Weekend Confirmed Episode 29

By Garnett Lee, Oct 08, 2010 12:00pm PDT It's been a while since we had a guest so we figured it would be fun to have EGMi's Patrick Klepek join Garnett, Brian, and Jeff for this week's show. There's certainly plenty for them to talk about with games like Enslaved, Rock Band 3, Def Jam Rap Star, Gears of War 3, and more in Whatcha Been Playin? Your comments on everything from Halo: Reach's story to how you invest in a game's character open the Warning and then the conversation turns to whether games need the threat of failure to be fun. There's also a preview of Indiecade happening this weekend in Los Angeles before moving on to news in the Front Page. This week's top stories include Panasonic's new "Jungle" handheld, resurrected rumors of a Halo movie, and word of new Marvel superhero games.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 29 - 10/08/2010

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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: 00:34:52

Whatcha' Been Playin and Cannata-ford a New Game: Start: 00:35:56 End: 01:11:27

The Warning: Start: 01:12:40 End: 01:51:04

Music Break featuring "Infinite" by Bambu featuring Chase produced by Anon: 01:51:04 End: 01:53:23

The Front Page: Start: 01:53:23 End: 02:28:58

NFL Pick Three: Start: 02:30:00 End: 02:38:36

Music Break this week features the producer Anon and the track he produced for Bambu, "Infinite" featuring Chase. Domonic Dunlap, better known as Anon (short for Anonymous), is an L.A based music producer mostly known for his contributions to L.A. Based hip hop artist Bambu's last two solo albums (I Scream Bars for the Children, Papercuts). Known for his versatility in production, he tends to blend, soul sampling with electronic 80's inspired synths, classical, and world music.In addition to his unique production style, he separates himself from other producers by sporting a variety of masks keeping his identity secretive, hence the name "Anon". Through his production company, SpellBound Productions and his indie label 5ifth Phase Entertainment he plans on Evolving the game, and representing that breath of fresh air the industry has been missing. Catch Anon on Myspace, Reverbnation, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Our guest Patrick Klepek is senior editor of EGMi. Their current cover story features an in-depth look at pro mode in Rock Band 3

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 can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

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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50 Threads* | 157 Comments

  • In defense of holding the Wii Remote sideways:

    Am I the only one who LIKES doing that? Personally I appreciate games that can design themselves around such a simple setup, and still be good. Not to mention it's the one thing that every Wii is guaranteed to come with and you don't have to bother with connecting a Nunchuck.

    Maybe for their next console Nintendo's basic controller should have more button, but if Kirby Epic Yarn is as good as Garnett says it is, then obviously Nintendo properly took their default controller into account.

    I've had Kirby from GameFly sitting in my house for a few days but decided to finish Vanquish first, and this episode convinced me to go ahead and get started on it despite Fallout: New Vegas also sitting in my house.

  • I agree with the Director or Actor approach with games such as Mass Effect and Fallout. Depending on the game, I choose to be one or the other. In Mass Effect, I am the director. I am 'driving' Shepard through the story, but at the same time, my choices are based upon my own personality, and therefore it is just as engaging as when I project myself into Noble 6 in Halo: Reach i.e. I am the actor.

    I think it all comes down to how the character you play is designed: is the character a hollow shell for the player to inhabit or is this an established character like Shepard that allows for the player to direct the experience?

  • Oh boy, just heard about the new GT5 delay. Wonder if Garnett's head is gonna explode. :-)

    All jokes aside, I do side with Garnett in that I think this is ridiculous that this racing game has been delayed this long. Hell it was ridiculous a year ago and it's even more so now. I get the whole "better good and late than early and weakt" sentiment and yeah, a lot of games out there could afford to be pushed back to make the end game better rather than rushed.

    But I think the difference here is that it looks like the GT5 team is striving for "perfection" whatever that means and that's a flaw for any artistic medium because no one is ever gonna be satisfied because they can always add just one more thing. You can (and should) be aiming for greatness, but once you start going into the perfect category, things get dicey.

    You see what happens when you give a person excessive money and time with little demand for the bottom line in a lot of mediums such as film, music, games, and usually the results aren't pretty. Film buffs will know about Cimano's Heaven's Gate film which came after his enormously successful Deer Hunter and he came back to the studio with a movie that was 5 and a half hours long and utterly boring to watch. Not that GT5 will be horrible, in fact I'm pretty damn sure just based on all the preview coverage that it will be absolutely AMAZING. But like Garnet was saying, it was amazing a year ago and would've been a great game a year ago and also would've allowed the team to be working on a NEW GT game right now (gasp!).

    That's the problem with projects that take so long to come to fruition. A lot of times they fall under their own bloated weight of artistic excess or even if they do actually deliver and release a pretty good product (Guns n' Roses Chinese Democracy come to mind), it hits the masses, the masses are like, hey that's pretty good, and then that's it, they move on to the next thing because no work is immune from the "meh" factor, no matter how hard someone tries to make it perfect.

  • Played Enslaved. Wow is it surprisingly good. So first of all every single critique of that game is valid. The hand holdiness could have been fixed with better design and while the combat improves about halfway through the game it really isn't a highlight of the game. Also to any potential new comers to that game there is an upgrade that you can give Monkey that costs about 5000 points that colour codes the enemies attack positions. Do not do it. I did it early and I had to restart the game the game cause it was just to much hand holding. Anyway this is one of the better stories I've experienced since I read the last Dresden Files book. Yes it's that good. The facial animations are fantastic. The way the characters interact and look at each other in the cut scenes are eerily believable. I mean the look on Trip's face when she first speaks to Monkey is exactly the type of look you would see an actor do in that scene. Anyway anyone else play the game? I know they talked about it on the last podcast but I was wondering what you guys though about it.

  • I think the next innovation in hardware will be a world where your portable and home console are one device. You will have a cradle and separate controllers for your portable system. You will have the portable equivalent to a PS3 from a horsepower point of view and when you dock the system it will behave like a PS3 does now where more than one person can play on a single system etc. Which will be cool, because if my wife boots me from the TV I will not have to stop playing.

    Alternatively systems could move away from being hardware to being software platforms which can be loaded onto TVs and other devices.

  • Another awesome show guys...
    Altho I'm LTTP, I had to chime in on the morality in games convo --

    To me, a crucial distinction to make when considering how much players "identify" with their characters is whether or not the game in question is a RPG. Since supposedly a significant portion of the game's mechanics revolve around the processes of character development and exploration, it seems that players may experience a greater degree of projection when involved in character creation; the player's avatar is not handed to them "whole cloth," so to speak, but rather becomes a collaborative creation between them and the game's designers. This in turn speaks to the potential impact of ethical game mechanics -- if the player is to some degree actively involved in the development and performance of their character, the impact of ethical choice is all the more personalized. I didn't much care about the sociopathic tendencies of Niko Bellic in GTA 4 because he was predetermined for me, but I certainly did care that "my" Shepard acted according to my vision of her character.

  • Hi Guys, long time listener first time uh, caller....

    Just wanted to chime in a a few things.

    First: To answer the question "What is the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief ?" it is pretty clear to me that it's a love story. Which is totally crazy, but what makes it so much fun. The central relationship at the heart of Halo is a romance between a cyborg and an A.I. How's that for science fiction madness?

    Second: regarding the whole "is it you/is it the character" thing. I don't think this is a question one can answer honestly from an "eye in the sky" viewpoint. The proof is in the way that we describe the after-action of the game. Do you say "Shepard blew away those Geth and then had a tryst with Miranda"? Or do you find your self saying things like "I was trapped on all sides so I whipped out the shotgun and just charged in!"

    Back in the day I used to play tabletop RPGs and there were two distinct types of players: those who would say "my character does this" or "Melbezz the Destroyer dives in" and those who would say "I punch him in the taint". I'm not entirely sure it is an conscious choice, our imaginations seem to be hardwired one way or the other.

  • No one starting the Move conversation? I guess I will!

    Definitely love Jeff's segment on Move. Time Crisis is a fully packed product. I'll definitely be trying it out. I do understand the lack of focus on Move. Love it or Hate it, it suffers from launch syndromes. The best games has yet to come, so it's hard to excite anyone for Move. After seeing Sorcery, I know that developing a good title unique for Move will take a longer development schedule.

    I'm definitely into the scene of current games that are implementing Move. Just seeing MAG working so well with the Move that it seems like cheating makes me wonder how many games can be affected by the launch of Move.

  • The game that best deals with morality in my opinion is Oblivion. What I loved about the game is that they created this HUGE sprawling world and essentially told you to go and make your own story. At the very beginning of the game, (after the worst tutorial in a great game), I was heading toward the main story quest and on the way I stopped in an inn and accidentally stole an apple. Ran from the guard that was their then ran to Bruma and after a battle of attrition I killed a guard. So I then had a 2500 gold bounty on my head and unknowingly unlocked the ability to do the Assassins quest and the Thief's guild quest. Well to anyone who hasn't played the game someone comes to you when you fall asleep and offers you these quests. You can choose to do it or ignore it. What I loved about the game though is despite the fact these faction quests are 'bad' the game never tells you this is wrong in the games morality. After about 2 months real time my character got more powerful and I wanted more money to buy some items for the quests. Well being a thief was a quick way. So I did. The game never said it was wrong but why should it? I already knew. Then as I got stronger I was more willing to do things that were evil. I eventually joined Assassins guild and just became more of a power hungry bastard.

  • Hey guys,

    Great show this week. Patrick was an awsome addition to the group.

    A couple points I want to bring up. First off, regarding my comments on wanting a new consol generation in the not too distant future, I think I was a little unclear in my initial post. I didn't mean to sound like I want a new consol this fall... I do however feel like we are creeping up on the end of this generation, and that Microsoft and Sony trying to squeez another 3 or more years out of the 360 and PS3 is a bad idea.

    Also, keeping in mind that I'm a huge fan and have loads of respect for you all, I have to say that I found your collective response of "games are already HD, what could new technology possible bring to the table?" to be suprisingly short sighted and closed minded. More powerful hardware means so much more than higher resolution. It means....

    * More processing power for the game engine. This could mean everything from farther draw distances, to more characters on screen, to more advanced physics proccessing, to more advanced AI, etc.

    * Faster processing of HD graphics. The current generation of consols displays graphics in HD, but not every game is rendered in HD, and many that are still suffer from framerate issues. Do current 360 or PS3 games look like a Pixar movie? Until they do, we still have a lot of room for improved visuals.

    * As Brian mentioned, there would be faster loading times, more memory available for caching, etc.

    I get excited when I think about what developers will be able to do with more powerful hardware... not just better looking games, but larger, more complex, more subtle, and more sophisticated games.

    Thanks again for the great show!