Weekend Confirmed 190 - Call of Duty: Ghosts, Xbox One

By Ozzie Mejia, Nov 08, 2013 11:00am PST

The 190th episode of Weekend Confirmed comes to you in full 1080p! With co-host Jeff Cannata away for the week, host Garnett Lee invites the Shacknews tandem of Andrew Yoon and Ozzie Mejia, along with Christian Spicer, to discuss the imminent arrival of Xbox One. But first, discussion turns to Call of Duty: Ghosts, talking about the series' growing sense of stagnation and whether it's necessarily a problem that can be solved or even one worth solving at all. After that, Andrew catches up on all things Xbox One, including games like Zoo Tycoon, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, and Dead Rising 3, while also making a convincing case for why the packed-in Kinect peripheral matters. The show wraps up with Christian's impressions of the other major Batman game to release, the handheld Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, before everyone goes into Finishing Moves and the post-show Tailgate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 190: 11/08/2013

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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 - 00:13:50

    Round 2 - 00:14:58 - 00:55:23

    Round 3 - 00:56:01 - 01:27:20

    Round 4/Finishing Moves - 01:28:06 - 02:03:37

    Tailgate - 02:04:41 - 02:15:13

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

Ozzie Mejia @Ozz_Mejia

Christian Spicer @spicer

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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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  • Any chance of you guys on the show discussing the potential significance of the Amazon PlayStation Store? http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=1289533011

    If you don't know, over the past couple years Amazon has been incredibly aggressive with its digital PC game sales, to the point where those sales rival Steam's, and they're doing it largely by selling Steam keys. If Amazon was allowed to do the same thing with PSN codes I think it would be a huge step up for console digital distribution, which has lagged behind PC DD when it comes to prices and sales.

    It could only get better if Sony let more and more storefronts sell PSN keys the way Valve let's other retailers sell Steam keys. If nothing else it exposes the PlayStation Store to more people. Microsoft should definitely be doing this, and Nintendo should be following up on its stated intentions of doing this.

  • Great show guys!

    Re: "More of the same"

    To me, the interesting thing about the "more of the same" debate is that it often puts in to focus just how good (or not good) something really was in the first place.

    COD is an interesting game to focus on, because in a way it encompasses both sides of the argument. In terms of single player campaigns, "more of the same" has become a detriment because the COD single-player formula is all flash, no substance. The encounters play out the same every single time. They can be fun and exciting the first time through, but it's like one of those haunted house rides at the carnival: the magic is gone the 2nd time through.

    So each new COD Campaign gives us new twists and turns, new set pieces, all in an attempt to make us forget how similar it is to what we've played before. Sometimes, it works. But diminishing returns take their toll when we're playing pretty much the same campaign year after year.

    To me, this is why shooters like Halo or even Gears of War have so much more replayability and staying power than COD when it comes to single player campaigns: You can play the same mission 3 times in a row, and it will play out differently every time. It's easier for a game to stay fresh when it is built on a foundation that is dynamic.

    On the flip side, we have COD multiplayer. In this case, "more of the same" is a good thing; it's exactly what people want. It's certainly not my style of game, but it's clear that Modern Warfare created a multiplayer game that is close to perfect for a huge demographic of gamers. There's already a huge backlash against Ghosts within the COD community (at the time of writing this, it's sitting at 2.1/10 on metacritic user scores). This backlash is not centered around any of the new features or modes that were added, it is happening because many fans feel like the core COD multiplayer experience has been changed. It doesn't matter if it's "good" or not, it isn't what they wanted.

  • I didn't much care for Christian's weird comparisons.

    'Complaining about Call of Duty not improving is like complaining you got a pizza from Domino's after you ordered pizza there'.

    'More game modes in Call of Duty is like Coca Cola's remix machine. The vast majority chooses one so there is no point in offering the others'.

    Besides those comparisons not working, it sounds like you're missing the point. It sounds like you're saying that Call of Duty doesn't need to push forward, improve or try to become a better game. 'It doesn't change' in this context doesn't mean: it needs to become a realistic shooter instead of an arcadey one. In that case you can indeed say: 'But that's what Call of Duty has always been'. But you can't say 'but that's what Call of Duty has always been' when the criticism is that the series is getting stale, doesn't improve and merely tweaks some concepts (apparently not at all for the better as well) and pushes it out the door.

    I'm sure IW worked really hard on it, but what I'm hearing is that this game is not as good as Black Ops II. As a consumer I'm not concerned with who developed what and how assets work when working on a next gen game. While I understand, I just feel there is no excuse to getting a sequel to a game, that has fewer features, doesn't work as well AND doesn't improve on what was there in the first place.

    That is the argument. You can't say 'but that's Call of Duty' to that.

    More or less the same thing for Arkham Origins. The game is fine. But it is the same experience as Arkham Asylum and with its bugs and glitches: somewhat worse. Again, I understand how it works. But getting a 60 dollar game on the shelves next to the two year old 20 dollar game of the same brand and have it be 'almost the same, but not quite as good' will of course get some criticism.

    If you're in the mood to play the same type of game and are okay with it being almost as good and not improve much (if anything), then sure. I'm not arguing you're wrong on that. But no one should say that criticism for those reasons are unjustified.