I'm not sure what low UID's have to do with anything. I can be just as stupid as anyone here, I promise =)
I think you're misunderstanding me. My argument isn't that games used to be shorter. It's that they weren't artificially longer like they are now, and I believe strategy guides, GameFAQs, etc. are to blame. There are very few "secrets" baked into a game anymore, and if some special item is hidden, there's little to no chance you'll find it without the aid of some guide.
Contrast this with the 8-bit Zelda games, where it was entirely possibly to find everything in a game without the aid of any guide, simply because strategy guides were not mass-produced and pushed out at game launch like they are now.
So when I see a