Weekend Confirmed Episode 18

By Garnett Lee, Jul 23, 2010 12:00pm PDT Some say Weekend Confirmed sounds like a morning show and this week it truly is as we recorded early to help Jeff get a head start on his journey down to San Diego for Comic-Con. With Garnett and Brian up early too, the caffeine-fueled show gets started with a flashback as World of Warcraft has gotten its clutches back around one of the guys. There's also a new perspective on DeathSpank, Singularity, and this week's Cannata-ford a New Game by unanimous decision: Alien Swarm. Your feedback on how value figures into your assessment of a game came across loud and clear and it provides the springboard to lead into the Warning. This week it's a look at some of the crew's favorite games growing up and "next-gen" faces a reckoning. June's NPD sales figures lead the news in the Front Page and Brian also has a complete report from EA's summer studio showcase.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 18 - 07/23/2010

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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: 00:31:33

Whatcha' Been Playin and Cannata-ford a New Game: Start: 00:32:24 End: 01:03:54

The Warning: Start: 01:05:03 End: 01:35:40

Music Break featuring "Pidgeonholed" by Del Rio: Start: 01:35:40 End: 01:38:31

The Front Page: Start: 01:38:31 End: 02:15:52

Music Break this week comes from Weekend Confirmed's very own producer Del Rio! "Pidgeonholed" is a track off his upcoming debut album "The Wait is Over" which you can help support.

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.

Jeff and the TRS crew are appearing at Comic-con this Friday evening, be sure to catch them if you're down there. As always you can watch Jeff on The Totally Rad Show. New episodes come out weekly on Tuesday.

Our Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page is coming along now so add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

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28 Threads | 122 Comments

  • Hey, I have been listening to your new podcast; I think it is awesome! I have actually listened to every single podcast Garnett has done since the early days on 1 Up. I really think he is the voice of the industry, in the sense that he seems to inhabit a region that is grey and fuzzy to both consumer and producer. Anyways, no point in writing a blog here. I simply want to say, "good job, keep it up".

    I would also like to extent my gratitude to the two other dudes hosting this podcast, you guys are a lot of fun to listen to. Brian and the other Japanese white guy are fun to listen to! Having lived in Japan for years, I know where you are coming from man. Might as well find a J-girl and get it over with. Perhaps you two could find a two bedroom condo downtown? You know, so she can go to the local market daily to buy food to cook for you while you are busy recording podcasts and playing Star Craft. I know you think this is a joke, but I have lived this life. When you meat a girl who finds that leveling up is as important as you do, and is willing to cook and clean whilst you do the aforementioned leveling up, you got it made. To really drive home the point, perhaps she will even crack open a Labatt Lite for you after you reach level 50. Might as well put a shot under the cross bar with this one. You don't get chances like this every day mang!

    Anyways, </tangent>.

    Thanks for reading my pile.

    I really love this site and this podcast. weekend confirmed ftw.

    Oh, and PS:

    Mortal Kombat > Street Fighter.

  • I have been trying to get some kind or feedback on this one. Do different regions appreciate games completely differently or are the distinctions narrowing? Im thinking a couple of examples each way. I know Garnett loves FIFA but me and my buddies feel that in Europe its looked at differently. I mentioned before that i preferred Backbreaker to the superior Madden because it played football like i thought i would. I think Garnett may feel the same about FIFA. For example he thinks its near perfect yet it causes me and my friends endless frustration at the slightest inaccuracies just because we live and breathe for Soccer. I also think that this is shown in the last formula one race. In the US I imagine Ferarri were villified but in Europe there wasnt a big fuss. Am i right that the differences are as big as ever or are we all becoming a global gaming community?

  • Perhaps as a Warning Question;

    When you guys brought up the idea of an 'illusion of freedom', I instantly thought of Uncharted 2. I'm pretty sure I even used the exact phrase in my review;

    "With such a believeable and beautifully animated world, and a character that appears to be capable of the impossible, it’s easy to forget that Uncharted 2 is a videogame, with set limitations imposed by the developers.

    It’s clear that with Uncharted 2, Naughty Dog set out to create a world with the illusion of freedom. Unfortunately, that’s all it ever is; an illusion. In the latter stages of Uncharted 2, the smoke and mirrors are all too easy to see through, with the curtain fully drawn back. Herein lies the major problem with Uncharted 2: It’s an incredibly linear game."

    So here's my question - what do you guys think about freedom (or lack thereof) in videogames? Do you prefer the open world landscapes of RDR and Crackdown 2, where the freedom truly is a freedom, or do you prefer very linear set paths within videogames? If you do prefer linear games, do you want an illusion of freedom? My biggest problem with UC2 was that I felt that I should be able to grab some ledges, or jump onto some platforms, but because it wasn't "the right one", I was punished with death. I'm sure Garnett will love me saying this, but it's the reason why I think I prefer the Tomb Raider titles - if I think I should be able to grab a ledge, I usually can.

    Thanks guys, love the show.

    PS: Get Chris Remo on.

  • I've been hearing a lot of people on the games coverage side saying how games could learn a thing or two from Chris Nolan's latest screen effort "Inception." Stephen Totilo wrote an interesting review of the film on Kotaku explaining what he thought it's similarities to gaming were. He even made a point to say, "If you've played many video games...so much of Inception may feel both thrilling and familiar." Link below:


    WC poster FiendishDude also brought up Inception in another thread while we discussed the thought of games blending cinema with interactivity, saying:

    “Though the drama of the movie is incredible and something I believe is only possible via cinematic storytelling (via things like editing and pitch perfect dramatic timing) the most interesting part story wise remains the slow unveiling of the main character's psyche through a literal exploration of his mind. It’s sad that the movie can only spend a handful of minutes doing this. Imagine if someone made an Inception game of sorts, but it was something slow and methodical, like an old school adventure game. It would allow the player to thoroughly examine different characters in ways that movies wouldn't have the ability to do. The story itself wouldn't be rich, in fact, it may not even have a plot, but it would allow exploration of character to reach a new level.”

    I'm sure not everyone has had the chance to see it yet, but for those who have, do you think there is anything games can learn from Inception?

  • Great show... thanks for addressing my contrary little rant. I don't entirely recall what set it off, but at least some good discussion came of it. But I digress...

    On a completely unrelated note, I was thinking, as one does from time to time, about games that failed in their time, but have been retroactively praised and re-evaluated as under-appreciated classics. Examples are too numerous to list, but as an example, something like River City Ransom, which certainly wasn't without fans at the time, but has become a much bigger deal in the years since.

    Of course, whenever this happens, be it in games, movies, fashion, and especially in music, there's no greater hipster cred than to be able to say that you were "totally into" said thing "before it was cool to like it." Unfortunately, after the fact, there really isn't any way to prove that you were into it unless you actually did trumpet it's cause back when it wasn't cool to do so, and at the expense of being totally wrong.

    My proposal to you: call it now. What relatively unsuccessful game of current vintage are you totally into now, that you think (or hope) will retroactively become cool or popular?

    For myself, I'm gonna have to go with Opoona, the "Lifestyle RPG" for the Wii. It's not a perfect game, and yeah, the localization is as bad as you might have heard, but it's combination of traditional, turn-based JRPG and Animal Crossing-style social sim wound up being a real breath of fresh air, and the art style and music are gorgeous. It's my favourite game of this generation, and I never give up the chance to sing it's praise for anyone who'll listen, and maybe it's wishful thinking, but I'd like to believe that this game will eventually be appreciated by a wider mass, if only for it's uniqueness.

    What are your choices?

  • This is THE best podcast on the video game market at large. I love hearing everybody's opinions and perspectives, especially Brian's insights.

    For future guests I'd like to hear from Alice.

    For future topics I'd like a short review/overview on the Asian gaming scene and how you guys think that will impact or is impacting global gaming. I'd also like a 1-2 minute blurb on some Asian games currently in development that look promising or at least seem to have good production values but will probably never debut outside of their home markets. Vindictus is a good example of that. I want to know what I may be missing abroad.

  • As is my custom with WC (ever since I was once mentioned in 4MW /stillmyfavouritememoryofalltimeever) I skipped straight to The Warning, just to see what you guys had to say.

    Garnett, I now agree with you a lot more than I did last week. Maybe it was the meds last week that meant you didn't get across the same point (or maybe it was the fact I was traveling to London for a thing for TV and was super stressed) but this week I totally agreed with your argument.

    Whenever I read/write a review, I can't stand reading something that tells me about how the telemetry is laid out or how many different types of gun you can use - it's not what I want to know. I remember Sir John Davison the Fourth Esq. said that the main thing to remember when writing a review is that it doesn't exist in a vacuum - always make your review about what you thought; the reader can always find what other people think elsewhere.

    Whenever I've written a review and then read it through myself afterwards, I always find that I've focused on the emotional stuff - not whether the game made me cry per se, but how I felt when playing.

    I still do think that monetary value HAS to play a small part in your recommendation however. I'm not saying that the entire review should be "Well, if we say that price:hours ratio is, on average, $5:1 hours, then this game is severely overpriced rararara", but perhaps in a conclusion there should be some sort of "As you can tell, I absolutely loved flower, and it's an utter steal at the $7 price." or say something like "So, Singularity may have been a pretty average game overall, but if you can pick it up in a bargain bin in a couple months time, I guarantee you'll have fun with it."

    I'll get round to listening to the rest of it later. Thanks guys :)