The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!

  • I’d play Alyx if I could but I have tried and failed to get into Half Life 2 for… since Half Life 2 came out.

    If I still had a PS3 that worked I’d grab the Orange Box and binge it but both shooters and that sort of game just aren’t my bag, so I don’t know if Alyx would sway me. I’m happy it’s gotten attention though, it looks super cool

  • I'm not a Half-Life fan but everything I've heard about Alyx sounds amazing, I just don't have a VR headset and if I ever get one, it'll probably be PS VR so I still won't be able to play it (unless there's a port in the future?).

    Happy to see it represented in our top 20 though, it shows that for the few people who played it, it made a very strong impression.

  • I’m not a Half-Life or Valve fan, but Ben’s review convinced me that this is a game worth playing. Valve Index isn’t cheap, and I spend most of my salary on medicine due to my bad health (which of course is a priority), so I’ve decided to use random non-salary income to fund my purchase. Due to unpredictable wait time to order Valve Index (mine was 4 month) I haven’t earned full amount when it was time to pay, so I had to “loan” from my savings.

    From technical side, buying Valve Index was a quest of its own. Valve doesn’t sell it in Russia and Valve doesn’t ship it to Russia, so I had to use US to Russia parcel forwarding service. Then, to order Valve Index in US, you need a US Steam account and to create one you need to use US IP address. Turns out Valve is particularly good at detecting and blocking various proxy and VPN services (including non-free ones), so I had to configure my own network tunnel to a server rented in US datacenter (and only third server worked – IP addresses of first two datacenters were also blocked). And shipping process wasn’t effortless either: to avoid problems with custom, I’ve shipped parcel to myself, but local delivery service refused to give it to my relatives (due to COVID I don’t meet couriers), so I had to ask parcel forwarding service to contact local courier service and change parcel’s delivery info.

    And you know what? All of the above was 100% worth it to play Half-Live: Alyx. I’m not a VR virgin, but holy cow, I never was so immersed in a game world! I’ll give you just one tiny example: I used teleport movement option and when I landed too close to a wall, I’ve instinctually raised my hand towards the wall to push myself from the surface I’m about to collide with.

    There’s also a completely different level of immersion with this game: it allows you to do so many things in so many different ways that you will do most of it naturally without really thinking about it. Healing with syringes for example – you can use them on any part of your body, and it will simply work. However, Half-Live: Alyx doesn’t stop there, it also doesn’t afraid of translating your poor inputs into poor in-game actions. I’m absolutely terrible at throwing things and using grenades in Half-Live: Alyx was just as challenging and clumsy as it would be in real life. The same was with reload: I was messing it up early just as I would in reality, and then it got natural just as it would in reality.

    Then there’s a brilliant game design. You hardly notice it when you play it, because it’s on “yes, of course” level. But then I’ve read Geoff Keighley’s Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx and it became obvious that things I took for granted were meticulously planned and tested. Like that healing with syringes on any part of your body – the game only knows position of your head and palms, but play testers tried to heal by sticking syringes to hands, torso and even head, so developers took effort to support all of that.

    Finally, it’s not a secret that rendering world for VR is expensive, so you expect a certain visual downgrade each time you turn on VR headset. But Half-Life: Alyx manages to look just as good (if not better) than many regular games. And in terms of sound, it’s simply the best game on the market.

    In short, Half-Life: Alyx is a game that separates gaming on before and after. Any other year that alone would secure #1 spot from me, but there was another such game in 2020. Hopefully, I wasn’t the only one who voted for it, and we’ll see it soon

  • @happygaming shoutouts to hold start for quick save. Early PS3 release and I never saw another title make saving so easy on the platform.

  • I’m expecting to play Alyx later this month when it goes on sale as part of Steam Summer Sale. I finally have the space to play it properly. Really looking forward to it.

  • Hopefully when the psvr2 comes out & is powerful enough to run it I'll try it then.

  • Playing catch up here.

    SoR4 -

    Definitely want to play it one day but don't have much experience with 2D brawlers. Either way, the Huber and Ben co-sign goes a long way considering their experience with the genre.

    Demon's Souls -

    I feel weird only giving an HM nod to one of my all time favourite games and perhaps one of the most influential games of recent generations. Replaying it reaffirmed its greatness in my mind and I wish for "smaller" more confined action RPG games like this in the future.

    The remake goes above and beyond and I think the audio is extremely underrated and feels a cut above the rest of the PS5 games I've played to add an extra layer of atmosphere. But the main takeaway from this remake is that Demon's Souls is etched in history now that it's playable on PS5 @ 4K/60. The PS3 version is still obtainable but it's different region locks, off and on servers, and an aging frame rate made it perfect for a remake and I'm glad it's mostly untouched so the game can be preserved.

    HL Alyx -

    Considering how cutting edge this game looks to be, I'm pretty disappointed that I don't have any means of trying it. I think an investment in a Valve Index would also involve me upgrading my PC and at that point I may as well buy a used BMW or Mercedes.

    If this game is ever ported to PSVR2, I'll bite. I have living room space but I couldn't even play VR in my office if I wanted to.

    This game gets an unnecessary amount of flak for being VR-only. God forbid developers make a cutting edge, ground breaking video game using new controller formats.

  • For me my top 3 is pretty much interchangable. And because I put Like A Dragon at 3rd, is just nitpicking.
    Load times annoyed me a bit which is funny since it's not that much different from other games but it somehow irritated me. Another one is combat doesn't pick up until I was about 15-20h. Other stuffs are excellent so definitely worth playing it.

  • @axel I think we can keep going with the list even with E3 going on.

  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

    #13. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 - 15 points


    #1: 0
    #2: 1 (Shoulderguy)
    #4: 0
    HM: 5 (Exist 2 Inspire, HappyGaming, bam541, Lotias, Hazz3r)


    Release date: March 23 [US/EU]
    Developer: Vicarious Visions
    Publisher: Activision
    Genre: Sports
    Platform(s): PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC


    EZA Review

  • While my experience with the franchise is very limited (I THINK the one game I've played is THPS 4, and that's only because I remember only one song that was on that soundtrack), I'm happy to see the franchise be faithfully be brought back in a great way. While I'm no fan of Activision at large, the smaller support studios churning out the excellent revisits of this, Spyro, and Crash (and even a new one for the latter) is quite surprising in how fantastic they are. Until Activision comes in and demands they sacrifice to Activision's money god CoD, greatly diminishing my hope of more focus put onto these franchises.

    Anyway, rant aside, while I've kind of left the part of my life where I was into skate/snowboarding behind a long time ago, it makes me feel good to know there is still so much viability to these games.

  • I poured 100's of hours into the first two Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games on Dreamcast back when they first released. But since those first two games, I slowly started falling off the series for a variety of reasons. I tried to get back into the series with HD and 5 but they weren't very good, so I thought maybe I was done with skateboarding games.

    When Geoff Keighley announced THPS 1+2 last year as part of Summer Game Fest, I had no idea what to expect from a Tony Hawk game in 2020. Early trailers looked promising, the warehouse demo felt great, and reviews were positive. But I still had my doubts. It wasn't until I finally started playing through THPS 1+2 myself, that I realized how awesome of a job these developers had done.

    Seeing two games that I loved so much be treated with this kind of reverence, is more than I expected. I've never played a remake that nails the overall feel of the original games this well, while still improving upon basically every other aspect of those games. It's not only the best version of THPS 1 and 2, it's also one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played. The only bad thing about THPS 1+2, is that it left me hungry for more. But that's not such a bad thing.

    I don't know if this means the THPS series is back. I would certainly be interested in playing more remakes or a new entry. Though given the recent news that Vicarious Visions has been absorbed into Blizzard, I once again have serious doubts about the future of this franchise. Whatever happens next, I'm happy I finally had a chance to experience what I loved about the THPS in the first place.

  • Honestly it would take a miracle for me to ever play HL: Alyx. I just don't have the space or money for that VR stuff, but man, being able to play it would be great.

    THPS 1+2 is itself a miracle, and I still can't believe how well they nailed it. I just hope that more THPS is on the way. With VV working on Diablo, I have my doubts.

  • Remakes that are faithful to the original game whilst being updated to the modern standard, Tony Hawks 1+2 Remake is a real dream and a treat for those who are nostalgic about the old THPS games, but also supremely gratifying for newcomers. It's insane how pretty much everything that made the original games great is in here whilst also managing to be just as fresh and moreish as ever. Simply spectacular.

  • @brannox said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!:

    While my experience with the franchise is very limited (I THINK the one game I've played is THPS 4, and that's only because I remember only one song that was on that soundtrack)

    Which one?

  • Global Moderator

    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. I bought this on release, realised how much I absolutely SUCK at this game after not playing it for years and years. Still had a good bit of fun and made me want to pick up skateboarding in real life again, but would probably kill myself if I did. Good times!

  • Tony Hawk was my first true love of Gaming. I spent countless hours playing THPS2 so it was wonderful to see Hangar and School 2 recreated in such an amazing way.

    I really wish that there was more in the game that taught you the deeper mechanics of the game, like not grinding the same rail twice in a row, and other stuff that damages balance.

    Otherwise, wonderful game. Will more than likely go back to it again this year.

  • @oscillator TNT by AC/DC

  • Tony Hawk is by far my favourite gaming series and this remaster of THPS 1+2 was so above any beyond anything I expected to the point that hope has been restored in my heart for a series that was at one point was so badly beaten down and bruised.

    When Tony Hawk is at it's best, there just isn't another game like it. The flow of these levels and the combo system is unmatched action-platforming perfection. On top of that, this game had such a good art direction. Funny enough, both THPS 1+2 and Black Ops Cold War had levels that pay homage to the mall in Back to the Future, and the THPS interpretation of the classic "Mall" level was so cool to rediscovered as an abandoned mall whereas it looked like dog shit in BOCW. So it's just one example of their attention to detail in this game.

    Fun fact - I am one degree of separation from a guy that did the graffiti in the Venice Beach level. He's a coworkers friend. Never got to talk to him though.

    But yeah, not holding my breath for more of these games coming anytime soon, but I think the reason I "only" played this for 20-30ish hours instead of more is because I just don't like the THPS1-2 formula as much as the THPS4-THAW formula. This game made be appreciate the classic THPS objectives more but I still prefer the open world and single challenges at a time.

  • @brannox said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!:

    @oscillator TNT by AC/DC

    Hearing that song in that game turned me into a hardcore AC/DC fan. ^_^