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I've Got Your Number
Jumping Straight to the X
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on April 18, 2007   |   Episode 10 (Show Archive)  

   

Final Fantasy X proves that you can have ten great installments, unfortunately not every franchise can be as good as Square's long running series!
If you're the developer of a video game franchise that has finally made it to its tenth installment then there are a few things you should consider. For one thing it's important to take that number off the title so that you don't remind people that you are so unoriginal that you have come up with ten games with the exact same name. It's also important to do some soul searching and decide if maybe it's time to start milking something else, maybe a new IP or some series you developed years ago. Two or three sequels are fine, but when you finally hit ten some might consider that to be a bit excessive.

But what about those games that haven't quite made it to the tenth installment but want you to think they have? Believe it or not, the video game industry is full of games that want

As confused as I was with Wizards and Warriors X, I'm still not sure what to make of this crazy Fabio cover!
to sucker unsuspecting gamers into believing that they are some long running franchise that should be respected. Not everybody can be Final Fantasy or Romance of the Three Kingdoms. But who is going to let that silly number stand in the way of prestige? Apparently just about every major video game series, that's who.

This inconsistent numbering problem has been troubling me for a long, long time. I remember walking into my local video game store back in the early 1990s and standing there stunned by Wizards and Warriors X: Fortress of Fear for the Game Boy. I was shocked, being a fan of the Wizards and Warriors series I

Now that New Rally-X has hit the Xbox Live Arcade we can officially start a petition demanding Rally-I through Rally-IX!
wondered what happened to chapters four through nine, I felt like I was up on the series and couldn't believe that so many games had passed right under my nose. Being a kid at the age of twelve or thirteen I couldn't comprehend what was going on, it was even more confusing realizing that Fabio was on the cover of the second Wizards and Warriors game.

But as I look back at it now I realize that Wizards and Warriors was hardly the first game to do that, back in 1980 Midway released Rally X, an overhead Pac-Man style arcade game that was supposed to take the world by storm. What happened to Rally I through IX you may

Old Mega Man scares the bejesus out of me!
ask? Well, I haven't the foggiest idea, but I do know that one year later Midway confused us even further by releasing New Rally X. I have always hoped that somebody would bring out a compilation of all of the Rally games I missed, that way I won't feel like I missed some major part of the story.

This numbering problem didn't only inflict old 8-bit games; it also followed us into the 16-bit era thanks to Mega Man. Of all the franchises that could have made it to that coveted tenth installment I always figured that Mega Man would be the one, but for some odd reason Capcom stopped counting at number 8, a mere two sequels shy of hitting ten. But let's rewind this tape a little bit, Capcom didn't wait until they got to Mega Man 8 to skip to Mega Man X, instead they jumped from five to ten back in 1993. What's more, Capcom actually made eight numbered Mega Man X games, which would mean we are actually on Mega Man XVI. And to

Isn't it about time somebody goes back and remakes those classic Resident Evil games without the terrible control?
make things even more confusing, Capcom went from Mega Man 8/Mega Man X8 to Mega Man 64, which I don't think I need to tell you is much more than just a two or three game leap. Who knows, maybe in Japan the numbering goes 5, 6, 7, 8, 64. How should I know?

If this was a one-time thing I might be more willing to give Capcom a break, but time and time again we've seen this company leap forward for what seems like no reason. Just look at what happened to the Street Fighter series in Japan, it went from Super Street Fighter II to Super Street Fighter II X. Two-ten? That sounds more like Final Fantasy numbering than anything Capcom would do. And that's not the only one, take a look at Resident Evil ? Code: Veronica X on the PlayStation 2. It's all very confusing, especially if you are the type of person who likes to collect every game in a series.

But what about those games that start at ten? Some games don't require nine prequels, some games are fine with only that one tenth installment that is, for better or worse, just trying

What Revolution X needed was more Alicia Silverstone and a whole lot less of Aerosmith!
to sound cool with the "X" at the end of their title. I'm talking about a game like Revolution X, I can honestly say that not even the biggest Aerosmith fan wants to play Revolution I through IX. And we've already played a lot of games with missions; we don't need to go through something called Missions X. I would also add that we only need one uprising, so a single Uprising X is all that is necessary. And let's not forget Star X, a title that is both generic and confusing all at the same time.

Of course, it's not just bad games that have this problem; I rather enjoy games like Guilty Gear X, Metal Slug X and Dracula X. And while I'm

If you think Bo Derek is hot in Ten, just wait until you see her in Seven and Eight!
conflicted by what Tempest X3 means, I certainly enjoyed the game enough to play it long after the PlayStation 2 had come out. This problem affects every type of game, not just the bad ones. It's not all Maken X, Citizen X and Super X; from time to time we can be confused by something of quality, like Robotron X.

And it's not just video games, either. Just look at the movies that have hit the theaters in the past few decades. I'm not sure about you, but no matter how many times I sit through Spike Lee's Malcolm X biopic I can't help but feel like I would get more out of it

You mean to tell me that this is not Wizards and Warriors Ten? I don't want to hear your crazy, crazy words!
had I seen Malcolm I through IX. And then there's that Dudley Moore movie 10, which introduced a generation of horny men to Bo Derek. But no matter how hot Bo Derek is, it doesn't make up for the fact that I sat through the entire movie wondering what I missed by not watching the prequels in order. And that's the same feeling I get when I toss in all of these other video games.

But then it hits me, maybe they don't mean "X" as in "ten", maybe they mean "X" as in the letter "X" ... like it's some big mystery or something. Maybe the Xbox 360 isn't actually the "Ten Box 360" after all. Could I have been wrong all this time? Why didn't somebody correct me when I kept calling it Wizards and Warriors Ten? Am I so ignorant that I couldn't even see what these video game companies were trying to do? They weren't trying to pull over a fast one on us; they didn't want to be the next Final Fantasy. They wanted to add some mystery to the game by offering some letter that means absolutely nothing. How could I have been so dumb? But then again, I suppose the alternative is admitting my mistakes, which in turn makes this article completely useless. So to save us all some time, I am going to remain ignorant and demand that somebody makes New Rally XI!
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