A name is but a culmination of everything it represents. My name takes everything I am, everything I’ve done, and sums it up in three short words. Names don’t always work, however. Names are used, contorted to fit upon a totally different figure, something that name does not represent. Not long ago I got on a game named Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, by a developer named Rare. I enjoyed it, thoroughly. But that game was not a Banjo Kazooie game, and the developer who created was not the Rare who made the originals. I was building vehicles in a game that from all I knew should have been having me finding golden puzzle pieces by doing platforming challenges. As interactive entertainment has become more popular, the business side of things have taken more ground in how games are made. This has led to me to going to the store, and sometimes not buying games, but rather names with some unrecognizable monstrosity ( or something better, yet equally unrecognizable) sitting behind the gleaming beauty of the words I once associated with the best memories in my gaming history.
Not all games do this, and certain games do accomplish living up to their ancient predecessors to an extent, but an increasing and disturbing trend can be seen where you don’t need a good game to get sales, and popularity, you just need a good name. Companies like Activision, EA, and Nintendo (Mario Party, Mario Golf, Mario Strikers, ect…) have been mixing third rate products with first rate game series, and it’s both flooding the markets in which I’ve always referred to for quality with titles without said quality, and often giving a bad impression to those coming into the medium for the first time.
World War II games are often fun, but no other was more epic and enjoyable than Call of Duty. From the awe-inspiring yet realistic campaign to the well done multiplayer in which I could spend hours upon hours in, the game was a full package. Call of Duty 2 delivered a very similar amount of fun and frankly I could only imagine the series going down that same path. By Call of Duty 4 I began to see a change I didn’t like. WWII bolt action rifles were replaced with fully auto assault rifles that could be given perks to kill an enemy within a second. Balance was replaced with air-strikes, claymores and helicopters. Call of Duty was replaced with some other game. It’s funny because in that case, the name Call of Duty became more closely associated with the latter part of the series. But Call of Duty 4 was still a blast, maybe even better than the first and second installments. Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts is a great game that I still get on from time to time to build new creations on. But perhaps they could do without slapping on names that don’t encompass what those games are, or what they’ve allowed us to know them as. Not give us that reference point and then throw us in a totally different direction. Perhaps they should allow these games to make a name for themselves, and if they can’t earn it, then maybe they don’t deserve one.