Sunday, 4 January 2015

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

B is for..

Beat 'em up - beat them up, but shorter and cooler sounding if you're an 80's kid. A classic group of genres that seeks to prove it's not all about shooting people in video gaming, it's about punching their heads in too.

Bloodborne - March 2015 saw the first glimpse of genius in the 8th console generation, Hidetaka Miyazaki's seminal RPG hack and Slasher proves that beautiful,  super hard games targeted at the hardcore gaming fraternity are not only commercially viable but can also Duke it out with mainstream titles like COD. Gamertroll reviewed Bloodborne where it earned the mighty score of 10/10. Gamertroll's dual commentated boss guide videos can also be found >>> HERE.

Bubble Bobble - First appearing in 1986, Taito's 2-player bubble-blowing dragon platformer was the second game ever to feature multiple endings. Bub and Bob's girlfriends get captured in typical video game style by Baron Von Blubba. 100 levels of addictive arcade action and dozens of spin offs ensue. Received a sequel in 1987 in the form of Rainbow islands: The story of Bubble Bobble 2. 

Batman - This inexplicably successful, Bat-obsessed superhero is a true darling of video gaming history, there have been more Batman games than their have been Batman films.. LOTS more. Batman, Batman, Batman and more fucking Batman. The undisputed champions of Batman game adaptations are RockSteady Studios who are due to release Arkham Knight in 2015, the end to their all-conquering Batman Trilogy. Hopefully by producing the perfect Batman games, Rocksteady have allowed us to finally lay a blanket over the corpse of that poor old horse. 
Fat chance.

Battletoads - "BAP! BIFF! FUMP!" Warning: these games may contain eye-watering, slapstick comedy genius, The Battletoads might just be the hardest hitters in video game history. A 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up Created By Chris and Tim Stamper for Rare ltd in 1991, Battletoads features 3 rock-hard toads on a mission to punch the universe (Or space mutants and some daft Alien Queen at least). Back in their day, these hooligan toads sported 3 games, Arcade machines, a TMNT-rivalling television pilot and a team-up with Double Dragon no less. Microsoft has newly acquired the rights to revive the franchise on November 10th 2014 to howls of derision in some gaming circles. Scepticism aside - Gamertroll hopes the next Battletoads game could not only put it's super brutal protagonists, Zitz, Rash and Pimple back on the map: but could even turn out be the game that puts the sorely needed 'punch' back into roaming beat'em ups. 

Bomberman - The classic top-down viewed maze bomber game. Developed in 1983 by Hudson Soft, Bomberman was a PC game originally, swiftly followed by a Famicom version ported in a famous 72hr programing session. That first version sold a million but it was not until Bomberman 2 arrived that the ever popular multi-player battle mode was introduced. An archetypal multiplayer masterpiece, single-handedly responsible for selling millions of multi-taps worldwide,
Bomberman was also home to notably abstract and intense in-game music. It's very much worth digging out if collecting game BGM is your thing. Versions still turn up from time to time but the formula hardly changes, Bomberman IOS being 2014's incarnation. 


Barret Wallace - The Japanese transliteration of the English word 'Bullet'. The only playable FF7 Character to swear in the game. leader of AVALANCHE, the eco resistance force set up to stop Shinra power company from using Mako energy. Don't let that bloody great gun arm fool you, He's big softie who likes nothing more than bleating out tearful monologues about his daughter Marlene. 

Bioware - Responsible for some particularly fine Star Wars licenced games in the form of the Knights of the old republic series. The original Knights of the old republic, set 4000 years before the original films has been held up as one of the finest RPG's of all time. Creators of the Mass Effect titles and 2014's Dragon age: Inquisition which has since scooped a batch of GOTY (Game of the year) gongs. Who also could forget Bioware made the most acclaimed isometrically viewed RPG'S of the 90's? Er, Gamertroll did, "Can't mention Bioware and miss out on Baldurs Gate & Neverwinter Nights." +Shout out Jay La Hine!

Bulletsponge - An enemy that takes waaaay too many hits to dispatch. Often employed by developers to amp up the game difficulty in the laziest way possible. RPGS and MMORPGs love this nonsense, usually showing little numbers flying off the target to create the illusion that gameplay is happening.


Bungie - A Washington-based developer set up in 1991. 
Surprise creators of the Halo franchise, having been known for little more than niche Macintosh games Myth and Marathon and later the PC and console game Oni. With the heavy financial backing of Microsoft, Bungie managed to pull out the killer application that not only launched the Xbox into the gaming limelight but still stands as one of the all time greats. Nobody saw that one coming... except perhaps Steve Jobs who tried to nab Halo by famously announcing it *on stage* as a Macintosh-only release. Thankfully events didn't play out that way. Bungie's 2014 game Destiny is their attempt to create a fresh intellectual property after selling Halo to Microsoft, Unfortunately Activision's ten year monetisation plan, grinding play mechanic, Halo derivative elements and not quite MMO status has lead to a mixed response amongst gamers.

Bethesda softworks LLC and Bethesda Game studios - Virtuoso developers best known perhaps for their Elder Scroll RPG games, the latest of which was Skyrim. Amazingly they found time to be responsible for inventing the superlative Fallout series too - nobody does fantasy or post apocalyptic RPG's better right now. It's also a little known fact that In a bizarre twist they also handle Movie tie-ins like Star Trek, The Terminator and Pirates of the Caribbean which are without exception utter excrement.

The Bitmap Brothers - An early U.K. developer based in Wapping, London, formerly known as Renegade software, The 'Bitmaps' were not a couple of sibling programmers as many assumed but a whole assortment of talented individuals. Xenon came first, then Speedball, and so on. Games such as Chaos Engine, Speedball 2 and Xenon 2 Megablast (featuring music by Bomb The Bass) cemented their domination of the Atari ST/Commodore Amiga era and earned them a reputation for producing quality games in a number of genres. They did however produce a game called Kid Gloves featuring pop music by Betty Boo. That was a crime.

Battlefield- EA's classic multiplayer shooter. FPS rival to COD, For many, Battlefield was a first taste of large multiplayer FPS games. boasting 64 players, huge maps and a vehicular bias. Despite EA's appalling release of Battlefield 4 in an essentially broken form, strong innovations like 'levelution' (where the map changes geographically mid-match after a side fulfills certain prerequisite actions) continue to draw support from large numbers of gamers. Don't play the campaigns though.. they are gawd awful.

Bugs - American word for 'insects', but in a digital sense: if a game is so poorly coded that elements fail to function or worse, crash proceedings entirely, it's invariably the work of 'bugs' in the program. Increasing commercial pressures and the resultant rushing of game development cycles are the chief cause of this. What with the rise of easily accessible online content and consoles with whopping hard drives, game producers are more and more adopting the detestable mentality of, 'Take their money and patch it later'. The worrying new trend of putting out broken games is obvious evidence of this.. that and the fact our Hard drives are filling up with Bloatware and digital masking tape.

Bloatware - Insidious, Built-in Obsolescence masquerading as subservience.  Emerging first as the commercial rubbish clagging up and slowing down PC operating systems, it branched out into being the next chief killer of smartphones behind dropping them in the toilet; and now invading our games machines. You think Gamertroll is telling porkies? check your console hard drives and gasp at the unsolicited excrement you'll discover there. Don't want to surf the net on your Xbox, then why not try freeing up some space by deleting internet explorer? -You'll soon see it's back again, taking up unnecessary space the second you finish downloading your next mandatory system update.  

Bowser - Mario's arch enemy. What Bowser wants with Princess Peach is anybody's guess, but since he's eternally doomed to fail perhaps he should just give it up now. Managed to produce a menagerie of weird Bowser children without the aid of a Mrs Bowser.

Beta - Surprise! The second phase of Pre-release game testing. See Alpha.

Bomb jack - Jack has been deftly defusing bombs at world heritage sites since his debut in 1984. One of the most eternally ported titles in video gaming history, at time of writing the latest were on PSN Network and for Wii U's Virtual console in 2014.

Blast Corps - Developed by Rare ltd, Blast corps was a novel Demolition game that appeared in 1997 on Nintendo's N64 console. It was a fair distraction in it's day with it's Thunderbirds-style plot and vehicle stable, but the 3D visuals coated some fairly one dimensional, time attack focused gameplay. Despite some risible review scores at the time (Metacritic named it one of the top 20 N64 games!), It didn't return for a sequel.



Click for other available A-Z letters>>>>
A,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.*