Weekend Confirmed 156 - Tomb Raider, SimCity

By Ozzie Mejia, Mar 15, 2013 11:00am PDT

This week, Garnett Lee welcomes back his partner-in-crime, Jeff Cannata, along with Nikole Zivalich and Marcus Beer of Annoyed Gamer fame. It doesn't take long for Garnett and Jeff to have their first friendly disagreement, like all couples do, as they have a spirited debate about Tomb Raider. There's also talk more about SimCity and its tumultuous roads (that may or may not be curved), as well as God of War: Ascension and Mass Effect 3's Citadel DLC. And after her epic Pokemon rant, Nikole Z's ready to give everyone an encore when she talks Gears of War.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 156: 3/15/2013

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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 - 00:00:36 - 00:35:05

    Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1 - 00:36:32 - 01:05:57

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 01:06:34 - 01:37:10

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News - 01:37:55 - 02:09:51

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Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @JeffCannata

Nikole Zivalich @NikoleZ

Marcus Beer @AnnoyedGamer

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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 am absolutely shocked at the way that everyone in the epsiode reacted to the God of War trophy. Saying that the trophy is awarded for beating a woman to a bloody pulp is utterly false. They make it sound as if you beat her, then get the trophy. This was the same thing that Adam Sessler did. Leaving out the fact that the trophy refers to what an NPC does (not what Kratos does) completely changes the argument, and is totally irresponsible.

    I agree with Marcus that a ton of male video game journalists hop onto the bandwagon to get hits by writing about this stuff. I think the worst offender of this is on another podcast that I love. But calling people out for doing this and then leaving out a vital detail yourself is hypocrisy.

  • Hi

    Bit late to the comments. Tomb Raider is a great game, lots of points made were great and proved what made the reboot great.

    Also, I have noticed you guys like interrupting Nicole or when someone is making an argument. Not sure how others feel, but its childish and really rude ,it makes me feel like I should stop listening to this podcast (granted I have only listened to 30+ episodes).

    Please Garnett, do NOT apologize for what you said in this podcast. I notice you do this as if to peddle back on what you said before. Accept what you said and move on to the next subject.

  • John Riccitiello is stepping down as CEO of EA at the end of this month.

    I'm conflicted. He came into the job with the right idea, trying to get EA to stop relying entirely on a narrow range of yearly titles for their revenue, and create new IP that would ensure their strength in the future.

    But after trying it for like, 2 years (Dead Space, Army of Two, Mirror's Edge, Skate, etc), apparently there was enough internal pressure (or pressure from investors) to change course entirely and basically try to emulate Activision in every way.

    So all the company's money went into those same core franchises, and super-expensive projects to compete with Activision in completely over-saturated markets (modern shooters, MMOs, etc). They changed course mid-way through his tenure, which is weird and really difficult for any major company to do.

    On the other hand, EA has been a complete shit-show since 2010, so hopefully they can get somebody in who will focus on the service element of gaming and not send smaller projects out to die while focusing on the Activision penis-envy projects.

  • “What could one do to create a game experience that gives a player something that’s fun to do…that isn’t killing?”

    This question reminds me of Dante’s Inferno (the game). When I saw the first preview for it I laughed and thought ‘They just had to make it so that you kill stuff.’ Before seeing the preview, but knowing the game was being produced I was thinking they were gonna make something more like ‘Ico: In Hell’-where you play as a poet (or his guide), and try to make your way to paradise. I didn’t expect to do any killing, but instead to just wander through dark and beautiful, but intricate (puzzles) environments with a very character driven story to keep the player interested (mostly about Dante, but also about the other famous residents that he meets-who wouldn’t be excited to have a dialogue with Helen of Troy or Judas Iscariot in a videogame?). Maybe you’d try to help ease the suffering of the inhabitants somehow, or maybe you’re given tasks to complete so you don’t join them, or both, but the emphasis would have been on adventure more than action.

    I’d still like to see a reboot of what was released.

    …And for Nikole’s Chronicles, could she do movies? Prometheus (and the Aliens movies)????

  • I just want to say: I hope none of the listeners out there are basing their decision to buy (or not buy) the Citadel DLC based on the conversation this week.

    I love Nicole, and I found her description of the DLC hilarious (as I believe it was intended to be), but I felt like Jeff, Garnett, and Marcus were taking Nicole's whimsical summary as a hard-lined review, and thus trash-talked it a bit.

    The point I feel was missed in this week's discussion is that the Citadel DLC is pure 100% fan-service. Its a chance to revisit all the characters you've come to know and love throughout the Mass Effect trilogy, take them on a fun adventure together, and see them in some hilarious social circumstances. Many ME fans in the community are calling it "the perfect sendoff". So I would hardly say Mass Effect has "jumped the shark". It's a fun, light-hearted adventure with lots of genuinely funny dialog and character moments.

  • I think there are games out there that do not feature combat as a selling point. Just look at Journey, Minecraft, or Portal. All three are excellent games and we can expect to see more games like them. They just don't appeal to every gamer out there.

    The issue is that many gamers want the immediate satisfaction and excitement that most modern AAA games provide (at least some of the time). Even the lot of you who want better, non-violent games also want violent games. And there is the issue; the big money goes towards what will sell more games to more people.

    There is a pretty good corollary with movies here: most of the top 10 grossing movies every year also appeal to a lower common denominator. When most people go to the movies, they usually want to be entertained, ergo The Avengers earning the top slot. Was it a good movie? Yes. Was it profound and moving like Lincoln? No. Nor was it meant to be.

    Still, both movies still got made. I saw both in theaters multiple times. They both made money. There is room for both. Just don't expect "good" movies (or games) to outperform or replace "entertaining" movies (or games).

  • Two quick things to say:

    In the new SimCity things generally take a while to get better. There are no instant plop-this-and-fix-it solutions which means you actually have to pay attention to your city before thing go to shit. If you throw down a clinic and a few ambulances and people are still complaining about health issues, you're either zoning them too close to pollution or you need to fix your traffic situation. All you have to do is pay more than the absolute minimum amount of attention.

    As far as Tomb Raider goes, it is definitely not a shooter first. The shooting was AMAZING and I loved the cover system, but in terms of time spent playing I'd have to estimate my time with it was something like 50% traversal/exploration, 35% sneaking/stealth kills, 15% shooter. That's the great thing about it. If you want to take your time to enjoy the environments and systematically take out your enemies, there's room in the game to do that. And if you're determined to dislike the game and want to force yourself into a combat-driven gameplay loop so you can bitch about it later, you're free to do that too.

    I'll listen to the rest of the podcast later.

  • The separation for me between Uncharted and Tomb Raider is a matter of tone.

    From minute one Uncharted is winking and laughing at everything going on, the characters exist for the story and really aren't trying to change they are just caught up in the adventure (much like Indiana Jones or better Han Solo(who does aid in killing a LOT of people it should be pointed out)).

    Tomb Raider wants to have it both ways, it wants you to REALLY care the first time you off a dude and then never again, it wants to make you think it is a survival game and be upset about the deer but then never have to worry about it again. The content of the story and the gameplay are completely at odds because they go for completely different tones.