Weekend Confirmed Episode 42

By Garnett Lee, Jan 07, 2011 12:00pm PST Everyone is excited to get back in the studio for this first show of 2011. Though new releases cooled over the holidays, Garnett, Brian, and Jeff have plenty of stories for Whatcha Been Playin? Catch up time includes classics like Uncharted 2 and more recent titles such as Vanquish and Bad Company 2 "Vietnam". Jeff got in some time with a new game too; he has mixed feelings about Lost in Shadow, though. Your responses to how much a review score determines whether a game is worth playing get the conversation started in the Warning. There's even a little homework for next week too on a couple of subjects we'd like to get your thoughts on. And in the news, we've got a look at the video game stories coming out of CES from Microsoft's press conference to handheld gaming PC concept by Razer, indie games nominated for IGF awards, and more.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 42 - 01/07/2011

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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: 00:28:56

Whatcha' Been Playin? and Cannata-ford: 00:30:00 End: 01:03:52

The Warning: 01:04:40 End: 01:37:52

Featured Music "Baba Yetu" by Christopher Tin: 01:37:52 End: 01:41:22

The Front Page: Start: 01:41:22 End: 02:08:20

Tailgate Playoffs Wild Card Special: Start: 02:09:21 End: 02:19:07

The Featured Music segment presents the Grammy nominated track "Baba Yetu" by Christopher Tin. This theme song for Civilization IV has become something of a hit in the video game community. After the game came out in 2005, Tin re-recorded the song as the first track of his debut album Calling All Dawns, which came out last year. This new recording is recorded by the Soweto Gospel Choir and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Tin went to London's famous Abbey Road Studios to record the orchestra, and then down to Johannesburg, South Africa to record the choir; and, it was mixed at Eargasm Studios. It has won awards in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, International Songwriting Competition, USA Songwriting Competition, and now it's gunning for the biggest award of all... the Grammy.

Billboard picked "Baba Yetu" as one of their nominations to watch. It's up for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists and Tin's Calling All Dawns is up for Best Classical Crossover Album.

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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See All Comments | 32 Threads | 115 Comments
  • Jeff, finding a diamond in the rough is a beautiful, idealistic idea, but normal people may not have time for that kind of quest.

    Okay, so lets compare 8.5/10 games with 9.5/10 games. Does that invalidate the criteria? Just because a number is involved, doesn't mean it's a pure metacritic-driven decsion, or that people aren't capable of make holistic choices without bloody spreadsheets.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 4 replies.

    • With respect to game reviews, scoring, and how they influence a buying decision it is a complex relationship. For me it is some combination of reviews and scores along with other things I know about the game, the developer, and my own preferences.

      For example, Red Dead Redemption has gotten a lot of praise this year. I'm a big fan of westerns as well, from old John Wayne films to Eastwood's spaghetti westerns to modern day classics like Unforgiven and Lonesome Dove. But what I know is that it is a GTA style sandbox game and there is a tendency for glitches, where I tend to have a low tolerance. With all this in mind there's a slightly greater than 50% chance that I would like the game if I played it.

      On the flip side, Singularity came out from a developer I knew, got mediocre reviews, but had an interesting science fiction premise and a shooter design. I played Singularity and really enjoyed it. With that said if I played Red Dead and liked it, given what I've read I would probably enjoy it a lot more.

      Why not take the risk then? For me, the deciding factor is time. What I hear about Red Dead is you have to stay with it and parts drag. The payoff is great at the end but you have to endure. I did this with Far Cry 2 but I did so because I went in not expecting a longer open world game.

      The kicker to all this is that these decisions were not made in the deliberate fashion in which I laid them out here. I made choices based on what I knew at the time without a lot of internal debate on the choices. I chose Alan Wake over Red Dead when they were released largely because I loved Max Payne 1 & 2 and could never get into a GTA game. Longer term as more and more praise was heaped on Red Dead I revisited the decision but never pulled the trigger on getting the game.

      Later on I would pick up Amnesia and play it. I had little to go on except Penumbra and a lower price point. Amnesia is my greatest surprise of the year and is that diamond in the rough that I love to find.

      Two points in conclusion: (1) I don't assume my decision making process is universal and in my observation doesn't seem to be common (it lead me to pick up and like Damnation on Steam which puts me in a minority). But I do think it shows that decision making is not simple and seldom deliberate.

      (2) I've been making decisions about how to spend my gaming dollars since Space Invaders first hit my hometown bowling alley three decades ago. My choices have not always been wise but over time I've found something that works well if imperfectly. If using metacritic works well for you and you enjoy the games you play based on those scores, do not let anyone deter you from that path. But if it isn't working for, drop it and find a reviewer (or a few reviewers) whose opinions on previous games match your own.

      Another great episode gentlemen.