Look at Capcom [...] Or how about Konami [...] The less said of Square-Enix, the better... I guess Nintendo's doing okay
I'd also agree that *mainstream* Japanese developers have been dropping the ball lately, as well, while American and Western developers seem to be thriving. While the Japanese may have taken the auto market from us, it seems like we've taken the video game market from them.
Sure, a 100 hours quest for $20 sounds good, but how many of those 100 hours are actually worthwhile gameplay. These days, give me the 3-4 hour 8 and 16 bit games, and have the 3-4 hours be all gameplay.
Developers put a lot of padding in their games, just to make you feel like you're getting your money's worth.
I'm not a big fan of running around a wide open, expansive world, just trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. I'm interested in playing a game, not substituting virtual life for real life. (On the other hand, if someone created a video game that was essentially walking around virtual constructs of real life locations, updated by the minute via internet, I could actually get behind that. Being able to walk around a virtual construct of, say, New York City, from my living room chair would be interesting, especially if I was planning a trip to go there. Something like that might actually prove useful. I'm banking on Google developing something like that).
Simple side-scrolling games, there's absolutely no down time, because you're just supposed to go from point A to point B. Your path is laid out before you, all you have to do is cover it.
There's plenty of instances in which, if they hadn't spent so much time on bonus rounds and the like, they could've done a better job fleshing out the main game.
No specific examples come to mind, but I have experienced such a scenario from time to time.
Aside from that, I probably will end up sinking 60 hours into Xenoblade after I start playing it, but that will be because it's the only game left that I'll have to play at the time. And I'm expecting it to be good, after all the press I've heard about it.