Weekend Confirmed 177 - EverQuest Next, Pikmin 3, NCAA Football 14

By Ozzie Mejia, Aug 09, 2013 11:00am PDT

This week's Weekend Confirmed looks at old things that are new again. Hosts Garnett Lee and Jeff Cannata welcome in Shacknews' Andrew Yoon and Insomniac's James Stevenson to discuss EverQuest Next and World of Warcraft before diving into NCAA Football 14 and Pikmin 3. After discussing listener feedback, the team discusses the use of game guides and whether they enhance or take away from the overall gaming experience. That discussion leads into a new round of Finishing Moves to send you into your weekend.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 177: 8/9/2013

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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 - 00:00:17 - 00:10:27

    Round 2 - 00:11:25 - 00:48:37

    Round 3 - 00:49:14 - 01:42:27

    Round 4/Finishing Moves - 01:43:02 - 02:27:56

Follow the Weekend Confirmed crew on Twitter, too!

Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @JeffCannata

Andrew Yoon @scxzor

James Stevenson @JamesStevenson

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Check out his latest music video, I Brought It Here, featuring cameos from Jeff Cannata and Christian Spicer on YouTube. 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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Comments


  • I have been listening to Weekend Confirmed for over a year now, and I'm embarrassed to say that this is my first comment. On the other hand, the topic I would like to touch upon has come up across several different shows now and I think this needs to be said, better late than never.

    Fridays are my favorite day of the work week for several different reasons, but one of the top 3 reasons has to be waiting around for Weekend Confirmed to listen to while at work. You guys are so talented and so funny and I love hearing your insight on all the various games you talk about. Garnett, Jeff, Andrew, Christian, Indie Jeff and all the others that I haven't mentioned, please do not take to heart any of the stupid internet hate that may pass your way. There are so many users in the comments that love and praise all of you, as well as many more people like me who listen to and love this show but have never bothered to make a shack account and comment themselves. Honest to goodness, in searching for more podcasts to listen to to hold me over until the next Friday, I can't even give an estimate as to how many times this show came up when I googled "best video game podcasts". NOT TO MENTION that one specific comment on GAF said "Weekend Confirmed is the best, Garnett Lee is awesome". Long story short, I love the show, I love you guys, don't stop doing what you are doing because its great.

  • As a male, you know what I find offensive? People suggesting that every muscle-bound violent dope of a character in any game ever is somehow just me playing out my "male power fantasy," meanwhile every exaggerated female character is nothing more than eye-bait for my prehistoric caveman brain that always demands sex.

    I find this incredibly insulting and deeply troubling, and more often than not, it's simply a way of completely dismissing effectively half the entire population's opinion on a matter. How could I possibly respond to that? The truth of the matter is I can't, because no matter what my opinion is it doesn't matter because I am a 'privileged male' just living out my "male power fantasy."

    I find this whole discussion (not this podcast in particular, I mean more along the lines of this whole controversy) insulting not just from my 'privilaged male' perspective, but looking on the women's side of the fence as well. What is being argued is that somehow it is deeply troubling and exceptionally harmful to the entire gender for women to be depicted in games with large breasts.

    Ignoring for a second the fact that there are fully natural women out there just as stacked as the Sorceress, what this argument is saying is that women are so weak and fragile that we have to protect them by making sure they aren't sexualized in any way, otherwise some unknown horrible thing will happen to the entire gender!

    So aside from the entire argument being flawed and silly, and incidentally insulting, the truth is that there is a logic behind the exaggerated body parts, not just in the women but also the men.

    Sorceress: She's voluptuous with wide hips and large breasts. Her class is the "support" or "priest" style character. Breasts and hips are symbols of motherhood and taking care of people, hence why that's her most exaggerated physical attributes.

    Elf: She's thin but with wide legs. Her class is the archer, but she's also agile and acrobatic, which requires a slender frame with strong legs. She looks like a gymnist and plays like one too.

    Amazon: She's very muscular with a focus on her 'behind.' As a berserker, it makes sense for her muscles to be crazy ripped, the lack of clothing represents the typical wreckless behavior of a barbarian/berserker class, and enormous legs and butt are also due to her acrobatic skills and strength.

    Dwarf: He's a walking boulder of muscle, but there's a reason for it. As the "throw" style class, he uses his low center of gravity and massive muscles to hurl his opponents every which way. He's very similar in stature to a sumo wrestler.

    Wizard: He's mysterious, serious, and slender. As a wizard, this makes sense, as wizard's are known for having immense intellect and to think before acting.

    Fighter: He's massively top-heavy with comically small legs. Once again, this makes sense. He's a heavy defensive-orientented character, and he's built like a defensive blocker on a football team.

    I don't understand why none of this is ever mentioned whenever this "controversy" is discussed. There are reasons for the art direction, but the question is always whether or not it's appropriate for the Sorceress to have large breasts.

    But even if there were no legitimate reason other than beauty, what's the harm in that? Haven't artists for hundreds of years depicted both men and women in an ideal fashion in sculptures, paintings, and just about every artistic medium in the history of humanity? Why do we suddenly have to be "ashamed" at sexualization? And isn't this shame far more harmful to women in the long run than exaggerated sexual characteristics?

    "Censoring" the female body or otherwise demanding that artists not depict women sexually will be what really hurts women. It will be reverting history back to the Victorian era, where women were used as nothing more than husbands and babymakers.






  • Thanks Garnett, i thought it was one of the best episodes in months!

    I appreciated the balanced discussion of constructive criticism with positives.

    I was a little worried that Garnett was going to troll Panderia from his tone at the start but it wound up being a balanced discussion in the end. I also appreciated how Garnett kept the Pikmin 3 conversation balanced.

    I have voiced my concerns about how I sometimes feel this podcast (and every other podcast for that matter) has gotten too negative. I hope this podcast keeps up the balanced discussion.



  • Question for Show 178 - After beating Pikmin 3 and hearing Andrew talk about it at length brought up a comparison to something - Smart Glass and like initiatives.

    We don't know the reasons why the GamePad was relegated to a map and "Go here" fuction. Perhaps it was because of the Wii to Wii U development? Perhaps it was due to a lack of creative vision on what to do with it? In any case, I found myself playing something Microsoft was singing from the mountains: having a second screen to access information and other game mechanics. Granted Pikmin 3 did not offer a lot of information or extra game play, but you could easily see where it could be applied. Andrew also made the case for individual group control, sub group selection, etc.

    So my question is simply this: Is the Wii U Game Pad a good representation of the potential strengths and weaknesses of the Smart Glass and similar projects and what can we learn (good or bad) from Pikmin 3 in developing for such a platform?


  • Hey guys first time threader, wanted to say you do a great job and I look forward to this podcast every week.

    I was just going over the new shack news numerical review system and I had some thoughts.

    For the review score on 6 it states that the game is a 'flawed' representation of its genre, failing to execute on new ideas. Is this saying that a game that doesn't represent new ideas is flawed, even if it executes everything that said genre consist of? I think the word flawed makes the review score 6 seem worse than 5. My idea of flawed could be a lot different than anybody else, I just feel that if a game is flawed it doesn't execute the genre at all, despite having new ideas or not. Let me know what you guys think and if I am just reading this completely wrong.






  • Great show y'all.

    Jeff Cannata: regarding guides. I bought a PS3 in 2009 after many years off from gaming. My first game was Uncharted 2, my second was Dragon Age. I had never played a modern Bioware RPG. Therefore, I didn't know you could romance other characters, and I mostly ignored the in-camp dialogue options. I later listened to podcasts and learned how much I had missed, and went back and played the whole game through again with plenty o' romance. If I had read about the basics of the game in a FAQ or spoiler-free guide before playing, however, I would have had a much deeper experience.

    On the issue of guides in general: I played Uncharted 3 without a guide and really enjoyed it. Then I decided to get the Platinum trophy, my first, and used a guide to get through that experience, which was great fun. So it was a helpful tool at the right moments.


  • On game guides-

    I only purchase guides for Final Fantasy games, and I usually only read the first few pages. Is that stupid? Maybe. But it’s been my tradition since FFVII- I take the guide with me wherever I go and learn the terminology and the gamplay basics, skim through to admire the art, and I’m done. I tell myself I’ll play through a 2nd time with the guide at my hip to get everything I missed, but that never actually happens (with the exception of FFVII).

    Right now I’m back to playing FFXII (put in 105hrs before and lost my save-this time I will beat it), and I am (barely) using the guide for full view of the license board.

    What irks me about some guides is when they tell you how to beat enemies, but they don’t want to tell you the story (‘Without spoilers, this is what you do to win’)-that drives me crazy because what happens is I watch a cut scene, don’t understand what I just saw, and the ‘guide’ I paid $30+ for tells me nothing, so from that point on I’m just lost. I want my guide to say ‘So this part of the story is complicated-here’s our interpretation.’, or ‘this part was complicated BUT everything will be explained later, for now, just keep these things in mind…- if you can’t wait though, skip ahead to pgs XXX-XXX.’ I almost feel like ‘guides’ are guiding me through the wrong part of the experience. Let me figure out how to beat the boss, you just make sure I’m up to snuff on the story please!

    On movie trailers-

    Just saw Elysium, and if you’ve seen the previews you’ve pretty much seen the movie. I absolutely hate it when I recognize the clothes the character is wearing and think ahead- ‘Oh this is the part where his arm gets broken…’
    But for me the WORST reveal of all time in a preview was in the preview for LOTR2- I’ve never read the books, and after seeing Gandalf fall in the first one I assumed he was just done. But then the PREVIEW for the 2nd one reveals he’s fine, and white (you know, instead of grey-not talking race here). How could they spoil that in a preview???? I’ll never understand.




  • On the subject of using a guide / more stuff:

    I use a guide when I feel the game does a crap job of explaining what I need to do in order to progress within the time I mentally allot it.

    So for example: Dark Souls does a shit job of explaining parry/reposte, humanity/kindling/bonfires etc. THUS I look at a guide.

    ...Which brings me to the next topic: NONE of you guys on the show can properly explain what Dark Souls is about, simply because in the first time in 1up yours/weekend confirmed history you do not have a balanced crew which saddens me deeply. Most discussions are just: game X is good and 3 other people go: I agree

    back to Dark Souls...

    ok so here is what Dark Souls is about: Dark Souls is the first game in modern day gaming where the game's goal is teaching you the game's mechanics and then telling you: "Here's an open world, it's a proper adventure (with treasure and monsters and stuff), have fun!"

    Dark Souls is NOT about banging your head over and over against a wall of mechanical hindrances. Dark Souls is the REVERSE of using a guide. You NEED to talk to your buddy to have him tell you: -dude....you need to go there
    -dude....beware of x

    Dark Souls is probably the only game where you can actually describe a location and have conversations with someone else that has played the game much like having conversations about a city because you've both lived there.

    Jeff Cannata: This is NOT the game where you want to figure out every one of it's systems, it's ridiculous to play the game that way. You could, but it would turn a 50 hour game into 200+ hours. The unique thing about Dark Souls is that even with a guide next to you, it's still more of an adventure then any other modern day game. In fact....the true secret of Dark Souls is: It's more 'adventure & zelda' than the Legend of Zelda nowadays is. Remember LOZ from NES? It's dangerous to go alone....that's it, "Here's an open world, it's a proper adventure (with treasure and monsters and stuff), have fun!"

    it is in fact the culmination of crowd based sourcing / online social network meets lone adventure.

    There is one other game that shares this property: Fez

    Fez at release turned the internet upside down because every message board was banding together to solve the mystery that was Negative Cubes in Fez.

    Garnett Lee: You've mentioned many times on the show how Dark Souls doesn't scratch the fulfillment itch of gaming because you're re-doing stuff over and over. Nothing could be further from the truth, This is yet another thing where Dark Souls is unique nowadays in gaming: It uses Death as a tool to teach you that you need to improve your skill as a player to progress. The learning of the skill IS the progression.

    /rant

    I've been meaning to write this post for a while but couldn't really find the time. Love your show and hope that you manage to diversify the cast a bit more. 8-4 Play / Camaflouj Radio do a GREAT job of having that one guy that can explain Dark Souls / niche stuff

  • On the topic of movie trailers and teasers being executed both poorly and in excellence, I would like to draw everyone's attention to what I believe to be the greatest teaser/trailer ever created:

    The Legend of Korra Season 2 trailer

    This trailer succeeded in a way that I did not think was possible. Before seeing this trailer, I have constantly found myself being unsatisfied with the length of teaser trailers, and just like Jeff, also being disappointed with the completely unnecessary amount of spoiler infested information being given by many of the current movie trailers. The trailer for Korra not only gave me that unsatisfied thirst that comes from the small sip of a teaser trailer, but I felt that the two minutes of mixed footage gave me so much to be excited about, yet gave absolutely nothing crucial about the story away!

    Now I am sure that if I were to slowly go through the video, pausing occasionally to dissect the information being shown, there would be something spoiled for me. However after the first watch it was enough. This trailer keeps me satisfied and unsatisfied in a way I previously believed was unreachable by simply watching a trailer. It finds the perfect balance.

    And to me, that is the magic of this trailer. (Plus the awesome music only decision creates the perfect atmosphere)





  • On the issue of guides in games like Fallout and such, where, supposedly, the whole point of the game is the experience:

    When I was playing Fallout 3, I got stuck on a part of the main quest, where I was confused as to what I was supposed to do. The game told me to talk to a certain person, but doing so brought nothing up that was helping me. For nearly 3 hours, I banged my head up against a wall, looking around for anything I may have missed, but nothing helped.

    Finally, I looked up a guide, which explained the issue- the quest was glitched in my save, and there was nothing I could do to continue the main quest line, short of going into the console command so I could go into no clip mode. So, if I had not broken down and looked at a guide, I may have wasted even more time trying to figure it out. This incident broke any trust in those style of games to be able to navigate through them without outside help.

    As a result, I have no more hesitation at looking up a guide for those types of games because if I come upon a roadblock, how do I know if it's due to a glitch or not? Why should I waste hours of my time because the game is bugged? Maybe it's ruining part of the experience, but that's an acceptable alternative to spending hours accomplishing nothing.


    As for the Dragon's Crown discussion-

    I felt it was unfairly misleading of Garnett to claim that the people criticizing the character designs were advocating censorship.

    Censorship is when you try to ban or alter a work to suppress aspects of that work that people find objectionable. This is not an attempt for censorship. They aren't asking for any kind of ban; they aren't asking retailers not to sell it; they aren't asking the government to punish Atlus, the game's publisher; they aren't asking that the content be altered or removed through a patch or a re-release. Nobody is making an argument about whether the developers have the right to release a game with this kind of content. As somebody who is uncomfortable with the designs, I found it frustrating to hear Garnett mis-represent the argument.

    I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he misspoke or didn't consider his word choice, but it would still be nice to get some sort of acknowledgement about it.


  • So, was listening to this podcast with my husband while eating dinner and I just have to chime on the whole guides issue.

    I am actually surprised none of you went into detail on min/maxing because that is honestly one of the biggest reasons I see to purchase a guide. On top of that reason, I feel like RPGs and games with a lot of collectables or trophies/achievements are another incentive to make guides almost mandatory. The way I see it, is that RPGs are the perfect genre for guides in particular because the individuals who purchase them want a more in depth or detailed experience than most. The hardcore RPG players do not just want to play an RPG game for the story but for the best of the best the game has to offer---the best gear, the best weapons, the best skills, and so on. Same goes with completion, you want to find everything and complete everything.

  • Regarding your discussion on Dragon's Crown, what truly surprises and vexes me is how none of you even considered that perhaps one of the reasons that Mr. Kamitani designs his characters the way he does and doesn't seem to care whether it ruffles our Western sensibilities or not (remember the kufuffle over his so-called "homophobic" exchange with a Kotaku writer months back) is because Mr. Kamitami is JAPANESE, and Dragon's Crown is a game designed for JAPANESE audiences first and Western audiences second. And I would not have it any other way. The game is Mr. Kamitami and Vanillaware's artistic expression, and they shouldn't have to water that down just because you or I feel uncomfortable with it.

    I'm not trying to suggest that Japan is somehow more sophisticated than North America, but they clearly have different cultural sensibilities that we have here in the West, and it's clear to me that it is in that environment that a game like Dragon's Crown can get made and people simply enjoy it for what it is. If you want to single out games for being sexist and peverse, there are far, far worse games than Dragon's Crown.

    And since we're on the subject of sensationalism, Garnett, let me ask you a question. You say that if the characters weren't so hyper-sexualized, it wouldn't have mattered to you. But would you have NOTICED the game as a beat-em-up with a truly unique, stand-out art style? Or would it simply have been lumped in a pile of recent 2-D beat-em ups that looked really pretty, like DUST? I'm playing devil's advocate here and probably hurting my own argument, whatever that may be, but I think it's a question that should be asked. The game's art style certainly gets a lot of eyes on it, and smaller Japanese games these days really need eyes on them to get noticed and sell well in the West, and Dragon's Crown is a rare example of a game that can push the boundaries a little but still be generally accepted by the mainstream because of our mainstream acceptance of Japanese games and Japanese anime.

    Dragon's Crown is a unique game that teeters on the borders between mainstream, niche and adult only. Yet because of the wider berth that we tend to give Japanese-anime and Japanese games, Dragon's Crown is able to weather the storm better than a western-developed title that tries to do the same (can't think of an example because there are barely any. Uh, Fight Girls?) And that's why you won't see an animated movie with designs like in Dragon's Crown, Garnett, because we simply can't abide that sort of "juvenile", "sexist" nonsense in the West. Yet we seem to have no problem with watching Final Fantasy Advent Children on DVD and observing Tifa's bouncing breasts and glimpses up her skirt when she fights...did anyone go after Squaresoft for that "travesty"? Go over to Japan proper and this is par for the course people, and that's the TAME stuff.

    As a game, Dragon's Crown is not doing anything that the Dead or Alive franchise hasn't already done in 3D years ago, and the game industry seems to have long moved on from the discussion on sexism and impropriety in that franchise. And just like DOA's former rockstar developer, Mr. Itagaki, Mr. Kamitami defiantly continues to plug on, making the kinds of games he likes to make, despite the controversy and criticism. THANK GOD for people like him, because I don't want an industry where games don't push boundaries and/or occasionally force us to question our values and sensitivities.

    As for the Dead Island pre-order "bust", I have to agree with James that in addition to the mutilated female torso being in absolute poor taste, outside of the game the statue has NO CONTEXT. To a fan of the game, or to a collector of horror memorabilia, the torso may be simply what it is, "Zombie Bait", and within the world of the game, it makes sense why it would exist (as sick as the concept is). But to someone who walks into your home and sees it on your shelf, or sees it on a webpage or in a magazine commercial, it's not a line of defense against a zombie horde, it's a mutilated, near-naked female torso, plain and simple, and while I might smirk at someone who has a statuette of Dragon's Crown's busty female wizard on their mantlepiece, I'd honestly question the mental state of someone who chooses to put a model of a mutilated female corpse on display. I wouldn't have demanded that the pre-order bust be recalled, but I can't say I'm unhappy that it got pulled. Live and let live.


  • I feel the way Jeff feels about movie trailers with games trailers. I've grown less interested in movies so I need to be sold in order for me to go see a movie. With games though if I know I'm interested I'm not going to watch any media about it. For example, I haven't watched that new GTA 5 trailer.When I was asked about it by a couple of friends I told them I was sold on GTA 5 when GTA3 came out. I see no point in me watching the trailer to get me more excited than I already am. Same thing with Saints Row 4. Hell that 20 minute E3 demo of Bioshock Infinite that everyone was going gaga over I didn't watch until I finished the game. (Man they changed a lot from that trailer).


  • I bought the collector's edition guide for Ni No Kuni and I used it for the exact same reason. I wanted to make sure I was maximizing what I wanted from the little monsters. Plus, it helped A LOT with the grindy monster hunting quests from the "Darwin" guy.

    And like Jeff, I don't like guides. I'm very much into exploration and having that "aha!" moment because of how rewarding it is without having it spoiled for me. But I will use guides when the game doesn't offer me enough information to help me plan things better, especially when it's such an integral part of the game or when there's a really difficult part of the game and I need some hints on how to pass difficult parts.

    I think it really depends on how you enjoy playing the game. I love RPing in gaming so I hate spoilers. I don't regret any decisions that I make when playing a game regardless of how many paths it splits into. Only after I've finished the game, will I look possibly look into what the other choices would have done. Unless, I want to play the game again to RP in a different way.

    And JEFF! WTF?! Don't play WoW like that! /cry There's so much fun in leaving yourself options and if you really want to do the rotation, you can create macros in game to help you instead of watching a mod to help you. Though... I do appreciate your awareness of the hypocrisy in your words. XD



  • I think Re: MMOs, a big piece of the experience I miss in this current generation of WoW style MMOs is a sense of a virtual life. The MMO I sunk the most time into ever is actually Ultima Online, which let you purchase property, open a shop, and had a crazy awesome user economy that was probably broken as hell, but super fun to immerse yourself into. You could hop in for 5 minutes after school and see how much money you made from an in-house shop, or spend an entire friday night taming animals, blacksmithing with friends, killing giant ants, and a variety of other content that made Ultima intensely immersive. You could buy a chess board and play chess in that game for cryin' out loud!