The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2018!

  • 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.

  • @bard91 if you picked VC4 as your GOTY it is definitely going to be on the list. How high I don't know but Top 15 it is now since I don't see it appearing yet.

  • @tearju-engi oh that's good news, I was honestly expecting it to not be very popular so, I was expecting few votes for it, hence my reaction

  • @bard91 I enjoyed it a lot. Would have tried to platinum it were it not for stupid RNG that goes to obtaining some weapons and tank parts. It had that one part that really blew in social media and might have put many people off to play that game but it's a solid experience most of the time.

  • I didn't expect Octopath Traveler to be on this list.

    I really need to play it!

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

    I didn't expect Octopath Traveler to be on this list.

    I really need to play it!

    It's really good. On that note, I need to get on and play VC4 lol.

  • @sheria Same for me!

    I'm playing through Valkyria Chronicles II right now after I finished that I will start 4.

  • @neocweeny if only it weren't on the damned PSP

  • me and my cousin co-oped VC2 a lot. Made it easier since we got an extra person in and it was fun to play with a friend. You can also play it on Vita but not sure how ad-hoc works in that, maybe the same. It had some cool ideas. Sure anime trope was heavy but what really annoyed me was escort missions which were a quite a lot. Also needing an extra command when changing the map. I actually hope they remake it with VC4 system someday along with VC3 which is considered the best.

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  • Just downloaded the Octopath demo to see how I feel about the vibes. Pretty sure I'll love it, but need to finish some other games before I jump in!