Weekend Confirmed 136 - Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Forza Horizon

By Andrew Yoon, Oct 26, 2012 11:00am PDT

Host Garnett Lee is back this week, with some disappointing revelations about Forza Horizon. But before that, Jeff Cannata "turns a corner" on the Wii U, talking up the possibilities of Nintendo TVii. Andrew Yoon rants about Medal of Honor: Warfighter, while special guest Andrea Rene gets passionate in this week's Tailgate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 136: 10/26/2012

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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, Part 1 - 00:00:27 - 00:15:44

    Round 1, Part 2 - 00:16:12 - 00:29:53

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 1 - 00:30:42 - 01:01:41

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 - 01:02:47 - 01:31:45

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News - 01:32:15 - 02:03:55

    Tailgate - 02:04:31 - 02:14:24

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Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata

Andrew Yoon @scxzor

Andrea Rene @AndreaRene

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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.

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  • I'd like to start the official "how the F%$# did Ubisoft screw up Assassin's Creed 3 so badly?!" thread.

    I'm still very early into the game (about 2 hours in), and I've already come close to smashing my game disc with the damn statue that came in the Collector's edition and throwing the entire thing out the window.

    * Lack of technical polish.

    At times, the game looks incredible. But just as often it looks down right ugly. The visual and audio presentation is constantly marred by strange hiccups and annoying performance issues. EVERY SINGLE TIME you talk to an NPC the screen does this annoying "fade to white" effect while it loads the in-engine cutscene. Lots of games do this, but never have I seen it happen so frequently. The early portion of the game involves a lot of "talk to this NPC, walk 15 steps, talk to another NPC, walk back 10 steps, talk to yet another NPC", etc. With the screen bursting to white at the beginning and end of every single exchange, no matter how short.

    During these fade-outs, the audio will often do strange things. You'll hear the ambient sound change to a new environment, then change back, all while the visuals are still loading.

    The graphics engine itself is also shockingly inconcistent. There is a moment right at the very beginning of the game that features Desmond walking through a tunnel with a little glow-stick hanging from his belt. I was quite surprised to see that the glow stick did not cast any dynamic shadows through the environment. The lighting just looked all wrong. But then the screen fades to white for an 8 second cutscene, fades back, and suddenly the glow stick IS casting dynamic shadows.

    The animations have always been one of the most impressive elements of an Assassins Creed game, but in AC3 they have taken a step backwards. Your character seems to bounce his way up walls and ledges as if he ways 10 pounds, completely lacking the sense of weight or momentum that made the climbing animations so impressive in previous AC games.

    * Bad design

    I was worried that adding gunplay to AC3 was a bad idea, and so far I've been proven VERY right. The guns completely ruin the combat. Firing them is clunky and not remotely intuitive, and reloading takes FOREVER. Historically accurate? Sure. Fun? NOT AT ALL.

    The sword combat is great, but the game puts you into situations that force you to use your guns. One early example is a mission that requires you to escort 2 NPCs while protecting them from enemy patrols. All the enemy NPCs are using muskets, which forces you to engage at least some of them from long range. This devolves into firing a shot, then standing still for a full TEN SECONDS while you reload your gun. Then fire again. Repeat. Dullest. Combat. Ever. I'd much rather just scale the building they are firing from and take them out from close range, except that leads to them firing on the useless NPC teammates I'm supposed to protect.

    And the climbing mechanics still haven't been improved. Your character will still seem to get stuck on invisible walls, forcing you to stop your movement until the game randomly decides to allow you to keep going. It's been 5 games guys. Fix this.

    * Poor choice of setting / time period

    I really cannot figure out why Ubisoft thought it would be a good idea to set a game like Assassins Creed in revolutionary Boston. Florence, Vennice, and Rome were beautiful, charasmatic, and mysterious locations. Boston in AC3 is just.... ugly. It is a dirty, muddy, dull location. To their credit, Ubisoft has done an amazing job of making Boston feel like a living, breathing place... it just isn't a place I'd ever want to go. It fails to create any desire for exploration or discovery; something AC2 thrived on.

    Ugh. That's enough ranting for now. Anyone else played this game yet? Am I freaking crazy here, and just missing all the good stuff? I really want to love this game, but so far it is just awful.

  • I don't know if I've posted about this here before, but I'd actually like to defend RE6. Just a little bit.

    I'm not saying it's an excellent or even great game. I'm saying that there actually was a really good game buried in there somewhere. I think calling it "unplayable" reeks of massive hyperbole.

    Let's get things straight - the story was as nonsensical as RE ever is, the franchise has dropped all pretense of survival horror, the vehicle sequences are utterly unnecessary, and the constant QTEs and scripted events are pretty terrible. There is a lot wrong with RE6, but there were times when I actually enjoyed the core gameplay loop a lot.

    The problem is that RE6 does a horrible job of teaching people how to actually play it, because when played right it's nothing like Gears or really any other third person shooter. It controls like those games (with a frankly impressive amount of tweaking options) but the way you're supposed to do things is different.

    The game does almost nothing to tell players about the dodging abilities, the weapons that affect each enemy the most, how to set up enemies for melee kill-shots, or really any of the special moves you can do that become important to surviving the game. I didn't even discover most of the coolest gameplay elements to RE6 until Jake's 3rd chapter - after I'd played all of Leon and Chris.

    Jake's first two chapters were crap, but the game clicked for me the first time I tossed out a flash grenade to daze some enemies, equipped my remote mines, dashed and slid past said enemies, and planted the mine at their feet mid-slide.

    In an interview one of the main designers from Capcom even noted how a full tutorial was the one major thing he didn't get the chance to put into the game.

  • I glad to here someone else in public that still needs to be sold on the WiiU. For me it all stems from something further back, I have not been able to get the DS or 3DS to be enjoyable experiences at all and the influence of those two devices is clear as day on the WiiU hence my trepidation. It all feels like an exercise in how much stuff can we cram into this which is something I am always wary of. I like my hardware the same way I like my interfaces and my software. Razor sharp and to the point.

    The WiiU feels like a something for everyone device and that mindset which should prove useful for their pocketbooks doesn't inspire hope from me as a consumer.

    My biggest fear is how this approach will affect the other 2 console designers in the next gen and that worries me, it is already creeping in with SmartGlass which looks to just be an Artbook only digitized and displayed while you play, which I don't want to view while I play.

    Also how much do you guys wanna bet they aren't selling the controller in NA at launch is partly because they are going to do a WiiPad XL with Multi-Touch at sometime in the future.

    (I do really want to play Monster Hunter though, fucking Capcom and their being a traitor to the PS2 then the PSP)

  • Just wanted ot say my thoughts on the whole selling out or PR relationships with "game journo's"

    my thoughts are this, look at the world as everyone is a human, some of us are rich, some poor, some fat some thin, some smart some not. some people in "game journo" get to play games, and GET PUT ON A PEDESTAL just because he or she gets to talk about games that other people listen to. this fact alone makes it possible for anyone trying to sell or get a game recognized use that persons pedestal to try and get the game "out there".

    so yes while i respect people in "games journalism" i also know that if i suddenly put them on a pedestal about how "oh they know games the best and i must listen to what they say almost as verdict" then i have become the problem, not that they may have used a hashtag for a game or anything because of a PR person who got to them. i will go look at the game MYSELF and use the thoughts and words of the person i respect as a guidline to MY OWN THOUGHTS.

    the problem with the world today is things are SO EASY for people to not think for themselves or form opinion that may be different then those they see as a hero or on a pedestal of respect like muscisians, politicians, tv/movie stars, radio DJ's, that what happens is they dont even try. how many times do you ask someone a question because thats easier then googling it for yourself and owuld take the same amount of time to finsd out. it's just where most of society has gotten, this is why it only takes one person to tweet or say something that is a blantant lie, to go viral and become the "truth" because of societal concerns.

    so the message is, think for yourself, study things, it wont waste your life to take the time to form your own opinions based on knowledge, not what you have "heard/read". look at how much meta critic is used for bonuses and probably purchases by people, because most people just use review scores to tell them what they like, because its easier and has worked for them in the past.


    /end rant

    sorry if this made no sense or is gramaticaly bad or has bad spelling, it was more of a stream of conscious type of rant. thanks for having a website and podcast that allows this kind of rant/thought, and thankyou for talking about it.