Weekend Confirmed 128 - Guild Wars 2, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Walking Dead

By Jeff Mattas, Aug 31, 2012 11:00am PDT

In this week's game-packed episode of Weekend Confirmed, Garnett Lee, Jeff Cannata, and Jeff Mattas are joined by regular guest Christian Spicer, and special guest Phillipe Bosher of Buried in the Credits. The crew discusses whether or not Guild Wars 2 brings a breath of fresh air to the MMO space, and a host of other games get some love as well. Forza Horizon, The Walking Dead, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, and Thirty Flights of Loving are just some of the games on tap for critical dissection. And of course, things get wrapped up with a healthy dose of Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 128: 08/31/2012

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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 00:00:31 – 00:29:31

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:30:05 – 01:00:39

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 01:01:28 – 01:33:57

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:34:51 – 02:08:44

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!

You can also catch up with Phillipe Bosher on his site, Buried in the Credits.

Follow the Weekend Confirmed crew on Twitter, too!

Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

Christian Spicer @spicer

Phillipe Bosher @pabosher

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, Club Tipsy 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.

Click here to comment...


  • I think the developer was wrong to label it subtle racism. I do believe he correctly identified the built in bias from the reviewing base of "journalist". I would guess most game reviewers either came up during the Nintendo/Sega generation or they are younger and grew up with the Gameboy/PS1 generation. They grew up with a base of playing Japanese game so they have a certain affinity to those games despite their wacky stories.

    I think you will see a shift in the next five or six years as a younger generation or reviewers who are growing up with the 360/PC/Mobile phone era. The kid who might have grown up with Mario may be playing Braid, Super Meatboy, or Plosion Man.

  • In regards to Guild Wars 2 and targeting...It works perfectly fine for me. The TAB button will select the target in front of you and cycle through the nearby enemies just as in other MMO's.

    I share Jeff's enthusiasm with GW2, and I would even have to disagree with him on the combat in GW2, i love it. As someone who plays just about every MMO at some point of another, I think GW2 has a perfect blend of action combat while still maintaining a turn-based aspect. I'm really digging the Engineer class in this game, using mostly rifles instead of pistols though.

  • Ubisoft's Subtle Racism Thing:

    With some of games that you guys described on the show I think the main difference is in how seriously the stories in different games take themselves.

    Gears of War is seen as a generic sci-fi action storyline, but plays itself totally straight, and expects you to take it seriously. Bayonetta does not for a second want you to take its storyline seriously - the game KNOWS how silly it is and thus plays everything with tongue firmly in cheek. I personally feel that Japanese games do this more often. Actually, Bulletstorm is a perfect example of the western equivalent (partly because its script was written in English by people from Poland).

    On the other hand, Japanese games actually get called out pretty commonly for their storylines. JRPGs are regularly criticized for their common shonen tropes, melodramatic bishonen characters, or what have you. Just look at the reception to FFXIII for a recent example, not to mention FFXIII-2.

  • So I'll preface this post with a couple warnings. First warning, the first part of this post will spoil Walking Dead Episode 3. Second warning, I think this is going to come off way more negative than I feel. I like the game, but am having some major issues as time goes on. Ok, spoilers from here until I close the warning.

    Ok, Telltale really blew the whole "story decisions matter" with Episode 3. They officially need to stop telling me at the beginning of an episode that my decisions matter, when clearly they don't. In Episode 2, they pretty much wrote off the major character death choice of episode 1 by sidelining the other character. This episode, they freaking kill off that character. It feels super cheap and mechanical. Episode 2's major choice of Kenny vs Lily is also completely written around this episode as well. No matter what choice you made, Lily is going to end up leaving or dead. That choice no longer matters. Seriously, they've funneled these decisions way more down than they need to. Especially with that warning in front of each episodes, it makes it feel even more mechanical and off-putting. Does that moment when the episode 1 character dies work on an emotional level? Sure, but that doesn't change the fact the decision was clearly made to funnel people's choices to where they want them to be for Episode 4. I've been seriously taken out of the game now. I no longer feel like there's a reason to care about the choices. I still love the narrative and game, but the major draw has completely been blown out the window. The only thing Telltale has done with the choices is make the characters react differently to me depending on what I've done. I give Telltale credit for that. It's neat. The problem comes when those characters will probably be dead next episode anyway. Why should I care what they think?

    Ok, spoilers done.

    Like I said, I like the game a lot. I just hope Telltale can restore my faith in their writing in future episodes.

  • Review Scores. The argument some of you were making that you can get away from the "one score"mentality is simply false. I actually work in testing and evaluation and this attitude comes up a lot. People everywhere find the idea of reducing something down to a single number very distasteful. However, a little thought will show why there is no escaping it, it is a natural phenomenon.

    You can't play two games at once. When you make the choice to pop in game A over game B, or even to play game A instead of watch TV show B, in that instant you have essentially "scored" A higher than B. No matter how many desperate factors went into that decision, you simply cannot decide between A over B unless you boil all those factors down to a single comparison A>B. There are an infinity of factors going into every decision. Your mind somehow weights each one and adds them up, otherwise you can't make a decision. The same goes for buying a game, buying a car, choosing to date someone, choosing to hire someone, anything.

    So this is why you always see ratings and rankings, and then people trying to aggregate and average these down to even fewer numbers. The number is just a proxy for a global subjective evaluation that takes EVERYTHING into account. I think maybe what you guys are saying is you would like the reader to go to the effort of reading the detailed review and coming to their own decision, but frankly this doesn't work very often. No review ever described even 50% of what a game contains. Instead they pick and choose a few pluses and minuses to mention. Its next to impossible to give a truly global summary of a game. Often you get vague statements about the positives, and then a lot of detail on the negatives, so you come away with a negative impression even if the reviewer loved the game! Alternatively, you might come away thinking a game is great based on a few statements, when in fact the sum product is pretty meh. . Only the review score captures their entire impression of the game and their own weighting of each aspect.

    Avoiding the summary score can actually be very misleading to your audience. This happened to me with Tera, I went out and bought it based on a few statements you guys said about how fun the combat was, only to drop it after about a week. Let me tell you, it's metacritic of 77, which I only looked at after buying the game, is much more accurate information. Guild Wars 2, currently sitting at a 94, has all the same positives Tera had (great combat system and graphics) plus a million more. The 94 vs. 77 tells you something different (and frankly something more important) than a verbal list of pros and cons about each game.

    As came up repeatedly on this episode, there are simply WAY too many games to play. When you start bringing in Iphone games and indie games, the number gets truly mind boggling. If we went out and bought every one of these that sounded like it might be fun, we would never have time to play 80% of them, much less go back and play a gem we missed like Lost Odyssey.

    I know its a painful job, but as a reviewer I see your #1 job as just making sure I'm aware of those masterpiece 5 star can't miss games (like Uncharted 2) that I need to make sure I play. That does mean giving out a lot of lower scores to "good" games. I don't need a reviewer's help to find "good" games because I already have stacks of good unplayed games lying around.