The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2021)

  • @dipset Dude I was so taken aback when you revealed that THUG was the Tony Hawk's game you picked for the HoG. I think THUG is probably the best game in the franchise because it felt exactly like the title suggests, it's got a greater urban and gritty flavour to it-which actually coincides quite nicely with the early 00s attitude.

  • I really like Alexander's idea so that's what I'll do. After going through the votes, everybody voted for at least one of the games, meaning that without having to reach out to anybody the winner of the tiebreaker is decided. With 3 votes to 2 (or 4 to 3, as we both voted for each other), the winner of the tiebreaker and second game entered into the Forum Hall of Greats is:


    #2: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask -- 8 points

    Submitted by @Oscillator

    Congrats to Oscillator and those who voted. And that's it everybody. The first ever EZA Forum Hall of Greats is officially over! So, tell me what you thought, what could be changed, what worked, and if/when we should do it again. This was trial by fire but I think it worked out pretty well, but I'd love to hear what you're thinking.

  • Congrats to Majora's Mask for getting into the Hall! And again, a high-five to everyone for all coming together to do this. Super fun, and I'm always down to keep it going, but if anybody wants to take a break, that's quite understandable.

    As far as any pain-points, I think this went exceptionally smooth, even here at the end to decide how to break the tie. Personally, because I always wanted to see how things progressed, I FELT the wait for others to present and to see what cross-examinations came in, not just for me but everyone as a whole. If there was someway to cut down the time, that would be great BUT I think keeping it at a week long intervals for each step is important, as not everybody will want/can log in every day (or even for an extended period). So the wait feeling long is just a personal quirk, and overall, everything was passionate, cordial, well argued/reason, and I think this model is a great start.

    One last note: While I personally don't mind revealing what I voted for now the first two are in, if everything should be kept to ourselves, I understand that as well. If we DO reveal how we voted, I concur that it ONLY should be done once reveals are over. SO: If any/everyone else wants to leave their votes, I'll update this post with my ballot. If not, I'll keep it secret and I say we proceed with the second round if enough people are wanting to do so.

    Side question to you @Capnbobamous: If we keep going, am I correct in assuming you would keep the OP for each thread an updated list of all games that have made it in to that point? Because if there's some way to keep a nice one-stop spot for every winner, that would be nice. Kind of like the Allies' Hall.

    UPDATE: Since others have left their votes, here's where I landed:

    3 votes: THUG
    2 votes: Majora's Mask
    1 vote: Apex Legends
    JUST missed: Sands of Time

    For me this round, I felt both presentations and cross-examinations combined to really strengthen my picks for THUG and MM. And what ultimately had Apex barely edge out Sands of Time for me is the difference in how the gameplay clips provided either supplemented or hindered the arguments/answers were provided.

  • Here are my votes. Please remember that all criticism is just an opinion of one man who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    1. Final Fantasy VII. The oldest game here, and since I believe that not a single game holds up after enough time passes, this nominee had the highest mountain to climb. But it gets my 3 points for two reasons. Firstly, @Brannox said that there are completely missable scenes and dialogs which you can only see if you have right party composition. Even now not every RPG goes to such length with its script, so I do believe that Final Fantasy VII’s story and characters will still have impact if you play this game for the first time today. And secondly, others Final Fantasy games didn’t come up during discussion, which made me to believe that this game is strong enough to stand on its own no matter how good or beloved other games in the series are.

    2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. This one got very close to being #1 but didn’t get it because there was an argument that guide improves overall experience and I do think that Great game should be Great without external support. However, @Oscillator convinced me that time loop mechanic is used for great effect here and that it’s an integral part of game’s story and world. I felt Outer Wilds vibes and for that reason I’ve put The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask high on my list.

    3. Katamari Damacy. This was the only game I had slight knowledge of, but it’s not the reason it’s my #3. I gave this game my last point because @Capnbobamous kept insisting that this simple game needs to be simple to be so powerful, and since it impacted him so much, I tend to believe this claim. Sometimes you have to reward simple solutions, and I believe, this is one of such instances.

    4. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This one was very close to getting my points and @JDINCINERATOR build a great case for it. I was pretty convinced that this may be the best game in the series, but I didn’t saw enough of what makes this game better than other games from the genre. I mean, many good arguments were made for this game, but none of them jumped out as a must in terms of giving my points.

    5. Tony Hawk's Underground. Both during @DIPSET presentation and during cross-examination other games from the series were constantly brought up. Ultimately, I’ve got an impression that this comes down to “being favorite” much more than “being the best”. Of course, this is true for any game in any series, but I felt like Tony Hawk's Underground struggles with stepping out of the shadow of other Tony Hawk games slightly more than Grand Theft Auto: Vice City or The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

    6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This will sound harsher than intended, but I think that @Sentinel-Beach has shot himself in the foot by incorporating gameplay clip into his presentation. He later said that this wasn’t the best part of the game, but “it’s not as bad as it looks” isn’t something I want to hear when we discuss possible Greats.

  • @capnbobamous I think this process went extremely well, better than I expected. Sure, cross-examination was a bit chaotic at first, but giving global nature of our community and individual time schedules, it can hardly be helped. So, I think we can leave things as they are for now (just add tiebreaking rule to the next initial post).

    Since this process took almost a month, I think 3 months break is a good interval (basically, doing next one in January, then in May, then in September). Preparing submission and discussing them afterwards takes significant amount of time, and if we do this too often, it will be like a job.

  • Katamari Damacy is one of my all time favourite games so I was kinda hoping it'd take the 2nd spot, but there is always next time.

    1. Katamari Damacy (3pt)
    2. Apex Legends (2pt)
    3. PoP Sands of Time (1pt)
      ALMOST 3rd = Majora's Mask.

    I just didn't know much if anything about Apex or Majora's Mask going into this and I actually learned a lot about both so thanks for sharing those games. I have access to MM on N64 but I just want to play OoT first.

    Vice City is also an all time fun game from my youth. I probably shouldn't have been playing it at 10 years old, but fuck it. Made me stronger. I just haven't gone back to any of the PS2 GTA games in ages so I can't compare them apples to apples. Maybe it can get that second push once the Remaster is out.

    FF VII is undeniably a great, and I didn't think it'll need my vote. I played around 1/2 to 2/3rd back in like 2008 or 2009 for the first time ever. Then I played about 1/2 of it again recently and it aged a lot more than I remembered, so I feel a bit skeptical recommending it to people in 2021. But the Remake is perfect for newcomers who will then want to go back and play the original.

    Per THUG. I probably won't bring it next time unless I can get a new PS2 and really show some of the differences and leaps the series made in this game. I'll probably have to avoid all PS2 games until I get a new one. I found it a bit tough to find specifics about what I'm talking about without just going in and playing it myself.

  • 3 points - FFVII

    2 points - Katamari

    1 point - THUG

    I haven't actually played FFVII yet, because until recently you could only play it on a PlayStation (of which I've always hated the controller) or a PC, and I avoid playing console games on PC whenever possible. I also have a general dislike of JRPGs.

    I have been constantly exposed to bits and pieces of FFVII since about 1998, though. While I don't like JRPGs, especially PS1 JRPGs because of the very low-fidelity visuals*, I had to pick it over the rest of the entrants because of its ambition. It seems to have a very deep story, cast of characters, and variety of settings, as well as a solid soundtrack and a bunch of cool FMVs*, and what I've seen of the battle system seems ok too. Since it's on Switch now, I'm looking forward to playing it - I just need to work through my Switch backlog first.

    *I considered cross-examining over the barely-3D PS1 visuals, especially the beyond-boxy character models, and how PS1 games in general heavily rely on FMVs to compensate. But I could tell that despite the blockiness, and without completely relying on FMVs either, FFVII succeeds in realizing a solid world and story.

    I also haven't played Katamari, but it looks like a unique, well-produced, and joyful title. Only a little barebones for my taste.

    I like all the Neversoft Tony Hawk games (except Proving Ground, which can be summed up as zoomed-in greybrown anti-freedom), with THUG being my fifth favorite. I like the story and objectives, but I didn't find it addictive to just skate around in. My preferred Tony Hawk levels are like skateparks with theming built around them, while THUG levels feel like cities with skateable elements thrown in.

    Zero interest in Apex or GTA. Sands of Time looks ok, but seems to go along the same lines as many other PS2-era 3D action games (God of War, Devil May Cry, Onimusha, etc.), the closed-in style of which isn't my bag. I prefer games with wide-open spaces.

  • Here is my take on the games that were put forward into the HoG. All of you did a superb job and I loved reading/hearing all your arguments.

    1.Tony Hawk's Underground- Besides the fact that I think THUG might be the best Tony Hawk's game in the franchise, the way @DIPSET presented it to us as a surprise and the effort he made to make a compelling argument won me over. I am an early-00s gamer mostly so THUG did strike a chord in that regard also, it was just an exciting and unexpected entry that I felt deserved top spot.

    2.The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask- I've barely played Majora's Mask on 3DS but what captivated me was @Oscillator's writing style and how he made the game come across so engrossingly with his descriptions. I love writing that really revels in descriptions and what he wrote just captivated me in that way.

    3.Katamary Damacy-Not only was I not expecting this to be an entry from @Capnbobamous, but I was really won over by how heartfelt the presentation was and it reminded me of the true power of the videogame medium and that Katamary Damacy brought pure joy. I am not familiar with Katamary Damacy but this exceptional presentation made me take notice.

    4.Apex Legends- Commendations should certainly go to @ffff0 for not only bringing Apex Legends into the HoG discussion but also presenting it in a way that has a thoroughly enthralling angle. The only reason it wasn't in my top 3 is because I think it's a little too early to be enshrined as a true great.

    1. Final Fantasy VII- I am very happy that @brannox brought a concise and totally devoted argument for FFVII's inclusion and it really does deserve its place in the HoG. I'm just someone who tends to lean towards games that might be overlooked and I thought it would make the HoG anyway. I know we're voting on the true greats but I like to support the underdogs.

    6.Prince of Persia- I only fleetingly played a demo of Sands of Time back in the day so I am not familiar with it nor the other games in the series-but @Sentinel-Beach did make me want to play it. I just didn't take to it much when I played it back then and I don't know how I'd fare with it today.

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

    I like all the Neversoft Tony Hawk games (except Proving Ground, which can be summed up as zoomed-in greybrown anti-freedom)

    Man, I did some serious mental gymnastics in 2007 to build personal hype for THPG vs EA Skate. To be fair, I thought the "Rigging" mechanic looked cool at least. Then I played it on PS2 expecting it to be of the same quality to the heavily modified yet still fun to playTHP8 on PS2/PSP. But it was abundantly clear that this game was effortless shovel ware on PS2.

    Then I finally got a PS3 and eagerly went to download the THPG demo. It was actually the only Neversoft TH game that I found to be outright bad. The camera was insane, the balance meter was ridiculous, and the levels just had no flow. Then the rigging mechanic barely worked because it's Tony Hawk you can just fly over all of these objects.

    I did mental gymnastics for about a week trying to tell myself it was good before I finally just bought THP8 on PS3 instead and conceded that EA Skate won.

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

    2.The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask- I've barely played Majora's Mask on 3DS but what captivated me was @Oscillator's writing style and how he made the game come across so engrossingly with his descriptions. I love writing that really revels in descriptions and what he wrote just captivated me in that way.

    I've always viewed my writing style as overly mechanical, like laundry lists of points, combined with a ton of adjectives to try and to hide how basic it is. I'm VERY surprised to hear that I triggered a positive emotional reaction. ^_^

  • BTW, here's a Majora's Mask appreciation thread I made on Resetera a while back (which I used as a template for my HoG entry).

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

    Since this process took almost a month, I think 3 months break is a good interval (basically, doing next one in January, then in May, then in September). Preparing submission and discussing them afterwards takes significant amount of time, and if we do this too often, it will be like a job.

    I don't think we should start the new one immediately either. Speaking personally, I had a great time but there's something a little exhausting about it, so I think spacing it out would be great. I for one would be cool with doing it quarterly, meaning we'd have 4 a year and the next one would be in December, but I'm cool doing it 3 times a year as well.

    Now I'll talk about what I voted for and why:

    I ended up giving Apex Legends my number 1 vote. I think ffff0 did a great job of explaining why the game is so good and how it figured out how to foster a good player base. I don't like competitive online games because of the toxicity, so I really appreciate how much time was spent talking about the social aspects that promote positivity. I've never played the game, and realistically I never will, but it was a very persuasive presentation for an unexpected pick.

    I gave Majora's Mask my number 2 vote. It's my second favorite Zelda game and it's so wildly creative that I just had to give it something. Truly a masterclass in tone. The only thing that held it back was that Oscillator mentioned it was a worse game without a guide, but other than that a solid presentation.

    Against all odds I gave FFVII my third place vote. I don't enjoy JRPG combat and I've never played the game, but I think Brannox did a great job of explaining why it has such an indomitable legacy. I also really appreciate that he mentioned the cheat codes, which I didn't know existed and greatly increase my chance of playing it. Also didn't know that a lot of content was missable because of meaningful choices, which sounds really cool.

    THUG seems like a great game and DIPSET made a great presentation, skateboarding games just don't really pop out at me. They're something that needs to be played in order to understand how great they really are, but I've never played it so I don't have that connection. Tony Hawk games all sort of look the same from the outside looking in too, so that doesn't help.

    Sands of Time seems like a fun game, and I played one of the later Prince of Persias and had a good time, there just appears to be a level of repetition that is somewhat uninteresting to me. I thought it was a great presentation by Sentinel Beach, and maybe when that remake comes out I'll be able to see first hand why it's so good, but right now it's just not grabbing me.

    GTA Vice City seems like a fun enough game, and JD did a great job of explaining why he likes it so much, I just don't really care for GTA. They're games that I have a good time with, but the narratives rarely grab me and the humor is somewhat grating, and after a point the sandbox gameplay grows tiresome. Just not my favorite kind of game.

    Also just wanted to thank you all for participating! I had a great time and it literally wouldn't be possible without you, so thanks.

  • In case anyone can and wants to tell our story on Community Showcase, submission post is up.

  • Personally, this was actually really fun, but I don't know if I am passionate enough or articulate enough to explain myself for 5 minutes of behalf of my game 4 times a year, so I vote for 3 Forums Hall of Greats per year.

  • I think @Capnbobamous should bring the forum Hall of Greats to the community showcase as he managed it all. If not I don't mind making my showcase post on the subject.

  • I'm not at the $10 tier, so I'm happy for someone else to bring it. I know @Brannox told me earlier he wanted to talk about it, but I don't know if that's still the case.

  • It is. I've already submitted, and it's my closing paragraph.

  • @brannox Can you maybe also mention points total? I think, the best part of our voting was the fact that 5 out of 7 games were single 3-point vote away from top spot.

  • @ffff0 I don't have the space to fit it in with the word cap, though I do say in my last sentence to direct people to come here to the thread if they're curious about how things shook out. For the Showcase, regardless of month, I always write out what I want to say which always means I have to cut and reword a LOT, which takes me days to do, and it's not easy. Since I've already submitted, I don't want to risk Patreon arbitrarily deleting the post if I try to edit anything.