The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2006!



  • @phbz I agree with this, except that I only like it better than a handful of Zelda games. The variety of weapons in combat was awesome, and the dungeons were great.

    The use of Japanese mythology and Shinto deities was awesome. Usually that is an aspect of Japanese culture that you mostly find in museums, but it was great how much they leaned into it. It gave Okami a sprinkling of God of War-vibes.



  • Been busy. Catching up on some key games.

    Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas

    Honestly, this is one of the best tactical game for me. Released on the advent of the co-op boom, this game has such a fantastic approach to game design with co-op and loadouts in mind. The Vegas setting is entirely unique. It's modern combat with a face to it. Not just some indiscriminate bombed out location in some generic faux Middle Eastern country but this setting has personality.

    Terrorist Hunt mode is oddly addicting and between this mode and the Campaign, there are 2 games in 1 here.

    R6V and R6V2 are both awesome games, yet, weirdly different from one another. Gunplay feels slightly different from one game to the next and the aesthetics are very different. I replayed R6V2 recently and it doesn't hold up well on PS3 but on PC it's still great.

    --

    Hitman Bloodmoney

    ONE. OF. THE. GREATS.

    And it's too low on this list. It's still the best Hitman game in my opinion and different enough from the 2016 trilogy to stand on it's own island. Some levels are large while some are quite small. But the main crux of this game is how each level has an immense sense of discovery. And unlike the new trilogy, these assassinations play out a bit more organically and sandboxy. For example, you don't follow a breadcrumb trail to assassinate your target in a prescriptive way. You just need to really be observent and follow patters to find the time to strike.

    "You Better Watch Out" is still my all time favourite Hitman level. It's a VIP Christmas party on a mountain side resort hotel. There is so much verticality to the design in this level. It perfectly pairs up the whimsical Christmas setting with some seriously tense encounters using Stealth to get deeper and deeper into the VIP sections of the party.

    Overall, this game is just genius and oozes personality. This type of sandbox gameplay freedom puts Hitman in a world of it's own. There just isn't anything like it. On top of the gameplay, there is just a certain quirkyness to this game. The newspapers that describe your assassination when you beat the level are just so fun to read. If you get Silent Assassin rating and make everything look like an accident, the newspaper write up barely has any information and won't mention an assassin. Whereas, a bloodbath shootout is described as such.

    10/10. Holds up. And I highly recommend new fans to play this one because it actually plays a lot differently than what you're used to in the new trilogy.



  • Resistance Fall of Man

    I love this game and have played it 2-3 times. Most recently, I played the split screen co-op around Halloween 2019 with my roommate and we had a good time, but it's generic shooter qualities sometimes bored us a bit.

    What works for R: FoM is that it came off of the momentum of Half Life 2 where any well made FPS of that time had some HL2 DNA in there and players could just sort of appreciate solid level design and a good variety of weapons and tools.

    Now that it's older, it feels a bit aged. What keeps it fun is the enemy variety and their relatively smart AI. It's still a tough game and the checkpoints aren't forgiving in the slightest. BUT, I don't think I'd trade that in for something more modern. I just think a future Resistance game should follow the mould set in the original, but just be a bit more forgiving in terms of enemy spam and health packs.

    Also, I really liked the alt WWII vibe in this game. It's storytelling execution was bad but I liked the green military garb and the old school guns. The little marching drum when you complete an objective. It had this Yankee Doodle Dandy vibe while simultaneously having bat shit sci-fi going on. Idk why R2 and R3 abandoned that aesthetic choice. Those games leaned into sci-fi way more.

    Still fun but a bit too high on this list IMO.

    --

    GTA Vice City Stories

    TBH, I remember not liking this one very much. It didn't hold a candle to Liberty City Stories which felt like an essential expansion upon GTA III. Whereas VCS kinda felt tagged on or something? I can't remember the specifics of why I didn't like this one as much but I never got attached to this version of Vice City like I did in the original on PS2. Maybe it was glitchy too?

    There was a sweet Phil Collins concert if I remember correctly. More games need random concert scenes from IRL musicians.



  • @jdincinerator I can bring the top 20 to the community showcase if nobody else wants to bring it.



  • 0_1643131542173_The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess.jpg

    #4: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 21 points

    Votes

    #1: 1 (E_Zed_Eh_Intern)
    #2: 2 (Oscillator, Bigdude1)
    #3: 1 (NeoCweeny)
    #4: 1 (Capnbobamous)
    HM: 3 (Phbz, Axel, Crepe)

    Information

    Release date: NA: November 19, AU: December 7, EU: December 8
    Developer: Nintendo EAD
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): Wii, GameCube, Nvidia Shield TV

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    GT Review



  • Wow I thought this would be number 1 for sure. The only reason I didn't vote it in is because I didn't get that far in it but it is a spectacular game artistically and the splash it made was astronomical back when the Wii came out.



  • I finally finished Twilight Princess last year. I mostly enjoyed everything but hated the Wolf Link sections. The puzzles and boss fights as Wolf Link are extra frustrating. I don't like his movement in that form and I start to feel sick every time you attack and the camera jerks around. It's unfortunate, because I think Twilight Princess is just as great as Ocarina of Time in a lot of ways, but the wolf sections drag the game down for me. It's still good enough to rank #11 of 22 on my list but it could have been much higher.



  • I have to just play this game. I got it on GC recently but haven't had time to play it. I honestly didn't like it very much when I played a bit of it back when it released, but I didn't play enough to give it a fair shake. Now that I'm older, I think this has potential to be a game that's right up my alley. I also love wolves.



  • It wasn't on my personal list but it clearly deserves a top spot. I was hoping this would top Oblivion as I think it's by far a better game. Guess it is what it is.



  • Twilight Princess is one of my favorite Zelda games. It's not the most unique or innovative of the series but it is very well made. Great dungeons, great soundtrack and a lot of memorable moments.



  • @e_zed_eh_intern said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2006!:

    Can you swim in this one?

    Yes, it was great to finally being able to swim in Vice City.



  • Twilight Princess... I was so excited when they announced the Wii U release. I even ordered the special edition. I gave it my best but I couldn't even finish the game. And me quitting a game while hours into it is a rarity. I really have to dislike something about it.

    I can't say why exactly. I just hate the whole atmosphere, it feels soulless.



  • @neocweeny I shall try it then



  • Twilight Princess is such a mixed bag. Some areas of the game are big and beautiful, such as Lake Hylia and Hyrule Castle. There are some excellent dungeons such as Snowpeak Ruins, Temple of Time, and Goron Mines. Some truly awesome boss fights (perhaps the best single aspect of the game). And the soundtrack has some serious hits on it such as Hyrule Field, Hyrule Market, Malo Mart, Falbi's House, Death Mountain, Hyrule Castle, and the boss battle themes.

    However, the look and structure of the game is kinda lousy. Brown/waxy and linear. Hyrule Field is chopped up into little chunks and doesn't have anything in it anyway. The story objectives are sectioned off into little pockets. Like, you generally can't just drop what you're doing and go somewhere else. A lot of the character faces are ugly, including Link's. None of the minor enemy designs are memorable. And City In The Sky is a godawful dungeon, with a haphazard/unfinished feel, blank beige colour palette, and the most irritating so-called 'tune' I've ever experienced in a video game.



  • The only experience with Twilight Princess I have is playing my cousin's copy on her Wii and I got to the first dungeon and I think I messed up somehow right before the dungeon's boss and got stuck. Afterwards, she took her Wii back to her place and I've never had an opportunity to replay it.

    I remember the Allies playing Twilight Princess at EZA's launch stream, but as far as a full playthrough, I don't think they have and I would be down to watch a full one from whichever Ally would do so, if ever.



  • 0_1643218617815_Gears of War.jpg

    #3: Gears of War - 22 points

    Votes

    #1: 1 (Bigdude1)
    #2: 1 (Axel)
    #3: 2 (Phbz, brunojoey)
    #4: 3 (Shoulderguy, Brannox, kindiman)
    HM: 1 (JDINCINERATOR)

    Information

    Release date: NA: November 7, EU: November 17, AU: November 23
    Developer: Epic Games
    Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
    Genre: Third-person shooter
    Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia
    GT Review



  • I wasn't really that into Gears. I didn't understand the appeal of cover, shoot, cover, shoot x1000000 as the core gameplay. It just seemed way too repetitive for me.

    I'd like to go back and play it however. I've seen enough from the non-Epic Games sequels to understand some of the small details that made the original great. I enjoy GTA IV over GTA V and have been saying that for a decade now and it's mainly in part to the small details of GTA IV and it's weighty gameplay which creates a dynamic experience every single time you play it.

    The same can be said about Gears of War. This game just has a lot of attention to small details that create a pretty high impact overall package. Small details that games choose to skip nowadays. Details like really gross, crunchy, crackly audio design. Blood FX that add layers of depth as it sprays on the screen, on the characters, onto objects. Gunplay that results in debris flying everywhere with chunks of concrete and glass shattering.

    It feels like... war I guess...

    Gears 5 lacks weight and intensity
    Youtube Video

    I think Gears lost that attention to detail. I think GTA lost it. I think Battlefield 2042 has lost a lot of that detail. So in hindsight, I get why Gears stood out despite having a pretty rinse and repeat gameplay formula.



  • Gears of war is goat. Best third person cover based shooter series to date. The campaign has so many great scenarios and story beats. The multiplayer occupied my time for years. Instant classic when it came out and it still holds up today.



  • Gears of War was a fantastic showpiece for the Xbox 360 and thoroughly deserves its place comfortably nestled inside the top 3. Carving locust innards like a Christmas turkey is one of the greatest feelings in videogames and the visceral nature of the story and the pacing of the campaign was magnificent. Gears of War pretty much the measuring stick of third-person shooters going forward.



  • Gears making the top 3 is fantastic. This is, by far, my favorite Xbox franchise bar none. When I was gifted a 360 for my 17th birthday, I went to my local GameStop and they were having a buy 2 get 1 free sale. I had grabbed SoulCalibur IV (because Yoda) and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (more my dad's thing than me), but when browsing the shelves, I saw this and remembered, "Hey, it's that game with the chainsaw on the weapon. Looks cool."

    And I had no idea what I was getting into.

    To say it grabbed me is an understatement. I fell in love with the premise and world, the hopelessness of overcoming monstrosities that feel like they've already won, and the very first thing that happens is your character is getting busted out of a practically destroyed and completely abandoned prison. I was captivated from the start and compelled until the very end.

    I grew to hate Berserkers, Kryll, and General RAAM. While they're sparse throughout the campaign, each time they were a problem was harrowing. The gameplay to this day is still incredible. Staying in cover, flanking while grubs are focused on teammates, then sneak behind to obliterate them with a Gnasher shot or even better, chainsawing them into bloody, gorey bits with appropriate blood-splatter never. EVER. Gets. Old.

    My favorite Acts are 3 and 1, as Act 3 has the least amount of combat, but it's all about VIBES as you traverse through a run down factory to get underground, culminating in both a MASSIVE boss fight and clearing out a pump station. Act 1 is a great introduction and I really enjoyed the urban locales. Act 2's reliance on Kryll is tense but can be frustrating. Act 4 going through the academy eventually winding up at the house is probably my least favorite, from defending the front of the house, the countdown timer at the end, and the layout of the house in general. And because I played the 360 version, I found out MUCH later there was an Act in between Act 4 and what I got as Act 5. So it took until the Ultimate Edition for me to fight the Brumak, something PC players had done in the original launch. To this day I still don't know why they ripped out this Act for 360. And as far as the train, well, it's neat, but there's some things about the Act I find annoying like being locked in a car with waves of wretches, fighting the Reavers, and of course RAAM.

    I really don't like how the Multiplayer didn't have a bot option (and wasn't introduced in Ultimate Edition either), but of the little I played, there were some maps I liked and others I didn't. But Ultimate Edition is THE version to play, so while I'll never go back to the original, I'll still own the physical copy as it's a cherished possession and spawned a collection of seven games, eight books, and a few shirts/hats. And yes. I admit it. I own a pair of COG tags.

    As always, shoutouts to @JDINCINERATOR, @Shoulderguy, @kindiman, @Phbz, @brunojoey, @Axel, and @Bigdude1!!!