Weekend Confirmed 197 - 2013's Best Games of the Year

By Ozzie Mejia, Dec 24, 2013 11:00am PST

Merry Christmas to everyone from the Weekend Confirmed family! It's time to march into the end of 2013 and hosts Garnett Lee and Jeff Cannata welcome in a slew of guests to discuss all of this year's best games, as well as many of our favorites. The show kicks off with Naughty Dog's Jason Paul, Christian Spicer, and "Indie" Jeff Mattas talking about BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Tearaway, and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. That's followed by Shacknews' Andrew Yoon, Shane Satterfield, and Marcus Beer coming aboard to discuss Injustice: Gods Among Us, Metro Last Light, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, DMC: Devil May Cry, Saints Row IV, Super Mario 3D World, and Fire Emblem: Awakening, among many others. The third segment continues the Super Mario 3D World love with Shacknews' Ozzie Mejia, Insomniac's James Stevenson, and The Escapist's Andrea Rene, before they jump into Grand Theft Auto 5, Tomb Raider, Rogue Legacy, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. The next segment picks up with Andrew, "Indie" Jeff, Christian, and James summing up the year in indies, before the entire crew comes into the studio to reveal the Weekend Confirmed Game of the Year! We also have holiday greetings from developers and listeners alike, all wishing our wonderful audience the happiest of holidays!

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 197: 12/24/2013

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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 - 00:00:40 - 00:27:05

    Round 2 - 00:30:55 - 01:04:30

    Round 3 - 01:06:04 - 01:38:30

    Round 4/Game of the Year - 01:42:09 - 02:21:27

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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.

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Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

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Andrew Yoon @scxzor

Christian Spicer @Spicer

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

Jason Paul @JMPaul

Ozzie Mejia @Ozz_Mejia

Marcus Beer @AnnoyedGamer

Shane Satterfield @Dinfire

Andrea Rene @AndreaRene

James Stevenson @JamesStevenson

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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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  • I wanted to respond to the slightly lukewarm sentiments you held about Bioshock Infinite. Obviously your criticisms and reasons to pass it over for other games as your respective favourites for the year are perfectly valid. I have no intention to troll. However I wanted to write to you not only about why it's my favourite game of the year, but also why I think it is amongst the most important video games of all time.

    Bioshock Infinite is not about racism, Columbia's revolution, Bookers 'self discovery' or even his relationship with Elizabeth. Bioshock Infinite is ultimately about the medium of videogames and the people who make and play them. That sort of achievement is usually seen in things like historical documentaries which convey information while simultaneously trying to analyse its own process. This makes Bioshock Infinite relatively unique in the world of videogames.

    While we normally praise videogame narratives which serve game play or vice versa, Bioshock Infinite's narrative serves the thoughts and discussions people have about the game. The narrative is self aware of the almost endless directions it could have gone in. The dimension that the majority of the second half of the game is set in is a world in which the narrative focused more on Columbia's politics. In that dimension, Elizabeth is harder to get to. To reach her, Booker unites the Vox Populi and the soldiers from the hall of heroes, leading a glorious uprising and ends up dying a martyr after sidelining his original mission to find Elizabeth. Something similar was foreshadowed to happen in the first dimension we play in, but the vox populi hunter, or the woman who becomes disillusioned with the army and joins Finks security team are characters forshadowed but never met, as that dimensions is cut short when the gunsmith is found dead.

    Bioshock Infinite had done an amazing job exploring failstates. With the gunsmith dead, the mission 'get the guns for the Vox' is unwinnable. There is nothing else we can do to solve it: almost a quarter of the game we play was a waste of time, we were essentially in a roguelike that generated a world that we simply could not win. The only solution is to be magically transported to a different dimension and try to win there. In most games, we play as the successful hero. The obstacles and changing directions in the plot are only temporary; There is always another way to continue on. Bioshock Infinite acknowledges that each time our hero beats the odds, it is by sheer luck that he had the opportunity to defeat his foes or save the world.

    Infinite also explores fail states by having us play in a slightly different dimension each time we die. In most video games the Hero got everything right: completing escort missions and defeating bosses all in the first attempt. The times that the hero died simply did not happen. When I play Halo, the Master Chief is given way too much credit as a badass. The narrative ignores the fact that I had an unlimited number of attempts to escape the library and then pretends I managed it in the first go. In Infinite, each time Booker walks through the door in his dream, we are seeing a new Booker of an ever so slightly different dimension who made a slightly different decision to the one who died.

    I could keep writing but It's not really necessary, I just wanted to demonstrate the way Infinites narrative is vehicle for exploring videogames as a whole. Thanks for a great show and I look forward to listening to the next one!