What Makes A Bad Game Title?

If your game title makes me confuse it constantly with another game, that’s a real bad title. I still don’t know which is Outer Worlds and which one is Outer Wilds. Which one is Deep Down and which is Below again?

As weird as titles like Bravely Default are, I won’t ever mix that up with anything else.

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So are both of these bad game titles, or just the one that came out later?

I think you can say, given the current context of the 2 names, they are both bad names now. That’s not necessarily to criticise the devs who chose these names, but it just means they’re not very effective any more because of the clash and confusion.

Also an untapped vein of bad names here is SEO optimised mobile games.

Game of War: Fire Age is a top tier terrible name.

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N-no. Worse. Chiodos.

Particularly if there are no other games in the series/universe.

Madeupword: The Madeupword, Book 1 is the universal signpost of jank.

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It’s perfect. Metal Gear Rising is a perfectly acceptable title, SO why not add another word, which isn’t a word but a portmanteau of two perfectly interchangeable words. Perfect, I love it.

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I love that game so much lol

String of common words are rarely good or memorable, especially if they have a colon. Horizon: Zero Dawn and Remnant: From the Ashes are both great games whose names I regularly forget.

Common words alone can be much better. Doom and Control and both memorable and evocative.

Definite articles help. “The Outer Wilds” sounds a lot better than “Outer Wilds”.

Oh Demon*’s* Souls always annoyed me. That little possessive makes it awkward.

It is made by a company called From Software. It’s surprising that they have so few confusingly named games.

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The souls belong to the demons tho.

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ok wise guy, what would just a demon soul be then???

A less interesting name for a game.

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Count me in the “full sentence titles rule” crowd. Obviously you can overdo it, but I’ll take even a bad one of those over Noun of Noun: Adjective Noun any day.

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Also, it’s hard not to think of “Word: Phrase” as “Word the Marketing Guys Told Us to Use: The Actual Title of the Game”. Tell me with a straight face it wasn’t just supposed to be called “Zero Dawn”.

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I have an intense dislike for titles with phrases attached to the end that tell you nothing about the game. I didn’t like Metal Gear Rising’s full title, but if anything, it was a good indicator that it wouldn’t have what I played that franchise for anyway, so at least it’s useful. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider was a solid title with a good breakdown. [Dishonored] tells you what franchise/world it’s part of and [Death of the Outsider] immediately hooks on several levels. If you haven’t played the games, you have the questions What/Who is the Outsider? and Why is their death so important as to merit a game title and an individual installment? If you have played the games, it’s Holy shit! Are we killing the Outsider? How? and then you move on from there.

I will admit to having a soft spot for short titles (e.g. Pyre, Bastion, Primordia) and stuff that just sounds really cool and kind of poetic (e.g. Our Darker Purpose, Hyper Light Drifter), especially if it makes sense in the context of the game. Probably my favorite game title of all time is… What Remains of Edith Finch. It’s just very good in spite of being very long.

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Any The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king connoisseurs here

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My opinions expressed only through Square Enix games.

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below is an excellent title, it rhymes and it is long as hell and even though I have never played it and don’t play Dragon Quest games generally (except VIII), I will probably remember it longer than I remember the names of the Presidents.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is bad because nobody can say it correctly without someone telling them ‘it’s Three Five Eight Days over Two’.

Bravely Default II and Kingdom Hearts II are bad because they are the third games in the series. Bravely Second was an okay title before I had to contend with BDII.

Final Fantasy X-2 is good because it uses the Roman and Arabic numerals to convey different things, and I like saying ‘Ten Two’. But I think it gets confusing when you have things like Final Fantasy XIII-2 and then Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - stick to a naming convention!

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is bad because it is meaningless word vomit. But Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together sounds great, it’s wordy but it makes me think about teamwork. And it’s a Queen reference so it is automatically cool.

Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage is just taking the piss.

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Personally, I just call it Kingdom Hearts 179 Days.

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Wow that Dragon Quest Heroes title sounded so good I said it outloud like five times. More rhyming titles imo.

The two words Star Ocean together is just a tremendous combo. I don’t hate Integrity and Faithlessness but I adore Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.

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