The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2020!


  • Banned

    I haven't played Hades but my entire chat goes absolutely gaga for the shit.
    Was honestly expecting it to be higher given how much love it gets all over the place.



  • Still have yet to even try a rogue-like game ever in my life other than 2 seconds of Spelunky (if that counts), so I really should try Hades considering it's know as the best one by far. I have hesitations about games that have a Flash/Vectory art style. It works for me in cartoons but it doesn't work so well for me when I'm playing a game.

    I guess I also like Greek mythology too so that's a bonus but in general, there isn't much that makes me want to immediately pay money to play this game.



  • Ghost of Tsushima

    #4. Ghost of Tsushima - 36 points

    Votes

    #1: 1 (Hazz3r)
    #2: 3 (robert7lee, bam541, Tearju Engi)
    #3: 1 (iboshow)
    #4: 5 (paulmci27, JDINCINERATOR, Jamicov, TokyoSlim, Danjin44)
    HM: 6 (Sentinel Beach, Exist 2 Inspire, HappyGaming, Sheria, Nimbat1003, Capnbobamous)

    Information

    Release date: July 17 [US/EU]
    Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
    Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Genre: Action-adventure, Stealth
    Platform(s): PS4

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    EZA Review



  • Ghost of Tsushima is similar to a lot of open world games I've played in recent years, but it’s a very good one of those. I found the combat satisfying, the progression rewarding and the storytelling interesting. It's a genuinely fun game to play and a beautiful game to look at. Ghost of Tsushima is #11 of 45 on my list.



  • Fuck yeah. I love Ghost of Tsushima so much. If I voted purely based on my personal feelings and views, then this would easily be my number one pick. I already wrote a unnecessarily long piece in the GoT thread, so I'll try to not spend too much time here talking about this game.

    Something I particularly love about this game is the spiritual vibes of the open world design. The way the game's exploration works really makes me feel that the island itself is guiding and helping me so I can help the island break free from it's war-torn state. Foxes guiding you to places where you can earn things that make you stronger, the guiding wind that directs you to your objectives, birds swooping in to lead you to a place of interest, etc. All of these mechanics make the exploration feels much more natural, fluid and immersive since it feels like a contextual mechanic that doesn't disturb the game world itself.

    Meanwhile, the combat feels so brutal yet fast paced, especially in it's highest difficulty (the one included in an update. Shoutout to the post launch support of this game!), which is the mode I played most of the game on. The combat also doesn't overcomplicate itself with unnecessary mechanics. It's all about the fundamentals, and for me, mastery of the combat is shown by how quick you can end battles, which is so satisfying.

    Another aspect that I think Tsushima nails so hard is the overall audiovisual presentation. This game easily sets a new bar for visually beautiful open world landscapes, pretty much every part of the island is a romantic era painting waiting to be immortalized. I talked before about how much I love the Golden Temple area of the island, its such a cozy and warm area to me. The soundtrack is so fucking good too, the cinematic presentation of the game would be so flat and shallow without it. Props to Ilan Eshkeri and Shigeru Umebayashi for this masterpiece of a soundtrack.

    I also enjoy the story and characters. It's nothing we've never seen before, but there are many great moments throughout, and it does its job of keeping me engaged through a very lengthy campaign. One of my favorite parts is the Ghost Stance reveal in Yarikawa, which is presented in such a epic way. The game's ending is also very good. Again, it's nothing unpredictable, but the execution leaves me in awe.

    The main story missions are solid overall, but some of the best moments also happen during the side quests. The one featuring Jin's caretaker is easily one of my favorite side quest arcs in games, mostly because how heartbreaking the story is during it. I definitely cried during the end of that arc. I also have to mention the Mythic Quests, the supernatural edge of those quests can really be a spectacular thing. The one that ends with a duel amidst a lightning storm comes to mind.

    This game is a very solid debut for a new franchise, and even with all of it's strengths, there are definitely rooms for improvements. For starters, it would be great if the difficulty of the game is more consistent throughout. Before the Brutal difficulty update, I played it on Hard, and the game became not challenging enough after I progressed through the first part of the island, which the Brutal difficulty fixed, but that solution would not work for everyone. The Japanese VO not being lipsynced very well is a weird thing that I'd like them to fix. I would also love it if they introduced more variety in the side activities, and also stronger side quests overall, because the regular ones can feel same-y gameplay wise. Lastly, the game is quite lacking on accessibility options.

    Long story short, this game speaks to me so much that it has become my favorite open world game ever, and also kickstarted my interest in open worlds again after years of being kinda bored of them. I'm so excited to see what's next from Sucker Punch.



  • When it was unveiled at Paris Games Week back in 2017, my interest was piqued purely off the Samurai aesthetic. When we saw gameplay at what would be Sony's last E3 show, the thing I was impressed by was the lighting of what looked like a setting sun through dark, smoky clouds hitting the field as Jin rode through. But even then I wasn't really sure I wanted to dive in.

    When Ghost of Tsushima finally got its own dedicated State of Play right before launch, I finally had a good idea of what the gameplay would be, and it was a hard out for me. While the vibrant color of the world just pops off the screen, and both the wind mechanic and the "Kurosawa Mode," are wonderful ideas, seeing how it just looked like a more refined, polished, and frankly better version of pre-RPG Assassin's Creed had me feeling meh about it. I like the concept how relying on stealth and deception as a ninja is dishonorable but confronting foes head-on in deadly stand-off is the way of the samurai is incorporated into how characters perceive you, but it's that very thing which places an undue personal pressure I don't want to deal with.

    I do think Ghost is another example on how Sucker Punch nails an open-world and I feel it's a worthy swan song for the PS4 before the arrival of the PS5 and with it cross-gen and ultimately PS5 only games. That said, much like Spider-man, while it may not be for me, I admire it's undeniable quality.



  • Ghost of Tsushima is my #37 of 41. Lower are only games I’ve got for free.

    Developers tried to make a game that feels like a Samurai movie and apparently this was their only effort - the rest of the game was just phoned in. Exploration is poorly designed. Map markers are practically non-existent, birds lead you to places you’ve already being, and environment is covered in such dense fog that you can’t see any point of interest. World doesn’t even try to be believable. Summer and winter regions are separated by 300 meters, Uncharted-style climbing challenges are everywhere, wind blow indoors and so on and so on. Game can’t decide what it wants to be. There’s no HUD, but tutorials pop up constantly; katana feels like a real weapon, but spears send enemies flying like a grenade explosion; 1-on-1 combat presented like a fighting duel, but you aren’t locked on target and your attacks often go in opposite direction.

    Then there are bunch of technical shortcuts. NPCs in every settlement are completely stationary and doesn’t react to your actions. Environments feel the same because of copy-pasted assets and layouts. There are no animations for entering boat or lighting campfire and only one intro animation for all boss battles. AI doesn’t react to sound of explosions and often enemies are just standing in one place. You can’t talk to a character while they move, be creative in quests, do anything, but the only thing you supposed to do. All quests follow the same generic pattern. Every story arc plays out exactly as you would expect. And visuals are simply bad – materials barely react to light, textures and models are low-res, there's no skin translucency. Just look at these two images and try to guess which game came 2 years before another.
    alt text
    alt text

    All of these could be forgiven if Ghost of Tsushima was an indie title for $10. But it’s a major AAA game, and Sony even raised its price several months after its initial release. And for such highly priced and marketed game such low effort is simply inexcusable. I don’t have a problem with any individual who likes this game – every title speaks to someone. But I will never understand why most gamers hated Cyberpunk 2077, a game that shoot for the moon, but didn’t quite get there, while they liked Ghost of Tsushima, a game that didn’t even try to leave the Earth.



  • Ghost of Tsushima has many problems, perhaps some more unforgivable ones that deserve more scrutiny than they receive, but the satisfaction of timing a deadly slice and its pleasing visual aspects make up for the problems somewhat. Rote forgettable missions, a pretty dry, overly-serious yet unrewarding story, and the general sense that it's just another huge open world game with crafting and collectibles makes me want to reevaluate my opinion of it. Maybe I've been swept up in all the buzz surrounding Ghost of Tsushima and duped by its lovely presentational aspects and particular combat high points that underneath it's a drudge of repetition and sameness-where it would appear that GoT follows the Ubisoft formula like Days Gone followed all the overdone trends like zombies, post-apocalypse setting, crafting and collectibles, serious storytelling and everything else the industry has pounded us into the dirt with in the past decade or so. Spider-Man/Miles Morales has loads of things to do in its open-world but the collectibles and gather and nearly everything you do is rewarding in some way. Guess SONY generally love their trend-following games as long as they look pretty or they hook us in emotionally-kinda baiting now that I think about it.


  • Banned

    Haven't played it but really want to. A lot of buddies said it was their GOTY, which I personally find hard to believe after TLOU2 released in the same year but hey apples and oranges.



  • Tsushima is an excellent video game, just somehow not that memorable after some time has now passed. It still easily made it into my HMs, loved playing it. Even platinumed it (of course). The sword-fighting system feels super good, all the counters and stand-offs etc.



  • Ghost of Tsushima was absolutely my favourite game of the year. I played it on my PS5 with high frame rate.

    The highlight for me was the setting, the quests, and the combat and stealth gameplay. The world was absolutely beautiful to explore, with countless locations that are painstakingly crafted to look like a sacred samurai battleground, or a tranquil spot for meditation.

    The combat is just stupid fun.

    The story had something to say and it covered the topic in the best way I've seen so far.

    Only issue is that the open world collectibles/minor quests were a bit old fashioned. However, they were adorned with so much set dressing and theming that I was happy to keep doing them.

    Also, it seems a little silly but the shape of the open world leaves something to be desired, as it feels less like exploration and more like working your way down a queue. Breath of the Wild starting you in the middle of the open world was no accident. However, I understand it's based on real events in a real place, and the structure does have its own strengths, such as a strong sense of progression.

    I haven't touched Legends mode and don't really plan to. But what a great add-on to what is already a pretty chunky game.



  • Ghost of Sushi was a major disappointment, part of it was on me, I was led by the marketing thinking they were going to really push towards a more emergent gameplay approach, and boy was I wrong. On top of that it's not even a top tier traditional open world a lot of it is stuck a whole gen behind on how non reactivate it is and how poor is the AI.

    Combat was fun at times particularly after they introduced the Lethal difficulty.

    If it was released some years earlier I think I would have enjoyed it more, like I enjoy Mad Max, but as a late gen title from a Sony first party and being released after BotW my expectations were way higher. It felt like the developer was throwing all available colorful particles at my face trying to distract me from a rather mundane game.

    That said I don't hate it, just don't care for it.



  • For Hades, like others were saying, I'm not usually big on rogue-likes, but this was the first one that really got through to me. I really enjoyed testing out each weapon, trying to complete all of the missions where you have to try out every gods' boon at least once, and I appreciated being able to reveal more about the characters and story after every run, even if I didn't do too particularly well. It felt like I was being rewarded for at least trying new things regardless of if it worked out or not.

    As for Ghost of Tsushima, I had a great time going through this world. The combat was satisfying to get down, I think it looks pretty stunning visually, and the story (both main and side quests) all landed pretty well for me. I'm excited to head back and a do a NG+ playthrough on PS5 to get back to 100% trophies and revisit everything. Sure, it doesn't revolutionize the "box-ticking" aspect of open-world games, but I felt like all the boxes I was ticking mattered and were worth my time. Plus, I liked the context of following foxes or birds or whatever to find each collectible so theoretically, you could never open your map and still find a lot. Also worth noting that Legends was a super cool addition post launch, I still need to go back and finish everything out there. I'm super curious to see what Sucker Punch does with a sequel, I think they laid a great foundation to build on.

    Most importantly, any game that lets me cosplay as Sly Cooper is a win in my book.



  • You guys on the forums have definitely sold me on Ghost of Tsushima, especially @bam541 you just always sound so happy about this game.

    Even the people who have issues with it are the same issues I'll probably have with it too but I watched Daminani play it on stream and I can tell the combat is fun enough to carry the game over it's flaws. Also saw so many awesome GIFs of GoT and TLOU2 this year and the combat in both games just feel like a canvas for your tools, skills, and creativity.


  • Banned

    @dipset Speaking of TLOU2's combat, you should check out the Caitlin YT channel. Basically dedicated to doing hilarious/weird/awesome shit using TLOU2's combat and the built in accessibility options/cheats.

    Youtube Video



  • @el-shmiablo temporary hijack to shoutout CJ's Hitman elaborate kill videos.



  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps

    #3. Ori and the Will of the Wisps - 43 points

    Votes

    #1: 5 (paulmci27, Shoulderguy, MiserablePerson, DemonPirate, kindiman)
    #2: 2 (DIPSET, NeoCweeny)
    #3: 2 (Brannox, Scotty)
    #4: 2 (Axel, Phbz)
    HM: 0

    Information

    Release date: March 11 [US/EU]
    Developer: Moon Studios
    Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
    Genre: Metroidvania
    Platform(s): Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    EZA Review



  • I feel like the Ori games has a reputation for being "underrated", not getting enough love or popularity. I don't know why that is, but at least that's not the case in this forum.

    Anyway, I can't wait to see the next two placements, mostly curious about the points they get and how it is distributed. I feel like both of those things says a lot about the game itself. Like how Ghost of Tsushima gets mostly HMs and 4th places, or Ori being top heavy despite not a ton of people voting for it.



  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps is my #9 of 41.

    I loved this game. I had some problems with navigation & difficulty, and I didn’t like that music didn’t restart when you die during escapes, because as a result it no longer matches your actions. But the music is good, art-style & animations are great, and visuals are excellent. Ori once again reminds us that being independent doesn’t necessary mean lower production values for your games and it’s a wonderful news for everyone who wants both innovation and quality.



  • Woah, did not expect this! I didn't play many games during 2020 but even if that weren't the case, I think Ori would still top the list.

    Nice going, forum :)