The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2021)

  • Responds to @brannox regarding other modes and playing without other players.

    Apex Legends has basic training and a Firing Range, but I don’t think you will find those modes appealing on their own – they are just means to learn more before jumping in proper mode (unless you are a speedrunner – there are multiple categories that involve these two modes).

    But Battle Royale isn’t the only proper mode in Apex Legends – there are also Arenas. Here’s how they work: a team of three Legends fight another team of three Legends in multiple rounds. Before each round you can buy any weapon and item you want withing the budget you have. Things you’ve picked aren’t carried over to the next round, but remaining currency does, and you get fixed additional amount with each new round (more in later rounds). Also, all teammates get some currency for looting containers, and you get some extra for killing opponents. Maps are small and ring is also closing, so each round usually takes only a minute or two. Team wins the match if it wins at least 3 rounds and it wins two more rounds than opponents (in other words, winning scores are 3-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3). If it’s 4-4, then next round is sudden death and winner of that round wins the match.

    Arena mode may be not as deep as something like Rainbow Six Siege, but it still provides some room for mind games and different approaches. It’s not my preferred mode, but it’s a solid addition to this game.

    As for playing without other people – technically it’s possible (you can disable filling teammates before the match), but unless you’re a pro, you likely will be killed by the first team of three players you’ll meet. Maybe you’ll have better chances in duos mode (two-players team), but I haven’t tried that mode, because I like 3-man teams. Playing against bots isn’t available.

    As I mentioned in my presentation, I consider lack of any form of solo mode a strength of this game, because it pushes pro players to accept inexperienced teammates and to help them to grow, and pushes you to accept the idea of playing with random people. Also, as I mentioned, net code in Apex Legends is extremely good – of course you will notice 1-second delay and constant 80% packet drops, but random instabilities will be mitigated behind the scenes. Sometimes I see various network problems icons while playing and it’s the only thing I’m noticing when these problems are happening.

    If you try this game and still find that it’s not working for you – that’s fair. But I suspect that you worry a bit more than you really need. It worked for me after all, and I’m the guy, who prefer AI to real people, because it’s more predictable fun.

  • @brannox said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2021):

    For @Oscillator regarding The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
    1.) I'm someone who has shied away from the Zelda franchise for the most part because in many cases I feel I get lost pretty easy as to what I need to do. In Majora's Mask's case, after watching a full playthrough of one the Allies, I was struck as to how they knew which NPC/quest was associated with a given mask, and there's nothing (that I saw) the game did to direct the player (without prior knowledge/playthroughs/etc.) as to what to do to get a particular reward. Does MM do a good enough job in demonstrating how to get particular masks/items/etc. outside of a journal of notes the player has already interacted with in prior cycles?

    2.) From what I remember, to tie in with a previous answer you've given, the story is WEIRD. While watching the playthrough, at least at the outset, I felt I could follow along but by the time the four giants (? I think? I'm not sure. Again, I've only watched, not played) were called upon to catch the moon from impacting the town, I felt the story took a hard turn into a different direction. Do you think the events that take place inside the moon are believable in the context of all the events that took place prior?

    1. On a first playthrough, there's little obvious, immediate indication given as to which non-transformation mask is needed for a given situation, or where to get it, or even if one is necessary. Sometimes when talking to NPCs you'll get a clear tip, but more often than not mask collecting is luck-of-the-draw. But after you get a mask, how it's used is pretty obvious. Where a transformation mask is needed is pretty obvious right away because the task is completely out of Link's skill set (not strong enough, not heavy enough, too heavy, can't swim, can't interact with object).

    2. Well, that's the very end of the game. I think games going all-out at the end is a tried and tested thing. I like how the final boss turns the central villain from something fairly innocuous to having god-tier powers in almost an instant.

  • @dipset I believe that Vice City is able to harness nostalgia and 80s pop culture whilst providing plentiful space for great characters and plot. Vice City is about a man named Tommy Vercetti who is tasked with retrieving a briefcase in a drug deal. The deal is ambushed, the money gets lost, Tommy's boss gets angry and now you have to get to the bottom of who stole that briefcase. The plot lures you into an intrigue of whodunit and along the way you meet some truly memorable characters like the super smooth Lance Vance, the psychotic cocaine-addicted Ricardo Diaz and not forgetting your trusty idiotic cowardly lawyer Ken Rosenberg who likes fishes in bowls and as food on a plate but doesn't want to sleep with them. Oh yeah and Kent Paul and his drunken British idiocy gives the game some true highlights. So to answer your question no, I think Vice City handles all its components in a way that feels like enough is done in every aspect to draw you in. It all complements itself very well.

  • Okay, here is everything we've had so far. Simply click on the highlighted text to go to the referenced post.

    Apex Legends

    Final Fantasy VII

    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

    Tony Hawk's Underground

    The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

    Katamari Damacy

    I have copied this to the original post as well for ease of access. If I missed anything or got something wrong, please let me know. It's a lot of stuff!

  • @brannox In answers to your questions:

    1.) Vice City has the GTA formula underpinning its sandbox, the 80s veneer just dresses GTA up stylishly. If you don't like the 80s there's still plenty to enjoy thanks to an excellent emphasis on destruction and many diverse diversions that will keep players busy.

    2.) No other GTA feels as immersed in a time period like Vice City. Besides that though you can brandish all manner of DIY equipment and use it as weaponry, I haven't seen another GTA give you hammers, machetes or cleavers as weapons. There's also a focus in Vice City that the other games lack because you have the story's ultimate goal of tracking down who stole Sonny Forelli's money, whereas other GTA games you have to venture far and the ultimate goal is lost thanks to divergent storylines. As for what Vice City does better than all other GTA games-it puts the focus on mayhem, the aspect where GTA thrives most. In GTA 3 you're basically a bitch boy running errands, in San Andreas personal motivations take you to new cities and away from the core storyline problems, in IV there isn't a clear main villain and in V there isn't an established villain from the beginning of the game, you spend time with three wildly different protagonists and while there is an emphasis on destruction en masse, it bundles a lot in that the destructiveness can be overshadowed by many other things.

  • Sorry people for not responding yet to anything. I'll do my best by the weekend. (And if not, there'll go my points, which is fair.)

  • @sentinel-beach Take your time! You've still got almost a week.

  • Question for @ffff0 @Brannox @JDINCINERATOR @DIPSET @Oscillator @Sentinel-Beach @Capnbobamous : Tell me about the Shotgun?

  • @shoulderguy There is a shotgun in Vice City and it has the blast of a 5 volcanic explosions going off at the same time right into the target's face.

  • Respond to @Shoulderguy about shotguns in Apex Legends.

    I prefer automatic weapons and fighting at mid-distance, so my experience with shotguns is mostly on receiving end. There are 4 shotguns in the game: one automatic shotgun pistol, one automatic shotgun and two non-automatic shotguns. They all shoot different amount of pellets arranged in different shape with different spread, so each one requires slightly different handling to be the most effective. In experienced hands 2-3 shotguns shot will down fully healed and fully shielded Legend that was foolish enough to get too close. And just like with any other in-game weapon, sound and feedback are very good.

  • @shoulderguy said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2021):

    Question for @ffff0 @Brannox @JDINCINERATOR @DIPSET @Oscillator @Sentinel-Beach @Capnbobamous : Tell me about the Shotgun?

    There are no guns in Majora's Mask. The closest thing to a shotgun is probably the Deku Scrub's bubble (the weakest projectile weapon in the game), which has to be charged, consumes a bit of magic, moves kind of slow, and does as much damage as expected of a magic spitball.

    If you want to blow stuff up, there are regular bombs, the Bombchu which runs straight and sticks to any angle of terrain until the fuse runs out, the Blast Mask which gives Link the power of one bomb (with a short recharge) at any time, though it does a bit of damage to him (which gets negated if you raise your shield, somehow), and the biggest blast comes from the Powder Keg, which you can only carry one of at a time, is expensive, and can only be used by the Goron. It has a long fuse, but can be set off by shooting it with something. Its limitations mean you're likely to only ever use it for an objective that requires it rather than attacking enemies.

  • @shoulderguy I've gotta level with you dude I'm quite disappointed you didn't ask about handguns, because if you did I'd have explained the power they had and mentioned how Ricardo Diaz used his to mess up his VCR because it wouldn't eject although it wasn't plugged in. Gotta sympathise with him though he couldn't watch his favourite El Burro movie.

  • @Shoulderguy regarding Final Fantasy VII's Shotgun:

    The Shotgun is the first weapon you can buy and the second weapon you can find for Vincent (you can happen across a gun for Vincent MANY hours before you even reach him by opening a particular chest in Kalm). It has a decent attack stat (48), high hit percentage (112%), and a terrible magic stat (12). It has only two linked materia slots with an average materia growth rate. It's located in Rocket Town, for sale for 3,100 gil, and is one of the few weapons across the entire game where if you choose to not buy it, it becomes permanently inaccessible. Overall, it's only better than Vincent's starting weapon and dependent on your playstyle, maybe obsolete by the time you can get to it.

  • @Shoulderguy I edited my response to your question, as I remembered that the Slingshot from Ocarina of Time is not in Majora's Mask.

  • Follow-up question to @Oscillator about The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

    Previously I’ve asked you what positive aspects time loop mechanic bring to this game and what makes drawbacks of having time loop mechanic less dreadful than they seem from the outside? You’ve explained why this mechanic is less stressful than it seems, but you haven’t said what presence of this mechanic adds to the game. Can you talk about that?

  • @Shoulderguy

    There isn’t a shotgun in THUG but there is a mode where you kick flip to shoot a fireball at your friend who then gets knocked down and spills blood.

    And you can grind Russian tanks in the Moscow level or add them to your created park.

  • @ffff0 said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2021):

    Follow-up question to @Oscillator about The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

    Previously I’ve asked you what positive aspects time loop mechanic bring to this game and what makes drawbacks of having time loop mechanic less dreadful than they seem from the outside? You’ve explained why this mechanic is less stressful than it seems, but you haven’t said what presence of this mechanic adds to the game. Can you talk about that?

    Most of the NPCs in the game have their own personal schedule. They open up their businesses, go to meetings, make deliveries, and generally move around, usually just within the central hub of Clock Town, but sometimes in to/out of the outer regions as well, with their dialogue changing depending on where they are/what they're doing/what day it is. Learning these schedules to earn masks is the other half of the game aside from the main adventure.

    The time loop also adds constant meaning to Link's adventure, as the moon gets physically closer each day, the music in Clock Town gets more intense, and NPCs panic more. The most atmospheric part of the game is the final hours of the last day each cycle, where a special countdown timer appears, the music changes through the entire world, the rumbling caused by the gravity of the moon is almost constant, and the NPCs reach the end of their schedules, hide in their homes, and enter peak acceptance/denial/fatalism/regret. Then Link goes back to the start of the cycle, and everything's bright and sunny again.

    These schedules and waves of emotions are almost unique in the Zelda series. Breath of the Wild does have daily schedules for some NPCs, and strong emotions attached to the memories and some sidequests, but these elements are FAR more pronounced in Majora's Mask.

    The time loop also gives a fresh feeling to the progression of the main adventure. It isn't a huge difference from other Zelda games, but clearing a lengthy pre-dungeon quest or dungeon close to the end of a cycle, getting a new key item, then starting a new cycle and using the key item to access the next area has a really nice rhythm.

    There aren't many moments like this, but one of the best expressions of the time loop is the ranch where you find your horse. For the first third of the game, you can't get into the ranch until the third day because a giant rock is blocking the way and a man is slowly chipping away at it. But by the third day, something has happened to a young girl at the ranch, leaving her in a catatonic state, devastating her older sister, and stopping you from getting your horse. But then you get the ability to blow up the giant rock on the first day, and get to experience and help prevent the event that caused the travesty.

  • @shoulderguy There is no shotgun per se, but the game does frequently shoot you with love.

  • Gonna separate my questions into two games a post.

    Question for @ffff0 regarding Apex Legends:

    You mention that there is a story and that characters have interactions with each other, but since this is a multiplayer only game clearly that can't be the focus. Is there enough narrative there to make you truly interested in what happens next, or is the narrative completely unrelated to your enjoyment of the game?

    Question for @Brannox regarding FF7:

    Final Fantasy VII is one of those games that has been frequently lauded as one of the best of all time, and Square Enix knows this. It's been rereleased a thousand times, there is a CGI anime movie, spinoff games, and now a remake. Do you think FF7 suffers because of this over-saturation, because as a property it has to now carry all of this extra weight?

  • Question for @JDINCINERATOR regarding GTA Vice City:

    Grand Theft Auto has a habit of leaning far too heavily into immature, on-the-nose humor, to the point where I think a lot of the neat world-building is somewhat invalidated by the jokes. How do you feel about the humor and the way in which it is integrated into the game?

    Regarding T.H.U.G.

    Rather than desperately trying to find a question to ask, I'm just gonna say I don't have one. Got no burning questions that need answering. Good presentation Dipset!