Weekend Confirmed 86 - Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Saints Row the Third

By Garnett Lee, Nov 11, 2011 11:11am PST

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3 arrived this week and the Weekend Confirmed crew takes a little break from playing them to share their stories from the games. Wouldn't you know, a cold bug seems to be sweeping through the offices as well, laying out Xav and sapping Garnett. He carries on, though, joined by Jeff and Christian because the show must go on. And boy does it. Saints Row the Third also got into the mix of what we've been playing and we take a look at whether it's odd to play portable games from the comforts of our couch and what we learned about Mass Effect 3 from the beta that briefly leaked out on Live. As always, we wrap it all up with Finishing Moves and our football Tailgate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 86: 11/11/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 86 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 to 00:23:43

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:24:16 to 00:47:07

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:48:06 to 01:14:17

    Featured Music Break: 01:14:17 to 01:17:00 Cool Party Guys, 'Stanky'

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:17:00 to 01:52:22

    NFL Tailgate 01:53:05to 01:59:47

Billy Bonnell and Greg Santos are part of the sketch comedy group Cool Party Guys which also features Christian Spicer. The song was produced by a guy who has worked with Lonely Island and some top 40 rappers. The video was directed and edited by none other than Mega 64's own Derrick Acosta.

Watch the video on YouTube

Buy 'Stanky' on iTunes

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, too! 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.

Click here to comment...


  • Hey Weekend Confirmed Crew,

    I've never commented, but I feel particularly moved to write in about a fantastic gaming experience that I just had: I just played through Minerva's Den, the DLC for Bioshock 2. I know I'm super late to the party on this one, but I think it's relevant to your recent discussion about story-telling in games and the way narrative is handled in both open-world games and in more linear experiences. I think that Minerva's Den exhibits some of the most well-done story-telling of this generation. The combination of the incredible atmosphere, great voice work, and excellent writing contributes to a palpable sense of place that had me caring about the characters and the world. A lot of people say that the original Bioshock was great until 3/4 of the way in. Whether you agree with those people or not, Minerva's Den reproduces the greatness of that first 3/4 of Bioshock, with great pacing, a satisfying buildup, and a great ending (a rarity in all media).

    Minerva's Den immersed me completely into its world and made me feel like I was a part of it, I think much like Jeff seems to feel like a part of Skyrim's living, breathing world. Yet each game takes a very different approach to immersing the player; Skyrim has its incredibly thorough internal logic, while Minerva's Den has a completely unique feel, a haunting score and a detailed, coherent, yet completely scripted world. If nothing else, I think this game deserves a shout out for being awesome, but I'd really love to hear your guys' thoughts. In particular, I'd love to hear if Jeff played it, and what he thinks of this linear narrative that would emphatically not happen in Skyrim.

    Another reason that this email is timely is that Minerva's Den is on sale this week for 400 MS points. If you're like me and skipped Bioshock 2 because you thought Bioshock didn't need a sequel, you're right, but you'd also be cheating yourself out of an amazing experience if you don't check out Minerva's Den. It's my personal game of the year so far, not only besting fellow DLC like Mass Effect 2's Lair of the Shadow Broker, and Alan Wake's The Writer, but also "real" games like Shadow Complex and Gears of War 3... Although Arkham City is about to steal that crown right back :)

    Anyway, keep up the good work, and keep drinking - you guys are hilarious!

  • I can relate to Garnett’s BF3 dilemma where he’s a level 1 player in a room full of level 40 players. I remember the days before FPS multiplayer games let you ‘level-up,’ and while I’ve embraced the RPG-shooter infusion, there’s one feature developers keep forgetting to bring over: tiered bonuses. If you kill a level 40 dragon in an RPG you get more points than you do for killing a level 1 rodent. That system may not carry over on a one-to-one scale, but considering how heavily stacked the deck is for higher level players (I’ve been one of those too) there ought to be rewards for new players to stick it out, and encouragement for higher level players to focus on each other.

  • Regarding the new game modes in Mass Effect 3:

    I think the idea of an "action", "story", and full "rpg mode" has a lot of potential. In my opinion, the difficulty levels in ME2 already watered down the game quite a bit. At least now there is a more clear destinction in the labeling of these modes.

    I've posted about this before, but I thought playing ME2 on "Normal" was only playing half the game. The action was so dumbed down that the player didn't need to bother using any of the strategic techniques built into the combat system. You never needed to layer your squadmates biotic powers for co-ordinated attacks, you rarely needed to worry about ammo types, you had to go out of your way to get yourself killed, etc. The problem is that a lot of people play games on "normal" by default, then end up complaining about the action being too dull.

    My hope is that the default "RPG" setting in ME3 will be at least a little bit more difficult than "Normal" in ME2. I would also encourage everyone to at least try playing ME3 on a slightly harder-than-normal difficulty level. It doesn't just make the combat more difficult, it makes it 10 times more enjoyable. When you actually have to use your brain during the action sequences, you will grow to appreciate them much more. A lot of people left ME2 feeling like it was a great story with filler action thrown in, which is a shame. The action sequences in Mass Effect are far deeper, more strategic, and more fun than 95% of the other shooters out there... you just need to let it challenge you and force you to think and learn.

  • I completely disagree with Garnett and Jeff about handheld gaming.

    All this doom and gloom about "handhelds are obsolete" and "there would never be handhelds if we had had phones" talk is flat out ridiculous.

    Any device, dedicated to one function, are always going to provide unique experiences that multifunction devices can't, simply because of the kind of tech involved.

    I *don't* want integration of my devices, because it's going to limit the functionality of all various applications due to procesing power.

    It just doesn't make sense, other than being able to fit it in your pocket.

  • I plan on getting Skyrim's ultimate/GOTY edition with all the DLC so I can play one game next holiday,

    Count me in as one of those people that liked Mass Effect 1 over 2, it's rough around the edges for sure but it exudes much more ambition in my mind. In fact as Jeff said about Skyrim where "This game was made for me" I felt the same towards the original mass effect. Jeff calls it bad Science Fiction with tired tropes and too much exposition, I thought it was the game I dreamed up reading classic sci-fi novels, you think the Ciditel is slow and boring with not enough action I thought is was awesome to be able to explore a crazy sci-fi city with all kinds of alien beings and culture clashes. The second game by comparison is constantly afraid that some jock will pick up gears if he's not shooting a gun at something in the next few minutes and the villains stunk in that game giant bee-men? forget solving a mystery aliens are going to make a giant man machine because...something. Yeah when Saren attacked you on a hover-board I wasn't convinced this was high art but he was still a more compelling villain. And I can't say that reapers will fill that gap (though I won't deny the awesomeness of the illusive man but I wish he did more than give you a laundry list)

  • Garnett, heads up. The Playstation 3D display DOES support Sony IR remotes. I work at a Sony Store and used a standard Sony TV remote to navigate the functions. It's strange that a simple remote wasn't included, but there is definitely IR support. Also, we've had the HX929 since before summer -- unless you are talking about the 65"model, which came out a couple of weeks ago.

    Let's be fair. In our store, a current 32" 240Hz 3D Sony TV sells for $999.99. So it's clear that some corners had to be cut. It's sad about the lack of a coax tuner. I was sure when the product was first announced, it was announced as a TV. Now it's being sold as a "display". :(

  • So when I was talking about handhelds on the couch that idea goes right into the WiiU. That sells me day one, and yes playing uncharted is fine remember the sports game is the passive activity in the background not the video game I'm playing.

    All this talk about the WiiU having to be cheap, and the other consoles expensive. What do you think the next console will cost? A new xbox with a Kinect is what $300 as is, now enter a next gen console with Kinect included a low install base and expensive development. It's gonna be awhile before they penetrate the market, WiiU is cutting of the 360, and PS3 who buys a dead console when a living console is the same price with the same software.

    In the end it's about games though right and we have to wait and see if the WiiU has a magic piece of software at launch.