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
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
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
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
voice acting to go with the poor translation.
The Many Bubble Bobbles
Alright, now this one's just plain confusing.
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
two games vying for the title of "Bubble Bobble 2.". As if
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
games and two "Bubble Bobble
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.
but trouble, those Bubble Bobble games.
Curious Case of Bionic
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,
is that four of these six games have the same title!
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.
Another series with a lot of
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
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
Subtitling the Title
I've actually found a bunch of examples of the subtitle of
game overtaking the title it started out with. For brevity's
sake, I'll just list them all under one heading here.
The first game in the series was called Startropics. The second one was
called Zoda's Revenge: Startropics II. The title ended up becoming
one was actually the third in the Super Mario Land series, titled Wario Land: Super Mario Land III. After that they dropped
subtitle and it basically
became its own seperate series. The next one was called Wario
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.
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
Nope, they titled the subtitle a second time and called the next
one Wizards and Warriors III, ending up right back where they started.
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
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
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!
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
be Gargoyle's Quest 3? Nope. They called it Demon's
Crest. That's right, they changed the name of the series
every subsequent game released!
And Finally, the
With No Prequels
Power Punch II:
NES has a game called Power Punch II. Well, I looked around
everywhere but I couldn't find any trace of Power Punch.
strange; why would they give it a 2 if they never made a
Power Punch? Well, I'll explain. The game,
Beam Software, was intended as a
sequel to the popular Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. The game was to
titled "Mike Tyson's Intergalactic
Power Punch" and feature Tyson taking on alien boxers after having
everyone on Earth. Yeah, it's cheesy. Due to
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
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
the name. That scheme ultimately failed, however, due to poor
sales, ugly graphics and shoddy gameplay dooming the game to
Mega Man III
You probably haven't heard of the Mega Man games for the PC; don't
you didn't miss out on much. But there is one
interesting fact about
them, namely that they only made two - the first was
Man and the second was Mega Man III. That's right, there's
Mega Man II for PC. I honestly have no idea why they decided
go that route; the games are original titles and have no direct
the console releases of the same name, so there was no real reason for
skip a number.
Well, that was fun. Now to play something with a sane naming
scheme for a while.