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Weekend Confirmed 83 - Batman: Arkham City, Forza 4, Skyrim

by Garnett Lee, Oct 21, 2011 11:00am PDT

Like millions of gamers, the Weekend Confirmed crew jumped all over Batman: Arkham City when it came out this week. There's an abundance of love for the game, but Garnett does take exception to the move that put Catwoman out of the reach of gamers without an Internet connection. Along with the two Jeffs--Cannata and "Indie"--and with our second Play For Japan charity auction winner, Eric Hwang, they're just getting started. Forza 4, Skyrim, Orcs Must Die, and Dungeon Defenders all commanded attention over the past week. And the group also weighs in on the rising cumulative cost of games with DLC season passes, the Vita's launch outside Japan, whether the "core" audience is perhaps shrinking, and more before wrapping it all up with Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 83: 10/21/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 83 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:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:00 – 00:30:15

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:30:48 – 01:03:00

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 01:04:06 – 01:33:17

    Featured Music Break: 01:33:17 – 01:36:40 The Collective – 'Supernatural Love'

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:34:41 – 02:03:23

4942 The Collective is a collaboration of A+ music production minds as ONE entity. We have come together with the knowledge that we can do more together than alone!

Get a FREE download of 'Supernatural Love' and other tracks on the official 4942 the Collective site.

For more, follow 4942 the Collective on twitter.

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!

Follow the Weekend Confirmed hosts on Twitter! Garnett Lee @GarnettLee, Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata and Xav de Matos @xav.

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.





Comments









  • I have a question around release dates/schedules. As we all know we're in the midst of an avalanche of game releases at present. GoW3, Rage, Arkham City, BF3, MW3, the list goes on. My questions is why? It may be a silly question to a lot of people but why is it that Oct/Nov are always such popular release dates?

    Is it to do with the US Winter? People are staying indoors more? Maybe it's close to college holidays? Where as here in Australia it's almost slap bang in University finals.

    Why not wait another month and have them be Christmas releases? Wouldn't they gain more sales that way? Especially if the game was highly anticipated and sucked? People wouldn't have had a chance to bash it before people bought it as a present (not that I'm advocating that!)

    Or even better, why not release them in another part of the year that has no major releases. Again, wouldn't they sell better if there's no competition around?

    There must be sales data or some figures that prove this to be the main release window I guess? I may just be naive in not knowing, so please feel free to fill me (and others) in :)

    (And yes I'm aware of things like ME3 coming outside of this current window... It's just the majority are now)

  • Good evening (UK time) gentlemen, I hope you are all well and enjoying the glut of fantastic games currently available.

    Speaking of which, how do you believe the industry will be affected with so many great titles competing in such a small window?

    With Batman, Forza, Battlefield, Uncharted, Rage, Assassins Creed, Halo, Skyrim & COD, to name but a few, all being released relatively simultaneously, surely one or more developer/publisher is going to miss out.

    Big developers are constantly being pushed to reach new heights terms of scale, depth and graphical prowess and I wonder how long it’ll be before titles, which may have previously broken sales records, begin to see their profitability suffer?

    As I posted on my recent itunes review, weekend confirmed is simply the best podcast available right now. Keep up the good work guys and feel free to send me a friend request on xbox live, steam or Origin : Tickleygonad and PSN : love_rod

    Cheers

  • On the topic of the price of games making it an expensive hobby, my answer is patience. As a general rule of thumb, I will not buy a game until it's price has gone down to $30 or less. Of course, that means having to wait 6-9 months after a game's release on average but after you've waiting out that period once, you constantly have older titles that you waited on that will hit that magical price.

    As an example, I recently picked up Mass Effect 2 on PS2 for a sweet 18$ about 9 months after its release.

    Similarly, I find Greatest Hits collection to be a great way to keep my hobby on the affordable side. While some see the red PS3 GH cases a mark of shame, I see them as trophies, showing that I was patient and got the game at a great price.

    Thanks for a great podcast that I get to enjoy every week during my commute!

  • Hey guys on the whole games making you better in reality issue, just a bit of background before my two cents, I'm an avid gamer, competent shooter (I own quite a few handguns shotguns and recently an assault rifle), and quite the car enthusiast (I owned a Lexus IS-F for a few years). As far as a racing sim or any shooting games that I've played this far, none really do more than give you rote knowledge on the skill-set.  There's no simulator that can capture the explosion almost to the point of hearing a flashbang detonate when firing in close quarters, or teach you how to react to recoil for follow up shots, or how to clear malfunctions quickly and safely... when in a stress environment. The terror you feel when you lose grip in a high speed corner and how to correct it when G forces are pulling your face off is something that has never been instilled in me while playing. It's just a series of steps in a game: understeer, drop a gear, gas to light up the tires and drift out. And therein lies the limitation of simulators, no matter how real they might seem there's nothing thus far that can trick the mind into feeling the fear of imminent death and how to do those steps under pressure.  I agree with you Garnett but the industry needs to approach it from that perspective in order to force the player's mind to be tricked.





  • In Garnett's entire Forza 4 talk he not once mentioned Le Mans. Or talked about the endurance races ie how long they are?

    I am a huge fan of Le Mans and I love playing my buddy's copy of Forza 2 where I can drive the old Audi R10. I don't have the money to buy Forza 4 and can't find 3, but I would love to know what cars are in the game. Is the Audi R18 and the Peugeot 908 in the game? Or did they resort to the cars that have slightly more data the R15+ and the Peugeot 808? Are there any of the ILMC tracks like how Sebring and Silverstone were in Forza 2? Did they add the Le Mans track? Can I still drive the R10 and the R15 to see how they differ?

    Do they have any F1 cars? I know Garnett is an F1 fan. Do they have very many of those tracks?

    What about Indy car? I am not a very big Indy car fan, but it would still be cool to drive one of the Indy cars.

    So Garnett don't mention LMP cars and endurance cars if you aren't going to go into any detail at all on those subjects.








  • One thing that irks me about the concept of Season Passes, in particular, the Forza 4 Season Pass, is that I already bought the Forza 4 Collector's Edition, which already grants access to the American Muscle Car pack, so there's far less incentive for me to invest in the Season Pass right now with that same pack being offered as a "bonus". For the time being, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach because I bought ALL the DLC packs for Forza 3 (when they were on sale) but hardly played or unlocked the majority of them (yeah, you still have to unlock the cars that you paid actual money for -- not that that's wrong, but the time investment required on top of the actual monetary investment made is something to think about), and there's no guarantee that I'll like the majority of forthcoming cars or tracks for Forza 4. Plunking down 2400 points for Gears 3 was much easier because I know that I'll be able to count on a variety of content in the four promised packs (e.g. co-op Campaign and Horde), and I pretty much enjoy all the different modes that Gears 3 offers. On the other hand, if one of Forza 4's DLC pack should focus on drifting or drag racing, or simply offers a pack of new cars that I have no interest in driving however, then I'll effectively have wasted my money in purchasing a Season Pass. Finally, if the future DLC packs also include more content that was included in the Collector's Edition (and they likely will), then I'll likely avoid those too. The value of a Season Pass really boils down to the particular game and the level of involvement and/or enjoyment you plan to get out of it in the long run.

    I wonder if future DLC packs will also include content specific to the Collector's Edition, and if so, what was the point in buying the Collectors Edition in the first place?






  • What WB did with Arkham City pisses me off to no end, and the fact that Jeff can even argue for the other side of it, and has the gall to call it "entitlement" pisses me off to no end. How dare you call it entitlement, and how dare the commenters here defend such a stance?

    The game was revealed and marketed from the get-go that Catwoman was going to be an important featured character for AC, and they suddenly decide to pull a switcharoo at the very last second to reveal that she's actually their online pass? How can you possibly defend this?

    How can you defend the people out in wherever who don't actively have a reliable internet connection, or don't want to or can't keep a connection to their console, for something like this where it's singleplayer content for a singleplayer game? How can you still defend when WB TURNS RIGHT AROUND AND SELLS GAMESTOP CODES SO THEY CAN INCLUDE THOSE IN THEIR USED COPIES?

    Its one thing when I'm buying DLC content, or a game digitally: the contract that I make with game publishers and game makers is that I agree to the terms of owning the license to this content for as long as their servers are up and available and before we suffer some sort of internet-ending apocalypse. That contract does not mix the contract of buying physical content for a singleplayer experience. If something happens in the future, where I don't have an internet connection, or worse, the SERVERS GO DOWN, what the fuck am I supposed to do? I no longer have access to that content.

    The worst offense in this entire ordeal is the fact that ITS NOT AN UNLOCK KEY. As much shit as we give to publishers for locking away content behind 50kb keys for content that's already on the disc, in this particular case its a particular flavor of bullshit that I refuse to condone. That content, that Catwoman content that actually affects the singleplayer, is locked away with risk of loss on SOMEONE ELSE'S TIME as opposed to being my own fault for damage or disappearance.

    If WB announced that she was going to be DLC from day 1 it'd be an entirely different story. But they didn't, and its not. You people disgust me for even playing devil's advocate at all.


  • Well said Jeff! I've been unimpressed with enough DLC from all the different games I play that I really don't care about getting that stuff when I buy my games.

    That is why I buy them used!

    I couldn't help but chuckle as you made an argument for why buying new is a waste of money. Everything you said was basically my reasoning behind buying a game used. The cost is less but the content that you miss is not worth those extra dollars.

    And the people who really lose out in the end are the new game buyers. They end up with a product worth $10 less since this content is kept away from them without this code. There may be plenty of people still willing to pay $55 but many used game buyers will find it for $45. I think Gamespot offering DLC codes with used copies is a good example of used game buyers refusing to pay $55 for a game with missing content. (IE worth $45) Gamestop wants those sales so this is their way of making the used copies "worth" a higher price.

    As a new game buyer why are you not given the option to pay $10 less for this content? Why can't you buy batman for $50 instead of $60 and say no thanx to the catwoman content. Enter Used game sales, now you can choose to buy it for $10 less and spend the extra money if you want!



  • Great conversation about the Catwoman DLC pass. Now about Halo Anniversary ...

    With Garnett's claims that it was underhanded, I'm surprised no one has caught on to the news about the Kinect exclusive features for Halo Anniversary.

    To summarize, it's a feature exclusive to Kinect users where you can aim at certain objects, enemies, vehicles etc in the game and say the word 'analyze' and it's adds an entry to the 'library' where you can get information and look at 3D models.

    This is really alarming to me in principle and the potential for what it could mean for future releases is just as worrying.

    This feature seems like it straight up designed to include something Kinect exclusive. The problem I see with this is that it is entirely plausible, more practical even, to 'analyze' objects with the press of a button. This leads me to believe that it was either tacked on or shaved off from the main game but either way the bottom line is that this content has been walled off from non-Kinect users for no other reason than the desire to create something Kinect exclusive. In essence you need to purchase an expensive peripheral in order to access content that doesn't utilize said expensive peripheral in any meaningful way that a controller couldn't.

    Now I wouldn't mind if the Kinect added an element to Halo that was completely impracticable or even impossible without Kinect but the bottom line is that 343 Industries haven't used Kinect to give gamers something extra, they've in fact used Kinect to take something away from gamers. You don't need Kinect's unique qualities to experience this content, you just need to have purchased it.

    In my opinion Halo Anniversary isn't 'better with Kinect', it's just 'incomplete without kinect'.

    Sure it's a seemingly minor feature as far as Halo Anniversary, but considering Forza's achievements that require Kinect, I'm worried about what the future holds for Halo 4 and other Microsoft owned properties. Who knows how far they'll push it. Imagine entire sections of the campaign only available to Kinect users, or what about multi-player playlists that require a Windows Phone?

    Thoughts?




  • Great show this week guys!

    Re: DLC and "Season Pass" offers

    I understand Garnett's arguments about making games more accessible to a wider audience, but I don't think that a $30 download bundle is having the negative effect he thinks it might.

    The people who buy a $30 pack of DLC are the people who have already decided to spend a huge chunk of time playing that game over the next year. They are for gamers like me... I spend lots of hours playing every week, but I only play a handful of titles every year. I would happily invest an extra $30 into a game that I will get hundreds of hours of enjoyment from over the months ahead.

    Garnett also brought up the "Free to play" model. I'm a big fan of free to play, but I don't think it ends up being that different from the $60 purchase + $30 DLC in the long run. In the early days, you might get lots of people trying your game (since it is free), but if they aren't really into the game they will move on to something else. The people who do get really into a free to play game might very well sen $100 on micro-transactions IF they play it constantly for a full year.... which is exactly what I know I will get out of Gears of War 3.

    You still end up with the same separation. The hardcore fans of a franchise will pour a lot more $$$ into their favorite games. And that's cool with me.

    I think the "Water Cooler" level of mainstream appeal has already hit with IOS games. I'm not sure if AAA games will ever reach that level of saturation, because at the end of the day you have to put way more money into them, regardless of the business model.

    I'm really glad that Jeff C brought up the issue of time. I have a finite budget, but it is lack of time that prevents me from enjoying more games, not the price of the games.