Top 5 Say-Nothing Subtitles of 2014

Some companies come up with off-the-charts, wicked-good subtitles, not the least of which is attached to the most recent Magicka sequel. Plants vs Zombies 2 (despite my noted disdain for the sequel) also knocked it out of the park with “It’s About Time.” Hell, even The Last of Us: Remastered was straight and to the point, albeit lacking in creativity. But not every company can churn out dynamite quips, and in a year where games without subtitles are quickly becoming the minority, there are bound to be more than a few stinkers. Here’s a look at some of the worst subtitles of this past year (to keep things fresh, of course).

5. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z

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Okay, so it uses the “Z” twice in the title. What’s the big deal? Well when you consider that it’s inspired by the term “Z Fighter,” which just means a main character from the series, the title basically boils down to “Dragon Ball Z: Battle.” I get that it’s a fighting game, but aren’t there always battles of some kind in Dragon Ball Z? So all we’re left with is “Dragon Ball Z.” They would have been better off just calling it “Dragon Ball Z: Fighting Game.”

Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Melee suffered from the same say-nothingness, so it’s no surprise that their new games are just called “Super Smash Bros. for 3DS,” and “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.” The simplicity is elegant, and only makes it a little difficult to google the original Smash Bros. on virtual console.

4. The LEGO Movie Videogame

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Of course, this one is repeated by almost any movie tie-in in history, (except Alien: Isolation, most recently. good for them) but we can’t keep doing this. If I’m playing it, odds are it’s a video game. This year was actually a double feature of “The Video Game” subtitles, with the critical failure “Rambo: The Video Game” being released in February. But does it bother anyone else that The Lego Movie decided “video game” was one word? No? Okay …

3. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

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I realize this is an expansion, but the Diablo series never tires of finding different ways to say things are the devil -I won’t even get started on “Ultimate Evil Edition.” Think back to Diablo III bosses: Azmodan, Lord of Sin – the Devil. Belial, Lord of Lies – the devil (and an actual biblical figure associated with demons). Then of course you have Diablo, the Prime Evil, and that one highlights exactly what Diablo: Reaper of Souls is really telling you. The game could easily be called “Devil III: The Devil.” Though then it might get mixed up with that one Shyamalan movie.

2. Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition

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If not for that subtitle, how else would we know that, when an entire nation dies, it’s probably something resembling an apocalypse? “Apocalypse” isn’t always a useless subtitle. Even Resident Evil: Apocalypse could make a case for its use (even though the apocalypse in question happened several installments ago), but this is just lazy. If this is the apocalypse edition, what was the edition before? The World is Kind of Maybe Over Edition?

1. Murdered: Soul Suspect

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This one is hard to wrap your head around, and not just because you can’t figure out why this game exists in the first place. The game that single-handedly killed any future its developers had (the studio closed mere months after it released), had a subtitle worse than its gameplay. The original title “Murdered,” is fine; the main character was murdered, and now he’s a soul trying to investigate his own murder. But there is certainly more than one suspect, so I have to believe that someone on the dev team came up with this stupid pun and stuck to without regard for its relevance.