Weekend Confirmed 71 - ComiCon, From Dust, NCAA Football

By Garnett Lee, Jul 29, 2011 2:45pm PDT

Jeff Cannata and Christian Spicer numbered among the crowds that descended on ComicCon last week. They tell Garnett and "Indie" Jeff a few tales from their adventure to start the show off. The opening segment concludes with a little more about Bastion, including a few spoilers in discussion of its ending. The rest of Whatcha Been Playin moves on to hit From Dust, NCAA Football, and Jeff's indie picks including It Belongs in an Ancient Ruin! The conversation continues with a look at whether gamers want familiar games or revolutionary change and when enough is enough with a frustrating title. In the news the big price cut on the 3DS ignites a conversation about the future for handheld gaming. And we wrap it all up with Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 71: 07/29/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 71 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: 00:36:27

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:37:01 End: 01:04:57

  • The Warning: Start: 01:05:57 End: 01:36:36

  • Featured music "Bloodlust" by Synn Start: 01:36:36 End: 01:40:21

  • The Front Page news: Start: 01:40:21 End: 02:15:02

SYNN is a 5 piece melodic-metal band based out of Los Angeles comprised of Melissa Jane on vocals, Albert Ortega and Angel Nevarez on guitar, Mike Status on bass, and John Chominsky on drums. They have an upcoming show at The Keyclub next month. They Just finished a 2 song EP and are currently shopping for a record label.

Any Weekend Confirmed listeners who go to the Synn site and sign up on their mailing list, will get a free .mp3 of the song Bloodlust delivered to them via email. The song Bloodlust was mixed by the multi-platinum engineer John Kurtzweg who's worked with the likes of Creed, Puddle of Mudd, and Godsmack.

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 Cannata 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.

Click here to comment...


  • The Star Wars:TOR discussion got me thinking... does anyone else think MMOs are focusing too much on solo content? It sounded like Star Wars was going to have a strong "single player" component to it and then "end game" content. It think it's nice to have some things you can do on your own but I want a game where the majority of what you do should be in a group of some sort.
    FF11 was maybe the extreme of this but I played way more of that game with way more people than any recent MMO I've tried. I played DCU and found that leveling up I didn't need a group and neither did anyone else so no one made any effort to play together. Even the group instances were simple enough you could hop in with a group and without saying a word blast through them. I think as a result of this at the the end game most people didn't know what to do and there wasn't much communication going on. The whole 1-30 experience got me thinking, the game was fun but why am I paying a monthly fee for a mostly solo experience.
    Does anyone want an MMO where you are better off grouping from the beginning and learning how to use your abilities in a group as you go and leveling as a group is as fun as the end game stuff? I guess the other caveat I have in my thoughts are that I want a game where I can jump in and out of a group when I have time and not ruin anything for other players. I also don't have the desire or time to have to schedule my gaming sessions.

  • I was excited about the 3DS for months – I kept reading “just wait until you see it in person.” When I finally got to try it on display, just a couple of weeks before the launch, I was underwhelmed. The screen is too small and the unit feels downright clunky – it’s not nearly as seamless as my DS Lite. (I actually found myself thinking I might get a DS XL instead).

    The 3DS price drop helps, but as many others have said, there’s still not a good library; not even one killer app. I’m tired of re-purchasing old Nintendo games over and over.

    Maybe I’ll go through the same cycle of excitement to disappointment with the Vita, but currently I’m thinking I’d prefer that. That they’ve ditched the PSP moniker is ironic since it looks like it will finally be a true portable Playstation, rather than a dumbed-down version. The dual analog sticks are not to be underestimated, but if the Vita helps me stay connected to my online friends I’d turn it on throughout the day to check to see who’s online, etc.

    I tend to use my phone on public transit and such because it’s less conspicuous, but I use it for email, not games – to me the appeal of a portable system (my DS Lite included) is to be able to sit outside in the shade with a beer and do some hardcore gaming.

  • Despite all this talk about the Ipad being a viable gaming device, I just haven't experienced it personally. I have had one for about 3 or 4 months now (1st gen) and while there are a few decent 99 cent "diversions" most of them would be more suitable for the phone instead. I have tried a few of the games that are heavily recommended on this and other podcasts - Infinity Blade doesn't do it for me at all, Swords & Sworcery is a novel concept but not really a fun game, especially when you get to the 'game' parts that require timing based on 3 dimensional space in a 2D game. Geometry Wars is hindered by on-screen controls... Others, like Plants vs Zombies and Angry Birds play just fine on a phone, and it's not worth lugging the ipad around for them. Some games, like Monkey Island, Back To The Future, and Pulse are completely unplayable on 1st generation hardware, as the frame rate dips in to the single digits most of the time, and sound stutters as the horrible hardware tries to keep up.

    I keep hoping to come across a game that makes me sit down and play it on the ipad, but so far that hasn't happened. As it turns out, the ipad is only used for reading and watching Formula 1 before bed. I don't have much use for it otherwise.

  • It's not that portable gaming is dying , it's just changing. I think that the general public doesn't want console experiences on a handheld device. Besides piracy I think one reason the PSP "failed" is because they were offering a style of game that people just weren't wanting to buy when they already have 360s, PS3s, or w/e. Now Nintendo is trying to get into this space of offering full 3d adventure games that honestly don't really have a place on a portable device. Android and iOs are putting a real hurting to them because they are simple and cheap.. and honestly that's probably perfect for the portable market. You can pick up and play really quick and drop it as fast as you got it. I think vita and 3ds are asking too much time from their gamers. While hardware upgrades might still be viable for the console market I think its going to take "creative" minds to work out in the portable space. Getting bigger games on hand helds doesn't really mean anything anymore.

  • Regarding the whole EA / Origin thing about them getting their games pulled as soon as DLC is offered, I see it as purely a marketing push by EA to cast Steam in a negative light, and to spite them for not allowing EA's in-game store while not offering DLC purchases via the Steam store or Steam Wallet.

    I'm personally very strict on what hoops I have to jump through when buying a game. EA now seems to be saying "$60 dollars AAAAAND... you must surrender your email address to our loyalty club marketing system, where you can buy POINTS to buy DLC!!" I don't want that. I've given enough email addresses out to marketing firms; I'd rather buy the DLC through Steam with a single credit card transaction. But this would go against EA's push to turn themselves into a "games platform". They don't want to give Valve a cut by having to list their DLC through Steam, and perhaps they want more email addresses for marketing purposes, so it appears they're pushing their agenda through the other PC digital download services, who will allow their shenanigans. As for Steam, I guess EA will continue to offer the game through Steam (with mandatory EA.com or Origin login requirements to play the game), and then pull the game from Steam when the first DLC pack is released.

    Valve has said nothing so far. I'd have to guess that Valve isn't happy about EA "gaming the system" like this, but they don't want to lose more face by calling them out, taking more restrictive action than they are right now, or buckling under EA's pressure.

    As a PC gamer, I've already blacklisted EA and Ubisoft from potential purchases, due to these shenanigans, activation DRM problems, and not wanting to sign up for Another Damned Login. I don't want marketing spam from every single publisher.

  • Garnett, on the DNF PC inventory patch, you earned Classic Shacker points for the "Is this the patch that makes the game fun?" comment, and then, in my mind, you threw those points away with "Meh, 4 weapons is nice; whatever."

    The two-weapon inventory system in console first-person shooters was popularized by Halo and the Call of Duty series (post-CoD2), two game franchises that also solidified the "de facto standard" console FPS control scheme. The reasoning was that having only one button for switching weapons streamlined controls, and the protagonist "isn't a tank who can carry 900 pounds of small arms on his back."

    I love PC first-person shooter games with an expansive inventory system that lets you experiment with different weapons without having to shuffle around inventory. It started with the Doom series, the Quake series, Unreal, Half-Life, and so on. Somewhere along the way, other designers decided to go for the two-weapon system for the reasons stated previously, but I think they're also chasing after Halo and Call of Duty.

    There's also this gem of a quote: "The Gearbox approach is that whatever platform you get the game on, you get the same game." -- Steve Gibson, Gearbox Software

    So those of us with WASD and the row of number keys lose out because they want to unify the interface experience. Thankfully Gearbox responded to the community and threw a bone to those of us about how it was ridiculous that a bad-ass FPS game character like Duke Nukem was limited to only 2 weapons.

    There have been console FPS games to have an inventory of over 2 weapons; most notable are Unreal Tournament 3, Bioshock 1 and 2, and Wolfenstein (2009). They may not be as intuitive or fast-responding as one single button to "switch to the only other weapon in your inventory", but it's pretty infuriating from the PC side to hear about yet another title cut down to "2 weapon inventory" because they wanted the console version to chase after Halo and Call of Duty.