Friday, 6 February 2015

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

C is for..

Cheesing - a step up from simply farming, to 'cheese' is to break the rules of, or otherwise pervert the course of a game to attain it's 'loot' or rewards without properly undertaking the prerequisite tasks. It has been suggested that Destiny's end game is really one long cheese where everyone mass suicides for random chest drops, snipes at enemies they shouldn't see yet from ledges they shouldn't be able to get to and yanking out cables to freeze bosses. That's game cheesing at it's most extreme folks, a game where nobody actually plays the game properly just to get armour and weapon rewards that they should be using to play the game... wheels within wheels.

Charlie Brooker - Gamertroll is an unapologetic fan of Charlton 'Charlie' Brooker's darkly acerbic wit and unrelenting satirical pessimism. Ever since being chucked out of his media degree at The University of Westminster for writing his dissertation on Video games, Brooker has been a great champion of the idea that video gaming is not just important, but hugely significant as artistic medium. It's little known that Brooker worked retail at the first CEX store just off Tottenham Court Road London even designing the Logo and their early cartoons for point of sale. Blogging helped him to break through to professional journalism for PC Zone, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian amongst others. Subsequently Brooker's unique style of writing and directing for TV eventually led to him becoming an established alternative TV personality in his own right. By faithfully remaining an utter bastard every step of the way (justlikeyourmumdid), Brooker graduated from selling games, to reviewing games, to hosting a review of humanity as the most savage critic in the world, every New Year's Eve on British television. Gamertroll is happy to suggest that 'Charlie Brooker's, How video games changed the World', remains the very best documentary ever to air on the subject. In your face, University of "Video gaming is not a suitable topic for study" Westminster! To quote the man himself, "That's it, now fuck off."


The Covenant - Every great shooter needs a great enemy and Halo has no shortage of them. The Covenant however, remain one of the most superbly realised foes in Video game history. A hierarchical, religious covenant formed of an eclectic mix of alien races united on a misguided and genocidal holy crusade to find and fire the Halo rings in order to take their 'Great Journey'. Considering what the rings actually do, it's a lot like playing 'horsey' on a nuke while repeatedly slapping it on the tip with a lump hammer.


Combo - Punch someone in the head once and you've got a charge of common assault. Punch someone in the head twice or more in quick succession and you've got a combo son. In broad terms, any hits, be it kicking, shooting, whatever, that you can dish out to an opponent without the possibility of them slapping you back, can be called a combo. The counters, reversals and combo breakers found in most fighting games are an exception to that rule but hell, you get the picture right?
Although combos are not the exclusive preserve of the fighting genre, it is their natural home and many allow a comical level of one-sided brutality if you have the skill to execute linked combos.

Choob -  game slang, a skilled player who chooses to play like a newbie in the aim of hustling victory. Also see Newbie.

Clutch - game slang, much like a desperate clutch to catch in ball games, this term is actually ascribed to gamers who consistently perform under pressure. Some gamers are said to have clutch if they have a talent for pulling scores back at that crucial moment, sometimes even playing better as they approach the post.

Conspiracy theories - games are full of them. Templars, Abstergo, Umbrella Corporation.. you name it: and jolly good fun they are too. Sadly many can't see the difference between those fictions and reality. "Russel Brand is Illuminati" - just saw that title on a youtube video. A four word sentence and someone has still managed to make a grammatical error. Such an assertion COULD ONLY make sense to a person capable of fucking up a four word sentence. Conspiracy theorists are an enigma to Gamertroll. Despite having a fertile imagination they remain too intellectually barren to grasp the inescapable truth:
(and I am just stating this as a Troll not looking to offend humanity in any way) but the collective human race is such a bunch of cluster-fuck-witted, self-serving, egotistical, perverted wank-shafts that the century-spanning teamwork required to maintain global conspiracy on the illuminati's scale is a scientific impossibility.

Chris and Tim Stamper - long-term contributors to Rare LTD, you'll see their names 'stamped' over nearly everything that company does. Their accolades are too many to list here, but the Battletoads are Gamertroll's most favourite of their creations. 

Cosplay - Effectively Video game fancy dress, Costume play was first a big thing in Japan, since the 90's 'Cosplaying' has grown into a global phenomenon with the overall general rise of comics, anime, Manga and video games into popular culture. Gamertroll was just about to crack a joke about cheesy little monkey's slapping one off to Cosplay images until a quick Google search revealed Cosplay porn is already 'a thing'. Oh the humanity.

Cover-based shooters and Cover Systems - Although rudimentary cover based shooting mechanics can be traced back to 1986's Rolling Thunder and later on rails light gun game Time Crisis: It's 'Stealth action games' like Metal Gear Solid (MGS), Syphon Filter and Tom Clancy's Splinter cell that pioneered complex cover system mechanics, but 'Cover-based shooters' use the premise as their core gameplay mechanic. The Gears of War series through it's extended use of cover and myriad of associated tactical options remains the all conquering  champions of this modern genre. Many have tried to make successful games out of this mechanic, many have failed. The common pitfalls are too fiddly control interfaces, too sticky cover that cripples effective mobility or simply turning cover into a glorified machine gun mount for a shooting gallery instead of a part of dynamic gameplay. The next challenger is the Order: 1886...

Capcom - Founded in 1983 and the creators of Megaman, Street Fighter, Final Fight and Resident Evil to name but a few, Capcom have got quality licences up the wazoo.

Call of Duty - The seminal multiplatform FPS real world shooter. In 2003 the first WW2 based Call of Duty was produced by Infinity ward, a studio founded by 22 members responsible for Medal of honour: Allied Assault. Since then Infinity Ward has subsumed Raven Software and Neversoft, created Treyarch and Sledgehammer as sister studios, all dedicated in the pursuit of producing Call of Duty blockbusters released every Oct/Nov for their Slave masters Activison. Thankfully for all concerned these clockwork
Call of Duty games are consistently of good quality although some gamers bemoan the clear move to prioritise the massively popular Multiplayer over the campaign. Others like Gamertroll, particularly miss the impressive historical context since the franchise's recent refocusing to the 'near feature'. Their latest title for example, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is for all practical purposes a SciFi FPS. 

Cliff Bleszinski, Aka Cliffy B - Brat-faced producer most famous for presiding over Epic Studios for the Unreal tournament and Gears of War games . Roughly half as charismatic as he thought he was, 'Cliffy' nevertheless delivered the goods.  Still brazenly continues to assert that he came up with the Lancer weapon's chainsaw attachment rather than simply ripping it from Games workshop's Space marines. Cliffy quitted Epic after 20yrs in 2012 but has returned to Video games in 2014 with the announcement that he is working on a new arena shooter Bluestreak for his own new studio Boss Key Productions. Let's hope that Rod Fergusson, former colleague to Cliffy at Epic and the new producer at Black Tusk for the upcoming Gears of War 4 can match his talent for intelligent plagiarism, pardon me, I meant 'Invention'.  

Commodore International - US company founded in 1954 by Polish Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel. After being beaten out of his initial typewriter and calculator businesses by the Japanese and Texas Instruments respectively, Tramiel hit gold with his home computers in the 80's. After their first 'PET' school computers of the late 70's Commodore made a concerted effort to up the ante in terms of graphics and sound capability. The Vic20 of 1981 was followed swiftly by the powerful 8-bit Commodore 64 in 1982. Not content to offer superior firepower to it's microcomputer rivals, Tramiel launched the second round of the microcomputer wars with the 16-bit Commodore Amiga in 1985. This would spark off a startlingly acrimonious marketing war with rival machine, the Atari S.T.
Perhaps it was a result of the vicious tit for tat advertising campaigns of the micro computer era but Amiga and Atari users were locked in one of the worse conflicts over hardware superiority ever seen. What many don't realise is that Tramiel resigned from his own company in 1984 prior to the Amiga launch and bought the consumer sector of Atari Inc.
It was Tramiel who allegedly cherry-picked the best Amiga components and put together the Atari ST as a rival in pure spite of his former Commodore Board chairman Irvine Gould. The Amiga went through a number of upgrades, eventually managing to outsell the Atari S.T. by 50% but both machines where doomed by the console wars and the onset of the modern PC Era. Games like Castle Wolfenstein and Doom where the final nail in their coffins. After the failure of Commodore's final gambit, the Amiga CD32: the end was nigh. Commodore International went to the creditors in April 29th 1994.    

Sir Clive Sinclair - An ultra eccentric British entrepreneur responsible for inventing and selling 5 million Zx Spectrums back in the 80's micro computer scene. Sir Clive was also known for being a notorious playboy associated with a string of unlikely and often publicly litiginous affairs. He is presently taking a hand in the ambitious crowd funded project to revive the Spectrum under a new guise: The ZX Spectrum Vega retro console that comes preloaded with 1000 original 'Speccy' games such as Lunar jet man and Jet Set Willy. The First batch of 1000 sold out in less than 48hrs and will be manufactured by April 2015.

Chocobo - star of their own PSX game, 'Chocobo Racing' and endless stream of Final Fantasy cameo appearances, Chocobos are a cute Ostrich-like beast of burden. 'Nuff said.

Crowd funding - kickstarter was the first instigator of a current craze sweeping the video gaming scene. Tired of shifty,  money-grubbing publishers like Activision ruining all your games and ripping you off for DLC? You are not alone, so are many talented developers. The answer of course is for gamers and developers to cut out that bastard middleman: enter the age of crowd funding. For example: you like WipEout but are upset that Sony closed down Studio Liverpool and no new games are being made? Have a poke around and you'll find that those disgruntled devs are going to be launching a kickstarter campaign to make a new WipEout game under the name Formula Fusion with the financial support of hardcore series fans. Crowd funding is great idea that has already born fruit in games such as Elite: Dangerous, but be warned, it's not all ice cream and blow jobs. Some of the sums gamers are forking out for virtual space and personal transport in the upcoming 70 million Dollar project Star Citizen are bordering on the mental. The Oculus Rift VR headset raised (at that time) an unprecedented $2.4 million from trusting supporters before Oculus VR surreptitiously stabbing everyone in the back by selling the whole endeavour to Facebook for $700 million and 1.6 Billion in FB stock options. But then you would, wouldn't you?
Tread carefully friends.

Chaos Engine - Famed top-down shooter with smart character classes produced by the Bitmap brothers for the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga and Sega Megadrive/Genesis. It featured genuinely entertaining character classes and those Bitmap trademark visuals, at their zenith in this game. Chaos Engine was real beauty queen in it's day.

Crazy taxi - One of the last great Arcade machines found it's way onto the Dreamcast as a launch title. This deceptively simple looking arcade port just oozed replayability. Sega's graphics engine made the PS2 look a slouch at the time.

Cloud Strife - the main protagonist in Final Fantasy 7, Cloud's iconic Buster sword is the stuff of Video gaming legend.

Colony Wars - Back in the late 90's Psygnosis (later known as Liverpool Studios once wholly Sony's subsidiary) was in full flow and taking no prisoners. The space combat found in the three Colony wars games pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved on the ageing PSone hardware. The game arrived as part of an impressive one-two punch partnered with G-Police that same year. Any game that shares a pedigree with the WipEout Series is ok with Gamertroll.

Codemasters - Affectionately known as 'The Codies', the Darling twins started out as bonafide bedroom coders back in the 80's, turning out a host of charming games for the U.K. microcomputers. Their original roster of hits like Dizzy and Advanced BMX simulator soon gave way to modern greats like Colin McCrae rally, Toca touring cars, Dirt and Grid. For the last fifteen years Gamertroll has been questioning Codemaster's decision to pigeon-hole themselves as developers of niche racing titles. Following the relatively poor sales of Grid 2, layoffs have recently been announced at their studios for 2015. Fingers crossed we haven't seen the last of this great team.

Castlevania - Konami's much-loved vampiric dungeon crawler has seen many releases over the years. As far from Twilight as you can get. Extremely popular with game OST enthusiasts for notably superb musical scores. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, Gamertroll recommends Castlevania: Symphony of the night as a great starting point.

Command and Conquer - AKA 'C+C' The classic series of real-time strategy (RTS) games began in 1995
The German censors forced Westwood Studios to substitute the little folk for robots with green blood. Who knew Deutschland was so squeamish over claret? Westwood Studios was bought by Electronic Arts who subsequently shut them down in 2003. Because that's what EA does.


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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 framework 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.*