Monday, May 30, 2011


You know what's a bad idea? Like, a really bad one? Subtitling a sequel "Betrayal." Especially when that sequel is on a different console, format, has wildly differing gameplay and art design, and was clearly inspired by an entirely different series. It's just asking for trouble from the fan base.
Now, that being said, I'm picking on it but Bloodraye: Betrayal does look neat. Sure, it's an obvious Castlevania clone but, hey, if Konami isn't going to give me a half-way decent side-scrolling Castlevania game on home consoles, somebody might as well take my money.

Oh, speaking of Konami and shitty titles. Harmony of Despair? R-really? You just had to have it be Castlevania: HD? I mean, that's a good idea and all, but you already made that game. Plus, that game is actually good. So, from now on, whenever someone mentions "Castlevania:HD," people will have to ask if they mean "the good one on the GBA" or the "shitty XBLA grind-fest with all the recycled graphics." More importantly though, it doesn't make any sense. "Harmony of Dissonance" works. You see, starting the title with "Harmony" allows you to maintain your musical theme. "Harmony" and "Dissonance" are antonyms, so you've made a clever little play on words there. "Harmony of Despair," on the other hand, has no such word play. It means only that you and your friends are co-operating "harmoniously" in your "despair" as you suffer through a betrayal of a brand you all love. But, hey, at-least your cries of pain will be in tune.
You see, the conflicting art styles help the player identify their character on screen.
Titles are important. They are the first thing a player knows about your game and the first thing they'll tell their friends about it.

My only rule with titles is that something's title is simply what people call it, and you have no control over this. Buffy is, for example, just Buffy, having grown out of Buffy The Vampire Slayer long ago. Jedi Outcast is just that, and sure as hell isn't Star Wars: Dark Forces: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Hell, WoW is pretty much just WoW now. I see artsy titles that tell me nothing quite regularly, mostly on fiction, and they just don't work for me. As soon as you notice the people on your team or your audience referring to the product as anything other than what you printed on the cover, the title has changed. It's best to just go ahead and go with the more natural title than to hope against hope that people will stick with the one you just like so much.

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