The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2021)
Capnbobamous last edited by Capnbobamous
It is finally time for the very first Easy Allies Forum Hall of Greats. For those who may be unaware, this is our version of the event EZA does in which participants bring a single game forward that they think is worthy of being entered into the Hall of Greats. After cross-examination, we vote and see which two games are entered. Here are the rules:
- You have until the end of September 5th to DM me and tell me what game you are planning on bringing. After the deadline I will not accept new submissions.
- These have to be video games. We don’t want another D&D fiasco.
- You may not bring a game that has been banned, though since this is the first one we’ve done, that is not something you need to worry about yet.
- On September 6th I will allow presentations in the thread. This period will last another week, with the 12th being the last day.
- Presentations may be either a text post of no more than 1000 words, or a video no longer than 5 minutes.
- Text posts will be allowed 3 pictures and 2 videos of up to 10 minutes. These videos are purely to enhance the text post, and can be only music or gameplay without commentary. This is optional.
- If you opt to do a 5 minute video, there are no restrictions on content so long as it remains within the time-limit.
- It’s important that we keep conversation to a minimum at this time so as to not crowd the thread. Conversation is for the next phase, Cross-Examination.
- On September 13th, the cross-examination period will begin. This will last another week, with the last day being the 19th.
- In cross-examination, each person is allowed to ask up to two questions per game presented.
- If a question is asked about a certain game, only the person who brought that game is allowed to respond.
- Anybody is able to cross-examine, even those who did not present a game themselves. This is to encourage participation, and potentially get those who did not participate interested in doing so next time.
- After cross-examination is done, participants will be asked to vote on which games were their favorite.
- Only those who brought a game are able to vote.
- Votes will be sent to me through DM, and you will be able to vote on your first, second, and third favorites.
- Your first pick gets three points, your second gets two, and your third gets one.
- After I have received all of the votes, I will tally them up and reveal which two games are entered into the Forum HoG.
- You may not vote for your own game.
- If a game gets no votes, it will be banned for a year. This means that you cannot bring it to the HoG again until the time is up.
This is the first time we’re doing this, so there may be some unanticipated hiccups. It’s trial-by-fire in a way, and if some things don’t work out we can adjust for future HoGs. Also, realistically it’s difficult for these rules to be enforced, so I ask that you just try to follow them as well as you can. If your video is a few seconds over or something like that, no sweat, just try your best. If you choose to go way under 5 minutes or 1000 words, that’s cool too. They’re a limit, not a requirement.
With all that said, I think I’ve covered everything. Be sure DM me what you’re bringing, and we’ll start the presentations on the 6th. Hopefully we get a fair amount of submissions. See you then!
Here is an aggregation of all of the submissions and cross-examination questions:
- ffff0's Presentation
- JDINCINERATOR's question -- ffff0's response
- DIPSET's question -- ffff0's response
- Brannox's questions -- ffff0's response
- Shoulderguy's question -- ffff0's response
- Capnbobamous' question -- ffff0s' response
Final Fantasy VII
- Brannox's Presentation
- ffff0's question -- Brannox's response
- JDINCINERATOR's question -- Brannox's response
- DIPSET's question -- Brannox's response
- Shoulderguy's question -- Brannox's response
- Capnbobamous' question -- Brannox's response
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- JDINCINERATOR's Presentation
- ffff0's question -- JDINCINERATOR's response
- DIPSET's question -- JDINCINERATOR's response
- Brannox's questions -- JDINCINERATOR's response
- Shoulderguy's question -- JDINCINERATOR's response
- Capnbobamous' question -- JDINCINERATOR's response
Tony Hawk's Underground
- DIPSET's Presentation
- ffff0's question -- DIPSET's response
- JDINCINERATOR's question -- DIPSET's response
- Brannox's questions -- DIPSET's response
- Shoulderguy's question -- DIPSET's response
- Oscillator's questions -- DIPSET's response
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
- Oscillator's Presentation
- ffff0's question -- Oscillator's response
- JDINCINERATOR's question -- Oscillator's response
- DIPSET's question -- Oscillator's response
- Brannox's questions -- Oscillator's response
- Shoulderguy's question -- Oscillator's response
- ffff0's second question -- Oscillator's response
- Capnbobamous' question -- Oscillator's response
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
- Sentinel Beach's Presentation
- ffff0's question -- Sentinel Beach's response
- JDINCINERATOR's question -- Sentinel Beach's response
- DIPSET's question -- Sentinel Beach's response
- Brannox's questions -- Sentinel Beach's response
- Shoulderguy's question -- Sentinel Beach's response
- Capnbobamous' question -- Sentinel Beach's response
- DIPSET's second question -- Sentinel Beach's response
Oscillator last edited by
Nicely formatted OP. :)
Capnbobamous last edited by Capnbobamous
Hey folks just wanted to put a reminder post out there that if you wish to participate, you must tell me what game you want to bring by the end of the 5th. This currently has 6 participants including myself, a perfectly fine number that I'd be comfortable going forward with, but we could always use more.
@capnbobamous Will you make a post, informing us that next phase has begun? If not, which time zone we are using to determine dates?
Also will we be allowed to vote for our own games? I see no such restriction in rules, but would prefer a clear statement to avoid confusion.
@ffff0 Don't worry, I'll let you know when the presentation period opens. I operate on PDT, but I'll tell you so I wouldn't worry about that too much.
As for voting on our own games, no you cannot. Somebody else actually brought this up to me earlier and I meant to add it to the rules but forgot. Consider it added now.
Oscillator last edited by
^ Yeah, I preferred the classic HoG rules where the Allies could vote on their own games, but I don't think it would work outside of a close-knit group like that.
DIPSET last edited by
I started to film my video. I don’t have capture software so I was going to just film some very specific things I was talking about through my camera onto the TV (among other things). Discovered my game console must’ve broke somewhere between my last apartment and my new one. Tried repairing it and it’s just not working. Replacements are way more money than they used to be too.
So it’s fine, I’ll adapt. I’ll pull gameplay off of YouTube and hopefully there is footage about what I want to talk about. I tested this pretty fast Windows app that rips and converts video really fast.
But how would you go about citing the videos I pulled since it isn’t my gameplay?
Maybe a lower third:
“SOURCE - Joe Blow Gameplay, YouTube”
I know it’s non-profit and more informative than anything but I don’t wanna just rip peoples videos and take credit.
Alright folks, the presentation period is now open.You have until the end of the 12th, or one week to get your presentations in. I encourage you to look at the rules one more time to make sure you follow them to the best of your ability. We have 7 presentations including myself, so make sure you get them in.
ffff0 last edited by ffff0
My nomination for this Hall of Greats is Apex Legends. Yes, I know, this community loves great single-player experiences and have little interest in free-to-play multiplayer-only shooters with loot boxes. But let me try to convince you that this game deserves your votes.
The idea of playing with others always intimidated me, because I don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers and most co-op and team-based games heavily rely on communication. But Apex Legends broke that wall for me because it allows you to efficiently communicate with your teammates via ingenious ping system. Requesting ammo or gear, reporting enemy activity, informing teammates about your plans, suggesting further actions, marking items – all of this can be done with a press of a button. If you are looking at an armor, your character will say that it’s there and what level it is. If you are looking at some place, you character will suggest going there. If you are looking at an open supply storage, your character will say that others have already visited that area. This system works so well that you very rarely need to open quick menu to communicate something more specific.
Another aspect that makes Apex Legends so welcoming is its community. I’ve played about 3000 matches with random people and maybe in 4 of them I was paired with players who were trying to ruin my day. Also, I’ve dived deep into this game during its 3rd year, and much more experienced teammates were tacking effort to help me. This isn’t a stroke of luck – developers made many smart decisions to foster such comradery in game’s community. Firstly, there’s no solo mode, so inexperienced teammates are expected. Secondly, if someone helps you, you get a button prompt to say “Thank you” and they get a button prompt to respond with “You’re welcome”. Thirdly, if you get killed, your teammates can grab your banner and then respawn you. This creates a natural incentive to care about inexperienced teammates, because if pro players die, newbie can still save the day by bringing them back to the fight.
The biggest hook of Apex Legends is, of course, its Legends (characters), so let’s talk about them. Currently there are 18 different heroes and each one has three unique abilities. Loba sees high-tier loot through walls and can summon it. Valkyrie is the only one who can fly, and Revenant can climb over much higher walls than anyone else. Bloodhound sees enemies’ footprints and Seer senses their pulses. Crypto has remotely controlled drone, Horizon creates gravitational wells, Wraith can escape into another dimension. Whether you want to charge forward, support your team from behind or simply find a good spot and make it a fortress, there is a character that will suit your playstyle. And despite such wide variety, every Legend is completely viable and even e-sports players use the most if not all of the cast.
These Legends aren’t just a set of abilities. Each hero has a story and many of them have long and complicated relationships, that affect their vocal interactions. Rampart and Mirage are roommates and there’s a lot of competition and friendly insults between them. Loba and Revenant have a history full of death and revenge and they can barely stand each other. There’s an evolving love triangle between Loba, Bangalore and Valkyrie and currently two chat like lovebirds and one worries that she’s being recently neglected. If you not interested in this stuff, it never gets in your way, but if these conversations get you invested, there are also comics (in-game, online and printed), story trailers and lore pieces tied to various in-game cosmetic items.
Speaking of cosmetics items, let’s talk about game’s monetization. Apex Legends is a free-to-play game that you can enjoy for months without spending a dime. Initially, you have access to six Legends that support all types of playstyles. And they aren’t second-tier heroes, in fact most of them are among the most popular picks for pro players. Other Legends can be bought, but I’ve unlocked them all by just playing the game, and it never felt like a grind. Every other purchase is purely cosmetic.
One more thing I want to praise is movement. Just like in Titanfall movement feels so, so good! You can slide downhill, jump at the last second, grab a zipline mid-air, jump before reaching zipline’s end, land on building’s wall, climb on its roof - all in one smooth sequence of movements. Several Legends also have unique traversal abilities, like Pathfinder’s grappling hook (in experienced hands he can move like a Spider-Man). In many battle royales downtime quickly gets boring, but in Apex Legends the simple joy of movement makes looting and relocation genuinely exciting.
But even if you don’t care about social aspects, Legends’ stories & abilities, and only want to shoot some dudes, Apex Legends is still a great game. Three different maps are on 1–2-hour rotation and each has several unique mechanics (for example, Olympus has vehicles, supply ships fly over Kings Canyon, and several World's Edge’s locations can be altered at nearby terminals). There’s Arena mode if you want to skip looting part and get straight into a fight. Unless it’s early workday morning, you get into a match almost instantly. And net code is exceptional. I’ve played on European servers, on US servers and via mobile network (when my home internet died), and I felt no difference at all.
Apex Legends is not just a great game in its own genre. It pushes gaming accessibility forward with its ping system. It found a way to simultaneously cater to players who want and don’t want story in online games. Its cast of characters has more personality and diversity than rosters of many single-player RPGs. And, of course, it’s an extremely solid and fun game on fundamental level. That’s why Apex Legends deserves to be in this forum’s Hall of Greats.
P.S. Here’s a gameplay montage that illustrates things I’ve talked about:
Brannox last edited by
Hello fellow forum friends! As we come together to celebrate and recognize what we collectively consider what games are Greats™, I’ve decided to bring all the games from list of my favorites of all time, meaning I’m starting our first ceremony by nominating my favorite game ever:
Final Fantasy VII
While it’s been stated to the point of cliché how Final Fantasy, and VII in particular, popularized JRPGs to a Western audience, my presentation will center on how it impacted me with various aspects of what makes VII special.
First up: The story. Stories and narratives are difficult things to properly pull off in games, whether it may be a failure of bad writing, unappealing characters, terrible storytelling, convoluted devices, tropes, and the like, but VII is exceptional in all these categories and more. From the opening moments of seeing a mysterious girl praying over a dim light in the darkness to seeing smash cuts of a train where the characters jump out to carry out a bombing, the opening grabs you in a way that compels you to move forward and see what will happen next, and this feeling never leaves. Initially, the story of a small band of rebels taking on the world’s largest corporation in its quest of eco-terrorism is unique enough, but how it transforms into something greater, fighting for the planet against what is arguably one of the most well-known villains, not just from Final Fantasy but gaming as whole in Sephiroth, is captivating.
And this story wouldn’t be great if not for the cast of characters along the way. Your main party of nine is an eclectic ragtag group, but each stand on their own for their indelible personalities. Obviously, there’s Cloud, which you play as for the majority of the game and his growth of being a standoff-ish jerk looking for his paycheck in the beginning to eventually becoming someone who cares deeply for his friends is a progression that never gets old. Barret, with his gun-arm and loud persona immediately establishes a presence of a man who fights for what he believes in. Aerith, with innocence and an occasional teasing quip showcases her to be one of the most beloved characters out there. Tifa, who, through her need to keep her friendship with Cloud strong out of the fear of losing the last of everything Shinra (and ultimately Sephrioth) took from her makes you root for her to succeed and be happy. I could go on, but just know I feel as strongly about Red XIII, Yuffie, Cait Sith, Vincent, and Cid, plus all of the supporting cast as well.
But games live and die by their gameplay, and VII’s is a system that’s easy to learn and provides you different ways to outfit your team. Sure, the battle system can just be, “Select Attack, pick enemy, execute, and repeat,” but the depth materia gives you opens up a world of possibilities. From magic to abilities, having each skill be a single orb to equip on your weapon and/or armor allows for anyone to use anything (though it would be in your best benefit giving Aerith and Red magic materia, for example, in light of their inherit magic stats being stronger than other party members). Having these skills gain experience alongside your team with each battle ensures you’re always working towards getting stronger in one way or another. And for putting in the effort of maxing out a materia, a new copy is created for you, rewarding you with a replacement if you need to sell your maxed out version for a pretty payday. Plus, with the limited number of spaces each character will have dependent on what weapons and armor are equipped, you have to be strategic in creating a loadout that balances your playstyle and making sure whomever you’re fighting with is prepared with the materia on hand.
Limit Breaks, earned by both defeating a set number of enemies AND using particular Limits a certain number of times, are spectacles that will help you out in a pinch. Summons are just as incredible, with some of the most satisfying attacks in the game coming from the rarest and most powerful of them all (Hello Knights of the Round and the trio of Bahamuts). Yet, gameplay is more than battles though. Sidequests and mini-games are fun distractions whether you’re on a motorcycle or snowboard, the battle arena’s various modifiers, catching, raising, and racing Chocobos, all of these and more provide excellent rewards for your effort.
Probably my favorite part about my favorite game has to be the soundtrack. There are very, VERY few songs that I don’t think are exceptional, but even then, those that aren’t are still really good. If I had to pick my absolute favorites, it would have to be Still More Fighting, Valley of the Fallen Star, and Cid's Theme. Of course, there’s so many more, like the themes for Aerith, Shinra, and the Overworld, The Highwind Takes to the Skies, and obviously, One Winged Angel just to name a FEW. For a game with no VO (understandable for its time), it’s crucial to have excellent music and sound effects, and VII delivers on every front.
The last thing I want to touch on is how it looks. Up front: Yes, I understand the polygonal character models when you’re running around and talking to others can be a bit much. But beyond that, VII still looks fantastic, with the many, Many, MANY beautifully illustrated and painted 2D backgrounds, and I would argue the battle models in actual fights are really good as they’re more detailed and correctly proportioned. While I personally have never minded or thought the character models look bad, I DO get where people may view that as a turnoff, but in the grand scheme, I think everything else more than makes up for it.
There’s a reason Final Fantasy VII is getting remade and has multiple spin-offs, old and coming soon. It’s that phenomenal.
JDINCINERATOR last edited by JDINCINERATOR
The nominee I propose for the Hall of Greats is GTA: Vice City. An open-world sandbox drenched in nostalgic 1980s Technicolor dreams and trumps its predecessor GTA III in every way that matters. Ballsier, more brazen, innovative, daring and truly exciting-Vice City is thoroughly deserving of a place in the Hall of Greats.
When I first saw the original trailer for GTA: Vice City, I was blown away. Backed by Kool and the Gang's Summer Madness and showing idyllic shots of the sun peaking through palm trees, the glistening post-card picturesque presentation does its utmost to welcome and soothe you into a new kind of GTA.
What makes Vice City stand apart for all of GTA games before and since is its ability to captivate and make you feel wholly immersed in the time period. Radio stations run the gamete of the popular music genres of the time such as new, pop and rock, but also sprinkles in a helping of Hispanic influence courtesy of Radio Espantoso and features the long-lost love of pirate radio with the Wildstyle rap station. Talk radio stations get some love with two stonking additions in the form of K-CHAT-a talk show where a fancy woman interviews a bunch of weirdos and maniacs-and VCPR-a panellist discussion show where three guests discuss topics such as poverty, politics and nudism. The satire and writing of these talk radio stations is superb and totally hilarious.
Vice City also sings with a smattering of pop culture references to an extent far beyond any other game in the franchise. Scarface is evidenced most notably with the Diaz mansion, the interiors looking strikingly similar to the one Tony Montana raises his drug empire in. Miami Vice is another clear point of inspiration, especially seeing as Tubbs' voice actor Phillip Michael Thomas lends his pipes to Tommy Vercetti's sidekick Lance Vance. Many larger and smaller references are trickled into Vice City to make it a referential 80s lover’s wet dream that listing them all will take forever-just know that Ken Rosenberg’s curly mop and the Malibu Club are the works of Carlito’s Way-another Al Pacino/ Brian De Palma offering.
As for Tommy Vercetti and his presence in the world of Vice City, he’s the best kind of protagonist you could ask for. Vercetti has no morals, he speaks his mind, he takes no shit and he is all about creating destruction en masse. There’s no time for emotions or serious storytelling and all that Hollywood-aping pretentiousness, it’s about you and the havoc you spread with the seismic arsenal of weapons you’re given. You can carve caverns of bloody gore with a chainsaw that much like the rain, cascades down the screen after you’ve sent hostile guts a splattering. Fancy treating your foes like animals you intend to dissect like they were a hapless piece of meat? Then grab that cleaver or machete and get chopping away.
If firearms are more your bag, then you can spit a barrage of bullets using the minigun which will result in satisfying sprays of blood gushing out of your victims. Then you have all manner of assault rifles, sniper rifles, a rip-roaring magnum, grenades and Molotov cocktails to choose from-oh and an RPG because wholesale destruction can’t be complete without one. There are an amalgamation of options for Tommy to commit gory murder and it’s pleasingly robust to have this level of diversity in the weapon selection.
Vehicles are more varied in Vice City as well. From motorbikes, mopeds and dirt bikes to helicopters, sea planes, sea helicopters, speed boats and golf caddies as well as a host of new on-road vehicles, ensuring you get from point A-B in stylish elegance.
As for missions they’re as wonderfully varied as the wholesale destruction you cause and far away from the obedient “yes man” missions of GTA 3. Whether it’s helping a real estate mogul clear away his competition, aiding a biker by wreaking sheer demolition on the populace, or being drugged to help the enemy-the story missions never fail to entertain and delight. Ambition is also showcased with heists and pivotal story missions that change the face of things moving forward, so the escalation of what GTA would go on to accomplish in later instalments is very much gleaned in Vice City.
Though GTA 3 laid the groundwork and pencil sketched the franchise’s future in 3D, Vice City inked, coloured and gave GTA a vibrant and engrossing life. VC gave us a speaking protagonist, more complex and wildly diverse array of characters, more exciting missions, a grander sense of time and place, a greater diversity of radio stations, weapons and vehicles. The side activities were far more interesting too including destruction derbies, pizza delivery missions, RC missions and the ability to purchase properties including businesses that generate money. You can even participate in a mission where you dispatch naughty fliers and complete vehicle checklists for rewards.
Visually you may think Vice City is rather garish as it’s using the same engine that ran GTA 3, but it released only one year afterwards and what R* managed to accomplish during its development is remarkable. No matter whether you’re witnessing the rain and thunder teeming down, watching the waters glisten and sparkle as you barrel through them on a Jetmax or Squallo speedboat, or you’re taking a trip down to the Malibu Club and gazing at an eye-wincing homage to The Village People as they boogie to Automatic by The Pointer Sisters-Vice City did all it could to make you feel part of the bygone era of the 80s.
GTA Vice City deserves your vote because it transformed the perception of what GTA is capable of. GTA 3 may have been the genesis of the franchise’s leap into the third dimension, but Vice City amplified GTA’s appeal tenfold and all these years later it’s still a very fondly remembered entry in the franchise for the gigantic steps it took to establish GTA as a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
DIPSET last edited by
Video linked below:
Easy Allies Forums Hall of Greats Submission
Oscillator last edited by Oscillator
It might not have the notoriety of being the first 3D Zelda, or the wide-open epicness of Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild. But what The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask does different is where its strengths lay.
Rather than taking the straightforward adventure route of prior Zelda games, Majora's gameplay loop is a loop in the mightiest sense. Link is in an alternate reality where the moon is about to fall, and without the resources necessary to stop it, he must relive the same three in-game days (about 1 hour in real-time) over and over, each time gaining not only more tools, but also more knowledge about all of the people affected by the coming disaster. This knowledge gets logged in a notebook, eventually showing Link how to bring closure each of their problems by being in the right place at the right time.
These problems range from shopkeepers not being able to stock a certain item to reuniting a soon-to-be-wed couple to healing lost souls with a song. Each time Link helps someone out, he's rewarded with a mask that gives him a new ability. Compared to Link's main set of tools, most of these are minor abilities such as being able to get more information from people or being able to speak to certain animals and monsters.
However, three of the masks allow Link to transform into members of each of the regional races, with each one COMPLETELY changing the gameplay with a wholly different body type and moveset.
The two words that best sum up Majora's Mask are "dense" and "variety". While the world is easily the smallest of the major console Zeldas, every single inch is filled with unique and worthwhile tasks to accomplish. Only four main dungeons have been compensated for with an extensive leadup to each one, as well as an enormous quantity of sidequests that are really more key to the flow of the game than the main path. Add in how the gameplay instantly turns on its head each time you put on a transformation mask plus the deep personalities of the multitude of NPCs, and the lack of physical scale just outright vanishes.
Some people find the game's timer stressful. But as long as you only tackle one major task per cycle, the timer rarely feels like anything other than a time-of-day indicator. This does put more onus on the player to pay attention rather than enjoy the sights, but as the sights are intended to give off a vibe of weariness rather than field-and-lake style glory, I'd say it's not an unreasonable ask.
Getting back to the meat and potatoes of Zelda, the first three dungeons are all solidly designed (though like Ocarina of Time, the water temple is mazey and demands a strategy guide to prevent the onset of insanity) with an optional objective of finding Stray Fairies for major prizes, but they lack the atmosphere of the overworld. The BIG exception is the last one, the legendary Stone Tower Temple, which I (and others) consider to be the best dungeon in all of 3D Zelda. Not only is the atmosphere and variety of rooms and enemies superb, the central mechanic of turning the entire dungeon upside down is like two dungeons in one! Even the music changes!
The soundtrack is my personal favorite Zelda soundtrack. While a lot of tunes from Ocarina of Time are reused, it just makes the whole package sweeter. Including a full slate of new ocarina songs, the new musical additions have a similar structure to OOT's, but are more dark and dissonant. It's a fair step removed from Koji Kondo's usual upbeat style. Newcomer Toru Minegishi, who went on to be the lead composer of Twilight Princess and Splatoon, also helps out with some awesome battle music.
And as for that atmosphere I mentioned, it's the BEST aspect of Majora's Mask, as well as what it has the MOST of. The world is pretty at times, but is drenched in unease, and a layer of sadness consistently seeps through its facade. A masterfully realized trifecta of writing, visual effects, and soundtrack come together to create an experience that is constantly entrancing and affecting.
And along with everything else, Majora is one of the best looking games on the Nintendo 64. With the mandatory extra RAM of the Expansion Pak, Majora exceeds Ocarina of Time's visuals throughout with brighter colours, more details, a killer blur motion effect, and a more advanced lighting engine that is central to the mood of the world. Scenes are bathed in uneasy purples, yellows, golds, and pastels; characters are gently lit by flickering torches; and weapons such as the Bombs and Light Arrows fill up rooms with searing lightbursts.
The only truly negative opinion I have about MM is that it's just a bit easy. However, this slight fault in gameplay is overcome with ease by the outstanding presentation.
post-HoG edit - updated music link
Sentinel Beach last edited by
It was back in 2003 when Ubisoft released a game that would pretty much change my taste in games, almost define it. I was fifteen and had enjoyed so far mostly (children's) platformers and after those FPS games, but with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time that all changed. That's when I discovered the action-adventure genre.
The Sands of Time is a magical game. A wonderful journey. The atmosphere remains mysteriously peaceful throughout the whole game, even with all the fight sequences that happen time after time. At those times the action intensifies and the music changes suits, but when it's all over again and the Prince stands triumphant amidst the now-gone enemies the peace quickly returns. The game's balance works perfectly in that regard as the exploration and the sword fights come one after the other.
Much of the exploration concentrates on large environmental puzzles in the huge palace and its courtyards and dungeons. The Prince needs to navigate through multiple obstacles, swing on poles, hit switches, run on walls and jump from ledges to the next ones. Often all of those combined, and sometimes with a ticking clock adding to the pressure. The euphoria is real when you finally beat a big room full of dangers and difficult traversal and get to continue.
The fighting, on the other hand, happens mainly against large number of enemies who aren't exactly pushovers. They tend to teleport near you and swing their giant blades in big archs, forcing you to be on your guard. Luckily the Prince is an agile fellow who has an equally deadly sword of his own. The most satisfying move is to somersault over an enemy and stab them with the Dagger of Time, thus sucking the precious sand into it.
Yes, the Dagger. The weapon that allows you to rewind time, THE gimmick of the series. It is a beautiful feature. Whether you've just failed a difficult wall-run or gotten hit by a deadly series of sword-strikes from an enemy, you just hold the button down and it all returns to moments before the disaster. Of course you can't spam it all the time as you need to refill the Dagger's power slots, but those are plentiful and there's sand to be found all over the palace.
What I enjoy the most about the game, however, is its presentation. The story and how it's told. It's basically the Prince narrating the whole story and if you happen to die he simply gets a little confused and says that's not how it went. By the end of the game this whole narration angle has a beautiful payoff, which - spoiler - involves Farah. The other integral person of the story, without whom this would all be so, so much less. I love Farah. The way the pair struggle through the nightmare together and then get their peaceful moments from time to time is what elevates The Sands of Time so high for me. Those are the moments I remember the best. The moments that still bring a bittersweet smile on my face almost twenty years later.
The Sands of Time wants to tell a story and it does it without anything unnecessary. It doesn't have any customization or weapons to choose from, because it doesn't need them. Instead the game tells about your progress by ripping away the Prince's shirt, sleeve by sleeve, until he finally throws the whole garment away. In the same fashion the Prince comes upon only a few new swords on his journey, which makes these discoveries every time huge moments to witness and cheer. All of these style choises made by the studio are literal joy for my senses.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has remained in my Top 5 games of all time and it still continues to do so. There have been countless games that I've enjoyed and loved through the years after, but only a tiny fraction of them has had as lasting an impact as the Prince and Farah's story. The game's truly a classic for me and I love it dearly. "Kakolookiyam."
I found an excellent clip from the Prison. A bit narration, then traversal, and finally fighting.
The Tower of Dawn, my favourite song from the game.
I'm finally done!
Chopping this thing down from 9 minutes was rough, sorry if there are obvious edits.
I'll make another post in a few hours opening this thing for cross-examination.
Of these seven games one was brought by me, one is partly familiar and five are completely unknown to me (never played them, never saw someone else playing them). Therefore, I will give my votes solely based on your arguments. So don’t feel like you’ve already lost, because someone else brought more revered game – make the best case for your title and 3 points are yours.
JDINCINERATOR last edited by
I must say at this point that for the first EZA Community Hall of Greats-this seems rather impossible! You've all brought a fantastic and varied selection of games to the inaugural community HoG. Thank you all for participating and @Capnbobamous for making this all possible!
Hey everybody, cross-examination is now open. Here is a quick refresher on the rules:
- Each person is allowed to ask up to two questions per game presented.
- If a question is asked about a certain game, only the person who brought that game is allowed to respond.
- Anybody is able to cross-examine, even those who did not present a game themselves.
There's no word limit or post limit here, so feel free to spread your questions out over time or ask them all at once. You do you! This will last until the end of the 19th, after which I will ask for your votes.
Question to @Brannox about Final Fantasy VII.
Every artform evolves over time, but videogames evolve especially fast, and things that were groundbreaking and innovative yesterday feels simplistic and limited today, because follow-up games took those ideas and pushed them even further. And I’m not talking just about technical side, I’m talking about everything, even storytelling. I loved Mass Effect 2 to death when I played it a decade ago, but when I’ve replayed it in Legendary Edition this summer, I was extremely disappointed with the fact that your companions don’t talk to each other even when they really should (I took Miranda on Jack’s loyalty mission and she remained silent even when Jack talked shit on Cerberus’s experiments). Lack of such subtle conversations didn’t bother me at all in 2010, but in 2021 a hero that doesn’t react to his surrounding feels poorly written.
So, it’s hard for me to believe that things you were praising in your presentation (story, characters, battle system) will have the same impact if you play this game today for the first time. Final Fantasy VII may be an important part of gaming history and was probably Great in 1997. But is it really Great in 2021?
Question to @JDINCINERATOR about GTA: Vice City.
In your presentation you’ve praised this game for perfectly capturing the vibe of the era and being incredibly immersive. At the same time, you said that there’s no time for emotions or serious storytelling and you spend most of the time wreaking havoc and destruction. Aren’t these two aspects contradicting each other?