Weekend Confirmed Episode 44

By Garnett Lee, Jan 21, 2011 12:00pm PST Garnett took a quick trip earlier this week to New York for Nintendo's big press event unveiling the 3DS. Along with the pricing and launch info, he returns with detailed impressions of the upcoming hardware and hands-on impressions of several of the games. Jeff, Billy, and special guest Ryan Payton also get in plenty of questions, but there's more to the show than just the 3DS. Fluidity, LittleBIGPlanet 2, and 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors round out Whatcha' Been Playin? The Warning starts with what may become a regular feature of talking about favorite game endings before moving on to some excellent questions Ryan brought. And in the Front Page, December and Year-end sales figures for 2010 lead a full slate of news that concludes with a few thoughts on EA's ill-conceived "Your mom hates this game" marketing campaign for Dead Space 2.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 44 - 01/21/2011

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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: 00:31:44

Whatcha' Been Playin? and Cannata-ford: 00:32:48 End: 01:05:05

The Warning: 01:06:12 End: 01:37:32

Featured Music "1 Way Ticket" by Beat Bullys: 01:37:32 End: 01:41:00

The Front Page: Start: 01:41:00 End: 02:16:42

Tailgate Playoffs Wild Card Special: Start: 02:17:42 End: 02:30:09

The Featured Music segment presents "1 Way Ticket" by The Beat Bullys. They are a hip hop rap group based in Southern Califorina. Members BNews, Kree & Osama Bin Rappin were brought together creatively by Long Beach Native & Member of LBC Crew, Bad Azz! Their Debut Album, "Bully Music" is set to be released this year on up and coming Indie Label, Provocative Ent. "1way Ticket" is their newest single Produced by Prophit. Check out their Introduction Video on Youtube "Dedication" and follow on Twitter: BNews83 and itsjustkree

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* | 202 Comments

  • Hi love the show took me awhile to realize Garnett had another podcast after he left 1up glad I found it really like the discussions. One quick thought before I go into my long comment, some of the 3ds skepticism really reminds me of the ipads initial negative feedabck. It's just a ds with 3d beterr graphics/ just a big iphone, expensive, doesn't doe this or that etc,etc. I still haven't found a reason to buy an ipad between my iphone and macbook but a lot of the discussion feels similar to me. To me I love portability and it makes sense that portables will start rival home console prices, it seems comparible to laptop prices vs desktops, for me personally I'll never go back to a big desktop setup and I hope future game consoles are more akin to portable labtops.

    Anyhow listening to Ryan's comment about shooter fatigue, and maybe combat fatigue got me thinking about a lot that bugs me with games now. I'm a professional storyboard artist for tv animation, I do some personal comic work when I can and my perspective on games is really shaped by my tastes as an artist. I love animation, comics and film but for most of those mediums I'm primarily into classics and older stuff not what's happening now. So games have become in a way my replacement for a lot of those loves. Ok on to the point.
    I completely agree with shooter fatigue, and I think it's really ties into my problem, Realistic visual fatigue. It bugs me that these machines are so powerful, can create fully realized worlds but every major story driven AAA title only wants to look as realistic as possible and also usually includes the same kind of shooting combat. For lack of better examples it seems strange that we don't have an awesome game that does something along the line of a Nightmare Before Christmas, or maybe even a slightly more realistic Incredibles or something like the world and characters of AKIRA, fully realized and brought to life in a gameworld. I'm tired of the creepy mannequins and simply running down corridors and shooting. I'm finally playing Mass Effect since it's come to ps3 and there's some awesome stuff but I REALLY hope there's another type action to do besides the nonstop monotonous shooting. That's what really kept me from getting into Bioshock, the redundant combat/shooting was too much. I think that's one of the great strengths of SHadow of the Colussus, the combats and encounters feel detailed and complex enough so you truly get a better sense of immersion. I know a lot of people hate "boss" fights but I think they are there because games haven't quite found the way to get in really close and let your character struggle with another character and actually give you control and have your character interact with environments or whatever the case maybe. The boss fight seems to try and give you that. I think I've gotten off subject but it would be great if enemy encounters could get to a point where they are almost as complex as a Street Fighter match, but still seemlessly fits into the games environment. I know most of what I'm talking about is still combat related but I think it's the characters interactive shortcomings that really help turn everything into a shooter. How awesome would a new Ducktales game be if your character could go anywhere in Duckburg, travel the world and really interact with characters and environments and in a complex and sophisticated way. sorry that was way too long

  • Okay so first off, I want to make this clear, that I am being sincere, and not trying to hater bait. I Also know it won't make it on the air cause the hosts are super biased but this episode made me want to share this story.

    I, and my friends, loved the end of Bioshock 2. Not, just the final cut scene either, from the moment you lay dying as Dr. Lamb smothers the life out of Elanor, MY Elanor. The scene taking place from the point of view of the little sister was beautiful, touching and surreal. The reunion with your surrogate daughter brought me real joy. Side by side, with my daughter slaughtering all those who dare to stand in our way, and culminating with her acting out lessons she learned from me.

    I was moved to tears, f the haters.

    Now it could have had something to do that I played almost all the game holding my 4 month old infant daughter in my arms, cooing and pressing buttons and giggling at the pretty lights. The game just captured my the feelings I have for my own daughter so perfectly. I would destroy everyone, and any thing to save her.

  • i have been growing tired of the big multyplayer shooters, Call of duty and halo, its not that there hard (actually i find them quite easy i regularly get 12.00 ratios) it's that there the same thing over and over again, shoot kill shoot kill get killed by a camper reapeat, its the same thing (for halo its jump assassinate jump nade kill jump headshot crap three people im dead) i have found a shooter thats actually fun! rainbow six vegas 2 this game makes sense a shot to the head with anything is an insta kill theres no jumping (so no glitches for all you noobs) no grenade launchers and to top it all of DOORS YOU CAN OPEN i got this game for 15$ caanadian (which i belive at the moment is $15.15 american) so this would make a great kennata'ford and its a great game to play if your sick of noob tubes (cod 4 is good if ur sick of campers) but be warned you can go into third person while taking cover so its pretty easy to spawn camp but the shotguns have range! (spas 12 with rifle scope pwns)

  • My Cannataford for this week: Parsec47

    Another free PC shooter from my favourite one-man-dev-team, Kenta Cho.

    This was a game that I'd sort of overlooked until recently because, on the surface, it's the most generic looking shooter in Cho's catalogue (or should I say, the closest thing to a generic shooter). It looks rather chunky in contrast to his usually clean aesthetic, and your ship seems a little hard to control, at first glance anyway.

    Gameplay wise, it's pretty standard, dodge the bullets, shoot the geometric bad guys, collect the little points widgets. Arrow Keys move, Z shoots primary guns, holding X charges your secondary weapon, letting go of X shoots it. Your ship zips around the screen really, really fast, almost uncontrollably so, but charging your secondary weapon slows you down to a more manageable pace, so the trick is to hold down both action buttons and then quickly release and re-press the X key whenever you need to take out a bigger target or quickly move out of the way of something, there's an easy rhythm to it when you hit your stride.

    You have a choice of two different secondary weapons.

    The difficulty starts off pretty friendly but ramps up, but it plays more like a Treasure game than, say, a Cave or Touhou one. That's to say, it's not bullet hell territory, per se, so much as it's just really, really fast and frantic.

    It's Open GL (I think), so it should run smoothly on just about any PC (a mac version is out there, google it) and can be downloaded here:

  • The Dead Space 2 marketing campaign seems very 90's to me. Remember game ads in the 90's? I remember constantly seeing an ad in gaming magazines that featured some creepy guy chained up while a dominatrix held some random game in his face. Let's not forget the infamous "You will shit with fear and puke with pleasure" Illbleed trailer. That's how many games were marketed back then. Game ads played into the whole "People who play video games are creepy, perverted, morally depraved, loner, sociopaths."

    When I flip through my old issues of EGM from the 90's, and see some of the ads, I feel proud over how far we've grown as an industry. Mature no longer means gratuitous.

    Something to consider is that there will always be parental groups who blame video games for tragedies, looking for any reason to slap a government controlled rating system on them. We've taken many steps forward and have gotten to a place where we can respectably say, "No. Games are an art form. They are a legitimate forum for intelligent story telling." But things like this Dead Space 2 commercial just put us several steps back. The next time a columbine happens, it is this commercial they will show on the 24-hour news networks. EA has just given them ammo to fire at us, at the ESRB, and at the industry as a whole.

  • I wish they wouldn't get so tied down in minutiae because it causes them to lose the forest for the trees.

    Case in point: LBP2's jumping is what it is. It's been like that since the first game and it will continue in that spirit to ensure backwards compatibility with all LBP games. OK, you may or may not like it. But judging from review scores and sales it can obviously stand on its own merit. It's tedious to hear Jeff, Billy, and Garnett continue this back and forth about the jump mechanic. The time taken up by this bickering can be better spent hashing out more important information. For instance:

    Literally every time LBP has been brought up in the presence of Garnett since the initial game's release, he has reiterated one point, which is a valid one. The initial LBP struggled with parsing out the great user-created levels and bringing them to the forefront. This was the game's biggest weakness. The user-created levels were brilliant, but they were hard to find. Now that LBP2 has initiated LBP.me, which is the broadest and most efficient inter-connective web portal for any video game in existence, he has not mentioned it once in the last two weeks.

    Here, a developer has head-on addressed his biggest complaint with the first game and done it with masterful strokes. And in lieu of mentioning it once, the last two episodes he has spent the entire discussion having to describe, defend, or clarify arguments about the jumping mechanic. It gets tiresome.

  • My favorite game ending is one of the most polarizing endings in the history of video games, Metal Gear Solid 2. (sorry, this may be long)

    The game's message about the flow and control of information in the age of the Internet was way ahead of it's time. In 2001, it may have just seemed like an exaggerated commentary on message boards and blogs, but since then, we've seen media blackouts in many countries where twitter is the only way to get information out, the FCC Net Neutrality ruling, partisan 24-hour news networks manipulating facts and using editing tricks to express a political view point which is then presented as"news," and events like the Wikileaks scandal. When one considers the current state of the media and information control, MGS2's ending becomes very relevant.

    As far as the actual story goes, you are just waiting to fight Ocelot the entire game, which never happens, and it leaves you waiting in anticipation for a confrontation in the next game. It was a beautiful build-up to the final fight in MGS4 (regardless of how you felt about the pay-off, the build-up was nice, at least).

    Jack is struggling with ideas of choice, which seems to be a major aspect of Japanese story-telling, "Why am I fighting?" and it leaves the player questioning his or her own actions. By the end, you realize that Solodus is kind of the good guy, so, when you are forced to kill him, you feel bad about it.

    The lighting, blocking, and music in the final cut-scenes, are all executed perfectly.

    When Emma's GW virus starts to kick in, the game breaks the fourth wall and starts messing with the player in a very "Eternal Darkness" kind of way. The "Fission Mailed" screen is very meta. It presents an interesting message. Like Jack, you think you are in control of your actions while playing the game, but actually, the game's system is, not the player. You have the illusion of control through most of the game. It all feels standard and routine, until the GW virus goes into effect. The last few hours of MGS2 are about what happens when the illusion of control starts to break down, for Jack and for the player. "Fission Mailed" plays in because part of the message is that if the game's system is designed to kill you at a certain point, it will, regardless of what you do. You think you are in control, but to what extent? In an admittedly insane conspiracy theory kind of way, it's designed to make the player consider how much control they really have over their own life. I think it's similar to the message presented in The Matrix.

    It's a challenging ending, but one you can take something different away from every time you play it. It's definitely post-modern and is designed to make the payer reflect on many hidden themes. It's an ending you either get or you don't. It wasn't made for everyone, and that's ok. This is why I wouldn't call it the "best" game ending, but it certainly is my favorite. To quote Wayne's World, "Led Zeppelin didn't write tunes everybody liked. They left that to the Bee Gees." That's how I think of Hideo Kojima. In that sense, he's the Led Zeppelin of game development.

  • I don't really care who makes Call of Duty, but there is an old saying about too many cooks spoiling the broth. I'm a little concerned about having 3 or more different developers working to pull together a game, simply because Daddy Warbucks demands a new entry in the CoD series for winter.

    Infinity Ward has their own culture and creative vision for the series. We saw that in the Modern Warfare games.

    Treyarch, when they were actually given the time and leeway to put their own creative culture to work, came up with a CoD game that captured a slightly different spirit in Black Ops.

    Call of Duty 3 suffered because Treyarch was basically told to copy IW as best they could, and they were only given a year to do it.

    MW2 felt off too, almost as though IW or Activision got so obsessed with being bigger and better than CoD4, that they lost sight of the refined, intelligent design and gritty personality that seperated CoD, CoD2 and CoD4 to begin with.

    I think MW3 could turn out to be an incredibly competent game technically, with more than enough explosions and features to keep the people that buy the franchise happy. But I think it stands a good chance of losing it's identity in the process.