The EZA Community Top 25 of 2008!

  • I JUST finished doing a series replay of Resistance, so this one is much more fresh in my mind than any other game that's been on the list, or will be revealed. While Resistance 2 is my second favorite of the series (and don't get me wrong, I LOVE the series as a whole), I feel like I have more critiques than I do praise.

    First off, the thing that irritates me most is how Insomniac moved from their traditional weapon wheel to the CoD style of two weapons only at a time. Which is frustrating at times because of not having suitable armament and ammo scarcity can be an issue in a few cases. But beyond that, I think I own a bugged copy because:

    1.) Some text in CG scenes don't appear.
    2.) Some in-game cutscenes don't have audio AND subtitles
    3.) There's a bugged trophy where you need to find all of the intel cases. And they all are gone, which means I MUST have picked them up, but the trophy never has popped and there's no way to create a new game without carryover from previous playthroughs (which this is the ONE time that's not a good thing).

    Sprinting also feels weird in terms of speed and FOV, plus after the modern switch of many FPS's having the bottom triggers being aim and fire, having those be the top shoulder buttons is an odd feeling to get used to.

    Criticisms aside, I LOVE the setting and story. While there are WAY too many games set in the U.S. (And this coming from a U.S. citizen for crying out loud), some of the locales are super fun, with Idaho and Chicago being true highlights (Shoutout to the 300 foot tall Leviathan. Louisiana on the other hand is irritating with how the mission starts, plus what you're there to do). It IS frustrating to see Hale just refuse to do the smart thing to keep himself from turning, but it gives what ultimately happens that much more impact.

    Speaking of which, Resistance 2 is like the connection point of the entire franchise. The two books, The Gathering Storm and A Hole in the Sky, are good reads and give more context to both the world and the main characters of R2 (that said, both books have their climax on the last page with no cooldown, so the abrupt endings are super odd). Plus, and perhaps the COOLEST thing about R2, if you have Resistance: Retribution, you use the PS3's USB cable to connect the PSP and in the options menu of R2, you can "Infect" Retribution, giving the game's main character, James Grayson, a new outfit, the ability to breathe underwater, fully regenerative health, a few different lines of dialogue during story scenes, and new intel to find hidden throughout the levels. Plus, as long as the cable is connected, you can use the wireless function of the Dualshock 3 to play the game on PSP with a controller. It's a process, but super fun. I miss this franchise, and though I would be stoked to have a new game or a reboot, Resistance is pretty dead with how Insomniac is on record having no further interest in making them plus Sony never talks about them when they talk about legacy franchises across the company's history.

    Anyway, back to Resistance 2. The game looks fine nowadays, but not all that great today, so I don't think it aged too well. However, the gameplay and story make up for that, AND this game more than any other Resistance entry leans into horror because, especially in the two levels I listed earlier, you'll face hordes of Chimera, with dwindling ammo, in VERY dark areas, by yourself. It's freaking terrifying.

    As far as voting for it is concerned, it wound up taking 6th place for me, which feels right when I had 13 total games I played. While I WILL argue Resistance 2 is an above average game with plenty of fun to be had (Disclaimer: I never played the multiplayer, so I can't comment on its quality, plus servers are dead now so you can't play it even if you wanted to), I can understand it being a middle-of-the-road experience for others. But, as a fan of the whole franchise, I understand I have my bias. That said, like I've done for the last few games in a row, shoutouts and high fives to fellow voters @VicRattler, @Nimbat1003, @paulmci27, and @DIPSET!

  • Banned

    Resistance 1 was good.
    Resistance 2 was meh but had a good coop mode.
    Resistance 3 is one of the best shooters of that entire generation. Shame 2 was ass and nobody cared about the franchise at that point. Legit Half-Life 2 quality stuff.

  • @el-shmiablo Can't forget Retribution or Burning Skies.

  • I actually love the Resistance series. Insomniac had ample opportunity to elevate it to a high bar and they didn't necessarily do that, but all three games are peppered with great ideas. I think the original had sweet level design, fun weapons, and a big arena multiplayer as defining qualities.

    Resistance 2 just decided to do the same but more.

    I think R2 is defined a bit by it's COD-influence in 2-weapons, sprint, ADS, and other obvious COD influence of the time. I also think it's negatively defined by launching post Halo 3 and alongside Gears of War 2. So it's history is a bit muddy, but it's a fucking sweet game.

    • Horror elements (a la Half Life 2)
    • Massive scale level design
    • Massive behemoth boss creatures
    • Massive array of weapons which are ALL fun
    • Good / great co-op mode
    • Good / great Multiplayer mode

    I fucking loved the multiplayer in this game. The 64 player matches were crazy and the weapon variety was sweet. It needed more polish in a world where Halo 3 existed, but it was above and beyond compared to every tag on MP of that era. Some people put hundreds of hours into co-op but I wasn't super into it.

    My only major complaint was split-screen Campaign going away. That was a huge bummer. I also get the vibe they'll never remaster these games so it'll never be added.

    Reboot the franchise Sony!

  • 0_1628184077382_5b76ddf2-5d13-4f3d-87cd-9233b9f966e4-image.png
    #12.SUPER SMASH BROS BRAWL=10 Points
    #2:1 (DemonPirate)
    #3:1 (El Shmiablo)
    HM:3 (Neocweeny, Capnbabomous, James Davie)
    Release Date: March 9th 2008 (NA), June 26th 2008 (AU), June 27th 2008 (EU)
    Developer: Sora Ltd. And Nintendo Ad-hoc Development Team
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Genre: Fighting
    Platform: Nintendo Wii

    Youtube Video

    Youtube Video

  • Banned

    Spent a stupid amount of time with Brawl. Even got the 1000 hour warning message. Countless nights of drunken Smashing with bros. Great time.

  • Brawl continues the Smash Bros tradition in a scintillating and satisfying way and it's quite easily the best Nintendo game of 2008.

  • Banned

    Fuck tripping tho.

  • Anybody ever get into Project M? Was always curious but never jumped in.

  • Brawl is nowhere near my favorite Smash game, but the countless hours of fun I've had playing with family and friends is undeniable.

    @e_zed_eh_intern said in The EZA Community Top 25 of 2008!:

    Anybody ever get into Project M? Was always curious but never jumped in.

    I had a brief stint with Project M and I remember it being a lot of fun. The setup and all was a bit of a haggle so I didn't get too deep into it.

  • @el-shmiablo said in The EZA Community Top 25 of 2008!:

    Spent a stupid amount of time with Brawl. Even got the 1000 hour warning message.

    O_O Do tell more! What's that?

  • Never owned a Wii but played a fuck ton of Melee on GC. Tried Brawl at a buddies house back when he rented it for 7 days, but we and almost every other kid I went to school with were off Nintendo at that point. I honestly don't know one single person who owned Brawl so I essentially have no knowledge of this game.

  • I think I've said elsewhere my lone Smash experience is Melee and because I didn't/don't really know anyone, playing alone lost its appeal REAL quick. As such, I've never really cared for Smash, so I can't comment on Brawl, and what with Ultimate having literally everyone and every stage plus all the new that comes with it (And one more character reveal to go at time of writing), I have no reason to ever play Brawl. Fair play to it in introducing the brain-breaking third party crossovers though.

  • Banned

    @sentinel-beach Lol it's nothing really. It's just one of those notifications you get when you unlock or achieve something but it says something like "You've played for 1000 hours! Please take a break!".

  • Forgot to mention that the soundtrack to this game is insane!!

  • 0_1628272137512_407c3547-a7a4-4122-b935-99fe303fce3d-image.png
    #2:2 (Brannox, Sheria)
    #3:1 (Bam 541)
    Release Date: March 28th 2008 (NA), June 19th 2008 (AU), June 20th 2008 (EU)
    Developer: Square Enix
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Genre: Action role-playing
    Platform: PSP

    Youtube Video

    Youtube Video

  • I don't think I've ever heard of this game.

  • Crisis Core is by far my favorite PSP game and is within my top 20 favorite games overall. Being a die-hard VII fan, this is a fantastic spin-off (shame Dirge exists. That game, not good), as its focus is on Zack and the lineage of the Buster Sword which is a fascinating one.

    Playing as the SOLDIER whom Cloud co-opted the memories of, while also showing the origins of the romance between Aerith and Zack brings so much more background to these characters. Crisis Core also does a decent job of fleshing out the relationship between Zack and the Turks, mainly Tseng and Cissnei (who for some reason only exists with this game). All of this while also diving deep into the genesis (pun intended) of Sephiroth and his discovery of his origins is a fascinating one, especially when the Nibelheim incident is the crux of the entire VII story.

    While the main narrative is really strong, there are some things that do cause me to sigh; namely, Genesis, and SOLDIERS being injected with "G" and "S" cells because of Shinra's unchecked and dubious experiments coupled with their desire to create the perfect army. But in spite of this, the story is extremely impactful, as Zack is always playing catch-up trying to find his mentor and friend Angeal, and uncover the mysterious of why Shinra's top three SOLDIERS, Sephiroth, Genesis and Angeal, have deserted. Several times throughout, events cast a melancholic shadow, as whenever Zack appears to accomplish a goal, there's always something that happens which cause him to feel defeated and overwhelmed.

    And that's where the absolute best part of Crisis Core shines: The soundtrack. The music for this game is PHENOMENAL. The ending CG cutscene, if you've played VII, you know how it's going to go, but it still, without fail every single time, makes me emotional for being so well executed. And as the song kicks in (Why by Ayaka) really hits me as the credits roll. However:

    The fact FF VII: Remake completely retcons the ending is why I'm so over-hyped for all the sequels. The true mystery of why he's still alive is mindboggling, and I'm HERE FOR IT. If you haven't, PLEASE check out both Spoiler Modes with Maximilian Dood. Those theories and conversations go places and are such fun watches.

    Other songs also standout and a personal favorite of mine is The Price of Freedom, which I HIGHLY encourage you to listen to via YouTube or anywhere else you can find it.

    In addition to all of this, the actual gameplay is really solid. I DO concede it may take a little getting used to in having the shoulder buttons cycle to whichever command you have equipped, but the sheer flexibility of customization you're given with the Materia Fusion system allows you to equip Zack with your preferred playstyle. While it takes a bit to get some of the best stuff, the New Game Plus format of Crisis Core is great, as each subsequent playthrough is so enjoyable, to the point you can break the game by having an attack called Costly Punch, which does 999,999 damage (not a typo) at the cost of a small amount of health, and with the DMW roulette system that never stops, it covers you by giving you some healing, breaking your HP and MP gauges (with applicable accessories of course), and providing Limit Breaks when get three pictures of a specific character or summon. Essentially, you can one-shot almost every enemy in the game (with of course the hardest fights being an exception, but it still makes me feel like an unstoppable badass).

    Speaking of the CG, for something on PSP, every prerendered scene is INCREDIBLE. Summons' animations and attacks, and major story moments look unbelievable and still hold up today.

    One final thing I like to touch on is the Mission system, which is actually where the majority of game time is. It's a neat idea to have these missions Zack is sent out on and they become progressively harder the more you go through a particular group. There are 10 categories and most have about the same amount of missions. It's where you find and earn all kinds of items, summons, shops, where you level up a bit, and interesting fights. It's kind of necessary to do as many as you can when you're strong enough to make sure the latter chapters won't overwhelm you. A neat trick is to always hug the boundary of the path to bypass many fights if you just want to reach the end (which will be an enemy standing/hovering in a particular spot). This will cut down on some of the slog (ESPECIALLY in the very hard missions) and help you get the rewards with as little hassle as possible. Granted there are only like, four or five environments and they're linear corridors, so they're not interesting and get old QUICK, so that's the biggest knock I have against the game as a whole.

    Overall, I will ALWAYS recommend this game, but it's difficult to get to if you don't have a PSP, what with the licensing of Gackt being the character model, therefore it won't ever be ported (=-T). It's an awesome game I love to bits, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see it on our countdown. High-fives to you @Sheria and @bam541 for voting for it too!

  • Wow. Crisis Core's not even in the top 10??? Disappointing. This is like one of the truly great PSP games that still holds up well to this day, even with its quirky and strange parts, like the slot-machine charged combat and progression.

    This was my first entry to the FFVII universe, and I think it's quite friendly to a newcomer like me. Heck, it made me miss Zack a lot while playing the VII Remake. I think playing this before VII Remake makes me view this game far more favorably, due to the fact that this game plays like a prototype of the remake, particularly the real time combat system.

    But of course, the game is more than just that. I thought the story was very enjoyable, and this was back in those days where cutscenes feel like a reward, which this game nails hard. The opening cutscene gets me so hyped everytime I see it, and the epic fight scene between Genesis, Sephiroth and Angeal is simply sublime. The soundtrack is amazing as well, and every moment in the game is better because of it. Do yourself a favor and listen to it right now on YouTube or something, whether you have listened to it before or not.

    Hopefully I can see my boy Zack in action in the next remake part, I'm just itching to play as him again. Anyway, Damiani played it a bit back at EZX Digital, it's feels very nostalgic to see him play it.

    Youtube Video

  • @bam541 Unfortunately it just speaks to the state of PSP and how unappealing it is to the general gaming audience. There are many excellent PSP games out there that will not get the recognition they truly deserve because presumably gamers don't see the PSP as a worthwhile enough system. I personally love the PSP, easily my favourite portable gaming system ever and I amassed a huge collection of PSP games. I wasn't really into Crisis Core even though I did have it on PSP. I must admit though you writing this post is tempting me to play it as I have a PSP, but I will just need to find Crisis Core if it's lying around somewhere. I think me and Final Fantasy have always had trouble clicking because although I really like the action-RPG dynamics the series adopted away from its turn-based formula, I guess it still felt like I was just slashing into enemies whilst numbers fly off the screen and it's a bit slow for my liking. I think I'm a gamer who craves immediacy and with action RPGs although I like them and enjoy them, they can be time-consuming in both how big they are and how long it takes to dispatch enemies.