The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2018!

  • I didn't play Yakuza 6 because like many others I started the series with Zero and don't feel like skipping 3-5.

  • Kiwami 2 is undoubtedly more "complete” than 6, (since it came out after) but I loved the new setting and characters in 6, and the new eating mechanics (that were later used in Kiwami 2) and new mini games were what made it stand out for me. I've seen Kamurocho and Sotenbori a lot over the past few years. Onomichi is a fresh take. Also, the story is emotionally more fulfilling, IMO, since it's the end of Kiryu's arc.

    Why it wasn't 2nd or 3rd on my list is that there's a couple of things that didn't really work for me:

    Kamurocho is, due to the new engine, missing locations, mini games, and etc, though there is increased verticality and new physics and mechanics. I think the fighting feels better than ever, but some of the styles from previous games are also lacking. So what should be a massive improvement feels kinda like a lateral move.

    The brief part of the game where Haruto won't stop crying gave me anxiety.

    Clan creator is kind of broken, and maybe not all that fun.

    Other than those minor issues, one of the best of the year. I rated it higher than Kiwami 2 because I enjoyed the new story more than the remake of an old story.

  • I wish it scored higher but Yakuza 6's omission from most GOTY discussions in 2018 was outright trifling. When a game like RDR2 can get infinite praise for its massive open world, Yakuza 6 needs praise for its massively detailed limited open world. I rarely waste times in games anymore but I spent countless hours roaming Tokyo and Hiroshima with my cell phone camera trying to get a nice composition or a portrait photo of somebody in their element.

    Taking a walk to the top of the mountain just to look down over the city feels like virtual tourism. Yakuza has always striven for photo-realism, but the new engine built ground up for PS4 makes you feel like a real life tourist in a real life city who also happens to get in frequent brawls with criminal goons. My roommate who has spent a lot of time in Japan was blown away by this game, gripped by the smallest things like the convenience stores.

    I also loved Kiwami 2, but there is a certain vibe Yakuza 6 takes on by having roughly half the game centre around a quiet town with an ongoing theme of love, life, and time passed. This theme of love and family ties goes into the sub-stories too. A family bond forms by bringing a rag-tag baseball team into a competitive power house. One story is about the town bonding over their mascot, another involves that mascot helping a little girl face her fears. There are sub-stories you get from becoming a bar fly at the local watering hole where you listen to the woes of middle aged men who drink their worries away as they age on and face new challenges.

    I have to say Yakuza 6 is one of the most fully formed, coherent and unified games I've played in a long time.

  • I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I would like to add that Yakuza 6 is superior to Kiwami 2. I don't believe Kiwami 2 is going to score higher, but maybe we split the vote with these two games - who knows?

    Yakuza 6 never feels like it cuts corners whereas Kiwami 2 has limited animation at times (i.e. pantomime animation in sub-stories, or unnatural movement in cinematics), repetitive story missions (i.e. back-to-back chapters with building raids), combat that feels like a step backwards (i.e. unlimited weapons and kiwami finishers), and very quick - and pointless sub-stories that are not fully voiced. Yakuza 6's budget was felt in every aspect of the game. A notable instance would be fully voiced sub-stories that feel thoughtful and well directed from a cinematography standpoint.

    Kiwami 2 is great, but it doesn't have that extra layer of polish and TLC that Yakuza 6 clearly has. I recommend people to play both. You won't get tired of either game.

  • @dipset I feel like a lot of that story and sub story repetition stuff is the constraints of remaking the story. They didn't want to cut to much out, but they obviously don't have the budget or time to do the full Y6 treatment to Y2k

    But it makes me excited for Judgment and Shin Yakuza.

  • Banned

    I'm just going to put it out there that I regret not voting for OnRush in some capacity.
    Amazing game.

  • @tokyoslim

    I don't even know what Shin Yakuza is. Time to Google!

    I am very excited for Judgement. I hope it takes the series in an entirely different direction and doesn't feel like a re-skin which is my number one concern. It's too hard to tell at the moment with limited reporting in the west. I still want fights and melodrama but maybe lets add some courtroom drama in there kinda thing. Otherwise, I can't get too hyped about another game in the same city on the same engine.

  • @dipset I agree but we should not forget Kiwami 2 is a remake of an old game then again I prefer 1 over 2 just because it was more focused in storytelling. Thus it wasn't in my GOTY list unless I put it in HM.

  • @dipset Shin Yakuza is the colloquial name for the next Yakuza game with the new protagonist. (Yakuza 7) The guy in the purple suit that got introduced a while back.

  • @tokyoslim
    I believe he's just the MC for the online game in Japan

  • Banned

    If there is ever a Sega VS Capcom my team will be Mr. Shakedown and Mr. X..

  • @el-shmiablo Ryo and Ryu would be cool but mine would probably Ulala and Chris beating enemies on her beat.

  • My team would consist of Segata Sanshiro and no one else

  • @dmcmaster nope. He's the protagonist of the new game as well.

    Ichiban Kasuga[1] is the protagonist of Shin Ryu Ga Gotoku and is set to appear in Ryu Ga Gotoku Online.

  • @el-shmiablo Last year was too good. No matter what we vote for, there's going to be things we regret not voting for. Think lots of my picks aren't making it, but still happy to throw coins in the fountain.

  • @dipset As I understand, they did not discuss Yakuza 6 because only Huber had played it, as Brad and Ben are following the remakes. They want there GOTY nominees to be the games that they played as a group.

    I imagine if Kiwami 2 had not also come out this year, then they would have nominated Yakuza 6 in its place.

  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey

    #7. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - 23 points


    #1: 2 (Exist 2 Inspire, ShilentShniper)
    #2: 1 (ffff0)
    #3: 0
    #4: 2 (Inustar, Faaip)
    HM: 5 (A7X458, Alex840, Sazime, Sentinel Beach, DMCMaster)


    Release date: October 5 [US/EU]
    Developer: Ubisoft
    Publisher: Ubisoft
    Genre: Action role-playing, Stealth
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows


    EZA Review

  • I don't know why I don't get sick of the AC games, but I don't. I've beat every one of them (except Rogue, but I just picked it up), and I will keep playing them until the end of time, probably.

  • I've played all mainline Assassin's Creed games, because for me this franchise is a warm blanket: I love 3rd person action games that aren’t very challenging, I enjoy learning about real world's history and architecture and I like stealth. Yet I wasn’t ready for Odyssey.

    Typically in Assassin’s Creed game I complete the main story, do some side quests and clear some locations. In Origins I’ve cleared the whole map after I finished the game. In Odyssey, my desire to see the world was so strong, that in the middle of chapter 3 I’ve started my 80-hours journey across the Ancient Greece.

    And what a journey it was! I’ve visited many historical landmarks, saw countless beautiful vistas, helped lots of people and slayed even more enemies. But most importantly, I growed as a character. Early on the world outside of Kefalonia felt enormous and dangerous. Then, as I explored, I was getting a better understanding of the place and slowly gaining courage and skills to deal with wildlife, soldiers and eventually mercenaries. And by the end of my journey I felt that this world is mine and I can easily deal even with several hostile mercenaries simultaneously. Of course it’s all about leveling up and unlocking skills, but it matched perfectly with Kassandra, who changed from just a girl from remote island to a legend that even greatest generals don't want to have as an enemy.

    The story was also a huge surprise, because for the first time in Assassin’s Creed game I cared about my character and wanted her to succeed. I liked that both killing and helping other people felt right at home. And the ending of a questline that starts and ends in Volcanic Islands region has one of the best payoffs I’ve ever seen in an RPG. I will not go into spoilers here, especially because it most likely will not be that impressive without the journey to get it.

    Finally, this game has so many details that it truly feels alive. Underwater is full of stuff even in places you have no reason to dive. Nature changes smoothly as you climb the mountains. Murders in Olympia has severe consequences, going over the hill from shadowy side to sunny side feels appropriately majestic and water looks unbelievably real. I could go on and on, but this post is already too long. I love this game.

    P.S. It’s my #2 because Detroit surprised me multiple times even beyond 1st playthrough, while I have no desire to restart Assassin's Creed Odyssey from the beginning. At least at the moment.

  • Is this the first multiple GOTY votes