Definitive version/Timeline features

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VideoGameCritic
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Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 16th, 2017, 5:02 pm

One of my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/videogamecritic) supporters recently suggested including a "definitive version" indicator on the bottom of games that span many platforms.

While this is an interesting idea, when I play modern games I tend to only play one version, so I probably couldn't pass judgement on them all. For older games however like Pitfall and Wizard of Wor, this might work. I was thinking I could have a "definitive icon" (like a blue ribbon) to denote these games. Thoughts?

This also made me think of another possible feature to tap into the historical nature of the site. For games like Street Fighter and Sonic, what if I generated a timelime (under each review) showing all the entries in a series over the years? Using colors and symbols I could denote the different platforms and grades too. If I was clever I could probably generate these programmatically. What do you think about this idea?

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scotland
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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby scotland » June 16th, 2017, 6:11 pm

I think its just a route to drama.

Lets say there is a game like Space Invaders.
There may only be one official home console version, but countless clones and wannabes. Then home computer versions. Then versions on compilation disks. Then homebrew versions made decades later without the same constraints. Then a Flashback machine has an arcade perfect port. So, whats the 'definitive' version of Space Invaders, or Defender, or Asteroids, or Pac Man, etc.

I'd rather see lists of Pac Man-ish games, and not worry about any version being definitive. Every console is special for the fun it can deliver with the tech at the time, and worrying about definitive is just part of the whole 'my console is better than your console' stuff we've mostly gotten past for retro consoles.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby Retro STrife » June 17th, 2017, 6:47 am

I really like the "definitive version" idea. If you're able to pass that judgment on a game, I'd love to know your answer. However, I do agree woth scotland that it'd be tough to implement, particularly since it's rare that you review every version of a game. Also, it might require you to go back and try multiple other versions of a game when you do a review, which would be time consuming. (Plus, will the lack of an icon on a particular version be misinterpreted to mean that it isn't the definitive version?). That said, I do support an icon for this, or at least a statement in the review or the feedback forum about which version you prefer. I do think it's an important question for retro gamers and collectors and we'd like to know your opinion on it.

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Rev
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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby Rev » June 17th, 2017, 12:00 pm

You know how you do review specials? What about if you did a separate special for multi platform games you've reviewed and you take excerps from your reviews and add a spiel on which game you think is superior. You could even have a section where you usually put the grade and say "winner " and then put the version that you think is superior. You could just add to it as you do reviews.

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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby pacman000 » June 17th, 2017, 1:59 pm

A link to a list featuring ports of a game to different systems would be nice.

scotland wrote:I think its just a route to drama.

Lets say there is a game like Space Invaders.
There may only be one official home console version, but countless clones and wannabes. Then home computer versions. Then versions on compilation disks. Then homebrew versions made decades later without the same constraints. Then a Flashback machine has an arcade perfect port. So, whats the 'definitive' version of Space Invaders, or Defender, or Asteroids, or Pac Man, etc.

I'd rather see lists of Pac Man-ish games, and not worry about any version being definitive. Every console is special for the fun it can deliver with the tech at the time, and worrying about definitive is just part of the whole 'my console is better than your console' stuff we've mostly gotten past for retro consoles.

True, but any review can lead to Drama, remember what happened when he released his 1st review of Doom for the Atari Jag?

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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 18th, 2017, 8:41 pm

I'm definitely shying away from the "definitive version" icon, but what about the timeline? Imagine under the Space Invaders review I show a line from 1980 to the present with a bunch of little dots showing all the various games with Space Invaders in the title. You could mouse over the dots to get the info.

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Stalvern
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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby Stalvern » June 19th, 2017, 1:39 am

scotland wrote:I think its just a route to drama.

Lets say there is a game like Space Invaders.
There may only be one official home console version, but countless clones and wannabes. Then home computer versions. Then versions on compilation disks. Then homebrew versions made decades later without the same constraints. Then a Flashback machine has an arcade perfect port. So, whats the 'definitive' version of Space Invaders, or Defender, or Asteroids, or Pac Man, etc.

The definitive versions of those games are the arcade originals. What a ridiculous question.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby Retro STrife » June 19th, 2017, 4:54 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I'm definitely shying away from the "definitive version" icon, but what about the timeline? Imagine under the Space Invaders review I show a line from 1980 to the present with a bunch of little dots showing all the various games with Space Invaders in the title. You could mouse over the dots to get the info.


I feel like that's a lot of work for you to go back and do. And if you do it, I think it's only workable if you limit it to versions you've reviewed. I think it'll be a big mess if you try to include every game in the series, especially for series with long histories like Zelda, Sonic, Metal Gear, etc. Then it gets even messier for series where there is uncertainty about what games to put on the timeline. Even something simple like Super Mario Bros might end up with a messy timeline of determining what belongs and what falls outside the main series. And there are series where it's far far messier than Mario. You might spend more trying to figure out the timeline than reviewing the game! Personally, I'd leave that to the contributors at Wikipedia to figure out, since I usually use their timelines when needed. But if you did it just for versions you've reviewed, it might be a little more doable, if tedious.

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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 19th, 2017, 9:33 pm

Retro -
I was thinking about doing it programmatically, since I'm a programmer. For example, all reviews that contain "Street Fighter" or "Sonic" could be assembled into a timeline without me having to do any work (outside the initial code). The problem is, it might pull in games like Street Fighter 2010 or Sonic Blastman. If I have to start to put in "guards" against those, it could turn into some work. I guess I could try one example to see what people think.
VGC

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Re: Definitive version/Timeline features

Postby Retro STrife » June 20th, 2017, 10:43 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:Retro -
I was thinking about doing it programmatically, since I'm a programmer. For example, all reviews that contain "Street Fighter" or "Sonic" could be assembled into a timeline without me having to do any work (outside the initial code). The problem is, it might pull in games like Street Fighter 2010 or Sonic Blastman. If I have to start to put in "guards" against those, it could turn into some work. I guess I could try one example to see what people think.
VGC


True, I guess being a programmer makes it easier. But I still think you'll find it tedious eventually. Some series are easy if they only have a few games, like say Gears of War, which has a simple timeline. But on the other hand, take Mario as an example again... if you put "Super Mario" then you'll get games that don't belong on the timeline like Super Mario Sluggers and Super Mario Strikers. Narrow it to "Super Mario Bros" and now you omit Super Mario World and Galaxy. We could probably list 20 or 30 series with similar issues. (Plus, god forbid you make a mistake on the timeline, you'll always have a few crazies that say you're an idiot for a mistake, like putting Sonic Blastman on the Sonic timeline, rather than realizing it's a programming error.)

If you're up for the challenge, by all means go for it. But figured I'd throw in my take on all the headaches it'll give you.


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