Weekend Confirmed 88 - Skyrim, Holiday leftovers

By Garnett Lee, Nov 23, 2011 11:00am PST

Join Xav, Jeff, Andrea, and Garnett as they celebrate the long Thanksgiving weekend. They share tales from Skyrim and Assassin's Creed Revelations during the beginning of the show. Some of the excellent discussions from the show comments last week fuel plenty of discussion on whether gamers want to be told a story, or play their own. Everyone is set for the 360 dashboard update, now that it's finally coming December 6. And the group starts to sort through the gaming leftovers already gathering from a great year of games that included LittleBIGPlanet 2, Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, L.A. Noire, and so many more titles that are already fading into memories. Finishing moves and a special Thanksgiving games edition of the tailgate wrap it all up.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 88: 11/23/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 88 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 00:27:48

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:28:23 to 00:57:40

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:58:09 to 01:22:05

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:22:33 to 02:00:28

    NFL Tailgate 02:01:12 to 02:11:45

Catch Andrea Rene everyday hosting ClevverGames on YouTube. And you can keep up with her 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, 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.

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Comments






  • First of all I would like to say I also miss the music break, I thought it rounded out the show quite well and really enjoyed it when it was one of Del Rio's hilarious mixes (HES DRAWING A MAPLE LEAF!) or some game related music. As far as what I want to hear about over December, we have had a lot of huge releases and more to come but in this short lull how about some indie and downloadable titles? For xmas I asked for PSN and live gift cards because I love those games so much and am addicted to steam. Could talk about new games that have come out or things like Cave Story that just got released on Steam for cash, is it worth it if it was already free?

    More indie, more DL and more music break, thats all I have to say... along with use submitted Skyrim stories, that shiz is addtictive.

  • Random note on skyrim Combat: Anyone else think the game could really be improved with a better combat system? I don't know if its just me, but i find it incredibly hard to ever take anything seriously in the game when the it looks clearly looks like robots cycling through animations until someone dies. When I watch a fight or even participate in one it just feels and looks dumb to me. As much as leveling up helps me stay motivated to do quests and stuff I feel like for a real time game it relies to heavily on stats for a real time game. If I have real time control of my character during the battle there is a certain expectation that goes along with that. While I think the stats should help inform my abilities or w/e I would love to have combat that is kind of based on my own mastery of the controls. For example Jeff mentioned he loves the lock picking and being able to unlock tough locks regardless of his character skill level if he himself is good enough to pick the lock, now if this was applied in combat situation for example I would be able to take down those giants regardless of my level as long as I had a true grasp of the combat. Moving and timing hits in a way where I really decided if I won or lost would personally help me get more into character. As it stands now if I were under leveled and walked up to a tough badie I would have to trick the terrible AI into getting stuck in a wall or something and slowly dwindle him down in a very unsatisfying fashion. Now I'm aware the game sucks players in in other areas but I don't see how fixing those games games would help in taking the player out of being immersed. I would think better animation and combat would only help to immerse them further.


  • Anyone else disappointed by most gaming these days critics? I have never seen so many big name titles get away with murder. I found it to be insane that LA Noire releases and little to no attention is given to its inability to function as a game and a tight narrative(pretty much impossible to fail just dragging the player along for the ride) and instead of even mentioning these issues its just completely left out by the guys who are supposed to really critique the game. I understand its good to give a game a pat on the back for having good intentions but every game is intended to be good so take it for what actually is not what it aspires to be. Game like Skyrim can get past with so many technical flaws its insane to me... while other lesser known games would get bashed for their lack of polish. Can we get some consistency here? Can we get some real critiquing going on? I feel like the people who review games as their job are no more qualified to do it than any regular gamer sitting on his couch maybe even less.






  • I'd like to chime in on the whole story/narrative subject.

    I feel like Skyrim's story telling is hit and miss. Sometimes when characters are standing, on the spot, spewing forth monologues and exposition it's awkward and boring and long winded. It's just a bit clumsy and bulky and I don't think stationary talking people is really a strong way to deliver story. And some of the script is a bit silly or ridiculous.

    Games with focused cutscenes do a lot better job at conveying powerful story and narrative.

    However, where Skyrim really shines and rises to a place that linear style video game stories cannot tread is in the world, the ambience and the atmosphere.

    For example. During the beginning of my play through I was sitting in a tavern talking to the barkeep and buying some wine when in the background I could hear the bard singing about the civil war and I overheard some people talking about how the Empire has outlawed the worship of one of the chief Nord gods. Despite the fact that the first Jarl I met cast a favorable light on the Empire this made me wonder which side had the best interests of the Nords in mind. Later when I met Ulfric Stormcloak and overheard his passionate speech to his general I glimpsed his real passion to win the Nords their freedom. The very next city I came to greeted me with the spectacle of a public Stormcloak beheading which cemented my stance on the war. After the crowd dispersed I snuck up to the executed prisoner and searched his body and discovered a religious amulet outlawed by the Empire. I took it and wore it in his honor. Some time later I was wandering the wilderness and came across a group of Imperial soldiers escorting a bound Stormcloak prisoner. At this point I had chosen my side. I freed the prisoner and slew his captors and began my career with the rebellion.

    Now, no one made this series of events occur in that order. They happened dynamically. And I'm sure someone else could play the game and have a completely different experience entirely that doesn't even slightly resemble mine. Because of the place I chose to go and the things that occurred both randomly and scripted, I had a story experience that was unique to me. If I had chosen to keep walking and not stop at that tavern who knows how different my experience may have been.

    Skyrim's strength lies in its setting and world. As you wander the ruins you get hints of the cultures and history and setting. You might read a book that gives you insight to a misunderstood race or a conversation you overhear may lead you to a point in the map that others may never visit. While a game like Assassin's Creed may deliver a much more dramatic and fine tuned story that hits very deliberate beats, the world of Skyrim is infinitely more dynamic.

    AC is like a rope, it has a beginning and an end and you know where you are along that experience. It's clear and powerful and effective. It has a deliberate beginning, middle and an end and it hits certain beats and twists in the proper order. The world of Skyrim however is more like a tapestry. There's no clear line. It's full of little threads dangling in front of you that are entirely optional and dynamic. You chose which threads you want to follow or ignore and find out where they lead you to. Do you pick up that book and read it? Do you sit and listen to the bard's song? Do you stop to investigate that abandoned fort or move on? Do you choose to get involved in the civil war or ignore it entirely? The setting of the world adds context to the encounters and characters and environments and they in turn feed back into the setting. As you experience the world dynamically, you chose how you respond to what you see, where you go, what you do next and you take those individual threads and weave your own unique experience.









  • Alright I've seen the post at least a few times here, and if you want to keep telling Skyrim stories 2 things. First spoilers don't worry or try and talk around them just tell your story. It sounds stupid you pausing every so often saying ummmm let me think how not to spoil this story I just told for the last 5 minutes.

    2 don't play the game the way you'd normally play the game. Break it, cause havoc, make the game bug out. If you just play it normal there's nothing unique or fun about your story. Yes the giant killed you... You know why cause when you walk up to a giant that's what they do!!!

    Stories are fine but they have to be unique, not on this quest you fight a spider that's really big.





  • Hey Garnett,

    sorry to shatter your illusions but ... that sweet little old lady you found in the forest of Skyrim ... Not quite what you thout she may have been. I met the same old lady and I found a hidden compartment that led to a basement filled with alchemy desks, human flesh and poisons. There was a letter there that was talking about her coven. When I exited and talked to her she screamed at me "no one can know my secret" and tried to kill me with magic.

    The more you know.

    Also, props for not reloading saves. I am playing the exact same way. I only have a single save file. It really adds weight to my decisions and makes me think hard about my actions and choices. The experiences has been so much more richer without having God-like powers that allow me to rewind time and change my future in a way that ultimately cheapens the experience.

    Lastly, congrats on the trans-continental sexual innuendo. When Andrea asked if you "looted her cavern" you said you "may have rooted around in her stuff" which was priceless because in Australia 'root' is slang for sex, it's about as coarse as fuck or screw. So thanks for the extra laugh, it was epic because you didn't realize how dirty it sounded to us downunder.


  • Great show here's some random topics for episodes during the slow release month:

    -Discussion about under the radar niche games that you usually ignore like King of Fighters 13, XIII:lost identity(or any of the new adventure games that are released on steam), or Way of the Samurai 3 ( it's short and would make some fun a discussion).

    -how publishers can raise consumer awareness to a game post-release L.A. noire was recently released in a complete edition for PC and consoles that contain all the DLC and pre-order content this sold me on the game but I think it's still lost despite being a pretty good deal on amazon.

    -brainstorming for developers, successful developers these days tend to stick to a formula but what if they break out of their formulas and unleash a product few could believe they where capable of? like bioware making a Mass-Effect spin off that's a rad stealth game/RPG or Volition creating an action game with uncharted level writing and their assortment of creative weapons and dynamic environments (and one that takes place on multiple planets).

    -Shenmue was released in December over ten years ago, maybe it's time to revisit that game, or any other old favorite, preferably a game you like yet many dislike.