The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2018!



  • Suuuuch a good racing game! I was a huge fan of Need for Speed for such a long time, and never really got into the more "simulation" heavy racing games like Forza or Gran Turismo. I largely ignored the Forza franchise, even with the release of the Horizon games, and it wasn't until Forza Horizon 2 came out for free with an Xbox membership that I gave it a chance. I was quickly enamored, and after seeing the gameplay of Horizon 4, I decided I was all in and purchased the game at launch. Needless to say, Bloodworth's review was spot on, and now I am a true believer in Forza! What a dynamic and genuinely fun racing experience! I am a sucker for customization, and that coupled with the more arcade style of racing (compared to normal Forza games) and the beautiful and varied tracks, I can say I am fully invested. Horizon 4 strikes that perfect balance between realism and arcade fun. If you've been toying with the idea of playing it, I highly recommend giving it a chance.



  • Forza Horizon 4 is one of the best games released this year. It’s incredibly well made with a tonne to see and do and innovation out of the wazzoo. In some universe it rightly picked up several GOTYs.



  • I wish i had an Xbox or a good PC, i would eat this game up and never let go. Nothing else compares to the Horizon series these days, judging from all the gameplay i have seen. It's hard not to say that the devs truly care about the series, so it's not a surprise that they'll end up making something like this.



  • Honestly Horizon 4 is probably the closest game in ages to scratch my Burnout/NFS itch.
    Also the soundtrack doesn't mute itself during races (Why do you do that Codemasters?)



  • I really loved Xenoblade 2 and Torna is even better in a lot of ways. I thought the story and characters were fantastic and I also preferred the combat over the original.

    It would have easily been in my top 4 if it wasn't for the community levels. Being forced to level it up in order to continue the story was a real pain in the ass.


  • Global Moderator

    Horizon 4 almost made me go out and buy a xbox, I mean how good doesnt that game look!?

    I've always liked racing games and I used to play one of the early forza games on my original xbox back in the day.


  • Global Moderator

    This is an interesting contrast for me.

    Astro Bot Rescue Mission is genuinely a fantastic game. I hope more people get to check it out in future as for me it is pretty much perfect in what it sets out to do with that style of platformer. Linear levels with everything you have to collect being important (bots for the main mission and Chameleons for bonus levels). The game continues to innovate and be creative and it really only gets better. The boss fights in particular are just so much fun. And the bonus challenge levels are super fun and scratch that itch for people looking for more difficulty. I'm just going to say it even though I'm sure people will think I'm talking nonsense. This game is everything I wanted Super Mario Odyssey to be. Astro Bot absolutely delivers

    And to contrast that...

    Forza Horizon 4, I have really mixed feelings on this game. The E3 presentation was the best thing MS showed for me. The demo was very impressive and then I started to play the game fully. Initially I was having a very good time, it looks stunning and feels great. I really liked that you progress through the seasons, finishing with an exhibition race.
    However the more I played the more I just felt like I was being overwhelmed with things to do that didn't really seem worth doing. You're just constantly unlocking more races and more speed traps, jumps, etc but I didn't really see to what goal. Then it just started feeling fake to me, the exhibition races always seemed to just lead to the perfect moments no matter how good or bad you were doing.
    The most disappointing thing was the job type missions. I went straight to Stunt-driver hoping it'd be something like the game Stuntman but it was nothing like that. Mostly just drive here really fast or do a jump from the 5 missions I did.
    So once I did complete the Horizon festival and unlocked all the seasons so that they change every two weeks, I just never really felt any motivation to go back.
    It's weird as I think the core of the game is fantastic but I just found the whole thing to be very hollow



  • @lotias
    Honestly it's kinda the game that made me get mine, along with the other Horizon games.
    I just love I can go back and forth between Street, Circut, off road and what not with relative ease



  • I loved this game but didn't have any incentive to keep playing because the multiplayer was so botched and once you beat the SP races, it starts to feel samey. Its no GT Sport but I love its mix of arcade and sim.

    I essentially spent $170 on this game between the game and the Xbox controller for it. No regrets.

    EDIT:

    I echo @tokeeffe9 thoughts on FH4. I think he says it better than I did in my original post here. The reason its one of my Honourable Mentions is that when I was transfixed to the game, I felt some of the highest highs I've felt in gaming in a long time. This game feels like a serious rush of adrenaline when you first play it. Headphones, controller in hand, 60fps @ 1440p with the lights off, drum n bass music thumping over the engine. It's truly unreal. But the falloff I had with it is basically what Tok says. It happened after maybe 20h or less so I got my monies worth but I lost sight of any goal and once you have driven the map and unlocked a bunch of cars, I don't see the point in beating AI when we could be racing online.



  • Octopath Traveler

    #15. Octopath Traveler - 15 points

    Votes

    #1: 1 (Axel)
    #2: 0
    #3: 3 (Shoulderguy, Sheria, Danjin44)
    #4: 0
    HM: 1 (MiserablePerson)

    Information

    Release date: July 13 [US/EU]
    Developer: Square Enix Business Division 11, Acquire
    Publisher: Square Enix, Nintendo
    Genre: Role-playing
    Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    EZA Review



  • Well my hopes seem to be gone for my GOTY, it's ok Valkyria Chronciles 4, I still love you even if nobody else does, you were a shining light in a year of with nothing much else interesting happening with JRPGs (yes very much firing shots at what I consider a bunch of not interesting titles).



  • Now that we have a Switch, I need to grab and plunk down time in this. So much there that is right up my alley.



  • Late, but my two cents. Ni no Kuni 2 kinda sucked. The characters didn't have as much depth as the ones in the first game, the story wasn't as interesting, it was too easy, and a ton of the music was just recycled from the first game.

    In a vacuum, I guess it's ok, but I really loved the first game, so this was the biggest disappointment to me this year.



  • Octopath Traveler is one of the coolest looking games I've ever seen. Sadly, with it being a Switch exclusive, I'm not able to play it. The Switch needs to have more to entice me to purchase it, and one game isn't enough. The battle system does make me a little concerned and the lack of cohesion from what I've heard when you have party members at certain times does throw things off a little. Still, this is a game I wouldn't mind trying someday.



  • In a less busy year, I would've easily given this game an Honorable Mention. It didn't do everything right, but the respect for retro RPGs is strong in this one from the rich selection of music honoring the wide history of the genre to the complex and interesting combat mechanics unbending in a world that mostly prefers free wins. #15 feels about right though, so no regrets, but never forget how crazy this game sold at launch. There's very much still a market for this kind of game today, and don't let anybody argue with you otherwise.



  • Octopath Traveler is my personal GOTY. I'm fully aware it's not objectively the best game of the year, but it's the one I look back on the most fondly.

    It hit all the right notes for me, the art style is amazing and I can't wait to see them iterate on it in future titles (imagine a Final Fantasy VI remake in that style).

    The soundtrack is up there with the very best JRPGs and plays a huge part in establishing a tone and a sense of place when visiting the various towns and parts of the world. It can be be epic, eerie, uplifting, melancholic, mysterious, celebratory or tragic, it always fits and there are so many tracks that I'll remember forever.

    The combat system is excellent and never got boring for me, strategies can wildly vary based on your party composition and there are still some abilities I haven't fully explored (like Alfyn's Concoct). It makes every encounter, even the random ones against regular enemies, interesting and threatening. You can't go on autopilot and spam "Attack" unless you're clearly over-leveled, or you risk being punished.

    At the same time it's very accessible and easy to understand, its core concepts are simply strong enough to carry it throughout the game. It has few rules but offers many options.

    I enjoyed the story(ies) very much, despite its shortcomings. The open-ended structure means the game could never guarantee which party members you had at any time, therefore it made it unrealistic to include them in other characters' cutscenes. They could have avoided this by forcing you to acquire all characters before moving on with each story, but they chose to give players more freedom which is hard to fault.

    But I didn't mind it, I had no trouble suspending my disbelief a little (being a wrestling fan has its perks!), and I was happy with each character's plot being centered solely around them, their journey and their growth. Not all chapters are hits but overall, every character had at least a cool moment, and some are funny/captivating throughout.

    The way everything ties together in the end is actually more clever than most people give it credit for, it's not mind-blowing but I really enjoyed connecting the dots as I played through every story, noticing a name, a place or an object mentioned in multiple separate plots and wondering what the connection could be. It isn't tacked on, everything is actually hinted at many times over which makes it very rewarding to those who get invested.

    The writing and voice acting was definitely above average compared to other JRPGs, it felt a lot more mature and realistic than most.

    Its flaws only make me like it even more, they mean the future is very bright for the series: it's already excellent and has so much room to improve!

    I can't wait to see what's next from this confident and unbending dev team.



  • Still gotta get Octopath, it's like every time I think of getting it something prevents me from doing it.



  • @axel said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2018!:

    I'm fully aware it's not objectively the best game of the year.

    I don't see why not. No need for you to sell it short really.



  • I haven't played Octopath Traveler, only its first demo. Despite it having several big "no" for me (it looks old, it feels old, it's isometric RPG, it's on Switch), I was considering playing it for the story. But I've skipped its launch and after learning that its story isn't that great I've dismissed it entirely.



  • @axel I think you said it best. And although It's only third on my goty list. Octopath Traveler is the game I will remember most fondly. The sequel to this game will be number 1 on my desire index list.