • The last episodes of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes sometimes had this complaint lobbied at them. The new executive producer had some planned storylines compressed into one episode each, making the show feel more rushed and less deep than before.
  • The short, four-episode first season of Castlevania (2017) is about the only real complaint about the series, already considered one of the best video game adaptations yet. The second season is longer at eight episodes but still has this as one of the few complaints.
  • Each book/season of the sci-fi anthology series Infinity Train is only ten, 11-minute episodes long. Some fans like the brevity of each story arc, feeling they allow the plots to be succinctly told without overstaying their welcome and that they make recommending the show much easier due to the smaller time commitment. Others believe that 110 minutes' worth of episodes for each season results in the conclusions to each arc coming across as too rushed at times, and leaves far too much story potential with any given cast of characters unrealized.
  • The first season of The Legend of Korra is accused of this, though the minuta of these complaints is less about the actual length of the season (12 episodes), and more about how the poor pacing of its events. The general thought within the fandom is that the season should have been longer in order to better devote time to both the main civil rights plot and the romance subplot, or that the romance subplot should have been cut away entirely like the tumor it was.
  • The shortest officially released Looney Tunes short, Any Bonds Today?, is only a minute and a half long and nothing more than a Patriotic Fervor propaganda short to make people buy war bonds to support the U.S. government's World War II effort. It manages to be entertaining but still leaves you with a dissatisfied feeling because of its short length and the fact that Bugs, Porky, and Elmer do nothing but sing and dance.
  • Many fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic have called out the Season 3 episodes "Keep Calm and Flutter On" and "Magical Mystery Cure" as being rushed, and feel the stories in question should have been two-parters. Unfortunately, the season was a shortened 13 episodes and had already started with one two-parter, meaning a significant chunk of content would have to be lost to make this happen. Of course, that just transfers the criticism to the whole season rather than just these episodes; if it had had the standard 26 episodes, there would have been more room to extend stories that needed it.
  • Even those who enjoyed the polarizing ending of the finale for Star vs. the Forces of Evil think that the half-hour length of the episode, despite it being twice the length of the show's usual 11-minutes, was a rushed and confusing affair. Many think that an hour-long runtime would have allowed the episode's various plot points to have more breathing room and/or have greater impact.
  • Total Drama:
    • Revenge of the Island lasted 13 episodes, as half as long as the 26 episode seasons (not counting the 27th episode specials in Island and Action, or the former season's big recap before the finale), and (besides the point that it mirrors the head count of 13 contestants) it's often blamed for having rushed plotlines (specifically, a double elimination).
    • The All Stars title sequence is also criticized by fans, as it lasted 20 seconds and uses an abbreviated version of the theme song.
    • When Pahkitew Island aired on Cartoon Network in the United States, it was advertised as a "two-week Summer Showdown". This move did not give fans enough time to catch up on the episodes after they aired.
    • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race went back to the 26-episode format the first three seasons of the primary show used. However, this did not stop the network (even the show's native country Canada) from airing the episodes on a daily basis instead of weekly. This would end up being the only season of The Ridonculous Race to ever be produced.

Video Game Examples:

    Action Adventure 
  • Beyond Good & Evil also seemed to mostly avert this, getting very good reviews despite its length. It was a commercial disaster, however, which may have been partly a result of this.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game: The only serious criticism of the game was that it was only about five hours long on top of having relatively little replayability since it was so easy to find all the hidden stuff and max out all your abilities in a single playthrough.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 can be finished in just a couple of hours... which means you could watch the movie it's based on in the same timeframe and have a more enjoyable experience.
  • ICO. 6 hours or so on a first playthrough — maybe 8 or 10 if you just sit around watching the scenery — and it can be finished in 2 ½ hours on a replay. It's still regarded as a very fine example of the genre. Hilariously enough, the HD version of Ico has a trophy for beating the game in under 2 hours. There are other games with speedrun trophies (like God of War HD for 5 hours) but never before was it two freaking hours. Even the developers acknowledge the game's short length.
  • Mirror's Edge's story is approximately six hours long, but it can take much longer to master each level in Speedrun mode. Ironically, once you get good at Mirror's Edge, it is over that much faster. The game is about running after all. Speedruns on YouTube can clock in at under half an hour, skipping cutscenes and loading times.
  • Anyone who says this about a LEGO Adaptation Game has obviously never tried to get 100% Completion.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening faced criticism for not taking too long to complete. Despite having a total of nine dungeons and four mini-dungeons, plus a bonus dungeon in its Game Boy Color and Nintendo Switch versions, the game could be beaten in up to ten hours. This is attributed to the overworld being smaller in comparison to other Zelda entries and having little-to-no sidequests.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask got this because the main quest doesn't take too long thanks to having only four main dungeons plus the Moon. However, defenders point out that much of the content lies in the abundance of side quests. Additionally, the dungeons themselves take a while to complete and there are some lengthy pre-requisites to even get into the dungeons.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker received some accusations of having a short length for its main quest (only seven dungeons instead of the usual ninenote ), even with the sailing and the Triforce Chart quest. The HD remake makes said short length more noticeable by adding a special sail to speed up sailing and cutting down the Triforce quest. Defenders argue that the game still provides plenty of side quests and mini-dungeons to extend the actual gameplay, including several optional islands.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap got this flak as it only has six dungeons and a single mini-dungeon. Compare that to the earlier portable entries, all of which had the usual nine dungeons plus, depending on which game being played, up to four mini-dungeons.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, despite having as many dungeons as A Link To The Past, got this response due to the item rental system allowing for quicker progression than usual. Defenders argue that the game has no less content than its handheld predecessors and just got rid of the Fake Longevity that plagued previous titles.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: While the game is overall much longer than any previous Zelda game, this is accomplished by loading the game up on optional content and downplaying the main story. Thus, the main story on its own often gets this criticism from fans who prefer the longer main stories of previous 3D Zelda games. This is due to the main quest consisting of only four main dungeons, each of which are very small on their own, one final dungeon which consists of many optional segments and little required ones, and very brief pre-dungeon quests to open the way to each dungeon.
    • The Spin-Off/crossover game Cadence of Hyrule tends to get this, with its main story campaign being pretty short even in comparison to other games in the Roguelike genre; while it has a decently-sized overworld, the game boasts only six dungeons, four of which consist of only two floors and a boss fight. Defenders argue that the short length and various alternate game modes and campaigns lend themselves to a high replayability that makes up for this.
  • Luigi's Mansion: One massive criticism was it having exactly four areas in the game and being over in about a day's worth of gameplay. This criticism was addressed for the sequels.
  • Some people complained that Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword could be completed in 6-8 hours. However, this didn't really affect its actual reception.
  • Shadow of the Colossus is very short, roughly 7 hours but only if it's your second (and so on) playthrough. Because in your first one you probably didn't know how to kill the Colossus, so one battle could easily spanned for 1-2 hours. It is after all, also a puzzle game.
  • Tomb Raider: Legend. Even the developers themselves later said that the game was too short and subsequent games would be longer. Anniversary was indeed much longer (though still half the length of the game it was remaking). However, Underworld wasn't much longer than Legend and got the same complaints.

    Action Games 
  • Averted by God of War; despite its short length, it has garnered mostly positive reviews. As X-Play put it: "Sure, it's a little short, but we dare you to only play it once!"
    • Intentionally invoked by David Jaffe, who felt that it was better to offer a 10-hour game with no dead spots or backtracking as opposed to a game twice that length filled with un-fun padding. To stretch out replay value, the game offered higher difficulties and challenge modes to test players when it came to the intricate combat system.
    • Just like the example above with Ico, the developers seem to acknowledge the game's short length, since one of the trophies requires you to beat the game in under 5 hours. Unlike Ico though, you can easily beat the game well under the time limit by not fighting enemies unless you really have to (there's actually a surprising number of enemies that don't need to be fought) and obtaining a costume to give you infinite magic (or by exploiting a Good Bad Bug for the same result) and just spam magic on all required enemies. It helps that if you die and have to restart from a checkpoint, the timer restarts from the checkpoint too, useful when doing those particularly tricky puzzles. If that's not enough, you can exploit Good Bad Bugs to skip a few segments of the game.
    • PSP prequel Chains of Olympus did get this, though, since it was roughly 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the other games. Got a bit of fun Lamshading in the Compilation Re Release on the PS3—the achievement for completing CoO is “It's Over Already?
  • NiGHTS into Dreams… is only seven levels long, and was criticized for this as a result.
  • Onimusha: Warlords is ridiculously short, clocking in at only around 4 hours long, or even less if you know what you're doing.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the video game, got this complaint (among others; it's a video game of a movie). On the one hand, it's unadulterated Wolverine, brutally slashing people to death and ripping them apart and stabbing them with scenery and yay! On the other, it's repetitive and can be finished in 7 hours and boo.

    Adventure Games 
  • A common criticism of The Force Unleashed was how short it was. The game can easily be finished in less than 10 hours. The sequel gets it even worse, as it's even shorter.
  • This is the single most common criticism against Full Throttle (that, and its simple puzzles). Cinematic storyteller, cool characterization, great Mad Max-like setting, but it's all over before the player knows it.
  • One of the major criticisms of Gone Home is the extremely short length of the game coupled with little to no replay value. You can actually beat the game in under a minute if you know what you're doing (they even added an achievement for doing so), and potentially accidentally beat it in under five on a blind playthrough if you're a diligent explorer (and if you're playing an adventure game, you probably are). The key to the final room (the attic) is found in a secret room behind a fake wall almost directly across from the front door where you start the game. It's not locked, and the game even prompts you to open it if you go up to it, even if you haven't played through the story up to the point where you would be told about it. A first time player with no prior knowledge could easily discover this room by complete accident before doing anything else, get the key, go straight to the attic (because the game tells you what the key is for), and beat the game without even realizing that they just skipped about 99% of it.
  • Due to being the first episodic game in the series, some Monkey Island fans felt that Tales of Monkey Island was too short… even though if you play each chapter back-to-back, it's probably the longest game in the series.

    Beat Em Ups 
  • Asura's Wrath received criticism for its story being only 6 to seven hours. Migitated somehow by the episodic formula it has, as well as some future DLC that adds in a few chapters amongst other new stuff.
  • MadWorld receives criticism for this, as single playthroughs of the game's storyline tend to average at around four hours.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Battlefield 4 got slammed for this, with a campaign that is merely 7 missions long and plagued with bugs. Most Youtube playthroughs of the campaign can barely crack 3 or 4 hours.
  • Call of Duty:
    • Modern Warfare has been criticized for this, as the single-player only lasts for about six hours. Infinity Ward has actually responded to this criticism, saying that the story largely came first and they designed the game around it without for the effect this would have on the length, because they specifically wanted to avoid artificially padding it out. Modern Warfare 2 has a similar length for the same reasons, but a new co-op gametype is being introduced, with scenarios based on ideas suggested for the single-player campaign that were ultimately left out because there wasn't any good place or good reasons to put them in.
    • Declassified, the PlayStation Vita tie-in between the first Black Ops and the second, can have its entire campaign completed in under an hour if you can handle the random spikes in difficulty.
    • It's pretty clear that Modern Warfare 2 started a trend. Every Call of Duty game released after 2009 has had a pretty short campaign ranging from 4 to 6 hours, and so has many other military-style FPS games since. The Medal of Honor reboot and the later Battlefield games come to mind. Presumably the developers have realized that the real meat of the game lies in multiplayer so it just isn't worth it to have a long campaign anymore.
  • The Conduit has accused of not being worth $50 due to only having a few hours worth of single player as the developers admitted, no split-screen multiplayer, and being stuck with the Wii's overprotective online multiplayer matchmaking.
  • Inverted with the original Deus Ex, which was explicitly designed as a return to longer in-depth gameplay, leading critics to complain that they never found time to finish it or use half the features. The story pacing and quality of the level design in the later parts of the game were also heavily criticized by fans and even some of the original developers. The criticism was present with the sequel and the prequel. The mobile spinoff got this too, but it was excused since it was a mobile game.
  • The Australian gaming show Good Game gave Halo 3: ODST an average review due to the reviewers claiming to have beaten the game in co-op on legendary in 4 1/2 hours.
  • Homefront has a tiny 3-4 hour single-player campaign, which means that you're basically buying it for the multiplayer, and at the time that was already being done bigger and better in Bad Company 2.
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • The game is accused of being too short for only having 20 maps (5 maps per campaign) and a minimal storyline. Each campaign takes about 20 minutes to a little over an hour, depending on difficulty and the AI director's mood. Then again, the meat of the game is in its online multiplayer and the randomization of item and monster spawn locations.
    • With Valve announcing the following campaign, Crash Course, only being 2 maps long in order to make VS mode faster and more decisive so that people wouldn't quit when losing, fans naturally complained that the campaign was too short and that Valve were appealing to scrubs for trying to make VS mode more fair. The criticism only accentuated since its release: Both maps can take around 15 minutes each to complete and are a bit longer than a standard map that takes 10 minutes each. The finale is tougher than the other finales, which will cause restarts.
  • Painkiller: Resurrection caught lots of flak for being only six levels long (each of which taking 30 minutes to beat tops), whereas its predecessor came packed with up to 34 levels (counting the Expansion Pack), and even Overdose had 16 levels - and both games combined can be bought for half the price of Resurrection, which was also initially advertised as having three new chapters instead of just one.
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando really, really suffered from this. However, some have argued it's a bit of an inversion – it's so good they wish it were longer.

    Hack And Slash 
  • Heavenly Sword only takes roughly 5 to 7 hours to complete. Considering that it was heavily marketed as Sony's new, big hit title which would be taking full advantage of the PS3's capabilities, gamers were less than pleased.
  • A common criticism regarding Lollipop Chainsaw was its incredibly short length. There are only six chapters in the game (seven if you count the Prologue), and each one takes about a half-hour to complete (sometimes longer). While the game was very well-received by general gamers (but not so much by critics), everyone agreed that it was far too short, and not worth $60.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: gets this criticism quite a bit. Partially because, unless you listen to the completely optional Codec conversations, you never really get to know either Raiden or his team all that well. However, another criticism of the game is that it feels deceptively short. See, the game consists of a prologue mission, and then seven actual missions. The prologue is about 30 minutes long, and the first four actual missions are fairly lengthy, taking about 60-90 minutes to complete, and featured multiple boss fights along the way. Then mission 5 is a short walk down a linear street with only a few mobs of Mooks to fight. Mission 6 is just a boss fight and nothing else, and Mission 7 is a short trip through an Air Force base capped off by the Final Boss. Ultimately, some fans were unhappy when it turned out the the first four (of seven) missions contained about 90 percent of the actual game.

  • Less than two days after the World of Warcraft expansion pack Wrath of the Lich King was released, complaints were heard from people who had played it straight through and finished it within that time. However, some of those complaints were inaccurate, since many noted that the complainers had played the game straight through from beginning to end in marathon sessions – if they'd played the game like human beings, it would have taken a lot longer and they would have gotten more enjoyment out of it. The same complaints arose when fans learned that the third expansion pack, Cataclysm, would raise the level cap from 80 to 85, as opposed to the ten-level increments added by the previous expansions.

  • thatgamecompany's titles have been met with this at least once, but of particular note comes Journey (2012). It takes around 80 minutes to beat the game, and about 2-3 hours for a player to earn all 14 trophies. In comparison, around one hour is how much time is needed to beat Flower, which Jenova Chen said was a "interactive poem".
  • Many players felt that the 2021 remake of the Pinchcliffe Grand Prix Licensed Game cut so many of the original's mini-games that the game turned out too short to be worth the asking price of ~$45. This complaint overlaps with They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, as many of these fans were also disappointed that a ~$45 game was missing a lot of the original's content.
  • The Konami ReBirth line of WiiWare games get a fair bit of criticism because each of them only has five stages.

    Platform Games 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is much shorter than you'd expect for a game that initially cost $15. While its Nintendo Hard difficulty makes the game take longer, players who know what they're doing can beat the game in as little as a couple hours.
  • This is one of the complaints critics have about Astal. The critics have stated that, while Astal is a very colorful and creative game, it is a bit too short.
  • The Castlevania titles released in 00s get this too, for lasting around 9-12 hours.
  • Chameleon Twist 1 and 2 suffer from this, both only having about 6 levels each. If you knew where all of the crowns/coins and carrots were, you could easily complete the game 100% in only 1-2 hours.
  • Eversion did get this from a few reviews.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby Super Star, a game that comprises many shorter games, often falls prey to these complaints, as it can be beaten in about four hours.
    • The second Kirby DS game, Squeak Squad, can be beaten in a little over 3 hours under one sitting, assuming that you know where every treasure chest is and how to get it. Concerning the easiness of the series, even if the player doesn't know all the secrets and locations of the treasure chests, completing the game 100% isn't very hard at all.
    • Kirby Star Allies caught a bit of flack from reviewers for its relatively short length for a Kirby game—it's only four worlds long, and even though the individual levels are longer than average, it's still trivial to complete the game 100% in about 2 or 3 hours.
  • LittleBigPlanet 3. The original game had 8 worlds with 3 levels each (4 for the Gardens because of the Introduction and 4 for the Wilderness because of the Boss-Only Level) and 3 side levels. The second game had 6 worlds with 5 levels each (6 for Da Vinci's Hideout because of the Introduction) and 3 side levels. This game has only 4 worlds with 5 levels each and at least 2 side levels (5 for Manglewood, 3 for the Ziggurat, and none in the Prologue). However, thanks to the Dynamic Thermometer setting, the levels are longer than they used to be. One contributing factor is how little time the player gets to spend with the three new characters. They are only given a handful of levels, as compared to LittleBigPlanet 2 which often used and expanded a gameplay concept in five different levels. This results in the final boss being trickier than intended as the player has little experience using the new heroes. It also doesn't help that, without the Sackpocket, the three new heroes have much shallower gameplay than Sackboy.
  • The Little Mermaid has only five not-very-long stages, disappointing reviewers.
  • Various WiiWare games get criticised for this, such as both Lostwinds and a game about the Wild West as examples of a lack in content getting lowered scores. Wii Music has been gouged in reviews for not having a clear goal, and is thus "only" a two-hour jam session.
  • Metroid is one of the few game series whose games escape this kind of reaction by using their short playtime to encourage multiple playthroughs, with much of the bonus content requiring speed runs of less than 2 or 3 hours. In the case of the Metroid Prime Trilogy and Metroid: Other M, their respective lengths are longer on average anyway (15-20 hours for most players).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was criticized for this by UK television show GamesMaster, because the reviewer finished it inside two hours, which, by the standards of a game with no save feature will require a bathroom break or two. Everyone else in the world shrugged their shoulders and carried on playing.
    • Both Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations are noted for their shortness, even though both (plus Unleashed) are considered to be the games that saved the franchise from its Audience-Alienating Era. The shortness is justified, though, considering that Unleashed was criticized for the exact opposite problem – having the Werehog gameplay take up the majority of the game; and considering how much development effort is put into developing a single 3-4 minute stage in the Modern Sonic games, it's better to be short in the end.
      • Sonic Colors has 45 levels; six worlds with six acts and a boss each, and a final world with only two acts and a boss. While that sounds reasonable, bear in mind that each level only takes a few minutes to complete on average (with some of the boss stages lasting only 30 seconds), and that a good chunk of the levels are reused from bigger levels with some kind of gimmick added.
      • Sonic Generations has nine zones with two acts each, a rival battle and a Boss Battle every three zones, plus the Final Boss. While there are plenty of optional missions, only one is mandatory per zone (to get the three keys to unlock the Boss Gate). So that's 18 acts, 7 bosses (including the Final Boss), and 9 missions, with most levels (and even bosses) taking two to four minutes to complete.
    • Sonic Forces was criticized for many reasons, including the fact that the 30+ levels in Sonic Forces were short and easy to complete.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Yoshi's Story got a lot of flack for this. Though there are multiple paths, a single playthrough only takes the player through 6 individual levels at most.
    • Yoshi's Universal Gravitation was criticized for its short length; the game can be beaten in less than five hours.
    • Super Mario Party has been heavily criticized for the amount of content not justifying its $60 US price tag. There's only four game boards, beating out the previous record-holder Mario Party DS for least boards in a Mario Party game by one, and all of them are much smaller than the boards in previous games. The other game modes (including the entirety of the online multiplayer) are all very brief mini-game compilations, and the maximum number of turns you can apply to a game has been downgraded from fifty to twenty on top of that. There was so little content many players thought for sure there were going to be future updates that added more boards, but even more than two years after launch no such plans have ever come to light.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • The Legend of Spyro games fall under this category, considering the first three games were chock full of side quests (some of them really annoying too).
    • Enter the Dragonfly (although there were claimed to be more problems than length). There's only a single hub, a single boss fight (done twice in slightly different ways), and no more than fifteen levels. Apparently the designers planned to make the game much longer, however they were working with relatively new software and literally ran out of disc space. It was also Christmas Rushed.
  • Averted with Strider, which received stellar reviews (including EGM's "game of the year" for the Genesis port), even though it can be beaten in less than 20 minutes.
  • The most frequent complaint against Tiny and Big is its length, being six levels long (excluding the tutorial) and clocking in at roughly three hours on average if played straight through.
  • Wario World and Wario Land: Shake It! (a.k.a. The Shake Dimension), both of which missed out of getting better than good reviews from some professional video game critics (they thought the games ended too quickly).
  • WarioWare. More so with Snapped, and likely the D.I.Y. games, because those games have way fewer characters than there were in previous gamesnote , and in the former, only around 20 microgames.
  • Some people will say this about You Have to Burn the Rope.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons got some flak for this. Despite praise for its story and its "1-player co-op" gameplay, the entire game can be completed in three to four hours.
  • Braid has been subject to this, despite the fact that finding all the puzzle pieces in order to earn the game's ending can take ages if you're not using a guide. And that's not even getting into the secret stars, one of which requires riding a platform that takes two hours (real-time) to reach its destination.
  • The Xbox Live Arcade game Limbo has already gained this reputation for some, thanks to its 4-hour game length, its $15 price tag at launch (though this has since been reduced to $10) and most importantly, its almost complete lack of replay value. While gamers who felt cheated after completing the game didn't hate it, they thought it was fun but forgettable.
  • Portal has mostly avoided this despite taking only around four hours or so to complete on an average first-time playthrough. This may be due to a few factors. It is generally considered exceptionally good, it was relatively underhyped for a Valve game, and it is cheap. It originally came with two other mods/expansion packs and the individual unit retails at Target for 10 bucks. Hard to complain a game you paid 10 dollars for is too short. The sequel has however come under this criticism by some, despite the single-player campaign being somewhere around 3 times the length of its predecessor, and including a co-op campaign which itself is almost twice the length of Portal. With Valve's SDK, the Perpetual Testing Initiative provides plenty of user-created maps give Portal 2 players more to do.
  • This is a major reason why Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power received a colder reception than its predecessors. The developers later admitted they underestimated the budget necessary to make the Video Game 3D Leap for the Trine universe without making major compromises to its gameplay, of which its shorter length compared to its predecessors was but one of them (and the first two Trine games weren't exactly long games to begin with). Its $20 price tag didn't help it one bit. It is regarded as an Old Shame by the developers, and Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince returned to the 2D gameplay of the first two Trine games, is the longest entry yet, and has been received enthusiastically.

    Racing Games 

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Brütal Legend: A common criticism, with some going so far as to say the story missions can be finished in four hours. This is partially due to the drastic change in pacing after the first half and the lack of proportionate attention given to the third (and most threatening) final enemy army. Tim Schafer says the single player is a multiplayer tutorial at the core. But Electronic Arts did not want that getting out.
  • Grey Goo (2015) has only 15 campaign missions, divided equally over the three factions.
  • Pikmin: Pikmin (2001) and Pikmin 3 both seem to get this a lot. The strict time limit on the first game even enforced this, limiting the amount of exploring the player can do in favor of just getting all the parts as quickly as possible.

    Rhythm Games 
  • DanceDanceRevolution:
    • The Japanese version of DDRMAX only has 42 songs. While not the lowest number in the series, it's a far cry from its direct predecessor, 5thMIX which has nearly triple that number (122). Granted, it's not actually a case of lacking new content, since most DDR games at the time had around 40 new tracks as well, but rather because it removes every single song from 5thMIX in favor of a completely new tracklist. The console version also has the same problem, adding just two new tracks for a total of 44 songs, which is a letdown since it is also the first PS2 DDR game (while the console version of 5thMIX has around the same number, it's for the PS1).
    • The European DDR console games have a poor reputation among fans because of this trope. Dancing Stage MegaMiX and Fever have a grand total of 29 songs each. And those were released for the PS2! Even combined, they still don't match the number of tracks featured in both the Japanese and North American versions of DDRMAX2 released around the same time. Fever also has a PS1 "port", which somehow managed to halve its already abysmal tracklist. Yes, you're playing a rhythm game that only has 15 songs! To add insult to injury, MegaMiX was released on the heels of its much better-received predecessor, PARTY EDiTiON, a PS1 game that has 51 songs as a result of mostly porting over the content of the American game KONAMIX. Why they didn't just port over the content of DDRMAX and DDRMAX2 for Europe is anyone's guess.
  • Parappa The Rapper, the first one at least, consists of 6 stages, each of which last about 2 to 3 minutes, with a cutscene of about that length in between them. In other words, assuming you don't mess up so bad that the game forces you to try a stage again, you can finish this game within an hour. There was not much negative criticism for this game when it first came out, as it was right after score-based arcade-style gaming (and, like the genre it started, it is score-based), meaning people were used to very short games meant to be played for high scores. However, its PSP re-release could not hold up to the Dance Dance Revolutions, Guitar Heroes, and Rock Bands of later years, which would come with dozens of songs and have DLC and mission pack sequels for dozens more, and Sony's attempted revival fizzled out within weeks.
  • Space Channel 5 can be completed in under 45 minutes on a clean run. The sequel has two more levels than the original but will still take only a shade over 60 minutes to complete if the player doesn't fail a stage.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • It's happening again to Tim Schafer in Costume Quest. According to him, the game was made for very, very, young gamers who have not yet played an RPG, which is why it's so short and easy. Schafer especially pointed out in the commentary for the updated version of Monkey Island 2 that no matter what you do, people will complain that the game is too short.
  • While this trope doesn't apply to Dark Souls III itself, it's a common criticism of the first expansion Ashes of Ariandel. It adds only a couple of new areas and two bosses, one of which is optional and only really consists of fighting an NPC player character and a recurring King Mook simultaneously. While the other boss is generally regarded as one of the best in the series, the general consensus is that's not enough to justify the price tag. Since Ashes of Ariandel is one of the only two expansions Dark Souls 3 is getting it compares poorly to the DLC in the other entries in the series, (Dark Souls I had one expansion with four bosses, Dark Souls II had three expansions with three bosses in each one and the Spiritual Successor Bloodborne had one expansion with five bosses) and as such it also raised concerns from fans about the longevity of the game compared to its predecessors.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The first game got a few complaints from people who just did the bare minimum required to reach the ending, ignoring the fact that the numerous optional missions make it a very long game indeed. The sequel worked around this by making it less obvious which missions could be skipped, 'tricking' such unpleasable people into actually experiencing more of the content they paid for.
    • Dragon Age: Origins: The Darkspawn Chronicles, is easily completed in a couple of hours. It has no dialogue, no NPC interaction beyond recruiting and executing unwanted thralls, and no real customization. For being so different from previous Dragon Age offerings, critics gave it negative reviews.
    • DA2 also gave very clear hints where the story would reach a point of no return, and optional quests would no longer be an option. If a player didn't feel it was worthwhile to gather every advantage available, the Disc-One Final Boss would make them regret it, and their game would be very short indeed.
    • The expansion pack Awakening can be comfortably beaten in about 13 hours, which fans found disappointing considering that Bioware found it worthy of selling on its own disc rather than making it a DLC.
  • Prior to the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda ran a speed run contest within the studio. Both competitors beat the main story in just over two hours. Some people took this to mean that the story could be completed as fast and began to complain that they were paying $30 per hour forgetting it was a speedrun where both competitors were constantly shaving time off the clock via shortcuts among other things. They also were unaware that the Fallout 3 and Oblivion speedruns were done in just over an hour. On top of that, those complainers seemed to forget or be unaware that the real meat of the game is through side quests, to the point that some people who have played for hundreds of hours haven't even touched the main story outside of the first few missions.
  • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, gets this, in addition to also being "easy, so it sucks", since the game can be completed in six to ten hours, which is extremely short for the RPG genre.
  • At least one reviewer has held this up as a good reason that Infinite Undiscovery is a terrible, irredeemable disappointment of a game. Never mind its other perceived problems; the length is what makes it especially bad.
  • Jade Cocoon is a monster-raising RPG that is only about eight hours long. The length and its similarities to Pokemon, which came out around the same time are the two main criticisms it received in reviews.
  • This is the most common criticism (aside from its relative lack of difficulty) reviewers have against Chrono Trigger. The game is, maybe, fifteen hours if you do everything in a single playthrough.
  • When people compare installments within the Fallout series, this is generally the one factor held against the first game.
  • Not Fallout 4 itself, but the accompanying Automatron DLC provides a single new questline which can be run through in an hour or two, and maybe an hour more to unlock all the crafting schematics. You'll probably make up that time toying with your new customisable robot companions, though.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • One concern that many players had with Monster Hunter Generations during the first year since its release was the lack of G-rank — the tier of quests that comes after High Rank and is only added in Updated Rereleases of "vanilla" Monster Hunter games — particularly in the West which hasn't had a Monster Hunter game without G-rank since Monster Hunter tri- in 2010 (this is because the games without G-rank that were released during that period, Portabe 3rd and the original Monster Hunter 4, remained exclusive to Japan and Korea). Something of note is that a Monster Hunter file that reaches the end of High Rank usually has about 100-150 hours logged, with G-rank adding another hundred or so hours; the concern wasn't that "100 hours is too short for a game" so much as "we're so used to three tiers of quest difficulty that it feels weird having only two". The overseas Late Export for You of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, which does have G-rank, had aggravated this particular sore spot for much longer than necessary.
    • Monster Hunter: World ended up one-upping Generations in terms of feeling like an incomplete game, with only 31 large monsters at launch (to compare, Generations has 73 and Generations Ultimate has almost 100), once again a lack of G-rank (although this ignores the fact that no generation of Monster Hunter games has ever had G-rank in its first game), and barely any variety of monsters in its endgame. While more monsters have been added over time, it's still a comparatively small list, some of these monsters are Temporary Online Content, and some players accuse Capcom of artificially extending the life of the game and punishing those who bought the game early. The complaints were largely addressed with the release of the Iceborne expansion.
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga can be completed in around 12 hours, and even by JRPG standards is extremely linear with virtually no side areas outside of some post-game content. This is compounded by the game coming on 4 CD Roms.
  • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure got a lot of criticism on its release for being an RPG that lasts all of ten hours if you really, really dawdle. It was also brainlessly easy even on its highest difficulty setting. Still, it has its supporters simply because it's downright weird and practically unique (outside of Japan, anyway).
  • Rogue Galaxy can be completely in less than ten hours with lowest possible level.
  • In a mixture of "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny and this, Star Ocean can be seen as this. The game has about ≤12 hours worth of unskippable material - for a JRPG? That's actually a rather short game for genres where games are often 20-50 hours, with some games like Tales of Graces advertising 60-80 hours, and reports of people even putting as much as 300 hours into games like Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Dragon Quest VII, or Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. No wonder it had this criticism - even when the game was new and was a huge experiment for the SNES (however, it still was hampered by the fact that it is an Obvious Beta - it has a huge amount of Dummied Out content).
  • The original Suikoden is an unusual case: not only is it famous for being one of the shortest JRPGs of all time (at least, amongst the commonly known ones), but it's actually become a selling point for it. Then again, the means to obtain the Golden Ending are another story...
  • One of the criticisms leveled at Tales of the Tempest, also called "Tales of Ten Hours", though not the only one.
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera has been reported to be completeable with all sidequests in under 15 hours. Considering that the game it claims to be a Spiritual Successor to, Planescape: Torment, can easily last up to 50 hours plus, this has only added to the intense Broken Base regarding it.
  • X-Men: Destiny is an RPG that can be beaten in about five hours. As expected, it gets a lot of criticism for it.

    Shoot 'Em Ups 
  • Star Soldier R. With five minutes of gameplay in total for eight USD, the Wii Shop Channel even warns you about the length of the game when you go to buy it.
  • GameSpot gave Raiden Fighters Aces a 6.5., and bashed it for being "only an hour of gameplay." Even though it's $20. And it's three games.
  • Sigma Star Saga, being a shooter/RPG hybrid, is something of a strange case in that it is considered short both by RPG standards AND by shooter standards.
  • Gradius V is the game being talked about in the page quote. Gradius V is also considered to be unusually long for a shmup. That should tell you something about this and shoot 'em ups.
  • There are players who believe Gradius ReBirth's five stages are worth $10, due to ReBirth being pretty cheap for a new Gradius game when the past several iterations have been around $30.
  • The House of the Dead: OVERKILL gets complaints that it's only about four hours long, even though it's a rail shooter whose predecessors are in the 30-minute range.
  • This is a common complaint with Liberation Maiden, as it can easily be beaten under an hour or less. However, given the very cheap price tag, some people overlook the length due to it still being good after quite a few replays.
  • The Silent Scope series. Doesn't help that the home versions don't have a gun peripheral (except for the crappy one that came with Silent Scope Complete).
  • All of the Star Fox games (other than Adventures due to a Genre Shift) carry the same criticism noting their short lengths. Ironically, Star Fox: Assault receives the most flak for this, despite being ten missions long with repetition and objective shifts, whereas the more popular Star Fox 64 and the SNES game are seven and six missions respectivelynote , with only one on-rails segment in each. Star Fox Command is a bit more varied.

    Sports Games 
  • Mario Golf: Super Rush is criticized for having a short story mode that only features a single tournament, as well as its ranked multiplayer mode only taking place over just three holes even though all players go at once instead of taking turns like in conventional multiplayer golf games.
  • Message boards all around blare with the cries of fans of the Punch-Out!! series being angry with the new Wii installment only having thirteen opponents. And apparently, "Title Defense" mode does not count because they're just Recurring Bosses.
  • The Tony Hawk video-game franchise has been going downhill for a long time (no pun intended), many considering the beginning of the end to have been Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, whose single player could be beaten in about 2 hours the first time through, and replays of single-player (which you must do to unlock everything) could be completed by experienced players with 100% completion in under 30 minutes. The following game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, took an up-turn for the series, with 190 single-player goals, competitions, mini-games, and collectibles; finishing with 100% completion could take over 10 hours. After that brief return to (lengthy) glory, each game has been annoyingly short.

    Stealth Based Games 
  • Some Assassin's Creed fans have given Assassin's Creed: Revelations flack for this. Not only does it have the shortest single-player campaign in the main series, it also has far fewer sidequests than that of the previous two installments.
  • Dishonored gets some flak for taking around eight hours to complete at a normal pace. Some still consider it worth it due to feeling like a more advance "classical-style" stealth game, however.
  • Hideo Kojima specifically stated that the original Metal Gear Solid game was designed to be completed at a leisurely pace in about ten hours so that the people it was marketed towards (adults) would be able to work it into their busy schedules. The short length ended up being a frequent complaint about it and its sequel (although Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4 were somewhat longer). Complaints about shortness also extend to the level designs. For instance, Grozny Grad is supposed to be the prototype for Outer Heaven, a city-sized fortress. Yet, you only need to explore a section of it.
  • For Ground Zeroes, the prologue game to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, this was essentially the only major complaint raised against it. However, it was such an extreme case (being beatable within 2 hours) that despite being praised endlessly for its gameplay, story, voice acting, and visuals, it received some very mixed scores.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction was criticized for only being about five hours long, which was significantly shorter than the previous Splinter Cell games.

    Survival Horror 
  • One of the main criticisms of Dementium: The Ward is that it can be completed in about 5-7 hours, which actually is kinda short, even by survival horror standards. The sequel had similar criticisms, though it was slightly longer.
  • Silent Hill:
    • A reviewer for the U.S. PlayStation Magazine had this complaint about Silent Hill 3. The reviewer felt that the short game length indicated a lack of overall Character Development compared to Silent Hill and 2.
    • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, though one of the more well-liked Western developed entries in the franchise, has this as a critique in a handful of reviews. However, it wasn't even the shortest game in the series at the time, being beaten by Silent Hill: Origins and the aforementioned Silent Hill 3.
  • Resident Evil 3 (Remake) has received much flack for being significantly shorter and more linear than the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and for relying so heavily on the same engine and reuised assets from Resident Evil 2 (Remake) that they actually stripped out unique areas like the Clock Tower, Raccoon Park, and Dead Factory to avoid making new ones — most feel that for what it was it should have been DLC for the previous game rather than a full-priced release.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Alien Swarm is a freeware game that had only one campaign of 5 maps. While the game itself is fun to play, it would take an average player about an hour to complete all the levels and that's before the grind for experience points to level up and unlock better gear. By the time mods were being made for the game to make more maps, most of the player base had left. It wasn't until several years later where the game received a big update called Reactive Drop where the game gained several campaigns (some being from mods), new equipment, a PVP mode, and the ability to play with eight players/bots instead of the usual party of four.
  • Kane & Lynch: Dog Days can be easily completed in four hours.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus has only 6 areas in the game (in contrast to most other games in the series, which usually have at least 10 places to visit, and even then, that's a lower number than is common), and one of them is the tournament, which you only need to do part of to get the Jetpack. The other 5 are the size of a regular area in a Ratchet & Clank game. As a result, a first playthrough can be finished within 4 hours if you rush, with a regular playthrough being only a few hours longer than that. Most other games in the franchise can easily have double digits in the hours category.
  • Spec Ops: The Line is a critically acclaimed Deconstruction of military shooting war games in general. It's also highly criticized for being short, with playthrough on the normal difficulty only clocking around three and a half hours. Or six hours if one dies often or trying to collect all the collectibles and secrets (including several one-of-a-kind weapons that can't be found elsewhere in the game).
  • Uncharted:
    • A typical first runs of each game in the series take between 6 and 8 hours. Repeat runs take much less time to complete.
    • Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the PS Vita handheld gets the worst of this since it takes place in a single locale and can be completed in around 3 hours.
  • Vanquish was a critically acclaimed game and received high marks all around, but it was absolutely savaged for its short playtime, ranging from 4-6 hours. This trope was basically the reason it failed to garner 10s across the board.
  • The otherwise really quite good Freedom Fighters (2003) can be completed in about ten hours, or less once you work out the optimal order in which to carry out your objectives.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Likely the main reason why Sacred Stones is one of the least-remembered Fire Emblem games. It didn't help that it was also one of the easiest in the series.
  • While Fire Emblem: Three Houses as a whole isn't an example, the Crimson Flower route (in which the player joins the Black Eagles and sides with Edelgard against the Church of Seiros) is criticized for being significantly shorter than the other routes. Crimson Flower ends at Chapter 18, while the others go up to Chapter 21 or 22.

    Visual Novels 

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Assassin's Creed Rogue has been criticized for consisting of just six sequences and 25 missions. By contrast, its predecessor Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was 12 sequences and 43 missions long.
  • The length of Mafia II (2010) pales in comparison to its predecessor from 2002, and there is a fair amount of unused content within the game files. Swathes of content were cut just before release. Also, all three DLCs for the game are relatively short and made so cheaply they look like fan mods.