Weekend Confirmed Episode 43

By Garnett Lee, Jan 14, 2011 12:00pm PST Whatcha' Been Playin? gets off to a big start this week with a lively discussion on the windup to the end and boss fight in Uncharted 2, first impressions of LittleBIGPlanet 2 and Ghost Trick, and, of course, an update from Cataclysm. Garnett, Jeff, and Billy then move on to your continuing comments on the topic of reviews before considering whether you can be addicted to buying games and what happens when a pay-to-play MMO goes free-to-play. Top stories like the brewing storm over Splosion Man developer Twisted Pixel calling out Capcom mobile for ripping off their game, anticipation of the Battlefield 3 unveiling due to come at GDC, and rumors of a Final Fantasy XIII sequel finish the show on a strong note in the Front Page.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 43 - 01/14/2011

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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: 00:34:10

Whatcha' Been Playin? and Cannata-ford: 00:35:15 End: 01:08:00

The Warning: 01:09:00 End: 01:41:40

Featured Music "Chemistry" by Tyrannosaurus Grace: 01:41:40 End: 01:44:56

The Front Page: Start: 01:44:56 End: 02:15:04

Tailgate Playoffs Wild Card Special: Start: 02:16:05 End: 02:28:37

The Featured Music segment presents Tyrannosaurus Grace, a 5 piece Pop Rock band from Ellensburg, WA. founded in late 2009 by childhood friends Tim Held and Justin Foss. They released their first self titled album in October of 2010 and currently play shows all over the Pacific Northwest as they continue to write and record new material all the time. The members are: Tim Held-Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Justin Foss-Guitar, keyboard, audio production, Jeff Gerrer- Bass, David Hoffman- Drums, Lakyn Bury-Vocals, guitar, keyboard. Their album is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and CDBaby.com. Their website is tgraceband.

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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  • Garnett - You asked how you should approach LBP2 (and while I'm sure you already have) I want to say a piece on that. It seems like a lot of the enthusiast press goes into these experiences with the past entries in their mind, and it seems to become the dominant theme in the review process. Instead, I think each new entry into a franchise should be reviewed on it's own as a stand alone product, and after that it done, THEN compare it to it's predecessor. Too often reviews get caught up in "well it wasn't like this last year" (good or bad) instead of looking at what the game might have to offer that's new, be it bad or good.

    Granted, there are instances where a game should most certainly be faulted if it doesn't deviate from the formula, but in the end, I think it's best for the majority of games to approach them individually, sequel or not.

    Also, this is reaching a few weeks back, but Child of Eden can be done on Move in the exact same manner as Kinect, using your whole body, etc. I think you should take some time to go to Jeff's place and try the Beat Sketcher demo (only so you can see how it would work with Child of Eden). It would no doubt be the superior of the two, you still get the motion and movement, while retaining 100% accuracy and responsiveness.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 5 replies.

    • The thing is about reviewing as a standalone is that you can't just suddenly forget that you've played the precursor game.

      Take for movies. Can you evaluate Iron Man 2 without thinking about (how superior) Iron Man is? When the quality of the sequel doesn't match or surpass the prequel, its near impossible to not compare the current flick with the prequel.

      This stands out a lot more for sequel in games. For movies, the bulk of the strength is the storyline. If that isn't good, then it falls on the actor's performance to keep you invested; but usually this isn't enough to entirely save a film, just enough to keep it from becoming a piece of crap. For games, you can have a shitty storyline, but if you've got a solid-great game mechanic, then its usually enough to keep it above average-good.

      With sequel for games, even if the developer doesn't improve on the story (which is often very difficult to get 'right'), there is little excuse not to improve upon the game mechanics and content from previous. If a camera in the first iteration isn't good, then the developer gets a chance to improve on it with the next game. Developers are often pretty receptive of what was wrong, what worked, what needs improving, and what appears stagnant. Examples include Halo:Reach for improvements, Left 4 Dead 2 for fine-tuning the AI director and adding melee, and Resident Evil 4 for breathing new life in the series by emphasizing the action.

      It becomes more noticeable when things aren't improved, such as Kane and Lynch where it would appear that they didn't really fix the combat from previous but also made the story worse, and the recent Star Wars: Unleashed where the game mechanics got better but story got worse (with the mechanics not good enough to carry the game well enough).

      When a game is marketed as a sequel, it isn't possible to just pretend that its a standalone game before jumping into comparisons. Very rarely do you have people consciously start out of series order. Especially if there is story involved. If a game does have a sequel, chances are the first game did well, thus its safe to assume that a large chunk of the audience will be following the series through, and so it is only fair to them that you do compare. Plus for someone that hasn't played the previous entry, the prose is often good enough to read as a 'standalone' review anyway. You can compare but still point out whether a particular aspect is good or not.

      However there are slight deviations to this mentality. Fallout 3 for instance, had such a long time span between Fallout 2/Fallout: Tactics, as well as style change, that less comparisons can be made in comparison.