Weekend Confirmed 106 - Xenoblade Chronicles, Operation Raccoon City, Silent Hill Downpour

By Garnett Lee, Mar 30, 2012 11:00am PDT

Jeff Cannata takes a well-earned week off but his Double Jump partner in crime Christian Spicer takes up the slack. He joins "Indie" Jeff and Ariel Angelotti to fill out the table around Garnett for this week's show. Our strong response to Journey sparked many discussions in the show thread last week, which reignites the conversation. From there the topic turns to good look at Xenoblade Chronicles, the game Operation Rainfall helped ensure got a North American release. After that Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and Silent Hill Downpour square off in a debate over which revered survival horror franchise has suffered the hardest fall. And there's some chewing on the latest PlayStation 4 rumors and other news bits before wrapping it all up in finishing moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 106: 03/23/2012

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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 00:00:30 – 00:28:40

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:29:15 – 00:58:01

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:58:54 – 01:26:55

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:27:55 – 02:04:17

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!

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Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

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Christian Spicer @spicer

Ariel Angelotti @arielotti

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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.

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  • The PlayStation 4 talk was completely misguided. Sony has the means to develop a next-gen console. Maybe Garnett meant they couldn't be as extravagant as last time? Obviously they will have a product to sell. Sony has made losses recently but the cost of a new console could have been accounted for a long time ago. Costs associated with R&D could also have easily been a part of those losses on their balance sheet.

    Cell is dead. IBM stopped development years ago. If Sony wanted to stick with Cell they would need to develop their own silicon. Most costly part of console development is silicon design, validation, etc. So they didn't go that route. Sony removed custom silicon out of the equation and took an off-the-shelf approach. Exactly like they did with Vita.

    Moving to AMD is a smart move and exactly the move a cash-strapped company would need to do. The hard part of designing silicon hardware is already done for them by AMD. Also the tools argument is ridiculous to me. Porting their toolchain to x86 would be a drop in the bucket in comparison to designing new silicon. Yes, part of the toolchain specific to Cell would have to be discarded but not everything. Not to mention having good Sony produced tools on x86 is mitigated by the fact that its x86. So much stuff available. Developers wouldnt have to rely on Sony so much anyway.

    Nothing about Durango or Orbis is exciting to me in the least. There is no "living up to the hype". What hype? Both consoles seem pedestrian and are worthy of a yawn. I expectated a lot more. Looks like Sony and Microsoft are cheaping out.





  • Thinking back to the original Silent Hills and Resident Evils I think they do something that Jeff talks about a lot in not feeling like a video game, without sort of imposing the burden of characterization on the player. By not having a hud, or magical gamey environment scanners, and what not they very much allow you to "role play" as Hank or James. But at the same time they don't put the burden on the player of projecting themselves onto the avatar. Both Hank and James have their own motivations, and speak at logical times. The result is what I would call suspension of disbelief, rather than "role playing."

    I think this is kind of the genius of a lot of Japanese game design in general, that game mechanics like the radio in Silent Hill serve a gameplay purpose without breaking the scenario design at all. It connects you to the character rather than stripping the character out and saying "this literally is you."


  • All of peoples' complaints about the "trojan horse" were predicated on the PS3's price point. Gamers don't hate movies or music on consoles, they're just sensitive to sticker shock.

    I've said this before, but the story of this generation is how the 360 lured gamers into spending more money than they ever would normally on a console by nickle and diming them. And by building that cash flow and user base, they can reverse engineer a content pipeline. Once they have you in the door, you will use---and importantly pay extra for---content on their box, because you're investing in their box already.





  • Do you think publishers should adapt and adopt the kickstarter model for games whose sales prospects are uncertain although interest level seems high?

    The publisher could set-up the kickstarter on their own web site, with all money going to them directly as pre-orders basically (in order to avoid the tax issues inherent with using Kickstarter proper) but they would only charge people if the goal is reached and the project is a go. Those goals could be set-up in tiers, like if we reach amount A we'll bring the game over with subtitles, if we reach amount B then there will be voice-overs as well, for amount C we will port the game to other platforms, etc.

    It could also be used to fund or at least mitigate the risk for games like Megaman Legends and Capcom not being sure whether the demand is really there or if it's just a lot of noise from a very vocal minority with no way to recoup their development costs. It's a way of saying: well we hear you, now put up or shut up.

  • Again Garnett brings up the topic that no one seems to be able to compete with CoD multiplayer. Again why are you overlooking all the PC games that find their own niche just fine?

    You just mentioned World of Tank with its 18 millions players. How about Team Fortress 2? Or Left for Dead for coop multiplayer. Monday Night Combat, even more niche but still fairly successful for its devs team. And then coming up Tribes Ascend, already has a dedicated player base and it's still in beta. And Planetside 2 with its very large battles and persistent state of the world. Just to name a few.

  • Garnett, last week I trolled you for liking Sine Mora, but something you said on this show made me rethink that position.

    I still think the game is a massive disappointment, but if you're likely to only play through it once then move on to the next game, most of my complaints about it probably don't apply to you.

    The thing about scrolling shooters is that a lot of the appeal lies in playing them over and over again, chasing after that perfect run, and Sine Mora certainly tried it's hardest to cater to that crowd, but it missed the mark in a pretty big way.

    But if you're mostly in it for the story, or the experience, or the whatever, it's at least generous enough with it's credits and checkpoints and time extensions that you could just power your way through it and get all the story beats. Which is just fine, in the long view, since the story is by far the best part of the game anyway.

    So I officially eat my words. Your opinion is not incorrect, *coughjustmisguidedcough* ahem... what I mean is... I guess it depends on what you want to get out of the game.