Weekend Confirmed Episode 52

By Garnett Lee, Mar 18, 2011 11:00am PDT

Weekend Confirmed celebrates our one year anniversary in style with your help, great games, and special guest James Stevenson, senior community manager for Insomniac Games. He joins the two Jeffs and Garnett for a massive show that wastes no time getting started in Whatcha' Been Playin? with games like Dragon Age 2, Homefront, Ghost of Sparta, and Tera to name a few. The Warning this week comes entirely from listener submitted questions and topics and it fuels some spirited discussions. And the news in the Front Page covers info on the impact of the Tohoku earthquake on the video game industry, February NPD sales figures, a couple of game announcements, and more.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 52: 03/18/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameCenter application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 52 directly.

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 Part 1: Start: 00:00:00 End: 00:32:55

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:33:40 End: 01:04:54

  • The Warning: Start: 01:06:00 End: 01:41:58

  • Featured Music "Disconnected" by Living Illusion: 01:41:58 End: 01:45:10

  • Front Page news: Start: 01:45:10 End: 02:25:18

Living Illusion is an independent rock band hailing from Edmonton Alberta Canada (also the home of BioWare). The song "Disconnected - (Kenton Thomas Splice)" is a remixed track off their new album "Suffering". Both versions of the song and the full album are now available on iTunes. For more from Living Illusion check out their official site, myspace, youtube, 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!

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and 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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Comments



  • In regards to the discussion this week on "love" and how it can be expressed by video games..

    Please, please play "Digital: A Love Story." It's an "interactive fiction game," but there's a little more to it than that. It's definitely a Jeff Cannata game - I'm 99% sure he would love it and rave about it. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Everyone else should at least try it out, as it only takes a couple hours to complete, and it's free. It stirred up feelings and emotions I've never really had while playing a video game. It's been a couple months since I played it, and I still think about it regularly.

    BTW, I'm purposefully not mentioning any details about the game and I'd advise anyone checking it out to avoid them, because you can't even really say what it's about without spoiling it.

    Here's the link: http://www.scoutshonour.com/digital/

    Again, please check it out. Especially Jeff.



  • I finally got to have a (very) brief hands-on with the 3DS this afternoon, and I have to say, after weeks of tempering my expectations in response to what I've been told, I think you guys are out of your minds.

    This whole "viewing angle" thing you keep complaining about... it's not a tenth as bad as you made it sound, neither is switching from the 2D bottom screen to the 3D top screen. The location of the d-pad isn't *that* awkward either (maybe it was someone on a different podcast complaining about that? I'm not sure, just throwing it out there anyway.) Should any Monster Hunter clones come out for this thing (practically a given in Japan) at least the setup will make "the claw" a little easier to pull off.

    As for the 3D... I was sort of impressed, if not altogether convinced that it was necessary. It adds nothing to the games, but it takes nothing away either. Maybe some games are different, but I didn't see a huge difference between the cranking the 3D up to eleven and having it set very close to zero, though the lower setting was a little easier on my eyes.

    I will admit, though, aesthetically, the 3D does add a nice "pop" to the image, so it's definitely something I'll take advantage of from time to time.

  • Jeff Cannata's opinion of DA2 pretty much tells me he's not the guy I should go to for opinions on video games. He and I must just be polar opposites.

    I felt the story in Dragon Age 2 was the weakest thing about it. To try to make the point without spoiling the game, the great story moments that Jeff C. talked about surrounding the Deep Roads are recycled again in the very next act. The enviorments are recycled, the dramatic twist is recycled, the combat is recycled. It's one big circle. Even the character development is weak, as your family is put to the screws from start to finish, and your only real bond to them is "it's your family." Which is mostly what your connection to the Mage/Templar dispute is as well. Your involvement begins and ends with what Templars and Mages do to those people who surround you. There are even plot twists that seem to happen just to make another boss fight, with no real relevance to the plot at all.











  • Hey guys, so on Homefront you talked a little about the flow of the SP campaign. I have to say, they did a great job drawing you into the story, up until about halfway through the game, where it's like they gave up and decided they didn't really need any more narrative.

    As far a the ending goes, yeah it was pretty great, and I like that it ended where it did. This way they can actually make a relevant sequel, chapter 2 of their story. They don't need to start from scratch, inventing a whole new ridiculous story the way call of duty does.

    Personally, I think they missed a great opportunity by not making better use of the resistance's "base". They could have had you do several missions from that base of operations and give you time to become more invested in it. (much like they did in Freedom Fighters)

    And my last gripe about the story, is that I never felt like the hero. Conner was the clear hero of the story, and he was a huge D-bag dudebro. I played an unimportant sidekick, not trusted to fire my weapon until Conner gives me the order.












  • Hey guys,

    There were a couple of points in the shows where videogame critics were compared to film critics and I wanted to weigh in a bit on this issue because it is one I have been thinking about for some time.

    Very few self respecting film critics would rate the big dumb blockbuster movie highly because they choose to demand something more from their entertainment than lowest common deonominator entertainment. Similarly, no self respecting food critic would rate McDonalds high just because it feeds the primal urge for fat and sugar. Instead, these critics strive to challenge their readers to cultivate a more sophisticated taste because they believe there is something far more worthy beyond instant gratification.

    Comparatively, the big dumb blockbuster videogame is almost always handled with a kid gloves. The most recent examples being Bulletstorm and Homefront. As much as I generally love Jeff (Totally Rad show is awesome, btw), it really grates me to hear him talk about Bulletstorm because he repeatedly will say things like "It's self aware!" or "It's meta!, as if a dumb game being aware that it is dumb some how makes it smart. (Actually, it just means the designers knew they were relying on dumb humor and didn't respect their audience enough to not be lazy and try to develop smarter humor instead).

    I was even more embarrassed to hear all the violin music being played for Homefront due to the fact that bad reviews may effect its sales. Come on guys. Homefront is huge budget military first person shooter. If it can't hang with the top games in this incredibly over saturated market, then maybe it should fail. Maybe if that happens enough then publishers will free developers to a different, more original style of game that doesn't try to ape Call of Duty. Maybe some of these types of games fail more often, more spot light can be placed on some of the wonderful, smaller more original titles that are smart and deserve that attention far more than someone that can just buy it with a huge marketing blitz.

    This is ultimately the reason why those film critics write scathing reviews of stuff like Transformers 2. Not because the special effects suck or because it might not be a decent if forgetable 2 hour pop-corn flick. But because they take a long view of their industry and they know there is so much smarter, better stuff that deserves that attention more than something that just has a lot of marketing money behind it. And they want to help their readers develop a more sophisticated critical eye so they they can appreciate the difference too.

    Why can't we have that in the game industry? Why, on the whole to game critics have to be so closely in bed with giant publishers that they feel sorry for them when one of their games don't sell well? Do you ever see Ebert writing an apology when a Jerry Bruckheimer film bombs?

    In other mediums the critics attempt to be taste makers and trend setters. But it feels like in the gaming media, writers are far too comfortable being passive conduits of big budget hype and popular bandwagons.

    Don't be afraid to demand more from your entertainment and to try to challenge your audience to demand more too.




  • Man, I'm a little late to the thread, but that won't stop me from posting my appreciation to all you guys on WC! I've been listening since the single digit episodes (I know I didn't hear the first episode :/ ), and you guys have brightened my weekend every week without exception. I look forward more to this show every weekend than I do to the excitement of being off work and hanging out with friends, and that's really saying something, for me.

    I thank you for taking time from your work just to chat for us to hear, and hope you make it to an exciting episode 104!