In preparation for my upcoming reviews on the books from the past 3 seasons of Boss Fight Books (BFB henceforth) and also of the 4th season as they become available to me, let’s have a brief overview of what BFB is and how it came to be. Most of this information can be found online on Kickstarter, the official Boss Fight website or even Wikipedia. Consequently, I will skim over certain easily gathered details and give a general idea about who they are and what they do, accompanied of course by some opinion of this initiative.
The heart and soul of BFB is Gabe Durham, who also happens to be one of the authors, and who made a very strange choice to cover in his book. More on that in another post. He founded BFB in 2013, presented his idea to the Kickstarter community and to people he knew, and the reception was positive. The Kickstarter having succeeded, the first book released early 2014. The idea behind the concept is simple: many books about video games and computing talk about a range of titles and technologies, analyzing their influences on the market and the populations affected as a whole. But sometimes, maybe all we could want to hear about is that ONE game: a story of its making, of the author’s relationship to it, of its narrative, distilled to the max in a way fitting a paperback with hours of gameplay. And that is the main premise of Boss Fight Books titles. Understandably, many of the games covered so far are rather old-school. These are games from the NES era or before, the same can be said for the PC games in the list. This is due to the fact that age-wise, the authors fall within a certain range and have been most impacted on by video games from a specific era or generation.
The general structure followed by the books is thus: historical fact, author’s personal experiences associated with the game, depiction of narrative and or gameplay from start to finish with inclusion of some juicy tidbits and secrets, and, most prominently in the latest season, direct or indirect comments/stories from the game creators themselves. It’s very nice knowing what to expect from these books and the structure makes sense to me, even if you could wonder how in the world that fits a narrative less arcade game like Galaga? It’s a particular case and still, the author did a great job with that one.
The first book I am going to review is the first one of the season 4: Final Fantasy V by Chris Kohler. It’s due out soon, but backers got the copy early. Here is a list of all BFB titles by season in case anyone needs to check them out. I highly recommend Chrono Trigger and Shadow of the Colossus books.
Stay tuned for reviews to come. It’s easy to figure out how I feel about 2 of the books from above, details can help you see whether or not it may be a good read for you. Until then….