Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Japanese devs: please stop putting the word 'Chronicles' in your game titles

2:40 PM on 12.18.2008 // Anthony Burch

I just recently downloaded the demo for Valkyria Chronicles and I really, really enjoy it. As I played it, however, I wondered: "Why hadn't I heard of this game before? Why did it take a particularly enthusiastic community blog to interest me in even downloading the demo?"

Then I realized -- it's the title. I read jkh13's blog because it didn't include the title of the game. I didn't even read Destructoid's own review because upon seeing the game's title, some part of my brain just shut down and told me it wasn't worth pursuing. Now that I've played and enjoyed the demo so much, I can't imagine how crappy my life as a gamer would have been had I not found it. I could remember feeling that way about a game only one other time.

That game, of course, was Steambot Chronicles.

Given that neither Steambot Chronicles nor Valkyria Chronicles have sold particularly well in the US, and given that I was completely unaware of them until someone else virtually grabbed me by my neck and screamed praises at the top of their lungs, I was forced to come to a single conclusion:

Putting the word "Chronicles" in your game's title -- especially if the game is Japanese, and especially if the other word is something confusingly specific like "Valkyria" or "Steambot" -- is a really, really, really bad idea.

Hit the jump, and I'll try to explain.

"Chronicles" is one of those words that gets bandied about far too often in bad science fiction novels, and worse videogames. While trying to figure out why the word "Chronicles" subconsciously stirs up such unbridled indifference, I found this article on GamesRadar, which helped clear some things up.

Tomb Raider Chronicles.

Sonic Chronicles: Dark Brotherhood.

Gunman Chronicles.

With very few exceptions (Chronicles of Riddick, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles), it's almost as if "Chronicles" functions like a big, red neon sign, warning consumers that the game will be either a crap spinoff of an established series on its way down, or just a crap game in general. "Chronicles" is so goddamn overused that, at least in my case, I just tune it out completely when reading it or hearing it.

erere

Not to mention, it doesn't really tell the consumer anything about the game. Game titles in general are still pretty abysmal, but they at least attempt to convey information from time to time.

"Left 4 Dead" sounds absolutely stupid, but it at least hints at four-player cooperation, and some sort of situation where dead things are involved.

"Mirror's Edge" sounds like the new razor from Schick, but its individual words have unique connotations that conjure up the image of something sleek, yet dangerous.

"Valkyria Chronicles" sounds like absolutely nothing at all. It sounds like cheap, irrelevant JRPG trash. It tells me absolutely nothing about what the game will be like. This is frankly moronic, considering the story of a goddamn WWII-esque war being fought with steampunk machines and technology, all visualized with beautiful pseudo-hand-drawn graphics is something that would very easily entice consumers if only the title were more descriptive in that direction.

However confused I might be by a game called "Awesomely Beautiful Animated Steam Tanks Fight Each Other In An Anime World War II Setting," I would, at the very least, have a hard time ignoring it. Instead, consumers are faced with a proper noun they have absolutely no reason to care about, followed by a completely empty and overused word.

erere

And even though "Steambot Chronicles" is technically more descriptive than "Valkyria Chronicles" -- looking at the title, I at least understand that steam will be somehow involved -- it's not much better. I imagine big, stupid, epic situations involving giant robots and overdramatic protagonists when I hear "Steambot Chronicles." I think of a multi-part saga that lasts at least five games longer than it really has to. I don't think of a charming, incredibly nonlinear RPG where you can spend the majority of your time learning a musical instrument rather than fighting bandits in a bipedal robot.

Now, perhaps the vague and meaningless title was an intentional decision by the localization team (I can understand why you wouldn't want a title that made people think of charmingly unfocused gameplay where nobody ever dies and everyone is friendly), but it certainly didn't help sales all that much.

Perhaps I'm alone in this, but it's a real struggle for me to have any interest whatsoever in a game I've never heard of if something about it doesn't stand out. Usually, screenshots or trailers will do the trick, but if your game looks like a generic JRPG when shown in static photos (as is the case with most Valkyria and Steambot screenshots), then your title is going to have to do something more to get me interested.

I would have literally never even contemplated picking up Valkyria Chronicles had it not been for jkh13's community blog, and that's a goddamned shame. I'm happily winning an eBay auction for it as I type this, but I can't help but feel a little apprehensive and saddened by the fact that a single, poorly chosen word in a title almost kept me from experiencing something new and interesting.

So cut it out with the "Chronicles" shit already.






 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Titannel avatarTitannel
In between work and, uh, work, I've been buying PS Vita games. Not playing them. Buying them. There are a whole lotta obscure games on the Vita. And a lot of them involve either dating anime boys or underage girls doing decidedly non-underage-girl things.
Browarr avatarBrowarr
JET SET RADIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
Still better than Aliens Colonial Marines.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
The good news: XCOM 2 is installed on my pc. The bad news: It runs about as well as a fat kid on ice.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Get your Devil's Third, here! Hot, fresh Devil's third! [url]http://www.gamestop.com/wii-u/games/devils-third/118963[/url]
EAPidgeon avatarEAPidgeon
Glad I can support the site again with HUGE since my life is mostly back in order. Curious though if anyone knows what happened to the Merch Shop for the site.
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Give me an open-world game and I'll find a way to mistreat children and the elderly.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
What do you think guys? Text or no text?
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I'm dying of laughter, these are too good XD super Zangeif OP
Parismio avatarParismio
How dare they price her so low...
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Fire Emblem Fates special edition is confirmed to have all three versions on one cartridge, so you DO get Revelation early.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Frinkiac.com: Search Simpsons quotes, get the image from the episode where the quote is from and easily make a meme.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I ended up buying Yakuza 3 on Amazon and nabbing Gravity Rush Remastered on the PS Store. Both have trophies so I'm pretty hyped to play em.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
Just finished a blog just in time for the 25th Anniversary of Street Fighter II, which is in a few minutes...
Parismio avatarParismio
Jesus Pacland in smash looks like something someone made in MSPaint. I love it.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Looks like Nintendo was selling a North America exclusive 3DS cover plate. At least, I've never seen this particular one before. It's out of stock now, though.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
So Helldivers is pretty fucking great.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Since I thanked Niero and Paladin on the site update article, might as we thank the rest of you staff, contributors, mods, volunteers, tippers, former workers, commenters, bloggers, quickshitposters, lurkers, trol-nevermind them, anyway XCOM2 calls!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I've got an even better picture! I'll post it in the comments.
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
I just have to post this pic because it's one of the best things ever. Gotta post it in the comments though.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -