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Feature
Multiformat
14.04.2006
Jake Rukin
The Alpha to Omega of Games
The 'A to Z of Games' has been done a million times by a million idiots. But how many people have attempted the equivalent with the Greek alphabet? Some Greeks, maybe, but we don't speak Greek. So, always keen to challenge our ingenuity and ability to come up with incredibly tenuous links, we present what might be the first English-speaking α to ω of games.


α Alpha is for...
An early build of a game in development.

β Beta is for...
A slightly later development build of a game. This does get slightly more interesting. Or at least slightly less repetitive.

γ Gamma is for...
Confusing technical stuff that we really don't understand, like gamma brightness control. There's lots more that we don't understand though. Like electricity.

δ Delta is for...
Meaningless military jargon in the titles of the many millions of sodding war games, like Delta Force. It's supposed to make it sound authentic, but it just makes us want to be violently sick.

ε Epsilon is for...
The PC as a gaming platform, because the first game with epsilon in the title we could find was The Epsilon Conflict. Fittingly, it was an RTS. It was canned, presumably because someone realised that one third of all PC games are RTS. (The other two thirds are split equally between FPS and MMORPG.)

ζ Zeta is for...
Catherine Zeta Jones! Because... she's... game? Come on, you do better.

η Eta is for...
The irritating and constant shifting of release dates, which seems to particularly affect more minor releases in the month or so before release. ETA - estimated time of arrival. See? We did put some thought into this.

θ Theta is for...
Things that will eventually, and inadvisably, turn into games. Honestly, how long can it be before we get a game based on The Territorial Army?

ι Iota is for...
Publishers! Because so many of them seem to have not one iota of common sense.

κ Kappa is for...
Stuff like FIFA Street. It's probably got some Kappa label clothes in it. Or are we behind the times in what gits wear?

λ Lambda is for...
Intelligent games, and intelligent logos. Lambda is the symbol for the half-life in radioactive decay, so it was also the logo for the game Half-Life. Sadly the sequel's logo wasn't 2λ, which would have been nice to see.

μ Mu is for...
Ideas which sound good for about five seconds, like Codemasters' Club Football series. (Mu, MU, MUFC. Give us a break, we're trying.)

ν Nu is for...
God-awful racing game soundtracks, which so often boast of songs by various hateful 'nu metal' bands. Would it be so hard to clear the entire back catalogue of the Pixies, which is clearly what all racing games should be played to?

ξ Xi is for...
Final Fantasy, and any other series which uses Roman numerals and has reached eleven incrementally numbered instalments. We can't think of any more though.

ο Omicron is for...
Adult animation tie-ins, which are uniformly disappointing. Omicron Persei 8 is a fictional planet in Futurama (orbiting the very real star Omicron Persei), just to clear up the justification. A Family Guy game is on the way from 2K Games, and we're not holding out much hope.

π Pi is for...
Eddie Honda. Ha ha ha. Do you see what we did there?

ρ Rho is for...
Ryo, nearly. The way it's pronounced in Shenmue is more similar to the Greek letter than it looks. Honestly.

σ Sigma is for...
Namco Game Boy Advance 2D shooter cum RPG, Sigma Star Saga. It definitely is a game. We checked and everything.

τ Tau is for...
Options which should be in games as standard, but aren't. Like whether to invert axes, and 4:3 or widescreen picture. Which you might want if you have one of the widescreen TVs in Panasonic's old Tau range. Yes, that was weak at best.

υ Upsilon is for...
Games based on fads, like Crazy Frog. (Pay attention, this is the most tenuous yet.) Because the letter Y is roughly pronounced "upsilon" in German, Wallaroo Licensing is the (German) company that first acquired the game rights to Crazy Frog, and every time we see him we have to shout "WHY?!?"

φ Phi is for...
Stupid logos, and stupid games, like Sega's Psy-Phi. The logo is ψ-φ, but ψ isn't 'psy', as we'll see.

χ Chi is for...
Hardware sales figures from the platform holders - there are lies, damned lies and (chi-squared) statistics. One for the academics, there.

ψ Psi is for...
Psi-Ops, obviously. An easy one! And a game you've probably heard of!

ω Omega is for...
The increasing trend of adding subtitles instead of numbers for sequels. The Tom Clancy games are the worst offenders, but Syphon Filter: Omega Strain isn't far behind.


And that's it. Piece of piss.
Chrisswirl
17:13, 14 Apr 2006
Read All Comments

Nice article sir, although "Mu", "Nu" and "Tau" are pronounced in Greek as "Mee", "Nee" and "Daff", although I understand this this is how the maths world sees them, in some cases to distinguish them from English letters, π for example is usually pronounced by Maths teachers as "pie", but in Greek it sounds exactly the same as the english "P".
 
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