Weekend Confirmed 130 - Wii U, Mark of the Ninja, Borderlands 2

by Jeff Mattas, Sep 14, 2012 11:00am PDT

Garnett Lee is joined by "Indie" Jeff Mattas and regular guest Andrea Rene for another round of Weekend Confirmed. On the docket this week are a number of topics surrounding the recent Wii U launch announcements, including some debate about pricing, the strength of its launch title lineup, and who Nintendo is courting as the console's core audience. Developer Klei's Mark of the Ninja gets some universal admiration from the crew, as well. Jeff has to skip out before the last segment, and Garnett and Andrea pull everything together with some early impressions of Borderlands 2 and, of course, Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 130: 09/14/2012

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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 00:00:35 – 00:30:58

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:31:50 – 01:00:41

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 01:01:26 – 01:28:23

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:29:04 – 02:01:04

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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.


  • I'm always amazed how Nintendo fans come out spewing fire when anyone makes a negative comment about any of their hardware. Say in any gaming forum that the Wii was a bad system or that you regretted or glad that you didn't buy one and you get Nintendo fans coming out of the wood work defending it. Well I'll say this for myself personally and then make some points about the Wii U. I loved Nintendo when I was younger. I played a lot of great games on the SNES, N64, and Gamecube. That doesn't change the fact that the Wii, regardless of it's success, was not a good system software and hardware wise when compared to the other systems. Put it this way, for all the supposed great games that came out on Wii think of all the great games that didn't come out on that system. Anyway I have some major concerns about the Wii-U

    1. HDD Space. You can't claim to be supporting digital purchases and give the system such pathetic HDD space. In a phone 8GB is too little, let alone in a HD console which has to render HD art assets.

    2. The controller. All I have to say is this, we certainly saw how devs used a unique controller to bring brand new and amazing gaming experiences to Wii owners last gen. People never said that Wii games were at their best when they used the motion the least. Certainly those same devs will bring their great talent and imagination to the tablet controller... (Side note, why would I want to look away from my awesome TV to a... blown up DS screen?)

    3. Dev resources. Best case scenario, sales wise, for the Wii-U it sells as well as the Wii. It captures the imagination of the public and it sells like hotcakes. You know what though, even with that optimistic view point, it will still run into a similar problem that the Wii did. The most talented 3rd party devs will not develop for it. The games will be ported more easily now since the controller has the same inputs as what is considered to be the standard controller but those devs will be devoting their time primarily to the offerings from Sony and Microsoft. Devs want power. They want room to try new things on screen, they don't want to be hampered by under powered hardware. Why do you think they've been bitching for the last couple of years for Sony and Microsoft to release new systems?

    4. PS3 and 360. this has to be said again. Devs have made it clear that the Wii-U, at best, is a slightly more powerful version of what has been available for 7 years. At best you get a slightly better looking version of a game that you can get on the other two consoles. True you can't get HD Nintendo games on the other two consoles but judging from last generation it's not like Nintendo releases their games with a lot of frequency.

  • Hey Garnet and Crew, I too was getting ticked off at all the negativity towards Nintendo but I see that the Shackers have already put you guys through the ringer:-). guys are not Nintendo's target audience. The Wii U message "Great for families and just core enough" probably doesn't resonate very well with most Shackers. But look at the big picture...Nintendo is going against giants like Sony and Microsoft. They would love love love to give you a console that can be next gen with ridiculous processing power...but the truth is they will probably be banking their company on it and then Sony and Microsoft will outspend them easily and succeed. There is no room at the top for 3 console makers who will make relatively the same console. Sony and Microsoft can probably survive taking bites out of each other in that market but not Nintendo. They tried competing head to head with the Gamecube and you saw what happened.

    So Nintendo can only do what they can do...they need to find that niche just like they did with the Wii...something that is innovative which is not based on how much advanced hardware you can pack into the console. Will this happen with the Wii U? I don't know but I really hope so. I use my PS3 more then my Wii but my most favorite gaming memories these past 2 years has been playing Kirby's Yarn, Mario Galaxy, Donkey Kong Country with my daughter.

    So cut Nintendo a break guys, you can be critical but at least give a little more viewpoints then just that the Wii U sucks. Bring Billy in or something.

  • I have very little interest in Xbox 720 or PS4, and that's thanks to Steam Big Picture mode. It's like I just got a console for my computer room. Those boop, boop water droplets when it starts up give me the warm fuzzies. I love it.

    The biggest advantage I've found from having this mode is it allows me to focus. Usually when I have Steam open, I'll get distracted by either my web browser, or just going through my games trying to figure out what I really want to play. Big Picture directs me to my games; it gives me a short list of games I'm currently playing, and lets me avoid feeling guilty that I'm not playing Magicka or The Undergarden or whatever else is sitting down at the bottom of my list. That list is still there, it's just not guilt tripping me when I just want to relax.

    I just finished Assassin's Creed 2. Been playing it off and on for .. a long time. Big Picture just sort of forced me to go ahead and finish it. (Also, Garnett, I really wish you'd had that conversation about AC2.. it really is an interesting one, having now played both it and the original AC.)

    Now I'm probably not your average gamer. I still have an SDTV in the living room, our only television, which the wife and kids monopolize on the weekends and evenings, so having a 'console' in the computer room that the kids can't take over is a wonderful oasis for me. Not having to buy a whole new crop of games is also wonderful. (I have a large backlog of games on Steam that I'm hoping this will force me to get to.) But really, this is the best thing that could've happened for me. I can kick back in my comfy chair in the computer room, fire up Big Picture mode, and play some games with the controller. I can get my console experience now without disturbing my wife, or having the kids climbing all over me. And guess what, it was free.

    There are problems; not every game has controller support, and of those that do, some of them have launchers you have to navigate with a mouse before you can get into game (hi Ubisoft). But I'm hoping more developers start to keep Big Picture mode in mind whenever they develop their PC games. I recommend people here give it a chance, if you have a 360 controller and a few games that support it. It's a really nice experience.

  • Aside from the gloomy Wii U talk, I almost forgot about Garnett's comments on the Tokyo Game Show (which starts this coming week). Sadly, I can't help but agree with him. I think it's indicative of the excitement waning from Japan's output in the industry, at least compared to what we see at E3, PAX, and Gamescom.

    More and more of the stuff shown at TGS over the last few years had had less and less pertinence to gamers outside of Japan. Less and less of it is for consoles, and every year more of it seems to concern games that are still a long way away from overseas release dates, if they even get released outside of Japan. Nothing really electrifying has come from TGS in a while, but we'll see...

  • A lot of the discussion in here makes me think Wii U may have a chance. At first I didn't give it much of a chance, but I'm more willing to see how it plays out.

    First, I don't look at the Wii as a "gamer" console. When we bought ours, I was 38, with two 8 yr olds and a 5 yr old. Within a year, every family like ours had one and even a majority of the couples without kids we knew had one. We pretty much all bought one for the gimmick of the motion control. Everyone played bowling at someone's house, where you acted like you were 'throwing' the ball and it was so much fun as a party game they bought one too for Wii Sports. A few folks I knew bought Guitar Hero (another gimmick game) and that was about it. The point in all of that is everyone I knew who owned one, couldn't tell you who made a XBOX or PS3 and they didn't play games on the PC. They were basically non-gamers and after the gimmick wore off, the Wii started collecting dust. My guess is the Wii craze at that time was made up of a lot of families and couples like the ones I knew. We bought a lot of kids titles, but I stuck with gaming on the PC. My first thought was that Wii U would not get 90% of them to upgrade and buy a Wii U and I don't see the game pad catching fire as the gimmick that sells Wii U. But, we'll see on that one, maybe I'm wrong and this will be the next great gimmick every kid has to have and it will be a huge hit. Like I said, 90% of the families and couples I know who had a Wii will not buy a WiiU, but that doesn't mean there are not a billion other people/families out there who are looking to buy their first console, like we did 4 years ago.

    Nintendo is very good at marketing to families and kids and, in my opinion, that is better for their bottom line than pushing the fact that you can play COD now on a Nintendo product. In fact, you wouldn't believe some of the comments I got from some of the other parents we know, who owned a Wii, when we said we were buying an XBOX. The fact that they know nothing more than what they see as they cruise the game isle with their kids at Wal Mart and compare game titles and box covers between Wii and XBOX/PS3 means nothing to them, they've got their opinion as to how violent and bloody the games are for one group and 'family friendly' they are for the other.

    Add the 'hardcore' market who buy everything and the Nintendo fans and this thing has the possibility to be big. Only time will tell and to dismiss it simply because if does nothing more than today's XBOX/PS3 leaves out a lot of other factors leading to it's success or failure.

    Just the rambling of a 42-yr old ex-gamer with 3 kids, full time job and not enough time to play in peace anymore.

  • Ok, to make it so I am not attacking anyone I am going to give some thoughts on the WiiU first and Nintendo Second.

    Wii U - the year old port comment is a little unfair. Yes Mass Effect 3 and Batman are coming out, but so are Assassin’s Creed 3, and COD, the two largest releases of this year along side their other platform contemporaries. Darksiders 2, Tekken and Madden coming out a few months after their other console counterparts. Add to that some exclusives like Rayman and you get a decent smattering of games. Better third party representation than Nintendo has had in years. Problem is those games are available on other platforms and I will dig deeper into that in the Nintendo Section.
    As time goes on Pikmin, Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2 etc. will flesh out the library and new announcements from Nintendo 3rd party will come.

    As for the confusion about the off screen play, I expect to use that feature all the time. I expect that when my wife and I are having the last few hours of down time at the end of the day we will flick on the TV and I will play multiplayer off just the pad. Chat with her about current events or the show on in the BG between spawns, I don't play that seriously. I may be unique in that I see the features like off TV play as more central than playing with both screens. I have precious little spare time, I often have to choose between TV time with the Mrs. and game time, if this means I don't have to short change my wife as much and I get more game time I win.

    I also like party games so the asymmetric stuff sounds fun. My friends and I play local multi a lot so the ability to play full blown COD co-op off one system appeals. Again the factors of my life and taste are different than that of the people on this show, but that is why I am posting, not to debate you, but to offer a different point of view.

    Finally I think getting COD etc. on Wii U is less about people with 360s and more for people like my older Brother. He wants to get into games, but his wife says she will end up widowed, so if he could go off TV when she wants to be around, but not actively engaged with him he can get in some play time.
    On Nintendo and 3rd parties - I think they may have painted themselves into a corner here. Most "Hardcore Gamers", for lack of a better term, buy all consoles, they purchase the Nintendo console, because there will inevitably be that Mario Galaxy level experience they don't want to miss out on. Unfortunately that means they don't play much else on the system and resent the full purchase cost of the hardware.

    My new theory becomes that whether that "Hardcore Gamer" realizes it or not what they want is a Playstation or/and Xbox with a variety of first and third party content, along with a Nintendo platform with just as much content as each of those systems without any title overlap. Its increasingly frustrating for Nintendo seeing as how Sony and MS are not held to the same standard and their libraries overlap big time without causing a stir, meanwhile Nintendo has to have a library just as large with entirely exclusive high quality content. This would either be achieved by Nintendo being able to produce way more first party than possible or by having third parties making AAA tent pole releases just for Nintendo at the same time as making entirely different AAA tent poles for the other two platforms. In both scenarios the resources just don't exist.

    Maybe that will be why Nintendo eventually falls off, the also ran place they put themselves in means that course correcting does not work because it just gives them the same titles as are available on other platforms and that's not what this community wants, but its the best I think they can offer.

    Love and Peace.

  • Here are the launch titles for Day 1

    - Rayman Legends
    - Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
    - Assassin’s Creed III
    - ZombiU
    - Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
    - Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
    - Scribblenauts Unlimited
    - Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
    - Rabbids Land
    - Just Dance 4
    - Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
    - Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
    - MADDEN NFL 13
    - NBA 2K13
    - Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013
    - Game Party Champions
    - ESPN Sports Connection
    - Darksiders II
    - Nintendo Land
    - New Super Mario Bros. U

    Pretty impressive !

  • As far as Nintendo winning back the hardcore, I don't think they necessarily need to "out-CoD" the competitions, but if they can find and fill a niche, something that appeals to a hardcore crowd but doesn't necessarily need the highest of the high end hardware to run, then they've at least got a foot in the door.

    For instance, and I admit that this is anecdotal, but upon hearing the announcement for SMT IV, I've read several comments to the effect of "well that settles it, I'm getting a 3DS." Atlus' support for that system has been fantastic, and considering how quickly they got on board, I'd like to hope that it's worked out well for them.

    The Wii was in a tough spot when it came to finding a niche because there was only so much you could do with the remote, but the game pad, whatever else you might have to say about it, at east does have enough control features that even if not all of them are supported all the time, at least it won't constrain game design.

    Maybe the WiiU becomes the go-to place for Bullet Hell shooters? Menu heavy JRPGs? Turn based strategy games? Retro-styled indie games? Minecraft clones? Roguelikes? A pinball game with a table creator/editor?

    A man can dream, can't he?

  • Can we please stop acting like it's a foregone conclusion that everyone's Wii/3DS/Vita/PSP/Whatever is off in a corner collecting dust?

    Sure, if you're splitting your time between 3 consoles, a PC, 2 handhelds and 2 smartphone platforms, yeah, not everything is going to get the attention it deserves. People like me don't have that kind of time or monetary budget, we can't buy hardware we're not prepared to commit to.

    As it stands, I've gotten hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of my 3DS thus far, playing an even combination of first and third party games in a diverse range of genres. I've been burned on a couple titles, (the Sims3 for 3DS is a really, really shoddy port with most of the content stripped out) but I'd say at a ratio that's about on par with the PC and 360.

  • I love Nintendo games so in turn i like having my Mario, Zelda and Metroid playing box, but i have zero interest in Wii U at this moment until better games are announced. Also you guys were talking about Nintendo not having a dvd or blu ray in the Wii U and being mad. I agree that it was stupid the Wii did not have a dvd player but now on the Wii U it's not a big deal. The Wii U will have Netflix and i think Hulu on it and I just realized you guys didn't bring up that point.

    Nintendo showing off the Wii U two years ago at E3 was a complete disappointment and so was this years E3 and now that its two months away i'm still disappointed. When next years E3 rolls around and Microsoft and Sony show what they've been cooking up I believe both of them will blow us away with their new consoles.....unlike Nintendo