The 15 Dumbest Video Game Titles Of 2014
We compiled a list of the stupidest video game titles of all time a few years ago, but that doesn't mean developers have magically stopped coming up with terrible names to afflict their games with. Here are the best of the worst for 2014.
Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star
There's really only one place to start a list of dumb video game titles, and that's Japan. Gust's latest offering perfectly illustrates the two central tenets of eccentric Japanese video game titles: made-up words that you can play the entire game without figuring out what the heck they mean, and nonsensical subtitles that sound intellectual, but fall apart if you think about them for more than two seconds. First of all, if a game has "Ar" in the name, I better be playing as a pirate. Also, I'm not sure what an ode to an unborn star would sound like, but I'm guessing it's even lamer than most poems.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
How many nonsensical titles can one developer come up with in a year? In addition to Ar Nosurge, Gust released not one but two Atelier games in 2014: Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky and Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland. Kim, our resident JRPG expert, tells me that Atelier is a French word that means workshop. Turns out English also has a word that means workshop – it's workshop. Hey Gust: It's okay to translate your games directly into English next time; save the French for the PAL version. Throw in a couple of ridiculous character names and you have the perfect recipe for feeling like an idiot when you ask the clerk at your local video game store for one of these games.
Giving your title a deeper meaning can be tricky, and Square Enix flew a little too close to the sun with this one. The title refers to the game's Brave/Default system, which allows you to perform powerful multi-hit attacks by borrowing actions from subsequent turns ("Brave") or saving them up in advance ("Default"). Without that knowledge, however, Bravely Default just sounds like the most boring game ever – as if doing the most basic, expected thing is somehow courageous. Actually, that's the perfect title for a JRPG...
Apparently at some point JRPG fans must just stop asking questions that they assume will have stupid answers – like what the deal is with the "F" at the end of Fairy Fencer F. I'm guessing Compile Heart was trying to go for a triple alliteration, but just ran out of ideas for the third word and said screw it. One thing is for sure, though: If I'm not stabbing fairies with an epee in this game, I'm going to be sorely disappointed.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1
Okay, I've tolerated a lot of stupid and absurd JRPG titles in the past, but Idea Factory has finally gone too far. I'm willing to assume that Hyperdimension Neptunia is just the name of the planet that's overrun by oversexualized anime girls. I'm also willing to give Idea Factory the benefit of the doubt for why there's no space in "Birth1" – maybe someone's spacebar was just broken; it happens. What I can't accept is the semicolon breaking up "Re;Birth." Seriously, a semicolon?! It's time to shut the factory down, boys, because you're clearly out of ideas.
Coming Up Next: We go from the absurd to the confusing with a handful of ambiguous and misleading titles...
As far as titles go, Kirby Triple Deluxe isn't too bad, but it sounds more like a hamburger or an ice cream cone than a video game. Actually, Kirby kind of looks like a scoop of ice cream. Maybe that's what Nintendo was going for? Either way, you shouldn't be able to confuse your game title with something you eat. Unless it's candy – then you're an instant, super billionaire.
Here's proof that indie developers can also come up with bad titles for their games. Ask yourself this question: If you only saw the name, would you think Constant C is a puzzle-platformer, or a vitamin supplement?
Old lady walking through meadow: "I used to feel sluggish, but now with a daily dose of Constant C, I feel great – and my constipation's gone too!"
Constant C was developed by International Games System Co., LTD, which proves that indie developers are also capable of coming up with terrible names for their studios as well.
Another boringly ambiguous title, The Crew tells you absolutely nothing about what kind of game it is. If I had never seen the game, my first guess would be that The Crew was some kind of Heat-esque heist-focused action game, which would be way cooler than another racing game. My second guess would be a game about a group of janitors, which admittedly would be way less cool – unless they also robbed banks, which would be the coolest! Wow, my emotions are all over the place. I think I need a nap.
I feel like I'm losing my mind. I still can't believe someone made a game named Abyss Odyssey, and that it's somehow not related to Abe's Oddysee – the only thing that separates them is a couple of stupid spelling mistakes. Speaking of which, I'd like to give a special shout out to Oddworld Inhabitants for ensuring that I will never be able to correctly spell "odyssey" on the first try for the rest of my life. Thanks, guys.
Natural Doctrine is a tactical RPG that incorporates the concept of natural selection into the game's fantasy universe. That's great, but don't make the evolution tie-in the sole focus of the game's title; Natural Doctrine sounds like a chapter from a biology textbook. I can't wait to play Natural Doctrine's upcoming sequels, Trickle Down Economics and Reverse Osmosis. It's going to make for one hell of a trilogy.
Coming Up Next: Things get boring with the year's most mundane video game titles, plus Nintendo's perennial monster-enslaving series makes an appearance...
Wargame: Red Dragon
Just when you thought a war game couldn't possibly get more generic, you get one that's literally called Wargame. The "Red Dragon" subtitle is slightly less cliché and denotes the PC real-time strategy game's focus on conflicts with eastern communist countries – and by "slightly less cliché" I mean it's only been used as a title in films, novels, music, tabletop and D&D games, a magazine, and a series of paintings by William Blake. Good job, Eugen Systems.
This sci-fi horror indie game tasks players with piecing together their character's life and death by exploring a virtual building recreated out of their memories. It's an interesting premise – too bad the game's title sounds like something the teenager working at Geek Squad would recommend to fix your mom's broken computer. Plus, what is Wales Interactive going to do if they want to reinvent the series in a couple years – call it a Master Reboot reboot? That's too many reboots, guys.
Among The Sleep
A survival-horror game where you play as a toddler is a bit of a hard sell, so naturally Krillbite Studio went with the most exciting title possible to entice gamers: Among The Sleep. You'll be among the sleep after you read the game's title. Next time the developer should go with something a little more eye-catching, like Terror Baby, or OMG Where Are This Kid's Parents?!
What is with indie developers picking the most boring names possible for their games? News flash: Basements aren't fun, especially when you're crawling through one. I guess you could assume the developer was playing off of the "dungeon crawler" genre, only Basement Crawl isn't a loot-focused hack-and-slash game – it's a Bomberman-esque multiplayer game with a horror-movie motif. And someone thought Basement Crawl was the best name to encapsulate that. I expected more from a developer called Bloober Team. Actually, I totally didn't.
Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
And finally, if you still need evidence that Nintendo has made too many damn Pokémon sequels, this is it. The series' naming conventions have finally and completely sh-- the bed. It used to be Pokémon [color]; now we've somehow arrived at Greek alphabet letters and types of jewels to differentiate games. It's like Nintendo is playing telephone with a group of six-year-olds – probably the same ones who are coming up with monster ideas based on cupcakes and a set of car keys. Nintendo has made so many Pokémon games that they've completely exhausted human language trying to name all of them – the next game in the series will to have to be called Pokémon *Modem Screech*.