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Games that are better the second time

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BonsaiForest This tiny forest is where all the action is! from The woods
This tiny forest is where all the action is!
Sep 21st 2010 at 12:47:59 PM

With video games being about long quests and stories more often, and less about replay, there's a certain "play game, beat game, toss game" mentality that we didn't have in my day. But with some of today's games, I'm noticing that I enjoy them more the second time through than the first.

It could be because the first time, I was more concentrated on beating the game and didn't take the time to explore and enjoy myself in its world. It could be because the first time, I got lost at points and didn't know what to do, but I didn't have that problem the second time. Sometimes it's because the game wasn't as good as I expected, so I was disappointed the first time, but I could enjoy it more during a second playthrough because I no longer had Hype Backlash.

For whatever reason, some games were just better the second time through. Sure, the surprise is gone and there's no longer anything unexpected (unless the game has lots of hidden areas/surprises), but much like with a book, sometimes with a game you don't really appreciate it until the second time through.

Anyone have that experience with specific games?

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NotSoBadassLongcoat The Showrunner of Dzwiedz 24 from People's Democratic Republic of Badassia
The Showrunner of Dzwiedz 24
Sep 21st 2010 at 2:01:05 PM

Alpha Protocol is one - I started the second playthrough TWO WEEKS after beating the game for the first time, and that's very fast for me. Other games usually lie around for a year or more before I get to play them again (like Fallout Tactics - first time, I went the "MOAR DAKKA" route, second time I went for Video Game Cruelty Potential and studied the paths of NP Cs so I could plant mines there, not mentioning loading sleeping NP Cs with ticking TNT).

"Alice in Wonderland was about a chick getting high as fucking balls on a Hunter S. Thompson type list of drugs." - Mark Von Lewis
Marioguy128 Geomancer from various galaxies
Sep 21st 2010 at 3:22:00 PM

Iji. When I found out about the pacifist run, I played through it and it was more satisfying than a beserker run.

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CaptainNapalm Totally Not a Schoolboy from a closet.
Totally Not a Schoolboy
Sep 21st 2010 at 5:46:57 PM

MOTHER 3, but that's mostly because my first run was in Japanese and I was oblivious to all of the bonus items and sidebosses...

Let's play a game about Pokémon...
Sep 21st 2010 at 6:17:55 PM

For me this is pretty much true for any game that has a lot of freedom. I always find things that I didn't on my first playthrough.

Exaggeration17A CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED from the castle in the swamp
Sep 21st 2010 at 6:47:52 PM

^ This.

A couple of examples in my case are TES IV: Oblivion and both Mass Effect games. The first time through, I find myself going through the game as quickly as possible because I want to know how the main quest storyline gets resolved. By the time I'm finished doing that, I have an overpowered character who can chew up every last side quest and spit it out... not particularly fun (usually). So, my second character is the one who winds up doing all the extra stuff, and I don't find myself rushing to get through anything.

Logged: The commanding officer is aboard. XO Pressley stands relieved.
Deathonabun Bunny from the bedroom
Sep 21st 2010 at 7:28:03 PM

There are some games where you really don't notice all the little clues and foreshadowing until later. The Tales Series is very good at this.

The World Ends With You is pretty awesome second run through as well.

Oh and slightly related: Assassin's Creed 2 is much more awesome if you take the time to go through the glyphs and understand the metaplot.

edited 21st Sep '10 7:31:53 PM by Deathonabun

One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
JAF1970 Jonah Falcon from New York
Jonah Falcon
Sep 21st 2010 at 7:39:22 PM

I'm finding that Halo Reach is even better the second time, because you know what everything is spiraling to, and makes the opening shot of the helmet much more poignant knowing it's yours.

Jonah Falcon
Sep 21st 2010 at 7:52:09 PM

Metroid Prime. I've missed so many scans, missile expansions, and energy tanks. My first (and only) playthrough is 78% completion.

Aleclom The Fastest Man Alive from Chicago
The Fastest Man Alive
Sep 21st 2010 at 7:56:39 PM

That goes for pretty much any Metroid game for me. The first time through I always miss stuff because a lot of my attention is focused on exploring all the new stuff in the game. After that, once I know what to expect, I can go through and explore every nook and cranny.

JackMackerel from SOME OBSCURE MEDIA
Sep 22nd 2010 at 12:22:32 AM

Jagged Alliance 2. I'm still going the "battalion of thirty systematically invade Arulco one by one", but sooner or later, I'm going to send in three man teams of nothing but snipers, spotters/mortar-ists, and medics.

Half-Life: Dual Nature, a crossover story of reasonably sized proportions.
joerc45 from Fortress of Solitude Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Sep 24th 2010 at 10:31:51 PM

^x7 True, so true.

edited 24th Sep '10 10:32:36 PM by joerc45

Teacher's pet.: Pillars of Moral Character.
Sep 24th 2010 at 11:17:07 PM

Cave Story, due to the completely different ending, weapon choices, and plot.

napoftheearth from
Sep 28th 2010 at 8:24:50 AM

For the most part any Sim game or RTS is better the second time. The first time is when you realize all the stupid mistakes you made along the way. The second time you get to apply what you learned. Unless the game is really good, all other times afterwards quickly diminish in value since you are basically doing the same things again.

TommyX from Atluff
Sep 28th 2010 at 9:45:48 AM

When I played the first Paper Mario, I was comparing it to TTYD the whole time. Later playthroughs made me enjoy it more.

AddyThePawnSlayer Caissa's DeathAngel from Glasgow
Caissa's DeathAngel
Sep 28th 2010 at 12:29:18 PM

In Famous, because I understood the mechanics and the story and was able to take better advantage of them for my own amusement.

Would you kill your best friend, can you save yourself?
FreezairForALimitedTime Responsible adult from Planet Claire
Responsible adult
Sep 28th 2010 at 12:32:23 PM

Obscure one, but: Survival Kids. Once you have a better idea of how the game works, how to best put your time to use, and how to get certain very helpful things earlier (like the bow and arrow and pet monkey), you get to Min Max later playthroughs and figure out how to get precisely the ending you want.

"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Sep 28th 2010 at 1:38:45 PM

I hated Final Fantasy IX the first time I played. It kept getting built up as a return to the games of old and some sort of successor to Final Fantasy VI. What I got was a game I felt thought "medieval setting" was all they needed, a cast of characters mostly side-lined for one really obnoxious character, and rather superficial gameplay.

The art style never bothered me, though.

On repeat plays when I didn't play it with the wrong expectations, I've actually enjoyed it. But I still hate, hate, HATE Garnet and the last time I played it, I was struck by what a waste of a good character she was - she starts off rather smart, well-read, and extremely capable of turning bad situations into opportunities and breaks some stereotypes, before plummeting straight into the idiot naive princess trope after leaving Alexandria and never really getting out of it.

Neo_Crimson Your army sucks. from behind your lines.
Your army sucks.
Sep 28th 2010 at 3:50:42 PM

Any Tales Of game with New Game+.

10xExp modifier go!

edited 28th Sep '10 3:51:00 PM by Neo_Crimson

Sorry, I can't hear you from my FLYING METAL BOX!
Slashes-With-Claws Lizard of War from Black Marsh
Lizard of War
Sep 29th 2010 at 9:10:29 AM

Happens a lot for me with RP Gs such as The Elder Scrolls series and Fallout 3. First time through I am still getting used to the game system, but second time through I know how to play well so can pay more attention to just having fun.

Mary had a little lamb... but I ate it.
KylerThatch literary masochist
literary masochist
Sep 29th 2010 at 9:41:06 AM

Pretty much any game with decent customization (character classes, skill selection, stat options, etc). Sure, the game's done and I know the whole plot, but I just have to go back and try some other strategy and see how well it works compared to my first one. Or go for an ineffectual but hilariously silly build.

Sometimes it's not even at the end of the game.

This "faculty lot" you speak of sounds like a place of great power...
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