The EZA Community Top 25 of 2008!

  • 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!!

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    #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.

  • Banned

    @jdincinerator You could also wait for the portable remake they are doing of the entire VII story.

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    #10.LOST ODYSSEY=13 Points
    #2: 1 (Axel)
    #3: 3 (PHBZ, Paulmci27, Sheria)
    Release Date: February 8th 2008 (AU), February 12th 2008 (NA), February 29th 2008 (UK)
    Developer: Mistwalker Freeplus
    Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
    Genre: Role-playing, turn-based tactics
    Platform: Xbox 360

    Youtube Video

    Youtube Video

  • Lost Odyssey is one of those games I hear has a sizeable fanbase, but isn't a game that really gets brought up much. After a few entries here in our countdown where I can speak to some familiarity, if not outright first hand experience, this is one much like the first few games to be revealed where I can't really comment further. Though, it MUST be solid to crack our top 10!

  • @brannox I guess you feel lost talking about Lost Odyssey...

  • Omg a game on my list!

    I think this was the last traditional jrpgs I've loved and enjoyed and I don't even dare to replay it out of fear of ruining the memory, since I totally lost my patience for the genre.

  • I wouldn't mind playing Lost Odyssey but given its name is so juicily appropriate I think it's more tempting than ever. Actually given the huge monotonous open-worlds these days there is a lost odyssey pertaining to huge open-world games with worthwhile activities and content in them-even if they are occasionally found in say Breath of the Wild.

  • If you love traditional JRPGs this is up there with any of them. If this was released on a Sony Platform it would get so much more love. The reason I bought a 360. Masterpiece.

  • @jdincinerator Ba-dum tiss.

  • Banned

    Lost Odyssey is a fucking banger. I hope one day they'll port it to PC.

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    #1:2 (Neocweeny, Crepe)
    #3:1 (DemonPirate)
    Release Date: October 1st 2008 (UK), November 4th 2008 (NA)
    Developer: SEGA
    Publisher: SEGA
    Genre: Tactical role-playing, third-person shooter
    Platform: PS3

    Youtube Video

    Youtube Video

  • I only experienced Valkyria Chronicles II and Valkyria Chronicles IV-both of which are really good and refreshing tactical shooters. I wouldn't mind getting the remaster of this one to see how it all began even though games involving tactics aren't my think, that lovely watercolor look has always been inviting.

  • And now the streak of games I can't on has returned. While Valkyria Chronicles has an interesting art style and especially intriguing premise, it's a genre I can't get into for the most part, so it's yet another franchise I steer clear of.