The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (January 2023)



  • Alrighty here are my responses. For the sake of the aggregation list, I am going to answer them each in a separate post.

    Response to @Brannox’s Questions

    1. I think the sports work because they are part of a package deal. I don’t think they would necessarily cut it if they were sold separately. However, I don’t think they should have to. Wii Sports gives you five sports to choose from, each of which are very fun in different and unique ways. They don’t have to stand as individual games because they are designed to be part of a collection. It is that variety that allows Wii Sports to work so well. You’ll do a few rounds of baseball, have a blast, and then switch things up and give golf a shot. None of the sports could possibly overstay their welcome because you can always switch to a new sport, and with each sport comes a new challenge and a new way to have fun. So to answer your question, no they would not work if sold separately, however they make a wonderful game when packaged together.

    2. Wii Sports is a casual game through-and-through. It’s not really designed for three hour long gaming sessions, it’s more designed as something that is really easy to pick up and put down whenever you want, so whilst I understand complaints about it only having five sports, I think that fatigue you mentioned only comes from playing for advanced periods of time. In my opinion, five sports is perfectly adequate for what the game is trying to accomplish, and in fact I think adding more would have possibly lessened their quality. Take Wii Sports Resort, for example. Now, I enjoy Wii Sports Resort quite a bit, however it is bloated with too many sports, and as a result there are quite a few that are forgettable and uninteresting. Wii Sports completely avoids that issue by focusing solely on the five sports, making sure that each one is as fun as possible. Resort sees Nintendo’s attention getting spread too thin, whereas in the original they are able to devote all of their energies into making these five sports great. And they are great. Wii Sports is a smaller package, I admit, however it is because of that that it’s the perfect casual game.



  • Response to @ffff0’s Question

    Great question. I think Wii Sports has plenty to offer to a group of seasoned gamers, and I think it works pretty well as a solo game as well. I truly think Wii Sports can be fun for everybody. It is simple, yes, but it’s far from boring, and it offers an experience that can be just as enjoyable to a hardcore gamer as it is to a grandmother. One of the people that I often played the game with was my older brother, somebody who had been playing games for as long as he remembered. He and I would play it all the time, both of us being well familiar with video games and yet still having a blast with the game’s simple pleasures. So to answer your question, I think a group of seasoned gamers can have a blast with it. It’s just fun, plain and simple.

    As for playing by yourself, I often did that as well! The game’s mechanics are inherently fun regardless of whether or not you have somebody to play with, and I remember being adequately challenged by the AI as well. The game is certainly better with people, I won’t deny that, but it is plenty of fun if you want to tackle it solo. I’ve found that it can also be a very relaxing experience when played solo as well. The stakes are very low, there’s not a lot of buttons or anything like that to worry about, it’s frankly soothing.



  • Response to @JDINCINERATOR's Questions:

    1. Absolutely not. I see nothing wrong with offering games to a wider audience, and I think it’s rather beautiful that the game was able to bring in so many people who had never touched a game before. I fail to see how a longtime Nintendo fan could possibly have been impacted by this. I think games that appeal to more than the hardcore gamer should be applauded. Besides, it’s not as though Wii Sports ushered in a movement where games stopped appealing to gamers. I don’t think there has been another game since Wii Sports that has attracted such a casual crowd. There is a game for everybody, it just so happens that this game appealed to a wider demographic. Nothing wrong with that.

    2. I think I covered a lot of this in my answers to Brannox and ffff0, so I’ll offer a relatively quick response here. I think the game’s appeal is in its lack of complexity. You mention it as having not a lot of meat on its bones, but I think that kind of misses the point of the game. It’s not designed to be a large, expansive game, it’s just meant to be fun, and it is. It’s really fun. So you’re right in that it does not have a lot of mechanical complexity, but I think overcomplicating it would lessen its appeal. Sometimes you want to have a nice, casual game that does not require much of you, and Wii Sports offers just that. It has served as a party game for millions of families because of its simplicity. It has connected with millions upon millions of people for that very reason. For the single mom, who has come home after a long day of work and sought to relax with her kids, Wii Sports’ simplicity gave her that outlet. For the eight year old who seeks to play a video game with her older brother, one in which they are finally on a level playing field, Wii Sports is there. For the grandfather who wants to finally understand his grandson’s favorite hobby, Wii Sports gives him that opportunity. So yes, it’s simple, but it’s that simplicity that allows the game to work. I am a seasoned gamer, and yet there is something remarkable about Wii Sports’ purity. I am drawn to it in the same way the people I mentioned might be drawn to it. I love games that offer a lot of mechanical complexity, but I love that Wii Sports doesn’t. It works because it doesn’t.



  • Alright, it's been a week and so the Cross Examination phase is now over and it is time to DM me your votes! As a reminder, here are the rules you need to follow:

    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

    I strongly encourage you to go back and look through everything before you make your decision, and I have updated the aggregation post in the main topic in order to make that easier for you. For the sake of transparency, I have also already voted to make sure I'm not influenced by your picks. I will reveal the winners after I have received all of the votes.

    A sincere thanks to all of you for participating, and I'll see you when I have your winners.



  • Hello everyone. Now that official parts are over, and you’ve submitted your votes I want to tell a story about creation of my presentation.

    I nominated Apex Legends at the very first of our Hall of Greats, and since it wasn’t dead last, I’ve decided to make another attempt sometime in the future. During last summer I’ve started entertaining idea of joining “Play with Us” tier on Patreon which meant that I would be also eligible for “Golden Voice”. I’ve began to think about possible usages of such privilege, and eventually it came to me: I will make a video presentation for Apex Legends for Hall of Greats and let Brandon narrate it. Initially I was planning to do this in spring of 2023, but then I’ve started to worry that I might miss the opportunity if Brandon will stop doing this, so at the very end of September I’ve decided to speed this up and target January’s Hall of Greats.

    “Golden Voice” works very similar to “Community Showcase” – you send your submission, and it gets voiced by the end of the month. You are not there during the recording and can’t provide any input or make any changes. Also my presentation required twice more than the word limit would allow so it would take me two months to get the VO. This meant that I would need to write and submit my script in early October, but I will get full VO only by December and I will not have time to for a second attempt. I never had to lock my scripts months in advance, and I never wrote a script for voice actors to read, so writing it was a completely new experience for me. And it wasn’t just about locking the script – I needed to decide that early on if I’ll be using any in-game voice-over, because those clips would consume my 5-minute budget leaving less room for Brandon’s VO. Plus, I could only guess how slow or fast he’ll read my lines, so I had to either write a script that has cut-able sections, or have another plan to fit everything in 5 minutes. I’ve decided to leave a bit of room (write less) and speed up voice track if that would not be enough (thankfully that was enough).

    At least the writing itself wasn’t that hard. My Apex Legends playtime was approaching 2000 hours mark and I could rely of my previous Hall of Greats submission to determine what I needed to talk about. There definitely was a challenge of how to say it however – I needed to convey my passion for this game though narrator’s voice without making it sound like the narrator is sharing his own experience. And I also needed to keep in mind that I will require to show some footage for every statement I make, some of which may be impossible to capture. Took me a week, but I’ve got the script which I was happy with.

    Then it was a waiting game. Well, not exactly - I knew that certain footage (like limited-time modes) is a missable opportunity, so I kept the script in my head as I was playing the game for fun or to capture clips for the next Community Showcase. I was also listening to game’s soundtrack to pick songs that will be the best fit for each segment (you may not suspect it, but Apex Legends has hours and hours of very good music). For introduction and innovations segments I’ve picked track called “Ascension”, since it’s the theme of the season which introduced Horizon, whose smartness made many lives so much better. Discussion of story and diversity would be accompanied by Loba’s theme, who is my favorite character and is also bisexual. For gameplay I’ve chosen “Boosted” from the season when Rampart was introduced, since she loves fighting. And final paragraph will be scored by “Legacy”, because what else can it be? I knew that no one would notice this, but my love for this game simply required to put that much care into its presentation.

    Then November came and I’ve got a royal present – Brandon said that he liked my script and decided to ignore word limits and read it all in one go. And he did incredible job voicing it. The very next weekend was spent entirely on audio editing. The VO itself wasn’t a problem but editing music to fit the VO it wasn’t written for turned out to be a nearly impossible challenge. Chosen tracks didn’t have loops, yet I needed them to become longer or shorter, grew in scale at the right moment all while keeping them sounding naturally. I’ve timed this after the fact – it took me 11 hours to do so. But I’ve managed to achieve what I was going for, or at least I hope I did. Go back and listen to my presentation and try to guess how many cuts music tracks have. The correct answer is 17, and if you were lower than that – I’m happy.

    The rest of November and most of December where also spent on playing the game and capturing footage. There were easy shots, like illustrations of ping system – I just needed to turn on subtitles and play for a couple of hours. There were lucky opportunities, like in-game tease of a new map that ends with a panoramic shot on a “welcome to the new home of the Apex Games” banner – perfect footage for the “and it’s absolutely deserving to enter Easy Allies forum’s Hall of Greats” finale. I’ve got help from Damiani – our play session gave me footage of assisting new players. And thanks to the large number of attempts, I’ve got combat footage where I’m not looking terrible. The only thing that was missing were the shots of playing in a tournament.

    When I was writing about tournaments in my script I wasn’t even thinking that I will be able to show my gameplay – I planned to use something from the recent world championship. I mean, who am I to dare to compete in the same lobby with truly amazing players. I knew of course that tournaments are not just for the top of the top – for example, PlayStation is running its own competition just for PS4 players – but it still felt like an unreachable thing. But the desire to close this last gap was there, so I’ve started to look for an opportunity.

    In December I’ve learned that one of ex-e-sport players is planning to run a tournament for her Twitch viewers. I’ve decided to apply. To my surprise I’ve got selected to participate. To my shock, I even played decently and thanks to having great teammates we’ve scored a victory in one of the matches and got fourth overall (I’ve also learned that it feels great when the caster says your name and “clutch” in the same sentence). Now I had all the footage I needed.

    January was video editing time. A couple of pick-up shots were required, but they were mostly of menus and took minimal effort. The editing itself was also straightforward as I’ve already assembled everything in my mind. Took me 10-15 hours to complete, but only because I wanted perfection and was spending a lot of time on 100ms adjustments.

    And once the video was rendered, I had my presentation. Was it victorious or not we shall see. But one thing is certain – I’ve put everything into making it and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.



  • @ffff0 Now that's passion. :-)



  • I must say at this point that I thought picking Rayman: Legends would bring some spice to the Hall of Greats. What I didn't know was the level of competition I'd be facing. It's like I went in to give a jet engine a kiss before it blew a fireball in my face-cos that's the sheer power of the competition I'm up against.



  • @jdincinerator said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (January 2023):

    I must say at this point that I thought picking Rayman: Legends would bring some spice to the Hall of Greats. What I didn't know was the level of competition I'd be facing. It's like I went in to give a jet engine a kiss before it blew a fireball in my face-cos that's the sheer power of the competition I'm up against.

    Enthusiasm can potentially count for a lot.



  • @ffff0

    It was great use of The Golden Voice. If there is any way to promote your video on various platforms, I'd do it. You make a really good under-appreciated point about Apex's ability to allow communication in a tactical game without needing to speak.

    I used to play SOCOM back in the day. About as tactical as it can get. We were all mic'd up for the sake of team communication. And that was a fantastic part of the experience. But I can easily see that being intimidating for certain people. We're trying to play a game, not win an actual war. So Apex really broke barriers with the 'Ping' and it goes a bit under looked. Battlefield had the 'Spotting' system but I don't think it was invented with the same intention.



  • @dipset Thank you. Feel free to share this video with anyone you want. I plan to submit it to Community Showcase when there will be no allies besides Damiani (March?), or when I finish doing videos for every Legend (December?).



  • I just wanted to let y'all know that I have received all of the votes, but it'll take me a couple more days I think before I'm able to do the reveal. Tomorrow and Saturday are both very packed for me, so it'll likely be on Sunday. Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I also didn't want to keep you in the dark as to what's going on. See you then!



  • Alright everybody, it is time to reveal which two games will enter The Hall of Greats. Before I do so, I once again have the privilege of announcing that there are no banned games. This is our fifth time doing this so it's pretty incredible to have never had a banned game.

    Without further ado, here are the games going from least to most points:


    0_1675102405175_31883-tony-hawk-s-pro-skater-3-playstation-2-front-cover.png

    #6: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 -- 2 points

    Submitted by @Oscillator
    Presentation


    0_1675102529143_364858-rayman-legends-xbox-one-front-cover.png

    #4: Rayman: Legends -- 5 points

    Submitted by @JDINCINERATOR
    Presentation


    0_1675102685543_wii-sports-cover.cover_large.png

    #4: Wii Sports -- 5 points

    Submitted by @capnbobamous
    Presentation


    0_1675102767043_Portal_standalonebox.png

    #3: Portal -- 7 points

    Submitted by @Shoulderguy
    Presentation


    And with that we are down to our final two, which means the two games that will enter the Hall of Greats are:

    0_1675102893848_1632174163222-538006-apex-legends-xbox-one-front-cover.png

    #2: Apex Legends -- 8 points

    Submitted by @ffff0
    Presentation


    0_1675102957691_eEczyEMDd2BLa3dtkGJVE9Id.png

    #1: The Last of Us Part I -- 9 points

    Submitted by @Brannox
    Presentation


    And there we have it, our fifth Hall of Greats ceremony is now over! Thank you all very much for participating, I had a good time and I hope you all did as well. We only had six participants this time, however that's just because two of our normal participants were too busy, and that's to be expected from time to time. I feel as though everything went smoothly, but if you disagree I would love to know why.

    The next HoG will take place in May, so I look forward to seeing you then!



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  • Once again, I want to say that everyone did fantastic jobs, and each game could get my #1 in another lobby. But in this one here’s how I’ve voted:

    1. Rayman: Legends. I don’t like platformers that much. When a game asks me to get good at it to continue, most of the time I’ll tell that game to get out of my drive. I hate when games require to get certain number of stars on previous levels to unlock the next one. Yet I’ve completed Rayman: Legends and had a great time. @JDINCINERATOR did incredible job in showing why exactly this game can’t be put down, and when we have a title that captures “the haters” you know it’s a Great.

    2. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. This is a series I’ve only saw briefly from a far, so I’m relying solely on @Oscillator presentation and arguments. And they were very convincing – I’ve learned why this game deserves recognition and why my doubts should be dismissed.

    3. The Last of Us Part I. The Last of Us is my 2013 GotY, and @Brannox fought for it like no other. So why it’s just my #3? Well, The Last of Us is one of those titles that is much better in my memory that when I play it. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact games that create such powerful memories should be rewarded, but we talking about a faithful remake here, and my first playthrough of it will be basically a replay, so it surely will be a bit disappointing. Plus, this version is incomplete in terms of modes. This is nitpicking, I know, but competition is too stacked this time.

    4. Wii Sports. I can’t deny cultural significance of this game, and @Capnbobamous reminded us all about it. Yet I feel like I’ve learned the least about this game, maybe because it was the smallest of presented games. It surely deserves recognition, but I’m not sure I can call it a Great.

    5. Portal. I love puzzle games and I’m usually good at them, so Portal was an incredibly short game for me. I don’t mind short experiences but this one was too brief. The existence of Portal 2 doesn’t help the case of this game either, since the sequel is full feature of excellent quality. If @Shoulderguy brought that one, it would surely got points from me.



  • Wow. Thank you all for voting for my nominee. It was a joy not just presenting, but especially the cross-examination. I always love whenever these come up as seeing everyone's passion, plus their responses, is the secret ingredient that makes this so special.

    As for my ballot:

    1st place: Portal - Honestly, I STRUGGLED in coming up with cross-examination questions, because it's my belief the Portal games are borderline masterpieces. It's easily probably THE puzzle game I would recommend to people.

    2nd place: Apex Legends - Ya know, if this isn't @ffff0's favorite game, I'd like to know what is because this is perhaps the single most in-depth, comprehensive, and complete presentation and cross-examination package so far. The passion, knowledge, and care for this game is so apparent and evident, that by sheer writing alone cemented getting a spot for me. It only came up short to Portal because of my love for the former and me having no affiliation of the latter.

    3rd place: Wii Sports - Personally, I think Wii Sports, both as a game and as a marketing tool, is a stroke of genius. "Wii would like to play" is probably one of my favorite marketing taglines from the gaming space. I also think there's one thing on offer anyone could pick up and enjoy. Other entries and aged hardware kind of hold-it back, but for what it was at its peak, there was nothing like it.

    Regarding Rayman Legends and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 it was hard for me to parse out in what ways the former is a Great in relation to others in its genre and series, and how the latter is heads and shoulders above other THPS entries as an outsider who sees a lot of similarities from afar.

    As always, a massive thank you to @Capnbobamous for organizing these and to everyone for participating. I have my fingers crossed more will hop in for the next one!



  • Thank you to everyone who contributed with your brilliant and insightful presentations. Here are my ranking:

    1.The Last of Us Part I- @Brannox made a superb presentation that really captured the essence as to why TLOU Part I belongs in the Hall of Greats. I know that TLOU hype is strong with the TV show at the moment, but there is no denying that Part I is the definitive version of this top-shelf great.

    1. Wii Sports- I used to think the Wii betrayed it's audience for non-gamers but back then I was a fool. These days I truly appreciate the impact Wii Sports made and @Capnbobamous did a fantastic job of breaking down each of the games in Wii Sports.

    3.Apex Legends- The first game to be brought back to the panel, @ffff0 pulled out all the stops in this presentation with Brandon's golden voice to boot. Now I truly understand why Apex Legends is a great multiplayer game.

    4.Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3- I do believe THPS3 cranked up the evolution of the franchise and @Oscillator put his true passion into his presentation. My only drawback I think is I feel like the changes made didn't change the game even if those changes were better.

    5.Portal- I understand why Portal was a smash hit and I think a place in the Hall of Greats should be reserved for a Portal game-but I feel that game should be Portal 2. Even so, @Shoulderguy put forward a great argument for why the original Portal deserved to be enshrined into the Hall of Greats.



  • Let's talk shop folks. To keep it simple, if there is interest I would be happy to keep this going. There are a multitude of different ways we could go about doing that, and I'll just list the two that come to mind.

    1. We move it to the Patron Discord. This idea scares me a bit because I like having full control over the format of this thing and I don't think any of us would have that over there, but I would have to talk to the mods to figure that out. It's the easiest option I think, but maybe not the best one, idk.

    2. We create a new Discord just for this and format it like the forum. There would be one channel just for presentations, limited to one post by each person, and another channel for cross examination, following the same rules we have here. It seems to me to be the easiest way of ensuring it feels like the HoG we've been doing for the past year, but that also means we have limited room for growth.

    I really want to hear from all of you and see what you think. I know we all differ on what we are comfortable with, so I really want to find the best compromise for everybody. The HoG has been a blast for as long as we've done it. We've had some great conversations and inducted some great games, so if you all are with me I'd love to keep it going.



  • As I said in my novel on the shutdown post, I'm not really into Discord. My account is sparsely used and even now, I logged in to see how its set up and honestly, it's outright confusing. Sure, I have some individual friends and some group stuff we did off to the side, but I don't know how to really operate anything (I've always been invited by said friends). So to say I'm intimidated in trying to figure it out is saying the least.

    That said, our version of the HoG was/is immensely fun. Remember, I'm the weirdo who was always wanting every three months as opposed to four, and felt the agonizing wait that was the length of time during cross-examination, eagerly waiting to see what would make the cut. And even if I personally don't become involved, the thought this incarnation of HoG doesn't live on is a downer.



  • I'd like to see this continue on in some form but I'm not sure how. I'm good with whatever you all decide.

    @Capnbobamous you did an amazing job putting these Forum Hall of Greats together and the presentations by everyone were fantastic. I always felt an actual EZA show for a community Hall of Greats made too much sense. And I know that show would be entertaining to watch because every forums HoG was proof of that.



  • I feel like we are too into this to let platform limitation stop us - we will find a way to make it work. So I think we just need to find a way to stay in touch.

    I personally think that Discord is a terrible communication service, and $5 entry fee may be a problem for some, but it has one advantage - connection to Easy Allies. So if that's what we chose, I'll be there.