Weekend Confirmed Episode 10

By Garnett Lee, May 28, 2010 12:00pm PDT Killzone 3 had its first showing and Garnett got to play it along with this week's guest, former 1UP Yours man on the wheels of steel Andrew Pfister from G4TV.com. Brian continues to love Red Dead Redemption while Jeff spent his week with Prince of Persia Forgotten Sands and that's only part of what's in Whatcha' Been Playin? Something new has been added before the Warning in the third segment with audience comments from last week's show. Up this time, response to the discussion of maturity in games. Brian wraps the show up on a roll with a Front Page filled with everything from the departure of two big Microsoft Entertainment division execs to rumors of a $149 price for the Xbox 360 motion sensing add-on, Natal.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 10 - 05/28/2010

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Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

Whatcha' Been Playin: Start: 00:00:00 End: 00:32:22

Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:33:26 End: 01:03:25

The Warning: Start: 01:04:29 End: 01:44:52

Music Break featuring Haunted Shores with "Prelude Bombfare": Start: 01:44:52 End: 01:47:49

The Front Page: Start: 01:47:49 End: 02:15:36

Music Break features Haunted Shores, a Washington D.C.-based trio composed of Mark Holcomb, Misha Mansoor, and Chris Barretto. You can catch them on MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. They just put out a brand new split EP w/ the UK band Cyclamen called "Haunted Shores/Cyclamen", which you can order from iTunes/Amazon or the official Haunted Shores store.

Special thanks to our guest, Andrew Pfister. Catch up with him at G4TV.com.

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest single, Small Town Hero on iTunes and check out more at his Facebook page.

Watch Jeff on The Totally Rad Show. New episodes come out weekly on Tuesday.

Click here to comment...


24 Threads | 62 Comments

  • Hey guys great show, i used to listed to the 1up podcast and now i'm hooked on this show- Garnett FTW!.

    I had a couple of comments and a would be question.

    You guys discussed why we have escort missions, my take on it is that most films in the past have had the hero of the film save the heroine by protecting her. I feel escort missions are an adaptation of the exact same thing. They are mad to make the player feel like the hero and games try to create that same emotion. Whether they have been successful is another thing.

    I also had a question, you guys mentioned console technology being the plateau for games and the fact that home computers are going to be used for more bite size games.

    Given technology such as On-Live is coming and maybe be successful, this may remove the technology barriers that each generation of consoles currently has. Assuming that cloud servers are going to constantly be updated, will this not mean that future blockbuster games, start to cost more in assets and development time and therefore carry a much higher risk of failure and therefore defeat the purpose of developers supporting services such as On-Live.

    Keep up the great informative and well discussed show.

    xbox GT: Psyhco Ninja

  • Full disclosure, I am a total slut for this game.

    'Mature' video game material. I'm sure most people on here are aware of this one, "Deadly Premonition."

    Created and designed by a Japanese game designer who goes by, SWERY. SWERY is one of many in Japan who are huge fans of David Lynch's work, especially Twin Peaks.

    With all the technical flaws caused by a dated engine, the story, and intense attention to detail causes those flaws to morph into genius.

    One example, multiple times during the game, I would react either out loud or just thinking something in reaction to a plot revelation or some outrageous visual event and a moment later someone in the game would say exactly the same thing. Not just once either. This happened repeatedly throughout the game. I can't thing of another time I have experienced game craft like this.

    But that is off point, this oddball game, created by what is likely an oddball individual, is the complete Twin Peaks story vision that was cut short on TV, viewed through the filter of a major fan from a different culture.

    An astonishingly mature story arc and surprising immersion. Having experienced it myself I understood completely when watching another web site do a recorded run of the game and hearing the guys playing it referring to the protagonist on screen as 'me.' "Get your filthy hands off me!", while being attacked by an awfully rendered zombie/ghost/ghast/....something.

    That, folks, is what immersion sounds like. Despite all the gripes from many who are frankly too young to really get Twin Peaks, it was before their time, about an ugly and dated graphics engine, the story is so mature, so well told, so full of twists that something magical happens.

    Investment. That is mature content, not sniggering titillation aimed at 13 year old boys which in any other genre would be, appropriately, defined the opposite of mature.

    And Garnett and Crew, you are a good group to 'get' Twin Peaks weirdness, please cover this game. I would love to hear your collective take on it, even if you hate it. Your dislike would still be more entertaining and insightful than the empty headed, "Dude, the graphics are ugly, and the controls suck."

    Sorry, told you I was a slut for this game.

    As a postscript, I really enjoy this podcast. I was fortunate to stumble across it the first episode and have been a subscriber ever since. I look forward to it every week. Thanks to all of you, each person's contribution adds a lot to the whole, great job.

  • Yes, I'm vain/incredibly happy that my question was a topic of discussion yet again on this weeks show, so I thought I'll put down my two cents, more of which can be read over at http://gamerant.com/rated-m-for-mature-phil-10492/

    So I was thinking about what the other guy said, about the film analogy, and I have to say I agree with him to an extent, but I think it can be taken even further (and note, this is only theoretical and conceptual) to something like a novel.

    Theoretically, almost anyone can write (disabilities not withstanding) can write a piece of prose. I've loved games, always have, but I'm aware that I will likely never be able to create a videogame - I just don't have the necessary skillset. But when it comes to writing a story, hey it might not be the best thing in the world, but I can write a decent story about love/hate/relatively mature topics. If we take me, and then multiply my writing skill by a billion, then that person will be able to invoke and create emotions within a reader that would be utterly fantastical. But if that person can't create a game, then a videogame will never see that broad range of emotions. I think that the Houser brothers and the Mechners of this world are incredibly far and few-between. I think that if we want to see mature videogames, that invoke a mature response, then we need to lower the barrier of entry so low, that a writer can create a videogame. Yes, it'll create a crapton more shit to wade through, but like every other medium that has survived this long, the good stuff will float to the surface.

    I think Skip's example of LBP was misguided. Yes, that's heading in the right direction, but it's still incredibly hard to create a good level in that. I tried once and was so put off I never tried again. I think a better example is Trackmania for the PC - that's a game that's so easy to create for, and yet people can create amazing things for it. I've created a few tracks of mine which I'm proud of, but I've seen tracks where it turns into a FPS (literally!) and where you have to dodge exploding mines. Trackmania is the game we need to be looking at - not LBP.

    Also, GTA IV is a hard example. I thought about this for a long time, but it's hard to see where it fits - on the one hand, the theme of the American Dream is incredibly mature, and one covered often in novels and plays like Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman, and on the other, you can choose to run around and blow shit up. The juxtaposition of the in-game Nico against the in-cutscene Nico is ludicrous, and makes it hard to really see where it lies on the spectrum.

    And wooooah, that guy who brought up SMG2 - I wrote about SMG1 in my article xD If a game is so well-crafted that it is considered perfect and approachable by anyone - does that make the game itself mature? Because it's so approachable?

    I think the real problem here is that we don't have a true definition of 'What constitutes a mature game'? Is it one that handles mature topics? One that handles everyday topics, but in a careful and brilliant way? Is it one that treats the gamer like a mature person? I mean, if we look at Zelda: Wind Waker; there is a game that teaches children (as well as adults, but I'm focusing on a younger audience right now) that one person can make a difference, that good can triumph over evil, and that trying when you don't succeed will eventually push you past your barriers.

    I know I've rambled, but I hope someone read it :) Thanks for being such an awesome show, and thanks for readin my question Garnett :)

    PS: It's Des-ee-ah-toe, not Des-ee-an-toe :P

  • Still have about forty-five mins to endeavor through... but I must say, totally agree with Garnett and Brian on 3D. I couldn't care less about that technology being inputted into gaming. I would much prefer to see more focus on story, character development, existing graphical improvements, and more fully featured behemoths rather than a tech that is 1. totally unproven and 2. going to be way too expensive for the vast majority of families and gamers to experience.

    There is a definite reason why we still play 2D side scrolling classics and enjoy so much retro stuff... it's timeless. A gimmick... isn't. To this day, every time I ponder 3D in ye ole' noggin, I always think of the idiot who wore the 3D glasses who ran with teenage "You know you want it... and you want me to give it to you" Biff Tannen in 1955. I know those glasses are now a thing of the past, but the manure scene and the "lousy henchman" in the terrible specs will never exit my brain completely. Just give me well-made product that lives up to the promises it makes.

    What will be the absolute worst will be the inevitable slew of games that are put out simply for 3D purposes and literally suck donkey balls... shovelware will be taken to another level. Majesco, I'm looking in your general direction. I'm sure the "Imagine" people are working overtime on something for 3D, but all I keep imagining... is playing solid gaming experiences, of which 2010 has presented an absurd level in its first six months.

  • You guys seemed to miss the entire point of the reader's "maturity" email. Brian said SMG didn't cover "mature subject matter" and Jeff said he preferred story-based games over "casual" games. The whole point of the comment was that SMG is mature in what the gameplay asks of you, not story. A child can't play it, because you have to understand the mechanics of the gameplay very well to beat it. The reader was arguing that this should be a valid way of using the term "mature" in describing a game, not just the subject matter of the storyline, where a child can't play it just because there's a lot of blood. Similarly, you would call chess a "mature" game. That doesn't mean it's nonexistent subject matter is mature.