We’ve noticed that some gamers confuse The Outer Worlds with Outer Wilds. This is understandable as both games are open world adventures set in space, and both are coming out in a relatively narrow time window. This confusion is completely accidental, obviously. Because no developer would purposefully make it harder to differentiate their game. …Right?
Well, some do. If you too want to effectively confuse the gamers, here are three tried and tested methods to do it!
from the creators of KOTOR II and Fallout.
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1. Use the same title for a lot of different things
Some stories span across various media and sometimes it’s not clear in which order you should experience them. The obvious thing to do would be to number each entry or choose an appropriate subtitle — but why not simply reuse the exact same title instead?
It’s what The Thing series has done. It all started with a film titled The Thing, which got an official video game sequel — titled The Thing. Some time later, a prequel to both stories was made, aptly titled… The Thing. So, the correct order for experiencing the entire The Thing storyline is: The Thing, The Thing and The Thing. Obviously!
The Thing got away with this relatively unscathed because of long intervals between each release. But what if all three premiered at the same time?
Remember Exhumed? You probably don’t. It’s a great game. It’s a bad game. Both statements are correct, because Exhumed on PC is a mediocre effort at best, while its port on PlayStation and Sega Saturn… isn’t exactly a port. It’s a completely different game, and a much better one, sharing only the setting and the story.
The console Exhumed used a better engine, had much better level design, and is now known as a forgotten gem and a technical masterpiece. However, at the time of its release the bad rap of Exhumed PC was widespread and caused the excellent console version to flop as everyone thought it’s the same bad game.
Wait, Exhumed? We meant Powerslave! This was the title for the American market, resulting in two games being known under four titles, to obfuscate the matter even more.
2. Screw with the numbers. It’s easy as 1, 3, 7!
If you’re from North America and have experienced the 90s first-hand, in all their flannel shirt glory, there’s a chance that around 1994 you got your hands on Final Fantasy III. It still is a fantastic game, however what you really played was Final Fantasy VI. Final Fantasy II released in the West was actually Final Fantasy IV, and Final Fantasy I was… Final Fantasy I. They got it right that one time.
Wait, so where’s Final Fantasy II, III and V? Oh, they weren’t released outside Japan.
So imagine you’re a gamer who owns FF I, II and III, unaware of the fact they’re actually FF I, IV and VI. Then the next title in the series comes, titled… Final Fantasy VII. What?
Square got tired of the number game, and it only added to the confusion. Things got even worse when sequels to the respective parts of the series started appearing. Each had their own, and very different, style of naming.
- Final Fantasy IV used a subtitle (FFIV: The Afteryears).
- Final Fantasy VII added a pre-title (Crisis Core: FFVII; Dirge of Cerberus: FFVII).
- Final Fantasy X used the most puzzling solution, adding a second number (Final Fantasy X-2).
- Final Fantasy XIII went all out, having the first sequel titled Final Fantasy XIII-2, and the second: Lightning Returns: FFXIII.
But we don’t need regional differences and dozens of games in a series to make the titles confusing. Just take Doom for example.
There was Doom, then Doom 2. Then what, Doom 3? No, Ultimate Doom, which was Doom 1 with an additional episode. Then Final Doom came, which wasn’t another version of Doom, but a continuation of Doom 2.
Subsequently, there was the 5th entry in the series and the 4th original game — Doom 3. Followed with Doom 4? No, Doom.
So far there are 5 main Doom games, two of which are numbered, although only one (Doom 2) has a number that correctly places it within the series.
3. Just go crazy, like Japanese games do
Being able to keep track of any long-running Japanese series is considered a superpower. Let’s try to wrap our minds around Guilty Gear.
So far so good, it starts innocent enough. What’s next? Guilty Gear 2? No, Guilty Gear X, followed with Guilty Gear X2 — not to be confused with Guilty Gear 2, which also very much exists.
Then there’s Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, which isn’t the same as Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator. It’s also different from Guilty Gear XX, an updated version of X2, but not the same as another X2 update: X2 Reload, or another one: XX Accent Core. And how about X Plus, XX Slash, XX Accent Core Plus and XX Accent Core Plus R? Are you confused yet?
Let’s finish spiraling into madness with Kingdom Hearts, which, after a relatively sane beginning (Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 2), went completely bananas.
Next in the series, we had:
- Kingdom Hearts: Coded,
- KH: 358/2 Days,
- KH: Birth by Sleep,
- Dream Drop Distance,
- 1.5 Remix,
- Kingdom Hearts X,
- 2.5 Remix,
- Unchained X
- and 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.
Then, FINALLY, we arrived at… Kingdom Hearts III.
Now just let that sink in. It’s almost poetic.
It seems effortless, but we’re pretty sure it took a lot of effort to achieve this level of confusion.
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