The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2021)



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

    Question for @Sentinel-Beach : Tell me about the Shotgun?

    No shotgun for the Prince. :/
    Did they ever do a game for The Mummy. I could see Brendan Fraser blasting mummies and sand creatures in an environment like this.



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

    Question for @Sentinel-Beach regarding Sands of Time:

    How's the difficulty? I know the whole gimmick of the series is that you can rewind time, but does this make the combat and traversal too easy? Are the stakes still there?

    That's a good question. You can't rewind the time endlessly, because you have these "sand slots" in the Dagger that allow for a few rewinds. The longer you hold down the button the further away in time the game let's you go. In some dire situations you only have sand left for literally a second, but that can still safe you from that lethat enemy strike that just killed you. You just have to be really quick right after the rewind this time around!

    But all in all the game isn't too hard, no. The most difficult sections are usually some of the biggest enemy encounters when the game just keeps teleporting more and more of those SOBs and you need to be careful the whole time or you'll easily end up having to start the whole encounter all over again. The traversal's much more easier in that regard. A few missed jumps are allowed because of the Dagger, but usually you just need to keep your eyes open and concentrate taking on every jump and obstacle one at a time. Satisfying moments to clear many of the longer trials/pathways.



  • @sentinel-beach

    I appreciate that answer. If I recall, I also liked the tone of Sands of Time above the sequels.

    One more question (I think we're allowed to ask two questions, right?).

    I have Sands of Time on GC. I haven't played it in years. Do you think the combat holds up in general and is generally enjoyable by today's standards?



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

    @sentinel-beach
    I have Sands of Time on GC. I haven't played it in years. Do you think the combat holds up in general and is generally enjoyable by today's standards?

    I'd say that it's still solid. There are many games with worse combat system and many with better, but in Sands of Time it suits the tone and story of the game. The Prince can get overwhelmed by the enemies but he also has a fighting chance with his acrobatics and sword skills. I do have to admit that I haven't played the game in years, either, but with around dozen playthroughs behind me I want to believe that my memory still serves.



  • @DIPSET I'm a BIG fan of the original THPS trilogy. I enjoyed THUG, but had no desire to replay it. I thought the characters were all right, the soundtrack was all right, and the mechanics were all right. But I thought the level design was where it fell flat. The way I see it, is that starting with THPS 4, the series' level design switched from tight and flowing to big and ungainly.

    I have two questions stemming from this:

    1. Do you think the larger levels of those later titles, THUG included, hold up against or exceed the smaller levels of old, and if so, why?

    2. For a less apples-and-oranges comparison, there is Project 8, which I enjoyed the most out of all the later titles. Coming a few entries after THUG, it has generally the same objective system and mechanics, but uses a hybrid of the early and later level design style by stitching together many smaller, tighter areas to make one large open world. How do you think the level design philosophy of 4, THUG, et al compares against Project 8's?



  • @oscillator

    1. Hmm to be honest, I’ve never heard the take that the post THPS4 levels became unwieldy.

    I think most seasoned Tony Hawk fans agree that THUG has some of the best if not the best level design in the entire series. I can safely say Moscow is my favourite level in the whole series, but I’ll put Manhattan, New Jersey, and Hawaii up there in my ranks before I go to any levels from earlier entires. And I think that fantastic level design extended into to THUG2 before taking a dip in quality.

    Not appeal to authority, but I’ll just throw it in there that YouTuber Squared Eyed Jak does a lot of Tony Hawk coverage and he ranked every single 200+ Tony Hawk level across all games from worst to best and THUG’s Manhattan was his #1 with 3 THUG levels appearing in his top 10.

    Why?

    I think it’s because they aren’t just aimlessly big but are the most well thought out in the series. A level like New Jersey can take you from the ground near the abandoned houses up onto the roofs then onto power lines, then back down into the school yard fences and playground structures, then onto the massive bridge, into a long and fast hospital loop, into a train yard, back to the hospital, back across the bridge and the loop continues.

    And it’s not just the overall lines but it’s the amount of detail within the lines and the level. There are so many quality individual spots within any given level that it’s almost a game in itself to make choices on how to combo between all of them. It’s interesting, allows for a personal sense of play and exploration, and just way deeper than any other THPS game.

    THUG levels by far have the best combo lines in the whole series. Some of the earlier games have cool levels but they don’t compliment the fundamentals of the game like THUG’s spots and lines levels do.

    A lot of the fundamentals of THUG’s design and early THPS design appears in sequels and especially in THP8 which combines a lot of the games together. I actually really like THP8’s goal structure for stuff like Bronze, Silver, Gold medals for things like “longest grind” because those types of goals encourage you to extract the most out of the level itself. But ultimately, THP8 suffers really really badly from having boring and empty levels. We’re talking wide open spaces with nothing to interact with. Compare that to Manhattan where you have so many options for objects to skate on, THP8 feels like an empty open world. So the game relies too heavily on the goals to have fun. Whereas THUG is fun to be in by virtue of the level design, the stat challenges, and spread of goal variety.

    THPS4 also shares some of THUGs design but it was still figuring out the identity of this type of game. Some of the levels like Zoo had such little flow between spots that it was almost difficult to make fun goals. The goals were rigid like doing multiple trick call outs on the same half pipe. But it definitely has its shining moments like the post-game extremely difficult score challenges and such. I think THPS4 started the job, THUG finished it.

    THUG2 has the same good qualities of level design as THUG but I don’t think it has as many great levels or goals.

    THAW has some amazing levels and others that are big and aimless. Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Downtown basically feel like the same level because they are just city streets with a few interwoven ramps.

    So all this comparing is to just make the overall point that THUG’s level design isn’t good because it’s bigger. It’s good because it’s by far more thought out than the other games in the series, and especially the games starting at and after THPS4.



  • Just wanted to say that everyone brought great arguments during cross-examination. At least for me they were invaluable for determining which games I'll be voting for.



  • Alright folks, it is time to DM me your votes. As a reminder, here are the rules:

    1. Only those who brought a game can vote
    2. You must choose your top 3 picks, with your first place game getting three points, second place getting two, and third place getting one.
    3. You may not vote for your own game.
    4. If a game gets no votes, it will be banned for a year.

    I will start to reveal the winners after I receive all the votes. For the sake of transparency I think it important to mention that I have already voted in order to avoid having your votes influence me. It wasn't easy! I also want to thank you all for participating. I think it was really fun and it wouldn't have been possible without you.

    Anyway, here is the updated list of all the submissions and cross-examination questions:

    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

    If I made a mistake let me know. The list in original topic post has been updated as well. I encourage you all to look through everything again before you make your picks.



  • Votes sent. Excited to find out what will be our first Greats!



  • Yeah we can have a little postmortem once the voting is done, but I think the presentations and cross exam went pretty well.

    Good luck!



  • My votes are in.

    I didn't present any questions, but the thread was already pretty full of text and opinions and the games aren't too unfamiliar for me, so I thought everything was already cool.



  • In case anyone was wondering, I've also sent my votes this morning.

    Joke suggestion: in case of a tie, Allies should vote for the winner.



  • Okay folks I have received all of the votes. I'll separate the reveal into two posts, with the second post coming later today. Before I start, I would just like to say that you all made really good presentations and brought really good games. You all did wonderfully regardless of how many votes your game got. I'd also like to say that every game got at least one vote, meaning nothing is banned. Hooray! Without further ado, the following games did not make it into the Forum Hall of Greats in the month of September 2021:

    0_1632173704871_prince-of-persia-the-sands-of-time-gba.png
    #7: The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time -- 1 point

    Submitted by @Sentinel-Beach
    Presentation


    0_1632173940435_GTA-Vice-City-2.png

    #6: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City -- 3 points

    Submitted by @JDINCINERATOR
    Presentation


    0_1632174162933_538006-apex-legends-xbox-one-front-cover.png

    #5. Apex Legends -- 6 points

    Submitted by @ffff0
    Presentation


    0_1632174325295_70406-tony-hawk-s-underground-playstation-2-front-cover.png

    #4. Tony Hawk's Underground -- 7 points

    Submitted by @DIPSET
    Presentation


    Massive respect to these games and the people that brought them. I will make the next post in a couple of hours that will first reveal the #1 winner, then reveal second place. See you then! Also shoutout to Axel for giving me the formatting ideas for this.



  • @Capnbobamous We'd probably reveal our votes anyways, but I expected it to be a secret ballot.



  • @oscillator I just figured the Allies do a thing where we see what they voted for. Frankly didn't cross my mind that it would be secret, but fair enough if you'd all like I can make it secret next time.



  • Alright folks, here are the final three. I didn't include the votes this time, and I have edited the other post to get rid of votes too.

    We'll start with the number 1 entry, the first game to be entered into the EZA Forum Hall of Greats:


    0_1632190263911_dAgM49d.png

    #1: Final Fantasy VII -- 9 points

    Submitted by @Brannox
    Presentation

    That's right the first game to enter the HoG is Final Fantasy VII, with a total of 9 points. Congrats to Brannox and those who voted for it!

    This means that we have two games left, only one of which can be entered into the HoG: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Katamari Damacy. Without further ado, here is the second place pick and the second game to enter the Hall of Greats:


    0_1632191040030_372898-katamari-damacy-playstation-3-front-cover.png

    #2: The Legend of Katamari: Majora's Damacy -- 8 points

    If only it were that easy. In fact, we have a TIE, with both games getting 8 points total. We didn't talk about ties so I don't know what to do. Would love to hear what y'all are thinking.



  • 1.) WOW. I thank all who felt I both presented my pick well enough and answered cross-examinations satisfactorily (if that's a word). If we keep doing them, I FULLY expect my next pick will NOT make it. All the same, I greatly appreciate the votes.

    2.) As far as the tiebreaker, two ideas come to mind (And if there's a better one, I'll gladly hear it): A.) We go off of most amount of highest votes (so which of the two had the most three votes) OR B.) All seven of us vote in a strawpoll (Hidden results until all seven votes counted).

    Option A means we don't need to revote, just rely on whichever submission meant the most to the most participants. Option B ensures there is NO tiebreaker, because there's seven of us. Just a couple of ideas, and again, I'm totally open for doing anything that is better.



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

    @oscillator I just figured the Allies do a thing where we see what they voted for.

    They used to, but changed it so you can only tell which games they voted for, not the exact points, to prevent the live chat from knowing the result in advance.

    The way EZA handles ties is a Patreon vote. I suppose we could open votes to all forum members, but I personally prefer having a runoff with either the seven of us voting, or just the five with no skin in the game. Most highest votes is also an option.

    Let's see what all parties think.



  • Wow, Apex Legends got 6 points – that’s 6 points more than I’ve expected when I decided to bring this game. Thank you!

    I think that voting between these two games makes the most sense as a tiebreaker, but we may not necessarily need to revote. There are 7 of us. Two of us were presenters, who can’t vote for their own games, which means that they have to vote for each other, which means that their votes cancel each other. 5 participants remain. If their current votes already showed what game they prefer (they putted one game above the other or gave points to only one of them), we can count that as a vote for that game. Since there are 5 possible votes, a game that gets at least 3 wins. If we already have that, we can call it a day. If not, @capnbobamous can privately message those who didn’t vote for any of these two games and ask them to vote for one of them.



  • I am glad 3 points were awarded to Vice City, but I didn't think it was going to get into the HoG thanks to some stellar competition. I've loved this community Hall of Greats so much that I can't wait for the next one whenever that will be. I think Majora's Mask and Katamari Damacy should go into the Hall of Greats together but perhaps that would be too generous. Some form of tie-breaker could be made but when the two games get so close just to miss out it's quite heart-breaking. I think a simple vote to determine whether there should be a tie-breaker or simply put both games in the HoG could be made.