The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2019!

  • Control is a game that looked great from the day it was shown first, and only got cooler as I began to know more of it. And when it released, It met my high expectations.

    I love being lost in the Oldest House. It's such a fascinating place in every way imaginable. The intentionally confusing layout of the places, the otherworldly vibes, and all the weird shit that is happening inside it. It's definitely one of the reasons it took so long for me to actually finish it. I had so much fun exploring every nook and cranny in the House, finding secrets, pieces of lore or other interesting things. I just wish that the map is not the useless trash that it is. I also remember being annoyed by the random enemy spawns later on in the game.

    For a game made by Remedy, the combat certainly stands up to their standard. It's fast, frantic, dynamic and a sight to behold. There's multiple enemy variants that requires you to be aware of all the spaces around you, and many times you can be cornered if you're not careful. The abilities provided will not only help makes killing them easier, but also make you look cooler while doing it. Not to mention the adaptability of the Service Weapon. My favorite combo is running straight at them while softening them up with the pistol mode, then switching to shotgun or melee, and dashing away to cover. There's also these really cool effects when you hit the enemies or when they die, it's these fancy red sparks and haze that help make the combat more satisfying. I imagine the combat would feel wonderful on mouse and keyboard, but on PS4 the aiming feels a bit too stiff to my liking. I know shooters on gamepad isn't the best choice, but there's a lot of games that I have played on gamepad that feels way better than this. It doesn't help that it doesn't have extensive control settings, which is ironic (or fitting?).

    Story wise, this game excels at not only building an fascinating world filled with interesting characters, but also in the way of presenting many of them. The projected videos are all fun to watch and full of personality (especially ones featuring Darling). Trench's narrations are wonderfully acted by James McCaffrey (Max Payne's actor), and they also feature this really cool loop of Trench standing around looking cool as heck while being colorfully lighted. I got a lot of chuckles from the Board's ridiculously obtuse subtitles. I also like how well the things in the lore is interconnected, like the radio show made by Federal Bureau of Control (I remember it having good reasons to exist, I forgot what that reason is exactly). The one big thing that I don't like is the ending, or lack of it.

    Overall, this is a game that left me craving for more of it's ilk. I'll definitely keep an eye on the DLCs.

  • Control was almost an HM from me but there was so much janky bullshit in the PS4 version that I found it inexcusable. There is a lot to like in Control but also a lot of frustrating things. All the games I voted for are all GOTY material and I don’t feel as though Control was pushing boundaries in any way.

    It’s the ultimate 7/10. Fun but also kinda generic at the same time.

  • @iboshow The current gen can't run ray tracing without using workarounds (like GT Sport having it, at the price of losing dynamic time of day) and, having seen games like Control and BFV running with ray tracing, and fully confident in saying that next gen is already here.

  • @el-shmiablo Just for clarification, when we talk ray-tracing we're talking in real time RT not pre-rendered effects like GT uses.

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses

    #4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - 42 points


    #1: 5 (Axel, Shoulderguy, Nimbat1003, Inustar, Capnbobamous)
    #2: 2 (FF7Cloud, Terence369)
    #3: 1 (Danjin44)
    #4: 2 (Gurrzilla, GageBlackW23)
    HM: 2 (Kristen Rogers, Bigdude1)


    Release date: July 26 [US/EU]
    Developer: Intelligent Systems
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Genre: Tactical role-playing
    Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


    EZA Review

  • Wow! 5 #1's and in the top 5. As a fan of the Fire Emblem series. It's been nice to finally see it receive some well deserved recognition with Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Even if it did get snubbed at The Game Awards for a best game nomination. I've seen this game getting a lot of love from different outlets and Its good that new people are enjoying Fire Emblem for the first time on Switch.

    Three Houses is an incredible game that I completed in 70 hours and wanted to keep playing immediately after finishing my Blue Lions play through. I finished another run with the Black Eagles last month and had just as much fun. 2018 was close between God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 for me. This time it was Fire Emblem: Three Houses easily.

    Hats off to Intelligent Systems and Nintendo. I can't wait to see where Fire Emblem goes next now that it's a triple A franchise.

  • Many games that were lauded this year could have been predicted well before they came out they were going to be great: RE 2 Remake, Sekiro, Control, etc. But Fire Emblem I would argue did better than predicted (and those predictions were quite good). This was THE game of the summer, and caught fire that not many other games did. Practically everyone I know or follow played and LOVED: Three Houses.

    I'm not going to belabor the same points why I didn't (and won't) play it, but this is probably the greatest Fire Emblem in a long time, if not ever, and another piece of evidence Nintendo has a STACKED, not only Switch exclusive roster, but just 1st party franchises in general.

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses is my #25 of 36.

    First things first: I don’t like Nintendo as a company and I don’t like Switch as a console so a first-party Switch exclusive has an uphill battle with me. That being said, I was genuinely interested in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and was determent to be fair to this game despite its origins and platform.

    Good things first. Of the small pool of Nintendo games I’ve ever bought it’s the first one I’m not regretting buying. Also it’s the first one which I wanted to play more after reaching the credits. In fact I finished all 3.5 campaigns in a row. It was mostly because swapped face buttons is a huge problem for me, and since I got more or less used to it by the end of the first playthrough, it was wise to play other campaigns while I’m there. But still, I wanted to continue, and that is totally thanks to the game’s relaxing gameplay and decent story.

    Now the bad things, which are numerous (otherwise it would not by my #25). Visuals are terrible outside of combat, especially for an AAA 2019 game. Especially during dialogs, when backgrounds wraps and bends like your character is drunk. Character animations are also very rigid, limited and repetitive. I could not look at this “early PS3” image, so I just listened to the dialogs (thankfully the game is fully voiced). Characters weren’t that memorable either (maybe because I didn’t look at them). They aren’t bad, and some interactions are worth pursuing, but there are so many of them, that the story of each one becomes too sparse and short. Combat encounters are great and controls well especially for a strategy on console, but very often inputting your turn takes too much time because there are so many characters and the battlefield isn’t small. Especially when you do them again because this game forces you to replay a good chunk of it in your second and third playthrough. Oh, and running over the castle takes too much time when you do it again and again.

    In summary, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is simply too big. My closest comparison is The Banner Saga trilogy and those games are better than Three Houses in almost every aspect (except for not being fully voiced). So I would recommend them over the latest Fire Emblem, especially if your gaming time is limited.

  • I had never played a Fire Emblem game before Three Houses. And I ended up obsessively playing it through to the end for like three weeks. As someone who doesn't tend to finish games, that automatically makes it one of my best of the year.

    Also Blue Lions are my favourite. I know everyone loved Edelgard but I thought the Lions had the best collection of people over all, and I loved the idea of this paragon of honor like Dimitri going crazy.

  • I dont have a switch. :)

  • I told people Three Houses was going to be good after that pretty early trailer when everyone was saying it looked awful because of those janky battalion animations and such.

    Turns out we were all kind of right.

  • I'm sure it's a pretty solid game but gives me creepy vibes.

  • Man, I got a lot of cool shit to catch up with on my Switch. Haven't played Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild too.

  • I really dislike tactical/strategy games but I am happy for the people who like them.

  • Just finished Ace Combat 7, and while it's a fun game, I don't think it would have made my top 8 for the year. There's some cool story moments, but it feels like most of it is crammed into the last few missions. Not having played any Ace Combat games before, there's something that happens at the very end that I was not expecting or aware of, and was never referenced once in the game - so I'm wondering if maybe it's an ongoing thing within the series that I am not aware of?

    The actual combat itself is pretty good. Played it on normal, wonder how complex the flying gets on harder difficulty. Might try that someday. Soundtrack is great, but aside from a few themes, nothing really hits me as hard as my top score of the year, Metro Exodus did. Mission structure was pretty nice, the briefings usually had all the pertinent info in them to make the correct judgment as to plane and weaponry - but sometimes you get caught without something you'd have wished you had instead of what you picked. that's life I guess. :)

    Happy I played it overall.

  • @phbz I thought my post made that clear?

  • @el-shmiablo Not really.

  • @phbz My mistake then.
    True real time ray tracing as seen in Control and BFV is very next gen stuff imo.

  • three houses was my first Fire Emblem and really loved it (like others the switch is not perfect for me since it's docked 98% of the time but it gets some really solid games)

    I don't play many tactics games(recently) but i am a massive RPG guy and honestly the combat is not all that difference from games like Divinity:OS2 anyway. i did really enjoy the combat but the characters, Vibe and Story are what i really love about 3 houses.

    the main plot does the typical JRPG thing and just throws everything at you, so even though parts can be predictable there is just so many reveals and secrets that i still don't know (currently at 160hours having done black eagles and about 1/2 through Golden deer route) as that play time might tell you i enjoy trying to maximise the numbers game and also just like talking to all the students.

    the students and Vibe were my favourite aspects of the game while at first i thought they might just be very one note characters, which they are to a degree eg. i'm the strong one, i'm the shut-in and i sleep(and am the only male gay romance option).
    they are well written and most are well developed and have reasons for the way they are, they also do a great job of drawing parallels or differences between characters during their support conversations.

    overall the Vibe was great since almost everyone felt so driven to achieve their goals and strive for the future even if some of those goals might be a little "evil" or if some character had terrible stuff happen to them.(alot of political assassinations)

    but yeah really loved it in any other year it would not be my number 1 since it has some obvious flaws especially with graphics(switch and game size) and some weird class progression quirks but easily beat out this years competition for me (i know what the top 2 left are but for the life of me i can't think of the third)

    hubert gets more hate than he deserves.
    caspar deserves all the hate he gets.
    curious to see if lorenz is ever not a shithead.

  • FE:TH is a game I'll get around to play soon now that I finally have a Switch, probably after all the spring releases.