The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2019!



  • 2019 is over, and for all we know this was the last full year of the PS4/Xbox One era.

    Our panel of videogame scholars and specialists gathered again to elect the one true Game of the Year.

    39 great minds cast their votes across 73 different games (same as in 2018).

    Now the top 25 remain, the unmissables of 2019.

    Here they are!





  • Tetris 99

    #25. Tetris 99 - 9 points

    Votes

    #1: 0
    #2: 1 (DIPSET)
    #3: 0
    #4: 0
    HM: 5 (FF7Cloud, Terence369, bard91, GageBlackW23, Capnbobamous)

    Information

    Release date: February 13 [US/EU]
    Developer: Arika
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Genre: Puzzle, Battle royale
    Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia



  • This is one game I would have loved to try.
    But I didn't want to get Nintendo's Online subscription.
    An old coworker of mine was obsessed with this for ages.



  • We've finally arrived to our thread! And just in time before the Allies record their deliberations tomorrow (which we'll see next week).

    But for this entry, Tetris is Tetris so it's solid all around, regardless of the creative takes the game goes through. Battle Royale has never been an appealing genre to me, plus, as a general personal rule, I don't typically play games or modes that are "Go until the game beats you" (which Tetris is), because anything that doesn't have a definitive end where you can "win" is dull to me.

    Regardless, this is a fun take on both and one of the Switch's better exclusives, not just in 2019, but in general.



  • I keep forgetting I can play this because I have a year of the online service active. My wife plays way more Switch games than I do.



  • Wow. Last year #25 has 7 points and we had 45 voters with 73 games. This time #25 has 9 points and we had only #39 voters with 73 games. Looks like there are a lot of hidden darlings that will not make the cut.



  • @brannox said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2019!:

    I don't typically play games or modes that are "Go until the game beats you" (which Tetris is), because anything that doesn't have a definitive end where you can "win" is dull to me.

    Exactly! I don't say "ever" but yeah, those kind of things are not my cup of tea either.



  • I should have probably given this game more points, considering i spent over 60 hours playing it.

    The battle royale twist was overall well executed, and applied to Tetris, a game that never gets old. Also matchmaking is quick, and matches are never too long so perfect game to fill that 15-20 minutes break. The events were a decent incentive to keep playing, even though i'd have preferred meatier rewards.

    Puyo Puyo Tetris (came out a month after the launch of the system) was the game that brought a nice competitive Tetris/Puyo community on Switch, Nintendo must have seen how many good tetris players are on the system. Also the fact that it's free with Nintendo Switch Online is great.



  • The biggest barrier to entry for me with Tetris 99 was a lack of Skill-based Matchmaking. There wasn't really a way to practice the game. It's all well and good for people who are already decent at Tetris to tweak their playstyle to be more aggressive, but if you aren't good at all, there was no where to really practice, and matches were often hit and miss whether you would get dumped on in the first minute or so.



  • @hazz3r said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2019!:

    The biggest barrier to entry for me with Tetris 99 was a lack of Skill-based Matchmaking. There wasn't really a way to practice the game. It's all well and good for people who are already decent at Tetris to tweak their playstyle to be more aggressive, but if you aren't good at all, there was no where to really practice, and matches were often hit and miss whether you would get dumped on in the first minute or so.

    I highly recommend Puyo Puyo Tetris for that, i guess many people transitioned from that to Tetris 99. It has practice sessions, the classic infinite mode, also the big story mode is step-by-step where the difficulty gradually increases.

    SEGA and Deep Silver released a bunch of useful tutorial videos on youtube prior to the release that are worth checking, where a pro player (S2LSOFTENER) explains all the tricks like how to do T-spins, 4-wide, perfect clear, etc.


  • Global Moderator

    It's here!! Always fun to see the results! Tetris 99 are one of those games I want to play after watching other people streaming it.



  • I expected this to land higher but I placed it at #2 because I sunk roughly 90 hours and still going. The battle royal twist works to freshen up Tetris and I love the strategy of trying to get KO’s to send more trash to people. They kept updating it to add new features.

    I was bringing this to work and playing during lunch. I am pretty into it and my whole household got into it too. I find it actually really hard to get back into regular Tetris after this.



  • Borderlands 3

    #24. Borderlands 3 - 10 points

    Votes

    #1: 1 (ffff0)
    #2: 0
    #3: 1 (Inustar)
    #4: 0
    HM: 2 (Brannox, Terence369)

    Information

    Release date: September 13 [US/EU]
    Developer: Gearbox Software
    Publisher: 2K Games
    Genre: Action role-playing, First-person shooter
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, Stadia

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    EZA Review



  • Borderlands 3 was not that great of a game, certainly not as good as the second one, but I had a lot of fun playing it with my husband. Having not played tons of games last year, it managed to make my number 3.



  • Borderlands 3 is a tough one to square for me. Of the nine games I played from 2019, this ranks seventh. While at its core it's still a good game, for every positive I thing I have to say, I feel like there's a negative. Starting with the positives:

    • I really like the cel-shaded art style used in an upgraded way for this generation.
    • Every time. Every. Single. Time. I ALWAYS felt as if I was getting a unique gun. Moreso in any other Borderlands games do the manufacturers actually differentiate themselves.
    • I love not just being on Pandora, but also other planets as well
    • All the quality of life improvements like initiating fast travel at ANY moment, mantling, Ping system, etc.
    • Loot instancing is BRILLIANT
    • Much like the guns, this game's playable vault hunters all feel different, not just with each other, but within themselves. Going beyond this, they actually TALK. Like, quite a bit. And meaningful too.

    However. The counters to all of these?

    • This game has an incredible amount of tech problems, from the minor like pop-in and message sticking to the major like enemies stuck in the world and audio cut out.
    • The fire hydrant of getting guns CONSTANTLY, and 90% of those guns are garbage. It's extremely rare to find something useful naturally out in the field after about the halfway point, and only the vending machines on Sanctuary hold consistent good odds on having great stuff.
    • In relation to this, the backpack doesn't scale proportionally to the sheer volume of guns you get, and the cap of 40-ish spots is head-scratchingly small.
    • The maps are WAY too massive. And a lot of that space is empty between point A to B. Some maps are just one way corridors so-to-speak that feel like marathons to get through.
    • This game is also WAAAAYYY TTOOOOOO LLLLOOOONNNNNGGGGG. Less is more could've helped this game. Less useless quests, more focused story pacing, environments don't need to be as big, etc.
    • Bizarre decisions of menu management and checkpoint system. Examples: In Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel, you could sort by value, and it's a real simple way to sell the most money weapons you find. Instead, it's replaced by a gun score. Sure, that's easier to find the best weapons, but not the most expensive, and it's harder to make the most money possible. As far as checkpoints, they're bizarrely spaced. Massive chunks of distance on some planets don't have a beacon, but in other places, there's a couple within five minutes of each other. It's weird.
    • And the undisputed MOST AGGRAVATING thing of all: The endgame content is both impossibly imbalanced and on the verge of pointless. The Circle of Slaughters have several unique problems per area, the Maliwan Takedown event is also really bad in its achieve-ability.
    • Good lord the dialogue is mostly awful. To be expected for a Borderlands game, but I feel like Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel weren't this bad.

    At the end of the day, I'll remember most of my playtime was dealing with a variety of guns and going to a variety of places. But on the whole, I would give it a 7.5



  • Borderlands 3 almost made my honorable mentions, #13 of 49 on my personal list.

    Borderlands in 2019 looks a lot like previous Borderlands games, but the art style is more detailed and the improved fighting and sliding is enjoyable. I find the story and humor to be hit and miss. Although, I do love the dumb death shouts of the enemies.

    I played the game solo as Fl4k, it was rough early on but once I got the ship and left the first planet, the game continued to get better. But also very grindy. It's hard to complain about too much content but I would have liked more killer and less filler.



  • Wow. I never expected that Borderlands 3 will make into Top 25. Thank you everyone, who voted!

    So, Borderlands 3 is my 2019 GotY and I never thought it would be. I mean I like Borderlands 1, 2 and Pre-Sequel, but they aren't something special (although I still fondly remember Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC). So I was planning to play Borderlands 3, and I was sure that I’ll enjoy its shooting and humor, but I wasn't anticipating it. I even didn’t play it day one.

    But when I played it and finished it I realized that in 2019 there weren’t any other game where I cared so much about the cast of characters. Maybe it’s because I always play as Sirens and both Lilith and Maya play very important role in Borderlands 3 story and has such dramatic arc. Or maybe this game just resonated with me. But one way or another, I felt emotional multiple times during my playthrough and the ending almost made me cry. Despite joking all the time and making fun of its characters, Borderlands 3 somehow makes all that drama feel grounded and earned.

    ♬This game is on fire.♬



  • I had, and still have, a lot of fun playing Borderlands 3. This is with the caveat that you're playing with friends though. I can play the game for hours with friends; but once they all log out, and I want to play some more, I get bored pretty quickly and log out soon after. It's just my personal preference that prevents me from doing so. I'm honestly not a fan of random stats to the guns, but when playing with others, it creates a sort of surprise fun aspect. There are some UI stuff that irritates me, and connectivity issues happen sometimes. I also preferred the story and characters of the 2nd game. Great QoL changes though. I still loved playing as Mordecai, but Zane is cool too.



  • @shoulderguy said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2019!:

    Borderlands 3 almost made my honorable mentions, #13 of 49 on my personal list.

    Did you actually play 49 new games released in the year 2019? That's... really something. One new game per week, basically. A mix of small and big games, or how is that even otherwise possible? Like, just with time-management alone etc.