Weekend Confirmed 154 - PlayStation 4, Revengeance and Assassin's Creed 4

By Ozzie Mejia, Mar 01, 2013 11:00am PST

With Jeff Cannata still in Barcelona, Garnett Lee is joined this week by Xav De Matos and Andrea Rene. They bring the PlayStation 4 conversation to its conclusion with some final thoughts on last week's presentation event. That's followed by thoughts on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Crysis 3, and some early thoughts on this week's Assassin's Creed 4 news. And as always, a new round of Finishing Moves will ring in the weekend.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 154: 3/1/2013

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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 - 00:00:39 - 00:15:00

    Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1 - 00:16:09 - 00:58:48

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 01:00:15 - 01:27:49

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News - 01:28:41 - 01:56:57

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Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Xav De Matos @Xav

Andrea Rene @andrearene

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Information about Andrea Rene's Cancer Walk Walk with Sally

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...


  • Garnett, have you and the crew thought about what implications the SimCity fiasco may have for Microsoft if they decide to make the next-Xbox have an always-online connection to play all games on the system?

    It may be apples to oranges since the next-Xbox always-online thing is most likely just a DRM feature while SimCity is doing that plus a lot more on the server side.

    But it makes me wonder how big of a gamble that is for MS. If it goes wrong and they face the problems and server outages that plauge(d) SimCity and Diablo 3, it could make the RROD fiasco look like a walk in the park.

    Plus, if it went badly on Christmas day for instance and you have consumers lining up on Dec 26th to return their Xbox720's in exchange for a PS4, it could potentially be a deciding factor in the next-gen.

  • I'm a long time listener, but I've never commented until now. I hope to become far more active in the show threads, but for now I just wanted to hit the following points:

    @Jeff & Ryan- You will be missed! I can only keep praying that one day there is a WC Reunion show and we get to hear Bleahy's song once more time as well! Seriously, this better not be the last we hear of Jeff.

    @Garnett- I appreciate your commitment to this show. Honestly and sincerely, I love how personally you take the fan feedback, and I truly admire your constant effort to improve the WC formula. Also, you always apologize when the show spends too much time on political or social issues in gaming, but the mature and open way in which you have always discussed those issues is one of the biggest reasons I love your show so much.

    @Andrea- I love the fact that you are a constant on this show now. Your enthusiasm about games is refreshing and wonderful, and it's nice to have some female representation on the show. Keep being such an unabashedly huge fan of pokemon so that I don't feel bad about being one too!

    Just a side comment about the microtransactions in Mass Effect 3, and why I think they may be some of the best examples of how to do it right: Mass Effect 3 could have easily been what we were all afraid it would be, which is just another traditionally single-player AAA release that tacked on multiplayer so they could put it on the box. Instead, they invested in it, creating and supporting a multiplayer system that makes sense and is fun to play. More than that though, and what justifies the microtransactions is that they have continued to add value to it for free. Multiple expansions that add new levels, new challenges, new character and weapon packs, and even new difficulties have been coming out regularly since the launch, all completely free of charge. This goes directly in line with what Garnett was saying about producing content to keep players around. The game can be completely unlocked without ever paying a dime, but they encourage you to pay by adding in new content frequently, and hosting weekend events as well. While I understand the frustration of buying a pack and not getting the character you wanted, by randomizing player unlocks, they have done a wonderful job of keeping the multiplayer scene diversified, instead of letting everyone figure out which classes to min/max and leaving the rest alone.

  • Regarding micro transaction in games right now. I think people need to take a look at Gungho with their game "Puzzle and Dragons". It's the highest grossing app in Japan right now and is making more than $2million a day for the company. The game has been out for over a year now and it's still going strong, unlike most free to play games on mobile devices, the trend only usually last a couple of months than it tails off and no one talks about the game anymore because people who are willing to pay, will get to see everything they wanted and the ones who don't want to pay, will get tired of the game.

    Because the game isn't available in EU, I have to get the US and JP version to play with, which means there's no easy way for me to buy anything in game even if I wanted to. But, and this is a big but, I'm still on par progress wise compared to the people who DO buy the in game currency. The reason being that the in game currency buys you a chance to roll a rare pet from the gacha machine, you'll still need the skills and patience to level them up.

    Unlike most other companies that does micro transactions, who's out there to squeeze every penny out of you by putting up road blocks for every step you take in game. Gungho itself is VERY generous with giving players free in game currency, even if you don't spend anything, you're still able to save enough stones pretty quickly to play with. It's very enticing for players who don't normally pay for in game purchase to actually spend some money because they tempt you so much by giving you some really good stuff for free.

    The culture in Asia is more receptive to micro transactions than the western world, but if more companies adopt Gungho's way of dealing with micro transactions, by giving away lots of free stuff first before asking you to pay for it, I think more and more people will change their mindset about micro transactions in the western market. Most importantly tho, the game has to have substance and depth to be able to lure people in and make them stay in the first place.

    And if you haven't already tried Puzzle and Dragons, I think you're missing out on a great micro transaction game that doesn't actually need you to pay for it (but you'll feel obliged to)

  • Why can't we have more games with purely cosmetic microtransactions? That's what Sega is doing with Phantasy Star Online 2. Path of Exile's microtransactions are only for cosmetic items, variety items, and starting private leagues. DODTA 2's microtransactions are entirely centered on the cosmetic store. I'm sure there are other games that operate in similar ways.

    If Epic made some kind of free-to-play Gears of War horde mode game where all the maps and weapons were available from the start, I would probably be willing to pay for extra character and weapon skins. I'd buy Griffin in GOW3 right now if they offered him as DLC.

  • You guys are entitled to your opinions as far as how you felt about the PS Meeting. I think its the perception that you're looking at things in a vacuum that riles up your listeners.

    Everyone this involved in games should know how the cycle works. We've seen it before. Launch games aren't representative of what a console is truly capable of because devs are developing on a moving goal post as far as hardware, service features, and launch deadlines. Not to mention they are transitioning from old engines to new engines. To compare Killzone: Shadow Fall (a launch title) to Crysis 3 (the 3rd iteration of a PC game) is a little silly.

    Now extrapolate that out to the conference, and know that every developer showcasing a game is under those restrictions, and that is February. It just seems like people have unrealistic expectations, and from show to show...we never check them with regards to realities of development. I don't think you have to be a coder to recognize that, just reasonable. Call up J. Stevenson to testify. Its this exclusion of context and macro level view of the industry, with the addition of criticism and proclaimed disappointment that reads as cynicism. Just try to connect the dots more.

    ***SIDE NOTE / TANGENT****
    While Capcom hasn't made too many new IP that I care about, I applaud them for trying. Another company we don't really give that credit to (maybe because they double as a manufacturer) is Sony. Gaming needs Japan. Gaming needs Capcom. Gaming needs Sony.

  • About the free-to-play/microtransaction talk

    I think I managed to find the game that personifies the worst way to handle microtransactions and was a blatant cash grab by Square-Enix: Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.

    It's available on iOS for $3.99, which is cheaper than the full games ($15.99 for Final Fantasy IV), but it's loaded with microtransactiony goodness.

    I did a full write-up of it (link at the end), but here's the cliffnotes version to save you from wasting $3.99:

    The entire game is swipe to make your side attack. No strategy, just wait until the bar is full and attack. One hit from the enemy and you lose a guy. Lose them all and you have to wait three minutes for each one to recharge. Don't want to wait? Here have some magic hourglasses, 3 for 99 cents. Unless you spend a lot of time grinding (i.e. replaying the same exact battles over and over), you're not surviving most boss battles in one go.

    The characters you get are the generic classes (fighters, mages, sages, etc.), but you can unlock your favorite characters from other FF games (Cloud, Squall, Lightning, Cyclone etc.) by plunking down 99 cents a character. I'm sorry, I meant plunking down 99 cents for a 1:35 shot at your favorite character. The 35 bonus characters are 99 cents apiece with no ability to choose who you want.

    Also the game offers more generic swiping for $4 each in three other areas. At least with those you can choose which ones you want.

    All in all, this $3.99 game can theoretically nickel and dime you out of $50 easily.

    And it's not like SE didn't mean for this to be a cash grab. There were no previews, no announcements about it ahead of time. One day, it just plopped onto the iTunes Store with the promise of retro graphics, retro characters and the amazing music of Final Fantasy. Those three things it delivered on, sort of. The rest? A sad cash grab.


  • Truly sorry to hear about Jeff (I'm not as familiar with Ryan's work, but I'm sorry about him, too!). I saw the news yesterday and wasn't sure it would affect the Shacknews "arm" of the company or not, but apparently it did.

    Thankfully, Jeff has displayed a remarkable amount of talent and drive throughout his appearances on the podcast, as well as in his writing and coverage of indie games. With that kind of record of success, his chances at finding great things at another outlet are high. I can only assume that Ryan's in the same boat.

    Good luck to you both and, again, I'm sorry to hear the news.