User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

Forum Search  
View Mode: threaded | watch thread

(Semi)-Weekly Whale, April 11th, 2014

Simon Carless (45) on Apr 11, 2014


User Avatar
[INTRODUCTION]

Time for another (semi-)Weekly Whale, as we continue to get on with the important job of preserving video game history. We're back to a Top 5 for the week, and we're continuing to blast on a whole bunch of important things with your help.

Just to make sure we're all on the same page - MobyGames was founded by Jim Leonard, Brian Hirt, and David Berk in 1999, and acquired by GameFly in 2010. As of December 2013, San Francisco-based Blue Flame Labs has acquired the site - and reverted it to its previous design. Reed (designer/developer/community guy) and myself are the folks who are making things happen.

[TOP 5 UPDATES!]

1. Tech/code updates for the last couple of weeks.

We're continuing to chunk on with things tech-wise, and here's the latest couple of updates from Reed:

- March 30th: "I'm very excited about this update, because... we've resolved the long standing cache problem!! (e.g, the issue w/ new game urls not updating or newly approved games blinking in and out of existence, etc). Additionally, you should find the site a good bit faster. A big huge Moby-sized thanks to Brian Hirt for his help. A few other things: - Added a page for Patrons, which will be updated with the supporters as soon as we get their info; - As a special thanks to early supporters, the first 100 Patrons will be forever immortalized as a Founding Patron; - Tweaked the Reward tiers w/ thanks to your feedback; Now gold star and ad removal are at the $5 tier. $25 now includes a thank you in the Weekly Whale and a link to your website or twitter account. Removed the $50 and $100 tiers, so there's a clearer distinction between who the tiers are aimed at (users vs companies - though anyone can choose any tier); - Added a handful more quotes to the footer from community suggestions."

- April 8th: "Update Log; - Added gold star and blue flame icons for Patrons (please email [email protected] w/ your account name if you haven't yet); - Added ability for Patrons to remove ads; - Added Platinum Supporters to the footer; - Fixed screenshot edit function for approver+ folks; - Minor design updates for login / register pages; - Updated MobyGoal to be more attainable... (changed from 4,500 -> 4,000); - And introducing Moby's Trivia Tuesday! An interesting factoid every Tuesday from the MobyGames vault 'o trivia."

Reed's continuing to work on things, and thanks to anyone who's contributed to the Patreon to help make his work on the site possible!

2. Milestones: Patrick Bregger & Atari 8-Bit

Firstly, here's the obvious one. MASSIVE congrats to Patrick Bregger for becoming the 5th person in MobyGames history to reach 100,000 points! As Reed noted: "Thanks to Patrick the MobyGames database is vastly richer with his many thousands of high quality contributions. Including 1,574 games, 1,086 credits, 1,115 pieces of trivia, 1,574 descriptions and much much more." Amazing work.

Elsewhere, Karsa Orlong points out that the Atari 8-bit platform just joined the '1000 games' club (which now comprises 23 platforms all together). Game #1000 is Wyprawy Kupca, described as a turn-based trade game where the player "may trade goods in nine cities and purchase shares, gamble in the casino or smuggle illegal stuff, according to the rule "buy cheap and sell expensive". And it's already got up to 1015 games - you guys have been busy!

3. Find A Game wins out agaaaain!

Our new Find A Game forum is proving one of the most fun bits of the site, and here's some highlights from recent weeks:

- Brent Hegnauer was looking for 'Sega Genesis game where you can do driving stunts', and I do believe that Chirinea nailed the answer - it's the seminal coin-op conversion Hard Drivin' - no confirmation from Mr. Hegnauer, but I fail to see what else it can be :P

- Valerie Taylor arrived to discuss a CD-ROM game where "The only real footage was the four characters who represented the elements (earth, air, fire, water). Part of your goal was to release them from their chambers." Dais very quickly pointed out the likely answer - "You're almost certainly thinking of Zork Nemesis, which is also generally thought of as 'Zork without Zork'."

But there's still some games we're having trouble with - most recently from XGargoyle, who explains his mystery game as follows: "The game was based on medieval fantasy with knights and such. The game screen was split up in 2 parts. Top part displayed the action and the characters/landscapes seen from a 2D sidescrolling view, whereas the bottom part had squares like a board game in which the characters moved based on a die throw." Lots more info if you click through - any ideas?

4. Notable new content!

As always there's all kinds of neat new games, screenshots, credits and so on being added to the site all the time. A highlight from each category:

- GAMES: We're getting a bit more obscure on arcade games now a lot of the obvious ones have been added, so thanks to Marcin Ostrowski for grabbing Varth: Operation Thunderstorm, an excellent Capcom vertical shooter from 1992. (Arcade now has 1129 games and counting.)

- SCREENSHOTS: More mobile game screenshots are going up as of late, and thanks to Arejarn (and Kabushi) for pushing up 10000000 screenshots, making it easy to check out what the well-received puzzler for Windows and Android looks like.

- REVIEWS: Pagen HD wrote up something on Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii, and dug it a LOT, for some distinctly interesting reasons: "Who would have thought that the best "traditional" platformer of our generation is actually a workout/fitness game? You need to shake the controller with both of your arms to perform Donkey Kong's important moves. The Time Attack mode is great workout for your muscles. Right now I can feel the arm muscles that this game helped me develop."

5. Patreon picks up steam!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the MobyGames Patreon so far, particularly the generous folks at Brave Wave, who are really helping us keep the site updates coming on a regular basis right now. We couldn't do it without you!

But also thanks to Chris Hayes and, uh, myself, for contributing at Blue Flame+ level, Trixter, Rob Caporetto, Smike and Arjon van Dam for contributing at Blue Flame level, and Father Jack, MK2k, netsabes, Reinhold Hoffmann, Sgt. Nukem, Johan Jönsson, Mike Melanson, Víctor "vEK" Cerezo & Glenn Sugden for being Founding Patrons alongside of all of the other sponsors. We'll keep adding you to the Weekly Whale if you keep signing up as patrons.

(Edited by Simon Carless (45), Apr 11, 2014)

Re: (Semi)-Weekly Whale, April 11th, 2014

Kabushi (126305) on Apr 11, 2014


User Avatar
Simon Carless Wrote:
- SCREENSHOTS: More mobile game screenshots are going up as of late, and thanks to Kabushi for pushing up 10000000 screenshots, making it easy to check out what the well-received puzzler for Android (and other platforms!) looks like.

They're a year old actually. It's Arejarn's Windows screens that are new.

Re: (Semi)-Weekly Whale, April 11th, 2014

JudgeDeadd (12382) on Apr 11, 2014


User Avatar
Simon Carless Wrote:
thanks to Kabushi for pushing up 10000000 screenshots

Man, that's a lot of screenshots :)

Re: (Semi)-Weekly Whale, April 11th, 2014

f1reball (217) on Apr 12, 2014


User Avatar
I'm really grateful for all the Atari 8bit stuff, that was a system which was a bit inaccessible for Europeans like me, the reason being other home computer systems were more popular on this site of the atlantic. There is much to check out.

This site hasn't even scratched the surface of the really obscure Arcade games, though I don't know if all those onscreen one-armed bandits or pachinko should really be added here. Also japan has made huge amounts of strip mahjongg :D

(Edited by f1reball (217), Apr 12, 2014)

Re: (Semi)-Weekly Whale, April 11th, 2014

Rola (7403) on Apr 12, 2014


User Avatar
Bear in mind that we had only started documenting arcade games this January.

There are other websites dealing with electromechanical arcade games, we only care for video games.

Re: (Semi)-Weekly Whale, April 11th, 2014

f1reball (217) on Apr 13, 2014


User Avatar
>Bear in mind that we had only started documenting arcade games this January.

My posting wasn't meant as criticism. However I'm really glad you did finally.

>There are other websites dealing with electromechanical arcade games, we only care for video games.

Well, I was talking about video arcade games. There are dozens of bellfruit etc. arcade ""games"" relying only on video display without mechanical display devices. Not just a single screen added to an else electromechanical machine, but severel spinning wheels alongside score etc. being represented on a single video screen. Of course the actual GAMEPLAY content of these can still be argued.

(Edited by f1reball (217), Apr 13, 2014)

Re: (Semi)-Weekly Whale, April 11th, 2014

Nélio (1989) on Apr 14, 2014


User Avatar
Rola Wrote:
There are other websites dealing with electromechanical arcade games, we only care for video games.

We do have quite a few of these now.