How to Title Your Stupid Sequel

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How to Title Your Stupid Sequel

If you have to make a sequel, try being creative with at least the title.

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Wish we had that reboot=death penalty thing in real life. It would be a cleansing i would look forward to anyway.

As for the names, subtitles would have helped with distinguishing sequals from each other.

Half Life 2: Aftermath would stand out more among its bigger brothers if it hadn't been named Episode 1.

Yahtzee, don't lie. No one would love to play Sonic 2006.

Bravo, Yahtzee. But how then do we classify the Final Fantasy series, which has numbered sequels that have buttfuck all to do with each other?

Punctuation Force: the Recoloning 2012 part 4
How's that?

"I'd love to play Sonic 2006." A line uttered by no one ever before today.

I guess they could've called it Halo: A New Beginning or Halo: The Reclaimer Saga: Episode 1: Master Chief's New Adventure or something like that.

Star wars is a movie where the sequels were named in numbers, although they did make some effort to add in new names, and give the numbers not starting from 1.

Redemption Resurrection Insurrection Requiem Retribution Evolution Revolution Extinction Extermination... I'll take the numbering system over this any day.

Halo 4 is a confusing title numerically as well, as it is the sixth fps in the series. Seventh game, if you count Halo Wars.
And can we talk about Assassin's Creed for a moment? Just because your games take place in the same time period doesn't mean they're not proper sequels. It's an annual-release franchise. AC3 deals directly with the events of Brotherhood and Revelations.
Category three is a happy medium, but it does confuse me. As much as I love Dreamfall, I refuse to call it The Longest Journey: Dreamfall. That's just silly. I'd love to see a project with the confidence to use #4, but most examples I can think of are more easily classified as "spiritual sequels" than directly tied by narrative. I was going to say Virtue's Last Reward, but that actually sort of retconned the the whole series as "Zero Escape: Subtitle Here".
Can anyone think of an example of a true game sequel with a completely different title?
My closest attempt is Ico and its tangentially connected prequel Shadow of the Colossus.

And now we've reached a point of wonderful sequel ambiguity: does the "13" at the end of a game title refer to the 13th installment of a series, or the release for the year 2013?

(The correct answer: It doesn't matter, the game most likely sucks either way.)

Dondonalien44:
Halo 4 is a confusing title numerically as well, as it is the sixth fps in the series. Seventh game, if you count Halo Wars.
And can we talk about Assassin's Creed for a moment? Just because your games take place in the same time period doesn't mean they're not proper sequels. It's an annual-release franchise. AC3 deals directly with the events of Brotherhood and Revelations.
Category three is a happy medium, but it does confuse me. As much as I love Dreamfall, I refuse to call it The Longest Journey: Dreamfall. That's just silly. I'd love to see a project with the confidence to use #4, but most examples I can think of are more easily classified as "spiritual sequels" than directly tied by narrative. I was going to say Virtue's Last Reward, but that actually sort of retconned the the whole series as "Zero Escape: Subtitle Here".
Can anyone think of an example of a true game sequel with a completely different title?
My closest attempt is Ico and its tangentially connected prequel Shadow of the Colossus.

But... Dreamfall follows lesson #3 almost to a T. "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" is never uttered like that. It's always just "Dreamfall", the "Longest Journey" part just serving to indicate it's in the same universe, though it's widely known that it is. Dreamfall by itself is sufficiently distinct and known to be used as the only title. It's distinct enough to name its sequel without the Longest Journey in it. I'm glad since "The Longest Journey:Dreamfall:Chapters" is way too unwieldly. Not that folks at Activision know this. I mean "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Black Ops [insert number here]". Come on, now, you know they're one step away from merging them all like that to maximize sales.

An oddity I can think of would be the Gabriel Knight series. They all start with "Gabriel Knight", but although they all have a relatively unique subtitle ("Sins of the Fathers", "The Beast Within", "Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned"), they regularly get abbreviated into Gk1, Gk2 and Gk3, respectively. I think that's a shame, since the subtitles have a lot of peotry in them and are poingant when you learn the entire story in the game.

Sometimes sequel naming becomes amusing.

In the early '90s people had learned that anything with the number 2 in it usually sucked. So publishers started using the number 2000. It's a very big number and also refered to the year 2000 that was coming up in the near future. Big numbers with a futuristic sound that had to be good, right? So SimCity 2000 and Gunship 2000 among others were born. But then what do you call the next installment when the year 2000 hasn't even arrived yet? The good guys at Maxis certainly didn't seem to be in any doubt, SimCity 3000 seemed like the natural title.

Well, then there's Criterion, naming their first NFS just Hot Pursuit while there was already a Hot Pursuit and Hot Pursuit 2. And then they reboot Most Wanted. For chrissake! It was out in 2005... oh, wait, now I feel old. Damn!

Yahtzee Croshaw:
It's just a thought, but maybe you could give the audience enough credit to assume you don't need to put a big fucking label on everything for the benefit of easily frightened thickos who only want to watch what they're familiar with.

But catering to "easily frightened thickos who only want to watch what they're familiar with" is the whole reason sequels exist in the first place. And I can think of at least one franchise that tried the new-name thing and apparently suffered for it because they stopped doing it: the Pink Panther series. The second movie was called A Shot in the Dark, but every movie after that had "Pink Panther" in the title despite having nothing to do with the titular gem.

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of their audience, after all.

The same is true of James Bond films, which is just as well, because we'd be up to Dr. No Part 47 by now.

But then again, I've heard some people use the phrase "Double-Oh-Seven Skyfall" verbally, because "Skyfall" is shorter and a bit more generic than most other Bond titles.

Here's another example of stupid naming:
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

...ok seriously, is this really a matter that needed to be addressed?

Good point as usual, keep em coming!
Now here's to hoping some genius in marketing at a big publisher also follows your columns!!!!

First Blood
Rambo: First Blood Part 2
Rambo 3
Rambo

Confusing, inconsistent, and the last one isn't even a reboot! It's not just games that can't figure out naming.

Another shitty practice is to add or remove the word "the". Final Destination and The Final Destination are entirely separate entries in the same series.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S.

I can't believe I never noticed the whole re- thing in the subtitles. Halo REach, Assassin's Creed REvelations, The Matrix REvolutions, Metal Gear Solid: REvengeance. It's so obvious when you think about it.

UNHchabo:

The same is true of James Bond films, which is just as well, because we'd be up to Dr. No Part 47 by now.

But then again, I've heard some people use the phrase "Double-Oh-Seven Skyfall" verbally, because "Skyfall" is shorter and a bit more generic than most other Bond titles.

Here's another example of stupid naming:
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Funny thing is, I was thinking of that series as a good example of the third type that Yahtzee was talking about. The Franchise titles are the extra part that nobody mentions. It's not Dark Forces II, it's Jedi Knight. It's not Jedi Knight II, it's Jedi Outcast. The sequel numbers are mostly just to tell you it's all part of the same series.

I do agree that just naming Halo 4 was pretty lazy and stupid. After all this was supposed to be the start of a whole new trilogy. Say what you want about the Star Wars movies (even the prequels) at least Lucas didn't just number them like you would items on a grocery list. If they wanted to keep the Halo name in the title that would have be fine with me, even if the halos have little to nothing to to with the story anymore. But they could have at least done something besides slap a bigger number on the end. Even calling it something like "Halo: The Revengening" would shown a little effort and attempt to show its a new story arc.

Well, books are written with a beginning, a middle and an end, whereas most modern big movies and games are franchise-focused.

But the reason why books don't do it is not because they are creative geniuses that feel like numbers are cheap, its because they want to trick you into the whole "book 7 out of 15" thing. Numbers are simple, numbers are ordered. If one wants to convey the idea that something goes before something else, having them be n and n+1 is a pretty good idea. Simple and to the point. No need to go to wikipedia to know if the book is part of a multimedia series and a waste of time and money to dig into at the point. The case of Halo 4 is a pity because they could have created a branch, like Modern Warfare did. Big numbers tend to intimidate people, and if its really a reboot they could treat it as such.

If sequels are numbered, I don't really mind; specially if they are part of the same story arc and, therefore, true sequels. I would take the numbering approach over the esoteric titles that games like Assassins Creed 2 uses any day. Those games assume people is knowledgeable enough of the industry to know when a game is released and whether it continues with the previous games or not. Its a trap for customers, which is not a happy way to make them return to you when the inevitable "Game X: Reconstitution" arrives next year; and its a bad excuse to justify them, because having a game being XIII 2 is stupid. Seriously, most of your alternatives sound worst than simply putting a number to it.

The Fast and the Furious.

2 Fast 2 Furious.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Fast & Furious

Fast Five

It's almost as if they're purposely trying to avoid using the same sequel name convention more than once.

Also: here's a list of pretty much every type of sequel convention ever used for anything.
http://www.allmovietalk.com/?p=55

This is one of the many things I hate about Mr. Croshaw: He tries so, so hart to make a point, and the point doesn't even make sense. He is saying only stupid and lazy people make titles with numbers. So what does that make Valve then?

Ugh. It's like how he complains about how games should have more colors to them, then totally insults FFXIII (see mind jack) for looking "S***" because it's the only game that actually uses colors.

Yahtzee, as a horror movie fan, you disappoint me. You know Jason isn't the killer in the original Friday the 13th. You also know that each sequel is "part X" up until Jason Takes Manhattan, and starting with the fourth film, they all have subtitles.

But otherwise, I agree that the naming system needs some help. Another example of the adding/removing "the" from the title is Fast & Furious. Isn't that something like the fourth movie in the series? Then it's followed by Fast 5. It just seems really lazy. I'm a bit surprised Yahtzee didn't mention the awful habit of replacing a letter in the title with a number, like F.3.A.R. and Thi4f.

I prefer being wordy even if I am bad at it :P. So have fun with your titles!

Among other notable video games, Star Ocean has been doing this since the first game was released.

Star Ocean (later ported to the PSP as Star Ocean: First Departure)
Star Ocean: The Second Story (re-titled Star Ocean: Second Evolution for PSP)
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
Star Ocean: The Last Hope

I've always liked this way of entitling games better. Especially when games like Assassin's Creed end up numbering the fifth game in the franchise as Assassin's Creed III. This leads people to believe that Brotherhood and Revelations are throw away titles and not part of the main story. Or worse, people will get interested and find out that rather than having to play only two games to prepare for the third installment, they'll actually have to play four.

Uncharted does the number AND subtitle thing, which annoys me, but at least no one gets confused as to which comes first.

I assure you, you would not love to play Sonic 2006.

You know, sometimes they even Change sequel titles to be less original in localization. For example, the game that was called "Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner" in English was originally released in Japan as "Anubis: Zone of the Enders" (with the series title in a very small font).

Personally, I always liked what the Professor Layton games did with their "Professor Layton and the..." formula.

One of this article's points reminded me of the Mad Max movies, like how the 2nd one is more famously known as just "The Road Warrior" and the 3rd one's often called "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome".
I have no problem with HALO 4 being named how it is. The other games between 3 and 4 didn't have you play as Master Chief, so the sequel numbering convention for the Chief-centric games still stand. They keep the word HALO in the title so you know which series you're getting the latest installment of, so it serves that purpose. I suppose each stidio has their own naming conventions. Like Ubisoft with Assassin's Creed. Numbered sequels are set in a new era (leaving out the bits set in the "present" with Desmond). Games on DS or PSP have subtitles and keep the number of the console game when set in the same era, like PSP's AC:Bloodlines, DS's ACII:Discovery, and PSVita's ACIII:Liberation. The exception being Brotherhood and Revelations, since those continued Ezio's story on the home consoles. And I'm aware they're available on PC, but my point still stands.
And Yahtzee, you skipped the King of nonsensical sequel numbering, Resident Evil! Wasn't that game starring the Redfield siblings together technically the 4th game? And this is the series that dared to number one of their games 0, back on the Gamecube!

Don't forget The Dead Pool is also a Dirty Harry sequel.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
I'd love to play Sonic 2006 but unfortunately I never got around to playing the 2,005 previous installments.

...crap, then I suppose just now getting into Warhammer 40K is right out, then, isn't it?

I'd rather have numbers than all that other shit because it's just confusing. If you aren't a fan of the franchise, it becomes harder to learn the order and whatnot. You might have known that Magnum Force, The Enforcer and Sudden Impact are sequels to Dirty Harry, but how the hell are people who aren't already familiar with that series of movies supposed to know that first, they're sequels, and second, what order they go in without doing extra research? At least with Halo I can tell that it goes Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4 without doing an extra research as soon as I see the titles. There's other stuff like ODST and Reach in there as well, but they have fuck all to do with Master Chief so you aren't missing out on anything by not having them immediately fit in. They're just backstory games. The numbers in the main games work fine if you consider the numbered games to be the adventures of Master Chief, regardless of if he's still working on the same threat to humanity in each game or not. Huge difference to that stupid shit Assassin's Creed did:

Assassin's Creed - Main Story
Assassin's Creed: Alta´r's Chronicles - Backstory
Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines - Backstory
Assassin's Creed II - Main Story
Assassin's Creed II: Discovery - Backstory
Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Completely Unimportant
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - Main Story
Assassin's Creed: Revelations - Main Story
Assassin's Creed III - Main Story
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation - Completely Unimportant

How the fuck are you supposed to tell the important games from the backstory and the completely pointless bullshit at a glance? There are non-numbered games that are important parts of the plot, non-numbered games that are just backstory, and non-numbers games that contribute fuck all to the story being told in the rest of the franchise. You would, again, need to look that up, like I just had to on Wikipedia to sort all that bullshit out. Basically, the problem is that Assassin's Creed 3 isn't Assassin's Creed 3, it's Assassin's Creed 5. Brotherhood is 3 and Revelations is 4, because if you don't play them you'll be missing important parts of 5.

But it's even more confusing! Assassin's Creed 2 Discovery and Assassin's Creed 3 Liberation still have the numbers in, so they must be important, right? WRONG! They're the least important mother fuckers in that mess. And yet Brotherhood and Revelations have no number despite being required playing if you want to know what's going on? So stupid. They could have at LEAST done this:

Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed: Alta´r's Chronicles
Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines
Assassin's Creed II
Assassin's Creed: Discovery
Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
Assassin's Creed II: Brotherhood
Assassin's Creed II: Revelations
Assassin's Creed III
Assassin's Creed: Liberation

That way all the important games still carry a number that signifies they are part of the main story that you NEED to play in order to understand what's going on, and the completely unimportant games have no number so they don't look important when they aren't. Obviously, the easiest thing would have still been this, though:

Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed: Alta´r's Chronicles
Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines
Assassin's Creed II
Assassin's Creed: Discovery
Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
Assassin's Creed III
Assassin's Creed IV
Assassin's Creed V
Assassin's Creed: Liberation

Creative, no, but at least you can tell what the important games are and what order they go in without having to run off to Wikipedia to look it all up.

Hyakunin Isshu:
Ugh. It's like how he complains about how games should have more colors to them, then totally insults FFXIII (see mind jack) for looking "S***" because it's the only game that actually uses colors.

If you think FF13 is the only game that actually uses colors... You just made YouTube comments look intelligent.

Just slap Electric Boogaloo on the end and have done with it.

I dunno, numbers are sometimes handy. Anything other than the mess that is Bubble Bobble / Rainbow Islands / Parasol Stars / Bubble Symphony / Bubble Memories / Puzzle Bobble to infinty / etc...

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