Weekend Confirmed Episode 40: Best of 2010 Awards

By Garnett Lee, Dec 24, 2010 11:00am PST In the first of two holiday specials, the Weekend Confirmed crew reminisces on the best video games and industry trends of 2010. Shacknews editor Xav de Matos and fourth chair all-star Billy Berghammer join Garnett and Jeff in a spirited look back that more than fills the show. Taking next week's Shacknews Best of awards as a template, the conversations include favorites for their story and mulitplayer, best in their genre like role-playing and action adventure, and tops for their platform. And naturally it all culminates in the Game of the Year awards.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 40 - 12/24/2010

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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:

Best of 2010 Part 1: Start: 00:00:00 End: 00:34:27

Best of 2010 Part 2: 00:35:32 End: 01:06:11

Best of 2010 Part 3: 01:07:08 End: 01:38:08

Featured Music Del Rio's "Next Phase" Produced by Anon: 01:38:08 End: 01:41:52

Best of 2010 Part 4: Start: 01:41:52 End: 02:18:56

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest single, Small Town Hero on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or 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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43 Threads* | 211 Comments

  • Possible Podcast Discussion Topic:

    Is anyone else tired of saving the world?

    Playing Dragon Age, I was interested in all the different races and factions in the game until I realized that once again, I was going to be saving the entire world from some ultimate evil. And I found the same thing with Fable 3 and ME2 (to be fair, I love the reavers and the endless cycle of birth and destruction).

    Have we set the stakes too high for many of our games? I would have loved DA more if it had involved liberating the elves from their ghetto or the stakes had been more personal than the absolute, horrible, and irrevocable destruction of the entire world. Matter of fact, there were so many side quests in DA that would have been better than the main story that I walked away from the title disappointed.

    Granted, some franchises work well with these big stakes just like Bond always has to save the world, but I find myself more emotionally invested when the conflict is on a smaller scale or is more personal. And I believe it's a sign of laziness when they can't find a better way to involve the player. Halo never really makes you realize the human side of the conflict because it's on such a grand scale except for Halo:ODST when we get to hear the tapes of the daughter which are optional and not part of the main storyline.

    Take Heavy Rain, for example, which I didn't love, but I liked that the stakes were a guy's son. That grabbed me immediately and it was easier to identify with the loss of a loved one than the destruction of our planet.

  • I was reminded as the Shack guys were going over the award, just what an AMAZING year this was for the racing genre.

    Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and GT5 were both amazing games that excelled at what they sought out to do, be it detail-oriented driving or high-speed, cops-and-robbers thrills.

    NFS was my personal racing game of the year, but IMO, the really interesting and arguably more important racing games this year were the ones that were forgotten. They were the racing games that dared to say, 'you know what, this genre can be about more than just getting to the finish line before the other guy.'

    Bur - Who says weapons are the sole domain of colorful kart racers and futuristic racing leagues? On top of that simple idea, Blur experimented with social media in gaming and brought the customizable perks and weapon profiles from the shooter space into the racing genre.

    Split/Second - Yes, it was a one-note experience that didn't hold your attention for as long as it could have, but Split/Second brought an entirely new idea to the racing space, and made you feel like you were driving through an blockbuster action sequence. Burnout has crashing, Blur and Kart Racers have weapons, but Split/Second let players destroy the track around them. Not only did it take out other racers, it completely changed the shape of the track! I'd love to see other devs play with this idea. Imagine every lap being a little different.

    Mod Nation Racers - Can developers PLEASE stop releasing videogames anywhere near E3? Please? Mod Nation Racers was criminally overlooked. Track editing tools that were as deep or deeper than the level modding tools in LBP, a fantastic in-game lobby system for sharing and exploring content, and hey, there's actually a kart racing game in there that's damn fun too! Probably my pick for best game nobody played this year, I've put more hours into this game than any other game not-named Halo: Reach this year.

    Such a great year for racing junkies like me. :D

  • I can understand the dislike for the Mass Effect 2's final boss. I wasn't crazy about it either. Like Garnett said on the show, it was like fighting an Iron Maiden stage prop. When that thing showed up I wanted to make like Bruce Dickinson and run to the hills. That said, was ME2's final boss really more detrimental than the overly drawn out Mexico sequence in Red Dead Redemption?

    At least the disappointing final boss in ME2 was a rather brief encounter in what is an otherwise great ending. The Mexico portion of Red Dead on the other hand, grounds the game to a halt, and then leaves the player to slog around in the muck for what feels like an eternity. If the ending of RDR wasn't so strong following Mexico, Rockstar would have undone all the goodwill they built up at the beginning of the game.

  • Happy holidays to everyone! To Garnett, Brian, and Jeff: you guys put together an excellent show this year, and should be proud of all the work you've done. Keep it up!

    Just wanted to post my 2 cents on the GOTY discussion. I'll go over some of my personally more note-worthy games.

    Mass Effect 2: Absolutely brilliant. Many games have used various forms of team-building mechanics, but only Mass Effect 2 has made me feel like all my actions throughout the entire game truly mattered. I cared about every single member of my squad, even the ones I didn't like. I felt invested in the group, and the entire final mission had me on the edge of my seat.

    I feel Garnett's story criticisms are from a fairly "hogh-level" perspective, and really aren't relevant while you are actually playing the game, and absorbed in the character drama.

    The shooter mechanics worked beautifully, while retaining the traditional RPG levels of strategy and planning in combat.... don't believe me? Try playing the game on the Insane difficulty setting ;p


    Red Dead Redemption: The most overrated game of the year. A game that coasts by completely on its fantastic production values. Engaging characters, beautiful scenery and music, but clunky mechanics and flat-out boring gameplay.

    Everyone who ever plays this game complains about the length of the Mexico section. Why? Because the moment the story begins to drag, as it does in Mexico, the game has absolutely nothing to hold the players attention. There isn't a single mission in the game that is legitimately fun on a gameplay level. It is only a desire to continue the story that grips players so much.

    Still, this game seems to have seduced so many players, I'm sure it will win many GOTY votes.


    Halo Reach: The most complete game of the year. Bungie has created a game that offers something for evey kind of gamer, and exicutes it all brilliantly. A gripping single-player campaign, that only gets better with co-op. The best competative online shooter, period. A wonderful co-operative game mode with Firefight, the best in-game editor of all time with Forge, and the most incredible level of customization across all modes. It really is a game that doesn't get old, because it gives players the tools to invent endless new ways to play.


    Overall, I really do have to give my GOTY vote to Mass Effect 2. There wasn't a single element of the game's delivery that came up short.... everything was delivered on a top notch level. Tight and responsive controls, excellent level design, thrilling and challenging combat, deep, engaging characters with a powerful story, and the flat-out best production values of any consol game, ever.

    ps. Thinking back to the "are we ready for a new consol generation" debate from a few months back, I couldn't help but realize that the best looking game this generation is almost a year old already.... We all know what that means. Developers have hit a wall with the current consols!

  • An Idea: How about an Honourable Mention category?

    Everyone gets to pick one game you absolutely knew would never even be considered for GOTY, but that you nonetheless just want to give a shout out to. I'll go first.

    Wario Ware: DIY (DS)
    I won't belabour the point too much, it's Mario Paint with logic gates, but if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and get creative (and for the love of Christ, don't just draw penises) this one offers a surprisingly deep well of possibilities. In playing this game, I feel like I learned a little bit about how logic gates work.

    Not GOTY by any stretch, but a great little contraption that encourages both creativity and ingenuity, or can simply be used to draw pictures or compose music.

    Everyone; feel free, if not encouraged, to post your own honourable mentions in this thread.

  • Great episode. I loved the discussion and while I don't think 2010 was the best year it definitely had a lot of good games. For me Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, and Halo: Reach alone would have made it outstanding, and I actually enjoyed Splinter Cell: Conviction (particularly the co-op modes) a lot.

    But I'm really glad that Amnesia: The Dark Descent got mentioned if only briefly. While clearly not the production quality of a AAA title it was among my favorite games this year. The atmosphere they were able to create was outstanding. Related to that was the gameplay in that you're inability to defend yourself only heightened the mood. If you're a fan of horror games I can't recommend it highly enough. It reminded me a bit of Clive Barker's Undying but in many ways was a better game than even that largely forgotten gem.

    Thanks for a great year of gaming discussion and I'm looking forward to what you have to say about all the games we are supposed to get in 2011. Have a happy holiday.