Weekend Confirmed Episode 57

by Garnett Lee, Apr 22, 2011 11:00am PDT
Related Topics – Weekend Confirmed

Like millions of happy gamers, the Weekend Confirmed crew eagerly jumped back into the joys of testing in Portal 2. But there's a lot more to keep guests EGMi's Andrew Pfister and Billy Berghammer, and Jeff and Garnett busy. Mortal Kombat has them in fighting spirits and a full report from Bethesda's recent spring showcase includes a deep look at the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Prey 2. There's also news of the next Wii hardware, codenamed "Cafe," and the brouhaha over Portal 2's ARG in the news before closing things out with Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 57: 04/22/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameCenter application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 57 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: 00:31:18

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:33:04 End: 01:08:29

  • The Warning: Start: 01:09:31 End: 01:42:42

  • Featured Music "Ahead on Our Way (FF7 Cover)" by Haunted Shores: 01:42:42 End: 01:45:39

  • Front Page news: Start: 01:45:39 End: 02:26:42

This week's featured music is the track "Ahead on Our Way (FF7 Cover)" by Haunted Shores. Haunted Shores is Mark Holcomb (guitar) and Misha Mansoor (guitar and programming) and they are an ethnically confused project based in Washington DC. Hear more from them on their Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages.

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.


  • I've never wanted to comment before this, but the crew's dismissal of Gears 3 Beta was enough to make me jump on for the first time.

    As a long-time Gears fan who hated Gears 2's MP, the Gears 3 Beta is EVERYTHING the community was asking for. The graphics, the speed, the new 'Omni-directional' movement, the re-mapping of oft-used controls away from the 'A' button, the re-balancing of weapons, great map design, the ability to now change weapons while roadie-running etc. Almost none of this was mentioned, instead, the segment devolved into a ill-informed and reductionist dismissal of Gear's MP in general.

    From Billy's inaccurate suggestion that the Gears 3 Beta has 'Perks'; to Jeff and Garnett's misguided assertion that the gameplay has devolved into a 'dive-roll fiesta' with everyone 'just mashing the A button, dive-rolling toward the enemy'. Anyone who's played Gears 2 will know that the 'roll-to-shotgun' tactic was nerfed when Epic included weapon stopping power. If people still roll straight at enemies in Gears 3, they don't know how to play and will get wiped off the floor, 9/10 times.

    Further, neither Jeff nor Garnett seemed to know that Epic has purposely made the dive-roll the same speed as the roadie-run in Gears 3, in an effort to mitigate the absurd 'dive-dive-dive' behavior of past Gears games. Crazy diving and sliding doesn't happen anymore (if you exclude wall-bouncing). Instead, what we have is a beautifully crafted mechanics-based 'dance of death' between skilled players who can now depend on a solid netcode. A well-played 'shottie-shuffle' between two experienced players in Gears 3 is some of the most exhilarating intellectual AND visceral gameplay available in today's gaming.

    And Garnett's take on the Double Barrel shotgun is childishly dismissive, evoking the same kind of opinionated-mentality that he himself is so quick to admonish 'forumites' as espousing. The gun's inclusion is definitely polarizing, but not ill-conceived. There are ways to counter it (retro-lancer, baiting etc.), and as Billy mentioned, the reload time is a bi***. At best you vaporise 2 dudes who are RIGHT in front of you. At worst, you mis-time and miss, wait ages to reload, try to do an 'active-reload' and fail, and OH BY THEN YOU ARE DEAD. It is definitely a fun gun to use, but not one for racking up kills, the Gnasher still reigns.

    I just wanted to add that the addition of the 'over-cover knock down' is also a wonderful inclusion not mentioned at all. In past Gears games, invariably two players would hunch down on either side of a piece of cover, each waiting for the other to try something, resulting in a stalemate. In Gears 3 Beta, however, a player can now vault over cover, kicking the enemy in the face and thus stunning them for a second, allowing the initiator to take the advantage and resolve the stalemate. What beautiful design! Such elegance!

    In fact, the only accurate statement made in that segment was Garnett mentioning that the Beta runs buttery smooth with lag 99% eliminated thanks to dedicated servers + improved net-code.

    Please, try to go just a bit more in depth before dismissing something that has been painstakingly reworked and thought about to reflect what (for once!) the community actually asked for. You should be praising Epic to the high heavens for their efforts, crafting perhaps the ONLY unique shooter in the current console cycle (just compare it to Halo, COD etc.).

    As mentioned above by bouxdag, Gears is definitely NOT 'just another shooter'. Hop online and play some more, stick with the Gnasher + Retro Lancer combo, figure out where the best weapon pick ups are, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it a ton. I'll even give you a guided tour Garnett, just friend me up !!!

  • Why why why do they always have to spoil the ending of games on this podcast, many times I have heard them talking about classic games they have bought in a Steam sale, and recommended that we go and pick it up. One such game is Prey which I picked it up in a Steam sale with dozens of other games, like many people do and I have yet to play Prey as I have many games to get through new and old.

    The reason I listen to game podcasts is to here about new and upcoming games, not to here about endings to games I have yet to play without any warning whatsoever.

    I think they need to change the name of this podcast to SpoilersConfirmed and I have to say that with Brian leaving the podcast has lost a lot Brian was really good.

    This is the last WC podcast I will be listening to, there are plenty of games related podcasts to choose from and I'm sure they have less spoilers in them.

  • I really don't understand all the backlash against Portal 2 and the disperity between critics' views and that of the general gaming population. If there was such a thing as a spectrum of creative design concepts and games like Stacking and Limbo are tangents, Portal 2 is a tangent that could completely engulf the main road. I know that's a convoluted way of describing it, but I'm basically saying Portal 2 not only is a great game, but it's good for the industry as well. It brings unique design ideas to the forefront and sets a fine example for other developers to not be afraid of peeling themselves away from familiar game design conventions. I certainly hope other major developers take notice.

    As a side note, Valve never moved the official release date right? The scrutiny against Valve coming from gamers who didn't get the game early doesn't make sense to me. I had a friend who was excited about the idea, but I told him don't hold your breath. They didn't promise anything. If it happens, great, if not, whatever... At least it wasn't late. I hate to antagonize my fellow gamers but the general gaming population seem to have this false sense of entitlement, even more so than other types of consumers. But I digress.

    I am very much enjoying the podcast. Thank you!

  • Do you think overuse of hyperbole is hurting games journalism? It seems like most other fields of critique are more subdued in their praise and focus on if a product if good, rather than trying to proclaim it the best thing since sliced bread. I feel like we are a bit worn out on hyperbole, so that when a truly great games comes out its impact is hurt since the press have already been calling lesser products the GOTY.

    It also makes me wonder if we are overusing the top scores. Sure, nothing can be perfect, but some are more perfect than others. Shouldn't a score of "10" be reserved for something truly great, or are games such a new medium that we are seeing true greatness at an elevated rate from more established media?

  • Nintendo's message for the Gamecube was actually much like their pitch for the Wii's- simplicity. I remember how much they talked about the one big button and how using it as a focal point was a means on allowing non-gamers to have an input to focus on.

    That simplicity message has been a trend with Nintendo, which is why I find the rumored Project Cafe controller to be a bit mystifying. My only guess is that it is a concession that mobile gaming is so prevalent that a touch screen is now widely accepted by the masses.

    I think that Skip was right, however. Nintendo did spend a ton of time selling the message of "games, games, games" with the Gamecube, but I did remember that particular piece of the launch propaganda and thought it was worth bringing up for people to consider.

    I do think the Project Cafe name is interesting. It brings to mind Starbucks, and that mentality of there being a Starbucks on nearly every corner. It also brings to mind the idea of eating in a cafe, where people can order what they want out of what is offered on the menu.

    I know I'm talking out of my butt a bit with the name speculation, but that was what the name brought to my mind.

  • Even though there are rumors that the Wii 2 will be at least as powerful if not more powerful than the Xbox360 I don't think that means that Nintendo is going after the 360 crowd.

    After all Nintendo is probably aware that Microsoft and Sony will launch even more powerful consoles a year or two after the Wii 2. They're not going to create a whole new console with the hopes of capturing the Call of Duty crowd for a year or two only for Microsoft and Sony to reassert their control over that crowd with their new systems.

    Plus it seems like more people prefer to buy third party games for the 360 over the PS3 even though those titles are generally just as good on both systems. So why would Nintendo create a new system just to tie with Sony for second place in third party sales?

    I'm guessing that the added power to Nintendo's next console is to benefit whatever wacky new gimmick they've cooked up, whether it be the touch screen hoo ha people are talking about or something else as yet unforeseen.

  • Was quite disappointed with this episode in 2 specific areas :( First the discussion on Portal 2 wasn't as in depth as I had hoped. Even without spoilers, I'm surprised how nobody mentioned how Valve has done more story telling in a game without a single other human character than most games can with full blown environments and constant dialogue.

    Also I wanted to hear about Rage :(

    Anyway, back to something that's been on my mind.

    So I completed Dragon Age 2 a couple weeks back, and yeah the story is pretty good. However, one moment at the end kind of spoiled the whole story experience for me.


    At the end of the game, one of your companions does something pretty nasty. At that point, you're given the choice to kill him/her. Now when I was presented with that choice, my first instinct was to kill him/her, because I felt that what he/she had done was absolutely atrocious. However, the thought then popped into my head that

    "Wait, if I kill him/her, I'll lose the character, meaning I'll lose all his/her abilities. But I can't do that, I NEED his/her abilities as I've come to rely on them. But I hate what he/she just did and think he/she should die for it!"

    I sat there for like a minute contemplating what to do. Ultimately I chose to let him/her live and continue by my side because ultimately, the game itself was more important than making the decision to kill the character. Since killing him/her meant no tangible gain, but letting him live, while not preferable, would let me continue the game the way I've been accustomed to with him/her in my team.

    So the character was all like "Really? You've forgiven me?!" and "Oh I'm so glad you let me continue with you! You're such a great guy!" and I'm like NO I HATE YOU I WANT YOU TO DIE.

    I think it's quite interesting because as much as developers like Bioware try to push forth storytelling in games, that moment kind of made all their efforts feel completely wasted because the decisions they gave me with no tangible benefits in-game were ultimately pointless. I think that these "decisions" we're given in games like these need to have greater consequences for the whole story to be worth the time in the first place.