advertisement

Weekend Confirmed 184 - Steam Machines, Grand Theft Auto 5

by Ozzie Mejia, Sep 27, 2013 11:00am PDT

Weekend Confirmed begins with a cookie invasion! Hosts Garnett Lee and Jeff Cannata bravely fend off the Cookie Clicker attack brought on by The Escapist's Andrea Rene, but not before sadly losing Shacknews' Andrew Yoon to the cookie onslaught. After everyone regroups from the Great Cookie Clicker Invasion of 2014, the team discusses Valve's revelation of Steam Machines before diving into some more Grand Theft Auto V. After discussing GTA's advancements in gameplay and some more character discussion, it's time to move on to Tokyo Game Show, where Andrew talks about some of the best things the event had to offer, including Dead Rising 3, D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, Kinect, and Vita TV. The show wraps up with a new slate of Finishing Moves and the post-show Tailgate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 184: 9/27/2013

Subscription Links:

Here's a handy pop-up player so you can listen from right here on the page. Let us know how it works for you.

If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 184 directly.

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 - 00:30:02

    Round 2 - 00:30:39 - 01:04:31

    Round 3 - 01:05:51 - 01:30:26

    Round 4/Finishing Moves - 01:31:13 - 02:08:32

    Tailgate - 2:11:54 - 2:22:13

The Press Row Podcast is the official podcast of Operation Sports, your home for sports video games. The best sports game writers in the business from Kotaku, Polygon, GamesRadar, Joystiq, PastaPadre and Operation Sports join host Rich Grisham to analyze the victories, struggles, challenges, and solutions that creators and consumers face in modern sports game design.

Follow the Weekend Confirmed crew on Twitter, too!

Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @JeffCannata

Andrew Yoon @scxzor

Andrea Rene @andrearene

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.





Comments

  • After listening to the podcast for 184 and 183 - talking about GTA, I had to pick it up.
    Yes - the negativity of Jeff, then Jeff and Andrea made me REALLY want to try it out for myself.

    I feel that the 3 main characters, at least so far, are not as "bad" as people are saying - even on these threads.

    MIke - The first Mission of the game, after someone shoots someone, he didn't like it. He has a lot of negativity toward his family, but holy crap, if you watch any of those exchanges, I would be too.
    Franklin - Same Thing. He doesn't want to follow the same path as his drug fueled idiot "friends".
    Trevor - Smartest guy of the 3 who has some "rage issues" but also has a heart to a degree as well.
    Does anyone not remember what happens directly after "the scene"? Airport?
    Does anyone notice that Trevor has an option soon after you meet to kill someone or not to after the trailer goes into the water? (Trying not to spoil anything).

    These are dynamic characters.

    They are all relatable to different people for different reasons.
    Mike being a middle aged "former" crook now dealing with his ungrateful family, and dealing with the stresses that being a dad has. Take the former crook part out....that is a lot of people.
    Franklin is similar. Poor guy trying to make something of himself...doing it the way he knows how. That NEVER happens. There is not anyone that is like that.
    Trevor - Hyper intelligent person that does basically what he wants, is aggressive and the littlest thing sets him off. No one else knows anyone like that? Maybe not to the violent degree....but the personality type, for sure.

    The reality - GTA 3 and Vice CIty - the main protagonist never even spoke. It would be difficult to feel out the narrative, but it has always been on the side of overblown...but for the most of us, especially people who have played the series, we know that is what to expect.

    It is too bad there isn't a strong female character in it. Even if it was a powerful drug lord or something, but with that in mind...the same could be said about races and ethnicity.

    It is a Rockstar game. We have been taking prostitutes into allies and watching the car rock for a over a decade. We have dumped bodies. We have killed people good and bad in every way I can think of. We have ran over and shot 'for fun" millions of people over the series and in so many other games as well.

    Why?

    It is simple - because we can't do it in real life without consequences. It is an escape simulator that for some, is too close to real life, since 95% of what happens could happen in real life. However, at the end of the day, it is simply lines of code. You turn it off with your finger, and you move on with your life.

  • After listening to the podcast for 184 and 183 - talking about GTA, I had to pick it up.
    Yes - the negativity of Jeff, then Jeff and Andrea made me REALLY want to try it out for myself.

    feel that the 3 main characters, at least so far, and as "bad" as people are saying - even on these threads.

    MIke - The first Mission of the game, after someone shoots someone, he didn't like it. He has a lot of negativity toward his family, but holy crap, if you watch any of those exchanges, I would be too.
    Franklin - Same Thing. He doesn't want to follow the same path as his drug fueled idiot "friends".
    Trevor - Smartest guy of the 3 who has some "rage issues" but also has a heart to a degree as well.
    Does anyone not remember what happens directly after "the scene"? Airport?
    Does anyone notice that Trevor has an option soon after you meet to kill someone or not to after the trailer goes into the water? (Trying not to spoil anything).

    These are dynamic characters.

    They are all relatable to different people for different reasons.
    Mike being a middle aged "former" crook now dealing with his ungrateful family, and dealing with the stresses that being a dad has. Take the former crook part out....that is a lot of people.
    Franklin is similar. Poor guy trying to make something of himself...doing it the way he knows how. That NEVER happens. There is not anyone that is like that.
    Trevor - Hyper intelligent person that does basically what he wants, is aggressive and the littlest thing sets him off. No one else knows anyone like that? Maybe not to the violent degree....but the personality type, for sure.

    The reality - GTA 3 and Vice CIty - the main protagonist never even spoke. It would be difficult to feel out the narrative, but it has always been on the side of overblown...but for the most of us, especially people who have played the series, we know that is what to expect.

    It is too bad there isn't a strong female character in it. Even if it was a powerful drug lord or something, but with that in mind...the same could be said about races and ethnicity.

    It is a Rockstar game. We have been taking prostitutes into allies and watching the car rock for a over a decade. We have dumped bodies. We have killed people good and bad in every way I can think of. We have ran over and shot 'for fun" millions of people over the series and in so many other games as well.

    Why?

    It is simple - because we can't do it in real life without consequences. It is an escape simulator that for some, is too close to real life, since 95% of what happens could happen in real life. However, at the end of the day, it is simply lines of code. You turn it off with your finger, and you move on with your life.










  • I don't agree that GTA5 does not have a message, or that the message is muddled. It has a very clear message. But it's not one a lot of people want to hear. The message is that the current (western) world is a shallow, vapid, unbalanced mess. The whole game is a big middle finger to modern living. And apparently, a lot of people don't like hearing that. Especially since the game does not take sides. While pretty much every joke in GTA4 lead to the punchline "republicans / conservatives are stupid" There are no safe spots to hide in GTA5's criticism of modern society. In GTA5 we are all part of the problem. If the parody falls flat, it is only because reality has far surpassed the most crazy scenarios that any sane and reasonable person could come up with.

    For example, not too long ago a fast food restaurant using it's most overweight customers as a spokesperson, advertising it's burgers with warnings they could cause death, and waitresses in nurses uniforms would be a parody on the radio or TV in GTA. But the Heart Attack Grill is a very real place in this day and age. As a result, the exaggeration in GTA no longer feels like one. While GTA used to be a fun-house mirror, it now seems like a real one. The people entering the fun-house still expect the funny mirrors to be there, but when they look into them, what they see does not seem distorted enough. So they leave confused, thinking: this is not what I came here for.

    I don't blame that game for this. I blame the very thing GTA5 points it's middle finger at. Modern life.


  • RE: Steam Machines

    I listen to a few gaming podcasts (GWJ, Besties, Weekend Confirmed), and a common opinion I'm hearing about Valve's announcements last week was: "Who is this for?! Everyone already has a PC, and we don't need it to be console-ified. I could maybe see this useful for easily streaming games from my mega-gaming-rig into my living room. But it's gotta be cheap, and these things are going to be too expensive for that."

    I've been really itching for a Steam box for a while, and I'm thrilled about this announcement. I'm a student, and I've been a "console gamer" for the past 5 years; not by choice, but by circumstance. I got a laptop, and that became my only computer. It's no good for games, but it's good for school/work. I don't have any space where I could even set up a "PC gaming center" in my one bedroom apartment. My gaming happens in the living room. I considered getting a PC and hooking it up in my living room, but that just never happened. Because: "Hey, my computer does all of the computer stuff that I need it to do, and my consoles let me play a bunch of games. So, I just can't get another computer right now. Maybe one day, when I have a real job, and a bigger place, and tonnes of money. Right?"

    As of late, games are more often coming out on PC before consoles. Or, if they're launched alongside consoles, the PC version looks better. Or, they're only released on the PC. I am continually hearing about great games that I wish I could be playing, but I just can't because I have no access to that library. Rogue Legacy comes to mind. I am becoming more and more frustrated with the limitations of being restricted to two walled gardens (Xbox and PS). Steam sounds awesome! I WANT TO GO TO THERE! But, it's just not an option right now. And, I wan't everything to be an option. Ultimately, I wan't to be able to play everything.


    THE GIST -- I don't want an entire computer to be crammed into my living room. I want a console in my living room that can play Steam games. And I don't think I'm alone on this.


    P.S. -- Valve is letting hardware manufacturers make their own decisions on cost VS performance with the "Good, Better, Best" classifications. For those of you who just want to stream to your living room, I'm 100% sure people are already working on just that sort of device, for cheap. There'll also be a juicy-magic-wonderful machine that costs a pretty nickel, which is what I'm looking for.




  • I feel like GTA is getting all this attention for three reasons really:

    1) It's called "Grand Theft Auto" and it doesn't release very often.

    2) It's made by Rockstar, a team that has earned the respect of the entire industry (rightly so IMO).

    3) From a technical standpoint only, it is undeniably and almost unanimously considered BRILLIANT.

    All that being said, I am finding it hard to have FUN with it on a regular basis, and for all the reasons that have been discussed (unlikeable characters, disturbing cut-scenes, just a general lack of interest or care for the narrative).

    For me, playing GTA V has made crave another Red Dead Redemption play through, so last night I started that game again and I noticed two important things for me:

    1) The visuals for that game really do hold up and it is sill IMO a breathtaking thing to ride your horse past the tumbleweed at sunset.

    2) I love playing as John Marsten, a character that I care about, actually like (not all his actions, but I feel he has a sense of morality that is believable).

    I'll finish GTA V at some point, but at the very least, for me I'm happy that it led me back to RDR and has helped remind me why I love this hobby and why that particular game is such a wonderful experience.

    Forgive the rambling - great show as always guys- I look forward to this Friday, as always.






  • To Garnett's point last week about GTA being anachronistic, I think the sandbox genre in general has kind of peaked. One of the major landmarks of this generation is how sandbox games became technically stable and fully realized. The same way multiplayer has been tacked onto everything, nearly all offline games have been sandboxified in one way or another.

    So looking at GTAV, in a way I think it feels more dated than even some of its contemporaries. The world of Sleeping Dogs actually feels a lot more intricate and like a fully realized city in a lot of ways. That said, the underlying flaws of the sandbox genre have always been shallow mechanics and lack of scenario design.

    V's heist missions seem to be trying to address the later issue particularly, but it kind of just underscores the problem. It kind of begs the question---why wouldn't you just tailor a quality non-sandbox level, rather than trying to retroactively script one inside a sandbox? Then again, without the heists, GTAV would seem all the more arbitrary among the myriad of other sandbox titles out there.



  • A couple of GTAV points, mostly directed at Jeff Cannata, who I thought posed very interesting arguments. Respectfully, Jeff, I think you're overlooking a few things. Before I get into what those things are, I'll offer a disclaimer: I haven't played the game yet. No time. But I've kept up with it, even going so far as to spoil most of the plot details, because I don't want to miss out on the discussion and because I don't care about spoilers.

    1) Trevor is like the Joker. The difference is he DOES want to take steps to claim a normal life. You mentioned a cutscene where Trevor reaches out to Franklin, saying he wants to be friends. That was Trevor daring to crack open a door and peek into a world where the grass is greener on the other side. And Franklin's rebuke was him slamming the door in Trevor's face. Trevor reacted in his usual manner: he flipped out and went psycho.

    2) Regarding Michael's therapy with his family. Unless I misunderstood, following that scene, we see the sun setting, correct? That's the sound of another door closing, this one for Michael. Yes, his family therapy was shouting and pandemonium--but the man TRIED. He made the attempt. The sun set on that opportunity, and he embraced his dark dealings.

    3) Trevor's lecture regarding torture was meant to be ironic and hypocritical. It was political commentary aimed at a particular side of America's dominant two-party system.




  • Know what? You guys can flame me all you want for holding this opinion but I honestly think that all the negative talk around GTA V is kind of hypocritical.

    And I mean from ALL of us, the people who are bitching about the game, not just Jeff Cannata's or anyone else's opinion on the podcast, here we are decrying this game for being the violent game we all knew it was gonna be, we are decrying the main characters for being the psychopaths we knew they were gonna be (Every single main character in a GTA game has always been a complete psychopath. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.) And now we are complaining that Trevor, who is arguably the worst character in the history of the franchise engages in torture? Really? you really weren't expecting something like this from such a character? Because I was honest-to-goodness expecting him to do something incredibly messed up the whole time I played as Trevor. I was almost afraid that as part of gameplay or as a cutscene he was gonna rape a random bystander.

    God forbid that I have to torture someone on the game where I kill random bystanders by running them over, or raise enough mayhem that I get SWAT units with military-grade weaponry sent after me, and who can forget the old classic, hiring a hooker to blow me in a back alley only to kill her after (probably by running her over) to get your money back, sucks you only get half your money in this edition though.

    There's only one thing I can say to you if this game or scene upsets you this much and that is walk away, don't play GTA V. If you cannot relate to the characters, if the mayhem is not for you, if the amount of graphic violence in the game (Whether it's a single interactive scene in the game or just random stuff like running over someone on a bike on accident) is too much for you, if you're simply not having fun then walk away.

    Sure, it's the next big thing, but you know what else is/was the next big thing? Breaking Bad, A friend introduced me to it a while back and I loved it, still love it even though it's over and will probably buy and replay the seasons every now and then, but my friend? the very same one who introduced me to it? stopped watching it. Wanna know why? he couldn't relate to Walter any longer, He saw the slow descent of Walter becoming who he was and what he was gonna become and couldn't take it. So instead of watching it because everyone did and being uncomfortable, he dropped it, I urge you to do the same, if GTA is in any manner, shape, or form not entertaining you then stop playing, Now.

    There's plenty of games out there that you can enjoy and have fun with. I know that Jeff and Andrea don't have such an easy out seeing as it's part of their job to know what the content of the game is, But you don't have to do the popular thing with everyone else, you are your own person with your likes and dislikes, use your taste and pick something else instead, there is no shame in doing so, and if you are having fun and enjoying despite the morally ambiguous crap you do in the game then please, Would you kindly shut up.



  • I'd like to see Steam Machines come up with a simple hardware config rating system and help get rid of the confusing PC component names. I can picture a set up where games are rated a number and components are rated a number. The lowest rated component dictates the games your machine will run. It would go along way to making PC gaming more of a plug and play experience. It would also give a clearer cost/upgrade path for users.
    One of the best things Steam Machines could accomplish is removing the need to either spend a bunch of money or do a bunch of research to build a game machine.

  • I’m sorry, but I’m listening to this podcast and getting annoyed. Admittedly my reason for being upset is silly, but I just can’t help feeling the way I feel. My issue is simple- why make the effort to get the ‘woman’s perspective’ on GTA 5? Where’s the minority perspective? Where’s the regular gamer’s perspective (yes, it’s in the comments-but I hope you understand that I’m really asking why the female perspective becomes a talking point on the show)? Where's the homosexual perspective? etc...?
    I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but I’m just getting to a point where I hate hearing stuff about how offputting a game might be to female players, or podcasters wanting the female perspective, but I almost never get the impression that podcasters ever think
    ‘Let’s get a black dude on the show and hear what he thinks about this game with a black dude in it!’, for example.
    Please don’t take what I’m saying as ‘I don’t care about the female perspective’. I guess I just want more perspectives if you’re going to make the effort to get one, and if you can’t get more, don’t highlight one, because that just makes me wonder why the others are overlooked.






  • I'd like to talk about the game's sarcastic nature and it's CRIME driving protagonist. I do agree the world is a sarcastic one, but the story is not. the story is noting more then a crime story whose only purpose is to engulf the player in the very present crime culture in America, witch i do believe it does quite well, it pulls off the feelings of hopelessness, confusion, urgency, paranoia, and "rage" witch all the characters have. The world itself is full of racism, sexism, sarcasm, and contradiction -in general it shows moronic and childish behavior. All of this - is vary present in the "crime culture" and real world. Talk to a pimp, a drug dealer, a druggie, a robber or a all-in-one (all real kinds of people) . Most the time you can relate to them in some sick way, and this may make you feel uncomfortable.----- I believe that the game's story is a scatter shot of American exceptionalism and capitalism gone awry from cynic POV who is confused and waiting for the punch line, but there is none. This to me is the way the world is, beautiful and flawed.

  • I think Jeff is right on GTA V i think its filled with rage, but I honestly think thats the only way you can feel about contemporary American culture.

    America has become a terrible place, and it seems to want to institutionalise this awfulness. In the last three days i've read that a woman's insurance company defended her killer so they didn't have to pay her life insurance, landlords are being forced to evict domestic abuse victims due to "nuisance" calls to police, and a concerted effort by significant interests to reduce worker pensions.

    This is just in the last few days, and there are 100's of these stories every week. The worst thing about it that the real world is so cynical that we barely summon the effort to care about the individual incidents anymore. In this environment the only reasonable response is despair or rage.

    These kinda things could have been fake news stories in the onion 15 years ago.

    GTA gives me the same feeling i get from the Colbert Report when Colbert is really angry and he's just trying to keep in character, its generally not that funny but it feels really honest.


    GTA has always been about a protagonist wanting to be top dog and being willing to do anything to get it. Now our modern paradigm seems to be exactly the same thing. We aspire to be Thug Rappers or vulture capitalists, you know so long as you got yours its all good right? We think hard work should be rewarded with lay offs and raided pension funds. What are Rockstar supposed to do when life starts imitating art to such a degree that what would have been a joke in GTA Vice City is now happening in reality?

    I feel that all the characters in GTA 5 are terrible but thats fair because we have become terrible. At least its not trying to sugarcoat it.