Look what my YouTube recommended told me to watch...
"Seeing him [Yu] able to tell his story touches me more than even my desire to continue the journey"
GUYS LOOK WHAT I JUST FOUND!
I think EZA should be proud that of all the publications they could have put up, they have Easy Allies who are under 1 year old. You guys have put this brand out there and people are respecting it because they respect the Allies. It isn't like this is some big budget production at the moment. Somebody at Sony likely knows your work. It's all uphill in 2017!
I always disclaim that genres and labels are best for marketing and not necessarily best for critically analyzing a game.
With that out of the way, it seem like WRPGs allow for more player agency (but in recent example like Fallout 4, even then you don't have much say) as opposed to JRPGs that provide greater world context and you unfold the story as a more pre-determined protagonist. However, you still have agency in a JRPG. Your choice to explore, say, a village in such a way that limits story or enriches it, is entirely on the player.
You also RP when you choose what types of attacks or spells to use. Your version of the hero in Persona 4 can be drastically different from another persons.
Just my 2 cents.
You remix this type of thread every few months with the same uncompromising distaste towards the same games over and over. Just keep it to this one thread please...
With that said,
I haven't been as hot on 2010-2018 as I was 2000-2010, but the games I love this decade I really really like. I'd even go as far to say that some years are just plain lacking like how Journey (a very short indie game) was basically GOTY 2012. I've obsessed over the Souls series and ranking Bloodborne vs Dark Souls is painful, but they may as well both be my favourite game of the decade so far. Very few games have quenched me like Souls has since playing them originally. This list and it's order is mostly pointless. These are just the games that come to mind when I think about having a blast and for a long period of time. Most are filled with memories with friends which help their case.
The problem with this decade is that everything is so AAA and expensive. I miss my old batch of favourite games that aren't necessarily "the best" but they are insanely fun to play: SSX, Tony Hawk, Battlefront, LOTR Return of the King, Animal Crossing, Overlord, Stranglehold, Ninety-Nine Nights, Mercenaries 2, the list goes on. They just don't make these types of B-Tier games anymore. I feel like this discussion is worth a thread of its own.
1 - Bloodborne
2 - Dark Souls
3 - Uncharted 4
4 - Yakuza 0
5 - The Last of Us
6 - Persona 5
7 - God of War III
8 - The Witcher II
9 - Fallout New Vegas
10 - Dead Rising 2
HM's: Nier Automata, LittleBigPlanet 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Rocket League, Until Dawn, P.T., The Witcher III, Inside, Dark Souls III.
I've been a day 1 patron of Easy Allies and this was always the goal I looked forward to the most. As a long time user of GameTrailers.com I was so disappointed that GT went away, but was extremely happy when I saw EZA was happening. There were compromises; a lot of the staff isn't here anymore, the website features that made GT great are non-existent, but at least the shows and core group remained. So glad they can bring that extra degree of quality that GT had into EZA come 2019.
Man that YouTuber entitlement kills me. Just fan entitlement in general.
For example, my studio made a film that was funded through Indie Go Go. We were hired as a service company, it wasn’t our IP. It took a long time to release cause the budget was shoestring. Fans in the wait were like angry and violent - “I could have animated it in this time”.
Just shuddup -__-
But the provocateur youtubers are on another level...
I don't know exactly what I think. My roommate and I talked for maybe 30 minutes about the industry in general as well as this. Here are some rambling loose thoughts.
I'm beginning to notice that as more people begin to use tech, kids and younger adults seem to be more and more tech illiterate instead of improving and Stradia is probably another example of profiting off of this. I'm 24, I'm the last group of kids born without PCs or internet in the household but most of us had them by 2004. I remember the early days of the internet, learning things from forums, and just learning about computers by doing. Converting mp4 to wmv so it can play on Media Player. Downloading music off of Kazaa, Napster, Limewire. Learning about computer tech from forums instead of magazines or books. That kinda thing.
Nowadays people don't want to learn about computers, they don't care about the prices they pay for "convenience", and they don't know what they are missing out on when they play video games on a potato phone instead of a good TV with a controller. People pay money to stream music when I grew up getting it free very easily. Same goes with video. People spend $1000-2000 on an iPhone that they pay to watch movies on and play video games on. They don't care that they're missing out on a big TV with proper surround sound. Just play it through your shitty phone speakers and watch through your scratched up screen protector.
The general masses don't care anymore, so why the hell should they care about the quality of their games? I don't think Google Stadia is for us gaming forum dwellers but for some kids who wanna play a game by pressing one button. People don't care that a PS4 is basically the best all-in-one media centre out there when they can have their Macbook or Amazon stick, and call it a day. I'll never and I mean NEVER compromise my entertainment centre. It brings me too much pleasure in life to have a nice TV, a nice set of speakers, a good game console, and a solid couch to sit on. I have friends that can live out of a backpack and I just can't do that. I need my cozy living room but they don't. They don't need anything more than a bit of space to sleep, their bag, toothbrush, bed, laptop, and phone. They don't care if the movie quality sucks on the laptop - its fine for them. I think the same goes for gaming. People in general don't care if it doesn't look as good or work as well.
Times are changing. I hate to admit it, but times are changing.
I don't know if this counts as "towns" and this probably isn't exactly what you're looking for but if I recall, that town in Persona 4 is also a main setting so I'm gonna roll with this. The following are settings for games that take on a life of their own. I have never played any open world action game or RPG or anything that put so much detail and atmosphere into self contained places like these:
Butcher Bay - The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
The entire max security prison has an aura of despair and violence but to narrow it down, the original section at the beginning in general population oozes with atmosphere. You can fully walk around your prison ward and take on side missions, talk to the prisoners, go into cells, fight with people. Screams from behind closed doors. Moisture on the walls and limited light except in the courtyard. Amazing to play.
Arkham Asylum - Batman: Arkham Asylum
Most people have played the original (and best) in the Arkham series. I saw this is the best game because it, again, is a self contained title. You get to uncover, the rediscover new places to proceed through the asylum. It almost feels like the video game version of Die Hard where you spend a whole day in Arkham stopping the Joker, but you never leave. Even once the game is over, energy still emits as you uncover backstory for (Amadeus?) Arkham as well as solve Riddler puzzles. None of the sequels had the atmosphere that Asylum had.
Rapture - Bioshock
You feel the horror stuck inside your pod as you arrive in Rapture. The place is dark with light only funneling in from the ocean. Deformed people screech, you walk through puddles that litter beautiful carpets and walls with an art direction akin to 1920s Atlantic City or something. So much beauty but so much decay and madness. This is the most atmospheric game setting of all time if you ask me. I'll never forget Rapture.
Sevestapol - Alien Isolation
This is the next best thing after Rapture. This space station begins to feel so familiar by the end of the game, but that in itself doesn't mean the terror of the foggy and dim corridors is null. The sounds of doors opening, or the glow from old CRT computers all help the station take on a life of its own. The abandonment from the staff and the survivors slowly being killed by the alien makes each return to a prior hallway much more eerie.
Like I said, you probably weren't looking for this answer but akin to what you posed, "towns that are more than just window dressing," I'd say that these are nothing of the sort. Are they towns, no, but they aren't like some games where you battle in a generic jungle or an RPG game where you are exploring a borderline empty sprawl with nothing except some loot sprinkled in between. These settings are the richest I've personally played.
Anybody who has done this can attest. I assume other drugs would work well but weed is enough for me thank-you.
High bpm Drum n Bass music, high speed racing, neon lights, amazing SFX. Sensory overload. Cool down with Noby Noby Boy lol
Honestly, I haven't played many games in 2016, but I really enjoyed Mankind Divided (even with the PS4's sluggish menu). Some quests drove me to frustration with not so obvious goals in how to properly complete them such as the cult mission, but in the end, the game really brings you into it's world. It does 1st person immersion very well in the sense that everything has a size and scale to it, the world feels lived in, and you do not feel like you're so important over everybody else there. The first mission has you attempting to get around a police blockade and even by using force, you don't necessarily get by with ease.
I recently started The Witcher III (finally) and as a huge fan of TW1 and TW2, I find that 3 didn't exactly need an open world and that the open design doesn't exactly lend itself well to the type of game that is TW3. Whereas, in Deus Ex, the world felt like the perfect size as well as a great mixture of linear and open areas. I especially admire how many tunnels connect into apartments and apartments connect to baloney's, each with their own personality.
Shooting and stealth are certainly flawed but I really like being inside this game world.
@edsortiz I find your view on the always online relatively absurd. Within 12 months, an internet provider that isn't my own had unplugged my cords from a telephone box twice. My internet was out for at least 7 days each time. With the XBO's original policy, I wouldn't have been able to play. I live in one of the largest north american cities. I also have JUST signed up for PS+ to play Monster Hunter but hadn't in YEARS.
The original XBO policy was anti-consumer and the general public agreed. It fits the mold of an "unpopular opinion" thread but I don't understand how the XBO's original policies would benefit anybody in any way whatsoever.
ALIEN ISOLATION IS A
M A S T E R P I E C E
In all seriousness, it is one of the most fun and memorable gaming experiences I've ever played in my life. Lights out at the apartment, fresh off enjoying the original Alien film, and just pure atmosphere with my big speakers hooked up to the PS4. I'll never forget playing this game. There is almost nothing I didn't like about it.
The Sevastopol space station took on a life of its own and I place it up there with other great self contained and slowly unravelling atmospheric game worlds such as Rapture in Bioshock, Arkham Asylum in Batman Arkham Asylum, and Butcher Bay in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
One of my most thorough and unintentionally heartfelt posts incoming...
This was difficult to think of off the top of my head. I spent maybe 30 minutes on it. 5 of my towns are definitely questionable and I had to have 5 replacements. I KNOW for a fact I'm forgetting some. I was on the fence about San Vanelona from Skate and Skate 2 which may be my favourite CITY if we ever make that list. Just an amazingly well made game world.
PLEASE CONSIDER THESE TWO LESSER TALKED ABOUT TOWNS IN YOUR LISTS:
Assassins Creed II isn't the best game in the world and Moteriggioni isn't the best hub world ever made, but it is an incredible recreation of a real town in Tuscany, Italy. The town is beautiful in real life (like all of Tuscany) and Ubisoft Montreal recreated it in such a way that you marvel at what video games are capable of (Assassins Creed II does that in general). Monteriggioni slowly grows as you play through the long game. There are secrets that are revealed as you pick away towards 100% completing the game. The primary attraction is that it feels small. The low population and miniature on goings pair so well with Jesper Kyd's soundtrack (score?) which also feels atmospherically sparse.
Arcadia Bay is the video game town in recent memory that fully combines all aspects of the game design within Life Is Strange where the town is not secondary or tertiary, but is integrated into the fundamental enjoyment of the game. The entire game unfolds in various locations within this town. There are hallways and classrooms that you can explore at your leisure. There are dorm rooms that you also can explore and get to know the unique personalities of your peers within. Your best friends mom works at a greasy spoon diner where you meet seedier locals and get a grasp on the overall culture of the town. Later - you break into the same school, you have various social tensions within the same dorm, and the town faces impending doom.
The game allows players to make inferences based on what they can see from the locales they visit. The private school is ritzy and the classism Chloe and Max face can be exemplified by the grandoise nature of the school. The boredom and isolation Chloe faces can be understood by seeing an empty junk yard that she kills time in. Something simple like a Totem in the courtyard near the dorms can say a lot about the Indigenous people who may still have a culture and population within the city, or possibly exemplifies a respected Indigenous history. I was under the impression that Rachel Amber may have some Indigenous ancestry based on her character design. Allowing the player to make inferences and not spell things out is not only an example of great world building (town building?) but also great game design. Arcadia Bay offers different stakes within the narrative for the town you grow extremely accustomed to throughout your 10-20 hour journey.
A life changing series. I skate to this day, I went to university for media production because I was inspired by skate videos (Yeah Right!, Mouse, Fully Flared, BAKER 3, list goes on), I listen to punk, metal, hip hop, and uhhhh I play great video games. THPS2 is one of the best games ever made in my opinion. The series kept getting better ranging from THPS on PS1 all the way to Tony Hawk's American Wasteland at the bitter end of the PS2 cycle.
This series has an untouchable flow and combo system and the foundation was laid in this game. I have to give it credit for a lot of great gameplay decisions, but one underappreciated thing is that when you press the START button, the menu appears fast. In a game about action and reaction, being able to jump into the menu and restart is such an important thing that sports games and arcade games still don't get right today. Those little details were more important when individual challenges were introduced in THPS4, but there was a lot of just sheer clean functionality in the THPS series.
Neversoft are underrated. I miss them, but if they were around today they would probably be making Call of Duty which I don't exactly care for.
This soundtrack >>
Hoeg Law is out here making power plays in the media outside of EZA:
But Richard Hoeg of Hoeg Law told GameDaily.biz that the odds of the threatened lawsuit going anywhere are essentially zero. "In general, software is not sold to users, it is licensed. Because of that, use of any software is subject to the terms of the licensing contract," he explained. Some countries do have more consumer-friendly refund requirements—recall Valve's years-long beef with Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission—but ZeniMax covers that base with the "required by applicable law" statement.
I made the most heinous stupid publishing name I could think of "Chumbawunma-Hoobastank G-Unit Records Productions".
You should all feel ashamed if you lose to somebody with a name this stupid.