The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2016!

  • The Last Guardian isn't in my top 5, but I'm surprised it is only #8.

  • I didn't include The Last Guardian in my list because I still have to finish it so I haven't got a full opinion of the game yet. I think I'm about halfway through and my feelings towards the game are mixed at the moment. There is some great stuff in there, some true wow moments and Trico as a creature is fun to interact with even when it is not doing exactly what you want it to.

    BUUUUUUUUT one of the things I had to do when I last played it (spoilers for a shitty "puzzle" in this next bit) was throw barrels onto ramped slopes, jump over and grab them before they dropped into a ditch forcing me to go back to the first ramp. That crap was archaic ten years ago and the long dev cycle for the game does not really justify it being in there.

    So at the moment it is a mixed bag of a game but I'm hoping there is something towards the end of the game that turns me around.

  • @jipostus Exactly. And the thing I love about Pokemon games is that they're RPGs I don't have to learn everything new from scratch. Even with new and welcome additions, I know the general premise and I know the battle system. In a strange way I feel about it as I do Grand Theft Auto, it's like an old jumper but it always makes feel warm and cosy inside.

  • I want to play The Last Guardian so badly. Whatever day I fly home, first thing I'm doing is running into a store, getting a PS4 Pro and TLG.

    Once I complete it, I'll talk to my family :D

  • I have the same feeling about Pokemon as a couple other people here. I played the first 2 when they first came out and I was young and loved them but kinda got burnt out past that. 3rd gen just lost some of that magic for me and I haven't played any on the DS or 3DS since I don't own them. Its cool to see that they keep making them, they are getting better, and people like them but for me its a franchise that I've played enough and are perfectly happy with skipping unless there is a serious overhaul to the gameplay.

    Haven't played The Last Guardian yet but want to some day.

    I'm starting to wonder if I'll see any of my other votes show up.

  • Cool Last Guardian is top 10. I'm thinking a few of my other votes are coming up soon.

  • I didn't play TLG but I did watch my partner play, so I totally understand why it is on the list and also why it is only #8. I didn't feel right voting for it having not played it personally. I liked it a lot but my partner experienced a lot of control issues and didn't enjoy it as much. It's a beautiful game though!

  • Ah yes, The Last Guardian.

    E3 2015. Sony's Press Conference begins with the stunning announcement that the Last Guardian is real. See! That's actual gameplay! Everyone is amazed at its presentation. 2016 flashes on screen. People are hyped. Myself included.

    So hyped from that show was I, I felt like I wanted to give the game a shot. But before I do so, I wanted context about why Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are so beloved.

    I bought them. I played them. I hated them.

    The controls are perhaps the most frustrating experience I've ever had from a gameplay perspective.

    I hate Yorda for being nothing more than a vehicle of an entire game disguised as an escort mission.
    I hate Ico for being intentionally designed to be clumsy and difficult to control.
    I hate Argo for being the single most aggravating horse EVER (So much so I was happy for the bit on the way to the final Colossus. For those that have played the game, you know what I'm talking about).

    So, when I heard the Last Guardian has the same (in concept) control scheme, I immediately vowed to never play it. It doesn't matter what kind of story you have if getting through it is like extracting splinters from underneath your fingernails.

    While the Last Guardian winning the EZA GOTY was... surprising, it wasn't all that shocking.

    But despite all of this, allow me to make one thing perfectly clear: Despite all that you just read, I AM happy to see it resonate with so many people. It's just a game that, with its predecessor's lineage, there's no way I'm putting myself through so much headache.

  • I love all the Team Ico games and I've been enjoying Last Guardian quite a bit too. I still haven't finished it, as I can't really sit down and power through these types of games usually.

    This game isn't perfect.. I've been having some control and camera issues that can be pretty frustrating (even more so than I remember from the past games) but its still an incredible experience. Trico really is the most realistic animal I've ever seen in a game and it feels like you're actually forming a bond with it.

    At this point, its hard to say how highly I would have rated it had I played more games from 2016 though

  • I really enjoyed Pokemon Sun, it felt very refreshing compared to X. The quality-of-life improvements are very welcome, a lot of the new Pokemon have great designs, and the game as a whole has a unique vibe.

    Yet I can't help but feel they could have been even more bold. The story is good by Pokemon standards, but that's not saying much. Like Brandon said, it would be great to fight actual bosses, one super tough monster that requires your entire team to take down. They sort of went in that direction with the Totem battles, but it feels they could push it further. As enjoyable as these games are, they still lack a sense of "epicness" that RPGs are usually great at delivering. I understand the reasoning that the game is meant to be accessible to everyone, especially kids, but hell, as a kid I loved nothing more than epic adventures and battles!

    I haven't touched the post-game content yet but as far as I understand, it's nothing groundbreaking.

    As for The Last Guardian, I will definitely get it one of these days, but I'm seriously turned off by all the controls and AI annoyances I keep reading about, so I'll probably wait for a significant sale.

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

    #7. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - 26 points


    #1: 2 (Exist 2 Inspire, Axel)
    #2: 2 (Brandon_Reister, Sentinel Beach)
    #3: 2 (Jak, FutureCorpse)
    #4: 1 (GoTaco)
    #5: 0


    Release date: August 23 [US/EU]
    Developer: Eidos Montréal
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Genre: Action role-playing, First-person shooter, Stealth
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, OS X


    EZA Review

  • This is higher than I anticipated. I didn't actually played it, but from everything that I've seen, this has a big NOPE written all over it. I hope people who voted for it will elaborate why it appealed to them so much.

  • Deus Ex: Opinions Divided?

  • It's a good game ruined by Squeenix's forced add-ons, like multiplayer and Microtransactions. And the story is not complete, and it was supposed to go on, but because this one didn't do nearly as well, it might take several years before we see the story continued, as they announced the Hiatus of Deus Ex along with the Marvel deal, or perhaps we won't see the story finished ever.

  • @Brannox said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2016! (Countdown):

    I hate Argo for being the single most aggravating horse EVER (So much so I was happy for the bit on the way to the final Colossus. For those that have played the game, you know what I'm talking about)

    I could not agree more! I played this for the first time myself in the last month and despised that horse more than I've despised any other creature.
    That being said I actually did really enjoy the game and look back at it fondly. I haven't played Ico but I am very interested in checking out it and The Last Guardian one day.

  • For Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, on its surface, is something that would appeal to me, but I passed on it for several reasons. However, I feel it didn't get enough GOTY talk last year, and I'm happy to see it place in the top 10 here. It seems like a really good game.

  • Mankind Divided is a really immersive game, I ended up playing it for hours every time I sat down with it. The atmosphere in general throughout the game is just something that really speaks to me, there's a wonderful sense of intensity always looming there, ready to strike. The freedom of choice is there both in actions and in the dialogue very well done, and especially some of those speech challenges felt always really satisfying to complete. Side missions were also great and those, too, had different outcomes, if so chosen. And I like Jensen, he's a good character.

    It is really a shame, that the story ended so abruptly, that's my biggest negative of the game. I could have gone on for so much more. And now there's a chance of maybe never having a pay-off. :/

    Personally I didn't even try out the multiplayer mode (thought it was a challenge mode of some sort?) or didn't even notice the microtransactions. I read about that complaint at one point, but couldn't find them anywhere in the options. Found out later that they were somewhere in the main menu. So yeah, didn't bother me.

  • Global Moderator

    When this list had its deadline I still hadnt played too much The Last Guardian, so I didnt feel like it was right by me to put it on my list. Im kinda glad I didnt put it on. I mean I like it and I find Trico to be AMAZING, but at the same time I felt really annoyed by the controller and the puzzles. To be fair, Im thinking of playing through it again when I know the puzzles a bit better and see if it helps haha.

  • Honestly, I haven't played many games in 2016, but I really enjoyed Mankind Divided (even with the PS4's sluggish menu). Some quests drove me to frustration with not so obvious goals in how to properly complete them such as the cult mission, but in the end, the game really brings you into it's world. It does 1st person immersion very well in the sense that everything has a size and scale to it, the world feels lived in, and you do not feel like you're so important over everybody else there. The first mission has you attempting to get around a police blockade and even by using force, you don't necessarily get by with ease.

    I recently started The Witcher III (finally) and as a huge fan of TW1 and TW2, I find that 3 didn't exactly need an open world and that the open design doesn't exactly lend itself well to the type of game that is TW3. Whereas, in Deus Ex, the world felt like the perfect size as well as a great mixture of linear and open areas. I especially admire how many tunnels connect into apartments and apartments connect to baloney's, each with their own personality.

    Shooting and stealth are certainly flawed but I really like being inside this game world.

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was my personal GOTY so I'm glad it made it this high, I was actually worried it would end up much lower given the lack of hype this game receives from the "EZA Universe".

    @Sentinel-Beach and @GoTaco put it perfectly, what makes this game is the amazing sense of immersion, how believable and relatable the world feels.

    Bonus points for it being set in futuristic Prague, where I've lived for several years. It was fun for me to hear and read Czech all around me, recognize a couple landmarks, and just generally see how they kept the current architectural style of the city while merging it with this very distinct Deus Ex cyberpunk style.

    The side-quests were a particular highlight for me, they are few in numbers but each of them can take about an hour to complete. The choices offered by these quests, both in terms of narrative and gameplay are absolutely astounding, and I even reloaded my save a few times after completing a quest and later finding out I could have done things differently.

    This game rewards exploration like very few others even dream of. And by reward I don't mean pointless collectibles, I mean valuable narrative bits, loot, intel, and so on. Every locked apartment or storage room not only contains something for you to pick up, but also tells its own story.

    Here's an anecdote that for me embodies what this game is about, also mild spoilers:

    Early on in the game, my boss Miller kept calling me to report to the office, but I was too busy exploring the city to bother with the main quest at this point. As a player I hadn't even met this guy yet so I didn't even know whether he was an important character or not. I set my sights on a residential building and tried to break in multiple apartments. Some required me to hack the front door, others I managed to enter by jumping from balcony to balcony and finding an open window. Many were connected to one another by air vents, but some of those were obstructed by electricity or placed too high for me to reach. Moving the fridge allowed me to climb up and access them.

    Eventually I found myself in a very, very fancy place, and started snooping. I stole everything I could, even finding a secret hatch in the floor which revealed a safe. As I looked around, I could tell that whoever lived here was a fitness and sport buff, there were magazines about hiking, cycling, a punching bag... Oh, and family pictures! Hmm, two men, and a child? Oh, a gay couple apparently, cool cool! As traditions demands in Deus Ex, I also had to read this person's emails. I managed to hack the laptop, to find that it belonged to... Jim Miller! Damn, I'm in my boss's apartment, and he's waiting for me to show up at the office... His emails revealed he was actually going through a divorce with his husband (confirming what I had figured out by looking at the family pictures), and it was not going well, their adoptive daughter's custody being in question. I now felt empathy for the guy, the guy I still hadn't met! I left and respectfully closed the door behind me, Huber-style.

    When I eventually went to talk to him, I felt like I already knew him. And when he acted like a dick to me, I didn't take it personally because I knew he was going through a rough patch. Later on, you catch him on the phone arguing with someone. You can ask him what's going on and he refuses to tell you, it's a personal matter. But I knew what it was about. I found that incredible, and I think you can count games that offer this sort of experience on one hand.

    So that ended up being a looong post but I hope this explains why I loved this game and why in the end, it doesn't matter to me that the main story was obviously cut short. That's not the story that matters most.