Friday, 12 December 2014

GAMERTROLL'S A-Z OF VIDEO GAMING: A is for..


A is for.. 

Atari - Originally formed by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972 as Atari Inc. from their firm 'Syzygy engineering' having just a year before produced the world's first Video game, Computer spaceTaken from the Japanese verb 'To hit the target', the brand has seen many owners and revamps over the years. Currently manifested as 'Atari Interactive' owned by a French publisher calling themselves 'Atari SA' - What they are doing with it precisely, nobody knows. Perhaps they are sitting on it to see if it hatches. 

Activision - Prolific video game publisher widely attributed with the destruction of Destiny and taking exploitation of Gamer's finances to a new Low in 2014. The rampant monetisation of Call of Duty is their doing also. For many, a true villain of the moment.

Aeris the flower girl - Final Fantasy VII character, Cloud Strife's love interest and the most mourned character in video gaming history. 

Anita Sarkeesian - feminist cultural speaker and Media critic most notable for her controversial Women Vs Tropes in Video gaming video series. see GamerGate and Feminism.

Achievements - awards that permanently attach to a gamer's profile earned by completing bespoke tasks within games or applications. First created by Microsoft for the original Xbox, they never really took off until the Xbox 360 standardised the system to all games (typically offering 1000G or Gamerscore per game before add-ons) and perfected the pleasingly aesthetic 'plink' that accompanies the achievement notification. Sony soon followed suit with it's near identical Trophy system, here however, bronze, silver, Gold and Platinum trophies replace the numbered Gamer score system. If you suddenly find you're playing games that you don't even like just to get easy trophies or achievements, there's no sugar-coating it - you're either an Achievement-whore or a filthy trophy-slut.

'AAA' game - The term, pronounced 'Triple A' is used in the game industry to describe a video game that has the highest production values and promotional assistance lavished upon it. Typically games getting the 'AAA' treatment should be of excellent quality and are similarly expected to be amongst the top sellers that year. Because they promise gamers so much and have no tangible reason to be awful, Gamertroll is remorseless about pouring boiling piss over bad AAA's.

Angry birds - still waiting for the sequel, Cash Cows! Disturbingly popular but basic puzzle/skittles games created by Rivo studios. One of the first (and last) games touchscreen interface works well with; and that is only because it is so simplistic that there is hardly an interface at all - Gamertroll has seen cats play Angry birds on YouTube.

Aliens - The Ubiquitous or 'Goto' arseholes of the gaming world, Need a baddie for your video game? Aliens.
Also See HR Giger's Aliens 

Atic Atac - A classic, top-down flip-screen adventure game from the U.K. Micro-computer Era. Made for the ZX Spectrum by 'Ultimate Play The Game' circa.1983. Actually featured 3 different character classes which changed the game play.. yes in 1983!  Written by Chris and Tim Stamper. Later ported to the BBC Micro. Interestingly, Atic Atac has been quoted as a major influence for Children's ITV program 'Nightmare' of the same era.

Action game, probably the most popular genre in Video gaming.

Atari Jaguar - ill-fated and dubiously defined 64bit console of the mid nineties era. Throw away Cybermorph and forget the over-hyped Alien Vs Predator carts, look for Doom limited edition and Tempest 2000. Also played host to a CD-Rom playing hardware add-on innovatively titled the 'Jaguar CD'.

Atari Lynx - Dinner-tray sized handheld that actually played host to a brilliant array of titles. The surfing on California games is a retro must-play. The Lynx 2 reduced the width of the handheld only to increase it's depth equal to two telephone directories.    

Atari ST - Contender in the second round of the home micro computer wars, a market that would soon be utterly subsumed by the personal computer. Famed for it's music sampling capabilities, the Atari ST was the Chief rival of the Commodore Amiga which certainly won the war sales-wise. 

Atari 2600 - home to Pong, Pitfall, Pacman, etc. I'll get back to this unless somebody else wants to attempt to sum up this iconic machine? 

Alex Kidd - Sega's platforming mascot for their Master system, rudely supplanted in the charisma stakes by Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex kidd games were actually quite 'boss'.  

Archimedes - home computer affectionately known as the 'Arc', A little known competitor to the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST. Best game was reputed to be a WW1 flight simulator called Chocks away! Never played it :(

Asteroids -  Atari's classic shooter sold 70,000 arcade cabinets. Inspired directly by Defender and Gravitar, Asteroids employed a Vector display adding environmental hazards to the period obsession for dispatching aliens. First teleport in a game Ever?  

Apple Pippin - Back in the mid 90's when everybody and his dog was making a games console, Apple attempted to bring out a machine with the amazing line up of... Myst. It thankfully died in semi-limbo. Like any other poisonous disease some germs escaped into the public domain and now languish in the hands of collectors, sealed in lead boxes. Let us join our hands and pray that Apple never attempt to re-enter the gaming market ever again. 

Android games- see mobile phone games 

Amstrad CPC - Hero hardware of the 80's U.K. micro computer era. Worthy rival of the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and BBC micro.

Amiga- see Commodore International 

Super Axelay- Super hard, Super Nintendo (Snes) vertical scrolling shooter using curved mode 7 backgrounds. Worth a packet if you have the Japanese import.

Amiibo - Nintendo's collectable figurines launched in 2014. Placing these toys on the Wii U gamepad unlocks new features in a number of games released for the platform. Already a suspicious amount of unintentional manufacturing gaffs have occurred (Samus with 2 guns, Peach with no legs, etc.) demanding gobsmacking prices among collectors.

Altered Beast - Sega Megadrive/Genesis classic two player, Side-scrolling 2d beat 'em up where your human avatar could power up into a series of fantasy beasts. Werewolves and lizards were on the table but alas Goats were out and if memory serves no Pelicans were involved either. Shame.

Alpha - The first phase of pre release game testing. morons everywhere would be shocked to learn its followed by a secondary Beta testing phase. All this testing used to occur behind closed doors but now Alpha and Beta keys are often shared with selected preview communities or included with the sale of associated titles. Gamertroll coverage of Alpha or Beta Play tests can be found under Troll Preplay

Assassin's Creed - Ubisoft Montreal's massively successful 3rd person perspective, Historical action adventure series has sold 73 million copies over eight games as April 2014. Released in 2007 the first game was sort of clunky but showed enormous potential, the follow up Assassin's Creed 2 remains the series highpoint. Later years and 6 more titles have seen a relentless exploitation and degradation of the franchise, culminating in the recent release Assassin's Creed: Unity which was broken to the point that characters had missing faces with patches needed that were as large as the original game. see also Historical References. 

Abstergo - A fictional Mega corporation. The modern-face of the Templars, an ancient enemy faced in the Assassin's Creed games. Has Conspiracy theorists in raptures.



Click for other available A-Z letters>>>> 

B,C,D,E,F,G,



Gamertroll Loves video gaming so much that the temptation to do an especially sarcastic and cynical personal version of it's all-time A-Z has proved too much to resist. 

It could just be the most fun ever or equally the most backbreaking task taken on since King James suggested having the Bible translated into Swahili. Time will be the decider because it's happening!

Either way, this A-Z is a mammoth undertaking and to start with at least, each new letter tackled will only have a frame work to begin 'fleshing-out' as other entries come to mind.

The plan here is to present a comprehensive A-Z featuring the most significant Games, Video game lore and Characters, Industry figures, Game companies and associated cultural phenomenon; whilst slotting in amusing 'did you know'-style Video gaming trivia and links leading to relevant articles and Reviews found elsewhere on Gamertroll.uk
 
Please feel free to point out, "Oi Gamertroll, you've missed a bit!"
If you want to add something you see missing or you simply can't believe that your favourite game isn't listed, post a comment below and Gamertroll will add it - with a credit should you so wish.


For example:
Command and Conquer - A.k.a. C+C, seminal entry into the top-down Real-Time-Strategy (RTS) genre. In the interest of censorship the German version of the game had tiny robots instead humans LOL! etc etc etc.
Shouted out by +Gamertroll dotUK


See? In that way you can attach your name to your favourite A-Z entry. Very much looking forward to your suggestions. (Please limit suggestions to Letters already published or Gamertroll's head might explode).

Note: Gamertroll reserves the right to disregard entries not deemed relevant enough.