The use of acronyms for video game titles has become one of the industry’s most annoying trends ever. I must say that in some cases, the use of acronyms for certain games makes perfect sense (the one that immediately comes to mind is F.E.A.R., a horror title) But in other cases, not only does the use of acronyms make no sense at all, but also it’s just plain embarrassing. Without further ado, let’s see what some developers came up with:
What does it stand for? Massive Action Game
Why is it so bad? MAG is a multiplayer first-person shooter that became quite well known for supporting up to 256 players at the same time. Unfortunately, its name isn’t the best one. Various subtitles were considered before its release, such as MAG: Shadow War, MAG: Zero, MAG: Global Assault and MAG: Final Hour, but the developers decided to go with just MAG. As soon as you find out that the MAG stands for something as generic as Massive Action Game, you’ll feel very disappointed.
What does it stand for? Nothing!
Why is it so bad? R.U.S.E. is a real-time strategy game that focuses on information warfare. The game’s main objective is to deceive the opponent and use that to your advantage, hence its name. At first, I thought that the developers started off on the wrong foot, because as soon as the name of your game features an acronym that doesn’t stand for anything, you’ve already done something bad. But then I saw that the game’s subtitle is “Don’t Believe What You See.” Maybe we are the ones being tricked… In other words, this could be the worst use of an acronym or the most inventive one. I’ll go with the former.
3) WTF: Work Time Fun
What does it stand for? Work Time Fun. Come on, it’s right there in the title.
Why is it so bad? The English title of this game clearly makes reference to the slang “WTF,” short for “What the Fuck?” usually used to indicate confusion. The Japanese version of this title, on the other hand, was called Beit Hell 1000. Beit is short for Arbeit, a Japanese word that means part-time job. This makes perfect sense in Japanese because this PSP title features a collection of bizarre minigames that represent multiple part-time jobs. The minigames (quite similar to the ones from the Warioware series) must be completed before time runs out and they vary in difficulty. The tasks range from catching a baseball or chopping wood to classifying chicken according to their sex. Come on, like you couldn’t deduce all that from its title.
2) S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team
What does it stand for? Special Cybernetic Attack Team
Why is it so bad? S.C.A.T. is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up produced by Natsume for the Nintendo Entertainment System and was released in North America in 1991. To be fair, this game was a Japanese-developed title, so at least I’ll give the developers the benefit of the doubt. Still, do I really have to believe that no one told the developers that scat means eating crap? What’s even more baffling is that the European version of the game was called Action in New York and the Japanese version was called Final Mission. Any of those names would have been fine, but no, they had to choose S.C.A.T.
1) N.U.D.E. @ Natural Ultimate Digital Experiment
What does it stand for? Natural Ultimate Digital Experiment
Why is it so bad? And we have a winner! Natural Ultimate Digital Experiment (or N.U.D.E. for short) is a 2003 Xbox game that was released only in Japan. This simulation-based title puts the player in the shoes of a product tester. It’s worth mentioning that the products are humanoid female robots called P.A.S.S. (Personal Assist Secretary System) that need to be taught how to complete various tasks. In order to issue these commands, the player needs to make use of the Xbox Communicator, a headset that was bundled with the game. I wonder why N.U.D.E. was never released outside of Japan…