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Joystiq presents

DS Daily: There's no time

When we posted Amazon's deal on Star Fox Command last week, many of you commented that you hated the time limits in the game. This got us to wonder, though, how you felt about time limits in general.

There's no doubt that they're implemented in order to make games harder, but it's often frustrating when you lose because you've run out of time. Do you like the added pressure and challenge of a dwindling clock? Or, do you think a time limit is a cop out for developers who can't find another way to make their games challenging?

Also, are there any games worth mentioning that have laudable time limits? And, on the other side of the spectrum, are there any titles in which the time limits completely cripple the gameplay?

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)


4-19-2008 @ 11:29AM

Roto13 said...

Shinobi would have been so much more fun without the time limit.


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4-19-2008 @ 11:57AM

Roman said...

I pretty much hate time limits across the board.

I'm a take-your-time and be-strategic gamer.

This is what has me worried about The World End With You. It sounds like time limits abound.


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4-19-2008 @ 1:27PM

Quincy said...

Characters in The World Ends With You talk about time limits, but really there aren't any.

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Gewurztraminer says: R.O.B. is the last Cylon!4

Usually time limits aggravate me. Along with "protect person 'x' scenarios.

There are some time limits, however, that make sense to have in the game, such as for Smash Bros matches, even though that is a different type of time limit.

And, there are other time limits that just make absolutely no sense whatsoever, such as the 10 minute time limit in the early Sonic games. It rarely affected me, and never bothered me when it did, but I still just didn't understand it's purpose.


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4-19-2008 @ 10:24PM

Eleniel said...

Yay, glad I'm not the only one who hates escort quests.

And yeah, what's the point of having a ridiculously long time limit on anything?

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4-19-2008 @ 11:32PM

Aparoid said...

Escorts/defenses are the WORST. I also generally hate underwater/dark levels.

Time limits can get annoying, but it depends on the game. SFC's time limits have never been a problem for me, though

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4-19-2008 @ 12:18PM

Tom said...

Meh. Time limits have never really crippled games for me. For example with SFC, I can't recall a single incident wher I lost due to time, and PH was more challenging as a result. But some games where you're life is constantly being drained are made less fun, because you're focusing more on trying to live than admiring the game. So there's a limit to how much you can make a game time-based.


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4-19-2008 @ 12:38PM

Crazylink said...

Majora's Mask did time limits right. You always had enough time to do at least what you needed to do.


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The Rover9

4-19-2008 @ 1:32PM

The Rover said...

Time limits in games are an interesting subject. I don't know whether or not anyone has played Contra 4 (i presume you have), once you unlock the Challenge mode a number of the challenges require you to rush to the end of the stage before time runs out.

I mention this because the shear frustration of narrowly missing the time limit by a few seconds on what seems like thousands of times has led me to no longer want to play the game. I feel like there is no possible way to do the stage any quicker than what i am doing. Arggghhh!

I'll name te Challenge in case anyone can offer advice, it's Speed Run 3.


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4-19-2008 @ 2:06PM

Sakura3210 said...

Time limits annoy the hell out of me, although I didn't realize how badly until Phantom Hourglass. Still haven't finished the game because of that damn Ocean King temple.


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4-19-2008 @ 3:15PM

Puddles said...

I'm not a fan of time limits in general, but I found the challenge level in Phantom Hourglass to be perfect. The ocean king temple was hard at times, but not excessively so. I wouldn't change anything about that game.

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4-19-2008 @ 3:14PM

bentendo said...

Time limits have their place, but for the most part I'd rather not have them.

I don't mind games that have time limits for certain story-related sections of the game (the time limit in Phantom Hourglass was fine, IMO). In the same way, I'm ok with minigames with time limits.

OTOH, I've always thought it was kind of silly to have time limits in games like Super Mario (Bros, World, etc.) - I mean, what point does the mechanic serve?


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Mr Khan13

4-19-2008 @ 3:37PM

Mr Khan said...

I'm roundly opposed to time limits as well, I can usually see their purpose, but I don't like playing games under pressure to make a decision, and make one quickly

It turned me off of Majora's Mask completely until a was compelled by the gloriously deep NPC side-stories, and it always kept me on edge in StarFox Command. Phantom Hourglass was hit-and-miss, sometimes the pressure was too much to bear, other times it was quite easy


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4-19-2008 @ 3:39PM

CPFace said...

I hate time limits as a general rule, and by extension, racing games or racing challenges. I'm bad enough at video games where I get all the time I need to figure out how to win; I don't need the added pressure of a time limit.

However, I'm one of the few who didn't especially mind the time limit in Pikmin. You don't have to be especially good at the game to rescue Olimar in the 30 day time limit -- I even managed to beat the last boss on my first run through the game.

And, of course, there's the Wario Ware games and Point Blank -- just wouldn't be the same without the time limit.


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4-19-2008 @ 4:33PM

Jenni said...

Time limits are the bane of my existence.

Especially in Final Fantasy games. Anytime I'd see a timer, my heart would skip into overdrive and my nerves would stand on end.

Back when FFVIII was fresh and new, my boyfriend at the time liked to be around during timed segments, so he could poke and antagonize me during the crucial moments.


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4-19-2008 @ 5:05PM

rainking187 said...

I don't like it when they don't make it obvious. I was playing some game last week and all of a sudden I get a "Time's Up!" message. I'm just sitting there like "Huh? There was a time limit?"


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4-19-2008 @ 7:34PM

Dio said...

Where can I get the hourglass in the picture?


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4-19-2008 @ 10:21PM

Eleniel said...

I hate time limits with a passion. I'm the type of person who likes to take her sweet time. A good example of this is Smash: I tend to bide my time and build up damage, then go for the KO. I pretty much exclusively play stock matches.

The temple of the Ocean King in Phantom Hourglass stressed me to no end.

The shining exception to this rule is Majora's Mask, wherein the time limit actually makes the story and much of the game play and game world work. Also with songs that slow down time and allow you to jump forward, time actually becomes a manageable resource rather than something to race against.


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4-20-2008 @ 2:30AM

angelbabe531 said...

I'd prefer not to have them, but they're usually tolerable. Majora's Mask worked great, as did Chibi-Robo. Pikmin's time limit annoyed me a bit but it still worked, glad they changed it in part 2. The only one I really hated was in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. It became unplayable!!! The chores took way too much time, leaving only a few minutes to do side stuff.


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Gewurztraminer says: R.O.B. is the last Cylon!20

A lot of people mention that Majora's Mask actually works well with it's time limit mechanic. Good to know. That was always the reason I avoided the game.

If/when it comes out on VC I might actually try it.
If I can stomach Tingle.


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