The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2019!

  • I think I've decided to pick this up and play it. Jpeg Dog will live on!

  • Ace Combat 7 is #25 of 49 on my list.

    This is my first Ace Combat game and the first fighter jet game I've played since Jane's USAF, which is from 1999.

    Controls feel smooth and combat is fine but what really makes Ace Combat 7 stand out for me is the presentation around the combat. Such as the intense orchestral music blasting in the background. As well as the completely ridiculous anime story that unfolds in cut-scenes and over your radio communications.

    Even though 25 may seem low, I enjoyed most of what I finished last year. Otherwise I would have dropped it. I only finished a handful of bad games like Anthem.

  • Hey, my GOTY is here!

    When I first finished this game, I really loved it. As I played the game even more, it grew on me exponentially, and as I realized how much this game appreciates the fans of the series, I just can't help but love it even more.

    I thought all the missions were interesting and unique in comparison to each other, with a few classic Ace Combat mission scenarios (like flying through a narrow pathway in a stealth mission). Even the worst one here (mission 10 I think? The one where you have to escort a certain officer) was still so much fun, backed up by good banters and a wonderful dark-foggy atmosphere. It's really hard to pick favorites since I have like 5 missions in my mind right now.

    The story, while can be hard to follow since there are multiple characters to follow in the cutscenes (not to mention trying to follow the dialogues during the missions), is still quite memorable and has that classic epic and cheesy feel that other Ace Combat game has. Most of the characters aren't actually well developed, but rather they're easily identify-able through their super standout quirks, like the one guy that keep saying he'll "tell this story to my kids", or the one officer that keeps threatening everyone to go into solitary. This is what made it so entertaining for me, even with the epic level stuff happening in the main plot, there's still a lot comedic moments to be had.

    The gameplay itself is superb, with it accurately representing the stats of the plane you are using in how it controls and moves in the sky (which makes upgrading and buying new planes much more meaningful). Not to mention, the new progression system they have here is pretty great. It doesn't let you get the best stuff outright, and it makes you think about what kind of advanced planes you want to get first since you can't get all the best stuff in one go. I haven't even unlocked all of the planes, I'm still investing on multiplayer upgrades which have their own upgrade tree.

    Speaking of the multiplayer, it's very barebones but also quite a fun time. You can set limits on how good the planes people can have in a match, which makes it more fair to everyone. I rarely have been good enough to actually win matches, but most of the time I'm still having a blast.

    What cemented this game as my GOTY is when I played the campaign for the second time in harder difficulty. Now I have the knowledge of each mission and what to do in them, and boy oh boy it was so satisfying to completely wipe the heck out of these missions. No joke, I was like completely on zen mode or something during my second playthrough, I keep getting S Ranks and it was so unbelievable to me. I never felt this kind of satisfaction in a game before, it's just so liberating to conquer past obstacles so easily. This is not exactly unique to this game, but I never felt this effect so profoundly. I don't even care usually for harder difficulty playthroughs. It's like the enemies' fear and my comrades' awe of the main character is actually warranted, it's so cool to finally feel like you deserve all of that.

    I can gush about this game for hours, but I got some stuff to do, so I'll just condense all the smaller details that I love in the following bullet list.

    • The music of this game is not to be missed. If you have no interest of playing the games, at least check out the music on youtube.
    • I love the mission briefings so much. The whole blue UI looks awesome, and the banter that some briefings have is pretty great. Not to mention that they're super informative and very necessary to listen to. Also, there's a little contextual change that happens to the presentation of the briefings later on that I really adore.
    • I played Ace Combat 5 right after my first playthrough of this game, and I noticed that one of the main character of that game has a cameo at the end of this game. When I played AC7 for the second time and noticed it, I actually shed a tear, lol.
    • The weather system is freaking awesome! The clouds look great, and the weather effects are so intense. Going to the big ass thunderstorm at the end of mission 17 is probably one of my favorite gaming moments of 2019.
    • Don't forget to check out the DLCs! The DLC missions are super awesome.

    I have no problem proclaiming that this is my favorite game of this year, and easily one of the best games of this console generation. I hope more games are to come from the AC series, and also I hope for the return of the flight combat genre's glory days. If this game is the start of it, it's one heck of a running start. Writing this whole thing just makes me want to play it again, which I will do right now.

    Shoutout to @Bigdude1 , @Lotias , @Tearju-Engi , and @Gurrzilla for also giving this game points! Also, shoutout to Huber, Damiani, Blood and Ben for giving the game some love during the 2019 deliberations.

  • After listening to the Allies' deliberations, I really need to give AC7 a shot.

  • I've enjoyed AC7 but not a big fan of its mission structure. Otherwise it might be on my list. Maybe to long time fans this is exactly what they wanted, more AC, but to me it was a bit too linear and at odds with how great it feels to fly. Still a great game.

  • Global Moderator

    I picked AC7 up on release. I've always had an interest in aviation and played one of the early AC games. This however exceeded my expectations. Music (as Other has mentioned) are absolutely amazing and I've kept listening to it since on youtube. This game can both be a "quick round of fun" as well as some real epic gaming sessions. The dialogue can be soo cheesy yet it really got me invested. I wanted to save ever single character that was fighting by my side! I have yet to check out the DLCs which I've heard are great. Also the weather effects really brings atmosphere to the missions with clouds, rain, thunder and what have you. Also the last 2 missions of the game really had me engaged on a high level - loved it. The only thing I didn't really like was the two or so missions where you had do destroy a certain amount of items before the time ran out. Also I am terrible at the multiplayer.

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence

    #15. A Plague Tale: Innocence - 14 points


    #1: 0
    #2: 0
    #3: 2 (Shoulderguy, Sentinel Beach)
    #4: 1 (bard91)
    HM: 6 (Axel, paulmci27, Gurrzilla, tokeeffe9, Hidz, ffff0)


    Release date: May 14 [US/EU]
    Developer: Asobo Studio
    Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
    Genre: Action-adventure, Stealth, Survival horror
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows


    EZA Review

  • Hey @Axel I just noticed something, shouldn't AC7's points tally be 15 points? 5 points from 1 #1, 8 points from 2 #2, and 2 points from 2 HMs.

  • Of all the games to come out in 2019 that I didn't play but could be convinced to try, A Plague Tale is it. I first saw it before it gained traction as I THINK I saw a trailer on Playstation's YouTube page and thought, "What is THIS?! A game I haven't heard of that has high quality visuals?" I haven't played it because there are a couple aspects that make me a little hesitant like certain visuals, but still I think the amount of love is gotten makes me stoked for it. I think I slot it right next to Hellblade at the top of games I haven't played I would take a crack following special circumstances.

  • Once I started playing this I couldn't put it down. I beat it in two sittings. The game is beautiful & horrific within minutes of each other. The game plays pretty simple but kept me on the edge of my seat at all times. Gets a bit weird towards the end but didn't bother me that much as I like my games to be gamey. (you know what I mean if you've played it). It's on gamepass now so no reason not to check it out.

  • Loved Plague Tale. Beautiful art direction, locations feel real, cool dynamic between characters and nice escalation of conflict. My issue with it is that certain sections of the game are easy to break. But no doubt one of the coolest surprises if the year.

  • @bam541 Oh you're right, I double-checked and it's the post that's wrong, Bigdude1 and Lotias actually voted it #3, not #2.

    So it's correct, 13 points, I'll fix the post! Thanks :)

  • Finally one of my votes made the list and it's A Plague Tale: Innocence.

    I mentioned before that this is my biggest surprise of 2019. I actually thought this was The Sinking City game that eventually released in June. So I had no expectations going into this game. My friend and I started playing on PC and both of us were like, "wow, this looks pretty good for an indie game." After a few hours of playing we were hooked.

    My favorite thing is the characters and their performances. I also finished The Last of Us for the first time last year. The relationship, conversations and the journey of Amicia and Hugo remind me of Joel and Ellie. A Plague Tale is a game that I thought about long after finishing and I'll probably remember for a long time.

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence is my #6 of 36.

    Life is Strange 2 was a huge disappointment for me this year (I liked first episode, and hated the rest), so I wasn’t too interested in another game about sibling children. Then they released a free demo and I played the first chapter. It was good. No, it was great. I still had other games to play and it was too pricey at that moment, so I added it to my “to play list”. Then it joined Origin Access Premiere which I got in November, so I finally played it. And I loved it!

    Even through visuals are important to me (and they are great here), the characters are the most impressive thing for me. Amicia is the perfect lead – she is smart, she is resourceful, she is determined, but at the same time she is very vulnerable. And excellent VO makes you believe that Amicia is about to break and fall apart, but each time she manages to find inner strength to keep going against the harsh world that tries to kill her. It’s so easy to get attached to such non-superhuman character and it’s so easy to get inspired by her actions.

    Amicia’s brother Hugo could easily be the most annoying part of such game, but he isn’t because even when he acts “stupid” you can always understand why. Also he helps you many times during the game, so he never feels like a cargo you have to carry, nor like a princess waiting to be saved. The bond between him and Amicia doesn’t develop as much as it could, but it only helps during certain story parts.

    There are some other great characters, but the next thing I want to talk about is the story. It’s dark, it’s grim, sometimes it’s shocking, but these shocking moments always have a purpose. The pacing is great and there’s some optional lore if you interested in this period of history. I agree that the ending could be better, but I really liked the Epilogue, so I was still satisfied.

    So why it’s only my #6? It’s because of gameplay. It’s good, but there’s a skill tree with very good abilities that can be unlocked with materials you find in the world. Well, I explored a lot, I got a lot of resources and I unlocked pretty much everything. And when you get every skill your character becomes so powerful that the gameplay no longer fit for the story this game tells. So my advice to anyone will be to go a bit faster than your gamer heart wants.

    And yes I recommend this game to almost everyone. It’s not long (7-8 hours), it’s accessible (Origin Access Premiere, Xbox Game Pass) and it has a free demo if you still hesitant.

  • I absolutely love Plague Tale. One of the best surprises of 2019 and my #3. It's both beautiful and sad at the same time, damn grim as well with its setting and story. Amicia is a lovely main character, she's vulnerable yet still pushing forward all the time, even through the darkest times and spaces. And that voice actor of hers... I couldn't get enough of her, truly convincing and fitting, that casting. All in all this is like some medieval The Last of Us, or at least it has lots of those echoes. That's propably one of the main reasons I fell in love with the game as badly as I did. Do check it out!

  • Outer Wilds

    #14. Outer Wilds - 14 points


    #1: 0
    #2: 1 (Phbz)
    #3: 3 (tokeeffe9, MiserablePerson, Capnbobamous)
    #4: 0
    HM: 1 (Sazime)


    Release date: May 29 [US/EU]
    Developer: Mobius Digital
    Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows


    Don't Skip

  • Outer Wilds is on Xbox Game Pass so I played it for an hour. And I achieved nothing during that time. It doesn't guide the player, you can die and it's not easy and not fast to return to where you were. I don't like when games waste my time, so I stopped.

    P.S. Ian's passion in Don't Skip convinced me to give it another try, so now I'm looking for a good non-spoiler guide for this game. Any suggestions?

  • This game is so wonderfully different. I love that passion projects like this get made by dedicated people. Such a wonderful gem.

  • @ffff0 I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't love Outer Wilds. I started it multiple times throughout the year. Thinking, "maybe this time I'll enjoy it." Unfortunately I never did. It was the same thing with Disco Elysium. I completely failed Ian last year.

  • The Outer Wilds is a game that didn't appeal to me, but I watched the NoClip documentary and while I enjoyed the video a good deal, there wasn't a better showpiece about selling me against the game. Personally, while listening about it during the deliberations AND the Don't Skip, I was happy to hear the passion and points about it from Ian, but it hit all the points that reaffirmed why it isn't for me.

    All of that said, I believe this and another game we should be seeing a little while are up there for, pun not intended, "out-of-nowhere" hits of 2019. I especially love this was a school project that became something more, proving if you have a good idea and the dedication, you can go far.