Feature

Stupid Video Game Titles: The Honorable Mentions

by Jeff Marchiafava on Apr 26, 2011 at 02:05 PM

In issue 217 of Game Informer, we ran a list of the Top Ten stupid video game titles. While those ten game names were certainly the cream of the crap, we had no shortage of runners-up. Enjoy this list of laughably bad game titles that didn't quite make the cut, but are still unforgivably dumb.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Plenty of video games have superfluous acronyms, but this one takes the cake. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. stands for "Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer, Robber," a list of people you might find wandering around in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Previous titles in the series at least had decent subtitles, but Call of Pripyat just adds to the confusion, unless studying Ukrainian ghost towns is your hobby.
Other Offensively Dumb Acronyms: C.O.P. The Recruit, M.U.S.C.L.E.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2
Speaking of stupid acronyms: Tom Clancy's arcade-y dogfighter returns with H.A.W.X. 2. You would need a pretty awesome acronym to justify spelling 'hawks' with an 'x'. What did the geniuses behind the franchise come up with? "High Altitude Warfare Xperimental squadron." What is that?! Not only did they misspell "experimental," they completely left off "squadron." That's not how acronyms work, people. How could Tom Clancy put his name on such a stupid...never mind.
Other Xtremely Lame Titles: X-Kaliber 2097, XGRA: Extreme-G Racing Association

Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse
Dear developers: You employ translators for a reason. "Jenseits von Gut und Böse" is the German title of Friedrich Nietzsche's most famous philosophical work. We know it in America as "Beyond Good and Evil," because, as it turns out, some words in the English language have the same meanings as German words and can replace them when it's convenient - like when you're trying to discuss your favorite JRPG without sounding like a snobby jerk.

Stoked
Here's a free tip: Don't use dead skater lingo in your title, unless your game is coming out in 1989 and stars Bill and Ted. Who would've thought that a developer named "Bongfish" would be responsible for such a mediocre game?

Ivy the Kiwi?
There's no questioning the pedigree of famed designer Yuji Naka, but when the former head of Sonic Team created his own studio in 2006, he threw sane naming conventions out the window. The developer's first two games were called Let's Catch and Let's Tap, followed by the enigmatic Ivy The Kiwi? For some reason the title ends in a question mark, as if one of his employees literally transcribed Yuji Naka's second title suggestion - we're assuming his first proposal was Let's Ivy The Kiwi.
More Just-Name-It-Whatever Games: Hatris, Beyond The Beyond, Divine Divinity

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution
Apparently having 40,000 in your title isn't cumbersome enough for the Warhammer series anymore. This standalone RTS expansion packs a hyphen, a colon, and both Arabic and Roman numeral systems, all to punctuate cliché video game buzzwords. It's the dawn of war, and someone is looking for retribution? How utterly exciting.

Stacking
Double Fine, arguably one of the most creative developers in the industry, named its newest downloadable game Stacking, because the main mechanic involves stacking objects. What's next, Double Fine, an FPS called Shooting?
Other Painfully Obvious Titles: Dungeons, Jumpman, Adventure

FlingSmash
We don't know what's going on over at Artoon, but apparently the designers let cavemen name their products nowadays. Just in case FlingSmash's brain-dead literal title isn't dumb enough for you, the developer decided to also make it one word. Still, we can't decide if FlingSmash is a step up or down from the company's 2007 Xbox 360 flop, Vampire Rain - which is the worst kind of rain you can get stuck in.

Kid Kool
Here's a news flash, kid: You ain't Kool.

Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood!
Every month a few pathetic souls send us crank news tips in hopes of being labeled the Worst News Tip Of The Month in Feedback. Nippon Ichi appears to be working on a similar wave length, as Prinny 2's title is so bad, it must be on purpose. Our advice to Nippon Ichi: Stop trying to shoot the moon, dood.
More You're-Trying-Too-Hard Titles: What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2; I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1

Create
In marketing speak, this is called "boiling a product down to its essence." In normal human speak, it's called "being dumb." Create is EA's attempt to capture the magic of LittleBigPlanet, without the adorable mascot, impressive level of creative freedom, or easy-to-use editing tools. However, Create is one third of Sony's Play, Create, Share slogan, so it has that going for it.

Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces
First of all, nothing captures the excitement aerial dogfights like the idea of something crawling through the sky. Secondly, how do you become an Ace if you're still innocent? Do you shoot your enemies out of the sky with your unbridled optimism for the future?
Other Nonsensical Contradictions: Corpse Killer, LittleBigPlanet

Bloody Good Time
Question: How do you convey that your game is both violent and fun to play? Answer: Name it the first stupid idea that enters your brain

Ballz 3D: The Battle Of The Balls
Putting the word "balls" in the name of your video game is always a risky proposition, but developer PF Magic decided to do it twice, spelling one of them with a "Z" to make it even more extreme. This eccentric fighter's marketing campaign featured slogans like "To be the champion, you gotta have Ballz," and "Tell your mom you want Ballz for Christmas." Somehow that brilliant marketing didn't translate into sales. Go figure.
Other Only-Funny-If-You're-Immature Titles: Wild Woody, Rod Land, Spanky's Quest

Binary Domain
Sega only announced Binary Domain late last year, but we figured it deserves a spot on the list for having the most exciting name ever. What could it possibly be referring to? Binary code? IP domains? I know I'm riveted. The most unfortunate aspect of Binary Domain's snooze-inducing title is the fact that the game - a squad-based sci-fi shooter with a story that blurs the line between man and machine - actually sounds pretty exciting.
More Drop-Dead-Boring Titles: Section 8, Rooms: The Main Building

Oops! Prank Party
Because the only thing worse than a prank party is an accidental prank party.
More Utter Nonsense: Cryostatis: The Sleep Of Reason, Sword Of The Berserk: Gut's Rage, Crash: Mind Over Mutant

Women's Murder Club: Games Of Passion
As if a Murder Club isn't bad enough, this one is sexist! I'm not sure what kind of passionate games these women are playing, but I'm guessing you don't want to be the loser. You know what? This game shouldn't even be on this list, because the more I think about it, the cooler this game sounds. Congratulations, THQ, you won me over with your ridiculously-named DS game.
Other So-Bad-It's-Awesome Names: Wargasm, Super Army War, Spyborgs

For more dumb video game names, check out issue 217 of Game Informer.