Games for gaming all summer long

With big releases coming closer to the holiday season, summer is more of a drought period for new video games.

But this doesn’t mean there’s nothing to occupy your time once the novelty of having nothing to do wears off.

The Oracle found several games on popular systems that take up days of time and boast infinite replay value, making sure you keep your fingers busy mashing buttons all summer.


Playstation 2 and Playstation 3 games are known for their lengthy Role-playing games (RPG), like the “Final Fantasy” series. Each game can take weeks to complete – even with non-stop dedication.

“Final Fantasy XIII,” the most recent release, has a reported 50 to 60 hours of storyline, and that’s not even the longest of the series. “Final Fantasy VII,” arguably the most popular, had more than 100 hours of game play.

If you’re looking for a continued storyline, dive into one of the “Final Fantasy” games.

The “Disgaea” games – most notably the second and third of the series – are some of the longest games ever created. The second advertised more than 100 hours of game play. Unfortunately, while the game is good, its length may be too much to handle, and many users will probably be bored before they’ve completed all the side quests.

This is why games with re-playability generally have more to offer, including a refreshing variety of game play.

“Little Big Planet” holds great replay value. It offers basic levels, but it also allows players to build their own. Build mode goes into great detail – allowing users to feel like a game designer – and covers options like obstacles, lighting and music. The game can never get old.

But if you’re looking for a game with a substantial story and replay value, new release “Heavy Rain” offers both.

The game follows four characters and changes based on users’ choices and dialogue. To mirror real-life tragedy, if one of your characters dies, they have no extra lives and the story carries on without them. The player is also asked to make difficult decisions that change the ending, as well as the way you get to it.

Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is known for its online community, allowing most games to keep you busy for any length of time. Most Xbox 360 games also require significant time and effort to reach all of its built-in achievements online.

Some even have replay value beyond that.

“Mass Effect 1” and “Mass Effect 2” change depending on different routes the player takes through conversations. Aside from choosing male or female, players can develop a character that is more demanding and hard-hearted, or one who is compassionate.

Different relationships with other characters also develop. In “Mass Effect 2,” which was recently released, players’ choices in the game will decide which characters are alive or dead at the end of the story.

“Fallout 3,” a similar game released for both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, follows the trend of “good and evil” games, meaning your character is generally one or the other based on the choices you make.

“Oblivion” is said to have more than 200 hours of game play, thanks to the Xbox 360’s downloadable content. What keeps the game more interesting than others of its length is the amount of items and gear there is to find and use to customize your character.

Games like “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero: World Tour” also offer extensive downloadable content and are great for multiplayer.


Nintendo games are notorious for replay value, since most are meant to be played with other people. Nearly any game will keep you occupied as long as you have friends to play with.

Recommended multiplayer games are “Mario Party,” “Mario Kart” or “Super Smash Brothers.” For the sports inclined – or those who like to pretend they’re in shape – “Wii Sports” is a great party game, especially when it’s too hot to go outside. Try setting up an indoor-tennis tournament.

More substantial, lengthy games do exist, however. If you’re looking for the traditional Nintendo feel, then “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” is a must. There are nine levels, known as dungeons, and more than 70 hours of game play. For a traditional RPG, play “Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.” The game hasn’t received much publicity, but if you’re someone who wishes “Final Fantasy” games existed for the Wii, it’s worth checking out.


“World of Warcraft” is really the never-ending, unbeatable game, which is why so many players often find themselves addicted.

It allows online interaction and ultimately encourages players to create an entire life for their characters – complete with a job. Even when players are offline, the world is always changing and game play session is never the same. This online phenomenon is sure to keep you occupied all summer, but beware, you may never be able to quit.

“Sims 2” and “Sims 3” are also completely customizable and allow players to create and control a world within their game. “Sims” games are also known for their expansion packs that offer new options for players who are getting bored with their available choices.

As far as value for your money, “The Orange Box” offers three games for the price of one: “Portal,” “Half Life 2” and “Team Fortress 2.” Though the individual games are short, the entire package will keep you entertained for at least a month – not including the online multiplayer hours you can put in on “Team Fortress 2.”

If all else fails, never underestimate the power and replay value of classic games. By their very programming, “Minesweeper” and “Tetris” don’t play the same way twice and are a great way to fill in those moments of boredom that many students find over break.