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9/08/2012

Old Article Revival: More Goofy Sequel Names

After watching the Angry Video Game Nerd's video on the awkward titles used in several game and movie series, I got to thinking; there's a few more game series with weird naming trends that I know of.  So I figured why not, I'll go ahead and contribute to the list.



Mobile Light Force

Let's start things off with the strangely titled Playstation game "Mobile Light Force."  The box has a Charlie's Angels theme to it, featuring three women shooting up robots with laser guns.  Alright, you think, it's a third-person shooter like Syphon Filter or something, but then you play it and you realize it's not, at all.  It's actually a port of the overhead shoot-em-up Gunbird, just with all the story sequences removed.

Now you'd think Mobile Light Force 2 on the Playstation 2 would be Gunbird 2.  Would make sense, right?  You'd be right in thinking that, but not right about the game's content.  In fact, Mobile Light Force 2 is another overhead shoot-em-up from a completely unrelated series called "Castle Shikigami", once again with all the story scenes edited out.  Yes, that's right. Two completely unrelated series from two different companies sold under the same name.  They both even have the same completely irrelevant cover art!

Well, I guess people started to catch on to their game, since they later released Castle Shikigami 2 under its proper name and with no material edited out.  They even dubbed in some absolutely hilarious voice acting to go with the poor translation.



The Many Bubble Bobbles

Alright, now this one's just plain confusing.  After Bubble Bobble in the Arcade and on the NES, they made a game called Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 for the NES and Arcade platforms.  However, at nearly the same time, they also put out Bubble Memories: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 as an arcade-only title.  So we've got two games vying for the title of "Bubble Bobble 2.".  As if that wasn't confusing enough, there was a Bubble Bobble Part 2 on the NES.  Yeah, now there's three.  But they weren't done yet; they released yet ANOTHER one called Bubble Bobble Part 2 on the Game Boy, which was a vastly different game from the NES version.  So we've got a total of two "Story of Bubble Bobble 2" games and two "Bubble Bobble Part 2" games for a grand total of FOUR Bubble Bobble 2's.  Now why would they release four games at nearly the same time using almost identical titles?

Just to further muddy the waters, there were also two Bubble Bobble 3's.  There was Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble 3 on the Turbo-Grafx 16 and the European NES, and Bubble Symphony: the Story of Bubble Bobble 3 in the arcades.  So that's a grand total of seven Bubble Bobble games under three distinct titles.  Man.

But we're not done yet, oh no.  The DS had a game called Bubble Bobble Revolution.  Okay.  Well, the PSP got a game called Bubble Bobble Evolution.  Nearly the same title. To further muddy the waters, in Europe the PSP game was also known as Bubble Bobble Revolution!  So once again, we've got two different games with extremely similar titles, and it only gets more confusing in Europe where both games share the same name.  Nothing but trouble, those Bubble Bobble games.




The Curious Case of Bionic Commando

There are now six games in the Bionic Commando series; the original arcade game, two sequels, two remakes, and a loosely-related spinoff programmed by a third party.  Where the confusion sets in, though, is that four of these six games have the same title!  Bionic Commando in the arcades was the original, followed by an NES sequel with the same name, later followed by a remake on the Game Boy (again, with the same name), and most recently, a sequel on the Xbox 360 with - once again - the same name.  Of course, it doesn't help that Bionic Commando on Game Boy and Bionic Commando: Rearmed are both remakes of the second game in the series, either.




Punch-Out Bonanza

Another series with a lot of similarly-named games.  First there was Punch-Out in the arcades, followed by Super Punch-Out later the same year, which was essentially the same game with some new (and tougher) boxers to fight.  Later came Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, which later re-released as simply Punch-Out once Nintendo's license expired.  Another Super Punch-Out would come for the SNES a few years later, and then after a fifteen year hiatus a third Punch-Out would be released for the Wii.  So we now have three Punch-Outs and two Super Punch-Outs.




Subtitling the Title

I've actually found a bunch of examples of the subtitle of a game overtaking the title it started out with.  For brevity's sake, I'll just list them all under one heading here.

Startropics:  The first game in the series was called Startropics.   The second one was called Zoda's Revenge: Startropics II.  The title ended up becoming the subtitle.

Wario Land: The first one was actually the third in the Super Mario Land series, titled Wario Land: Super Mario Land III.  After that they dropped the subtitle and it basically became its own seperate series.  The next one was called Wario Land II, then came Virtual Boy Wario Land for the ill-fated portable console, and then they went on to make Wario Land 3 and Wario Land 4. Wario Land: Shake It! on the Wii continues the trend as well.

Wizards and Warriors:  The first one was Wizards and Warriors.  Simple enough.  Well, the second one was Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors II.   So now the title has become the subtitle. Would the next one be called "Ironsword 2"?  Nope, they titled the subtitle a second time and called the next one Wizards and Warriors III, ending up right back where they started.

Deception: This one's pretty convoluted too.  The first one was called Tecmo's Deception due to Tecmo's tendency to stick their company name at the beginning of their games' titles.  Then the second one came out and it was named Kagero: Deception II.  The title became the subtitle.  Then the third one came out and it was called Deception 3: Dark Delusion, so they reversed it again.  But then, perhaps most confusing, a FOURTH one came out on the PS2.  Was it "Deception 4"?  Nope.  They just called it Trapt in the US and Kagero II: Dark Illusion in Japan.  So the title doesn't indicate it's a Deception game at all in America, and it's apparently the sequel to the SECOND Deception game in Japan, but not the third or first.  Confusing either way!

Gargoyle's Quest:  Actually, I'm not even sure what I should call this one.  The first one was titled Ghosts n' Goblins: Gargoyle's Quest, which makes sense; it's a spinoff of the Ghosts n' Goblins series starring one of the gargoyle enemies.  Then the sequel came out for the NES, called Gargoyle's Quest 2.  Totally dropped the Ghosts and Goblins part.  But then a third one came out.  Is it going to be Gargoyle's Quest 3?  Nope.  They called it Demon's Crest.  That's right, they changed the name of the series with every subsequent game released!
 


And Finally, the mysterious Sequels With No Prequels

Power Punch II: The NES has a game called Power Punch II.  Well, I looked around everywhere but I couldn't find any trace of Power Punch.  Pretty strange; why would they give it a 2 if they never made a Power Punch?  Well, I'll explain.  The game, developed for Nintendo by Beam Software, was intended as a sequel to the popular Mike Tyson's Punch-Out.  The game was to be titled "Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch" and feature Tyson taking on alien boxers after having defeated everyone on Earth.  Yeah, it's cheesy.  Due to Tyson's legal troubles at the time, though, Nintendo decided they didn't want to have their name associated with him and pulled the plug on the game's release.

American Softworks would later pick up and publish the game under their label, albeit without the use of Tyson's image; the graphics were edited slightly and the main character was renamed to "Mark Tyler".  The game was released under the title "Power Punch II", the idea being that it would still cash in on the Punch-Out franchise's popularity without explicitly using the name.  That scheme ultimately failed, however, due to poor sales, ugly graphics and shoddy gameplay dooming the game to obscurity.

Mega Man III (PC):  You probably haven't heard of the Mega Man games for the PC; don't worry though, you didn't miss out on much.  But there is one interesting fact about them, namely that they only made two - the first was titled Mega Man and the second was Mega Man III.  That's right, there's no Mega Man II for PC.  I honestly have no idea why they decided to go that route; the games are original titles and have no direct relation to the console releases of the same name, so there was no real reason for them to skip a number.




Well, that was fun.  Now to play something with a sane naming scheme for a while.