Weekend Confirmed Episode 55

By Garnett Lee, Apr 08, 2011 11:00am PDT

Scheduling challenges make it a three-chair show this week. On the upside, that means there's plenty of room to spread out for Jeff, Garnett, and this week's guest Andrea Rene, host of Mahalo Video Games Today. They get right in to Whatcha Been Playin? with The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, Ratchet and Clank All 4 One, and more. An unexpected debate on whether survival horror games must be scary spills into the Warning before taking up the question of "narrative dissonance" raised by the Sword and Sorcery developers Superbrothers, who also drop a tune from the game's soundtrack on us for this week's featured music. We wrap it all up with videogame news in the Front Page and Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 55: 04/08/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameCenter application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 55 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: 00:27:15

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:28:061 End: 00:58:40

  • The Warning: Start: 00:59:50 End: 01:31:40

  • Featured Music "COM-64" by Jim Guthrie: 01:31:40 End: 01:32:58

  • Front Page news: Start: 01:32:58 End: 02:14:44

This week's featured music is the track "COM-64" by Jim Guthrie from the iPad (and soon iPhone) game, Sword and Sworcery. Guthrie (jampants on Twitter) is a composer/singer/songwriter in Toronto with a legendary solo discography, he's a veteran of bands like Royal City & Islands and an acknowledged influence on other Canadian success stories like Broken Social Scene, Feist, Arcade Fire, and Owen Pallett (formerly Final Fantasy).

The Sword and Sworcery EP is available in digital form through iTunes and Bandcamp or as a 12" vinyl. Get all the details from the game's music page. And of course, the game is also out now on iPad and should be soon for iPhone/iPod Touch.

Big thanks go out to Craig (the1console on Twitter), artist, animator, and writer on Sword and Sworcery, for connecting with us.

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter delriomusic.

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

  • I thought it was interesting how Jeff seemed to take the position of defending cliches this epsiode: first with the alien invasion video game, second with the "watch your allies get murdered behind a giant glass window" trope.
    I think looking at the alien invasion cliche in particular, it seems developers are forced to fall back on this premise so often, because all games these days rely solely on shooting as a mechanics, and are thus about producing massive body counts.
    When developers break away from the cliche like with Uncharted, the experience feels really refreshing, but of course it opens it up to that criticism about Nathan Drake being a mass murderer---because he's killing humans instead of aliens.
    So I think cloaked in that discussion is a double standard that developers like Naughty Dog have to face. Because they put creative effort into their game's lore, story, and characters, their gameplay design is held to a higher standard than games like Resistance, Gears of War, or even Halo.
    You guys ask, why can Nathan Drake kill all these people without being psychologically damaged? But NO ONE asks, what is the motivation of the Locusts in Gears of War? Why are they targeting Earth, where did they come from, etc.etc.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 4 replies.

    • Locusts came from under the crust of Sera. They have two motivations. First, the humans essentially ripped into their underground world in their thirst for an energy source (immoltion...basically that planet's version of oil). The Locusts lashed back.

      It's pretty analogous to the Iraq war actually, what with a large industrial military complex accidentally triggering a conflict they hadn't intended because they were so blinded by a thirst for more energy.

      Anyway, in the second game, we learned that the Locust were actually being forced upwards by another species, the Lambent. Essentially mutated versions of themselves who had been exposed to Immoltion too closely, for too long. You can take that as an environmental message if you want.

      So you have a force that pulled the Locust out, and a force pushing them out. Hence, why they keep attacking regardless of the losses they incur.

      The Aliens in Halo are motivated by religious zealotry. They see the Halos and all that action technology as holy relics, and humans as heretics tainting them. Humans are basically fighting for survival and for Revenge. With the second and third game, we saw a peak behind the curtain of the Covenant power structure and learned of the corruption and internal strife, through the character of the Arbiter.

      Again, not to hard to draw comparisons to what was going on in the world around the time the Halo games hit.

      These games DO have reasons for their inter-stellar wars. You can argue that an Alien enemy is a crutch, but I don't particularly look at it that way.

      If Halo were about a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, it wouldn't make sense for the player to slaughter hundreds and thousands of aliens. But Halo is about a super-soldier specifically created for that purpose.

      Likewise, Gears of War is about a human civilization that was at war with each other for 100 years BEFORE the Locust even showed up. It makes sense that they would have little problem taking up arms against these creatures and kill them.

      If Naughty Dog wants to deviate away from the trope of characters that are ready, willing and eager to mow down enemy forces, all the power to them. It's an ambitious and refreshing direction. But they can't do that AND fall back on gameplay tropes like putting an army of enemies between the player and their next objective.