Cancelled Games

With many great achievements, come many disapointments, & ones that just werent ment.
August 23, 2010
Let's face it with many of the great achievements in the gaming industry there are almost as many disappointments. You can wait for months or years for a game just to have it let you down, or there's the rare case where a game can stay in development for many with any reassurance from the developer of its completion or statues dropping your faith in it over time. Then there's the case where the games cancelled altogether leaving the player with the dissatisfaction that there never get to play it.

Here for you today are some games that just never got to be, with some notable & lesser known mentions

Earthbound; NES

While I'm sure many are familiar with the SNES title, that one was nearly the sequel the NES classic only released in Japan. What makes this mention so unfortunate is that they had finished translating it, but Nintendo of America pulled the plug right around the corner of its release. It's a real shame this game never got an official release as even though graphically inferior to the later SNES game it was still an outstanding experience & showed off some of the best graphics on the 8-bit system.

Even today earthbound has never gotten the respect it deserves outside Japan. Though there is still hope for those to play the NES classic that never was through the use of emulators & even unofficial duplicated carts for the full console experience.

Starfox 2

Anyone who owned an SNES during the 90's would probably remember the light speed outer space 3D shooter that introduced us to one of the most memorable fox's in gaming history. The game as a child blew my mind with its futuristic graphics & motion picture style presentation. At the time Starfox was as epic to me as a Star Wars movie, & still is today. & by the looks of things Starfox 2 would have been even better. Though it was close to completion (with the 2 player mode absent from the final beta) Nintendo pulled the plug.

While even though we did get Starfox 64 I still feel a bit of unsatisfaction when thinking over this forgotten (& would be classic) game that would have helped the SNES go out with a bang.

Though for some there is still hope to play it with the help of emulators & even unofficial duplication Carts.

Sonic X-treme

With the advent of the 3D era & Sonic's massive success on the genesis it would only seem fair that Sega would bring there beloved hedgehog to the 3rd dimension. Mario was heading to 3D with Super Mario 64, heck even the newcomer Sony had there own mascot with Crash Bandicoot. However the reality of having the next true sonic game in time for that era was merely just a pipe dream.

Many problems would occur during development & one of the creators nearly died trying to get the game finished. In the end the game was cancelled leaving Sega's newest console without a definitive Sonic title.

Though some could argue that atleast we got Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast later, that doesn't help the fact that was almost 3 years later & on another system. By that time Sonic was no longer mainstream like he was during the genesis era, & Sega's poor management of there last console the Saturn also diminished there good name as a quality console maker to the eyes of the gaming industry.

That's to say you can't compare Sonic Adventure to Super Mario 64 anymore then you can Avatar to Star Wars. If they really wanted to maintain Sonic's popularity they should have struck the 3D era while the iron was still hot, & they should have atleast tried to push the Saturn more rather then pulling the plug early on & pissing on there own customers.

Warcraft; Adventures
Lord of the clans

Anyone who was a PC gamer in the 90's would probably have heard of the real time strategy genre that combined Fantasy along with war themed elements into one unique playing experience. Near the hype of its popularity they sought to Cash in with a spin off title that would expand into the Adventure game genre.

The Story revolved around the origins of a young orc named Thrall (who many would later know from Warcraft 3 & its MMO phenomenon World of Warcraft) It would have featured animated cut scenes provided by the studio animation magic, a sense of humor found only in this genre, challenging puzzle solving, and a strong narrative that could only be found in a Warcraft game.

The game itself seemed like it would have been a classic if it were actually released, unfortunately the game would see a number of delays in its development before finally being cancelled as Blizzard felt it didn't meet the level of quality they were expecting. Though its story would live on in the novel (Warcraft; Lord of the Clans) it is fairly disappointing that this game never saw the light of day as it looked like it would have been a fairly decent adventure game.

Over the years bits n piece's of the unfinished game have made there way on the internet for the world to see, & one has to wonder how close to completion this game was?

Thrill Kill

Probably one of the most famous cancelled games had to be the over the top violent fighter Thrill Kill. By the looks of things this game aimed to be the next Mortal Kombat.
Basically you would have fought against others condemned to hell for a chance to be reborn, & rather then knocking heath off the opponents bar you would fill up a gauge to perform a Thrill Kill to defeat the other opponent.

The game would have also been in 3D, would have a 4 player versus mode, would have over the top blood, gore, & nudity, & be the first game in history to receive the AO rating. To everyone's unfortunate the game was cancelled a week before it was shipped by there new publisher EA did not want to hurt there image by releasing such a violent game to the public, & did everything in there power to snuff the game out of the public eye.

Though if you look at the games there publishing now, Dead Space, Dante's Inferno, it makes you wonder why they were so sensitive about this game to begin with. But on the bright side Thrill Kill would live on as the developers would upload the Rom to the internet for the rest of the world to enjoy, & even bootlegs would be made available for the full console experience.

Robotech; Crystal Dreams

Now Robotech was one of my favorite animes growing up, & N64 was my favorite console during that time. So if I knew around that time they were making a Robotech video game for the N64…….. I would probably been as disappointed as the people did know about it.

Even though Robotech may not have been one of the best animes of all time, it was still pretty damn cool, & even though the N64 may not have been the best console for developers at the time, it was still pretty impressive. It was star fighters that could turn into robots, it's like a cross between Gundam and transformers, with several original twists of its own.

By the footage shown in the beta this looked like it could have been another alright game. But sadly the company GameTek faced bankruptcy before the game could be finished, a real shame cause many Robotech fans would end up buying N64's in preparation of this games release.

Titan A.E.

Why this game was cancelled is almost as much a mystery as why no ones ever heard about it. Though considering the film it was based on didn't to so well at the box office, it's probably not to hard to draw a conclusion as to why it was cancelled.

Though I can't help but feel that Titan was an underrated classic in my books. Animator Don Bluth was a legend for his time & his final masterpiece was really trying it's hardest to reach out to anew audience. It was a film about looking toward the future & seeing how humanity could unite & rise above the odds in its darkest hour.

But the fact that this film had a chance to have its own game showed just how much ambition & potential the film really had. It also could have been the rare occasion where a movie licensed game was actually pretty good, though maybe not. But by looking over the unfinished game which consisted of mild platforming, shooting segments, & a flying level similar to Starfox, it probably would have still been a treat for those who were fans of the film.

Castlevania; Ressurection

The Deamcast really had a lot going for it when you think about it, but its unfortunate downfall can't really be blame of specific factor. In the end of the day the Dreamcast was just doomed from day one & the company Sega had no choice but to retire from making consoles. Though it did bring forth some interesting new games for its short time was out, & even some idea's that would be adapted to future consoles.

Unfortunately with the dawn of 2001 most of its future projects were cancelled leaving a sense of dissatisfaction to long time Sega loyalists. It is of course a rare occasion that a 3D Casltevania be as outstanding as its 2D counterpart, though being an anticipated title for Sega's last console brought much hope to anxious gamers.

It is unknown for certain if it was due to the disagreement between Konami of America & Konami of Japan, or the fact that the Dreamcast was on its last legs. But this would mark the last chance fans would ever hope to play another Casltevania on a Sega System.

Though considering that most Castlevania games in 3D were not very good its unknown if the gameplay itself would have been able to live up to the anticipation. Still it's always nice to wonder.

Shenmue 3

Now while Sega themselves never promised us they were going to make Shenmue 3, its still considered one of the biggest tragedy's in gaming history. Anyone who owned a Dreamcast back in late 2000 had a chance to play Yu Suzuki's signature masterpiece. Even though Sega had the upper hand that Christmas & had brought forth one of the finest games to grace there hardware it still wasn't enough to save there beloved system.

Though they were still set on trying to create a fanbase around Shenmue with the sequel hitting shelf's a year later as an Xbox launch title in North America, it still was not enough to keep this franchise running.

The Shenmue series was planning to be a 12 chapter series with Shenmue 1 only being the first chapter, & Shenmue 2 being chapters 3, 4, &5, chapter 2 being cut from the final game. Supposedly there would have been 4 games planned over the Dreamcasts lifetime.

Though many fans anticipated the announcement of Shenmue 3, it became obvious overtime that Sega had no interests in continuing this franchise for the sake of those few people who bought the other 2 games. Well considering the original cost 70 million US dollars to make, & was expected to save a system that was close to dying its not to difficult to conclude why they wont touch it. I often wonder if Suzuki really does believe Sega will let him finish the rest of it someday, or if he's only remaining at Sega to keep the hopes of Shenmue fans alive for as long as he can.

While fans still refuse to say no to the inevitable, it's clear that the conclusion to Ryo's Story may never be known.

But there's still hope for these guys

So in conclusion life is carried with kinds of disappoint as one could tell. You sometimes work hard for something & just to face the reality that things don't always work out. While cancelled games may just be a small example of many of life's disappointments its still a worthy study to ponder what could have been.

Then of course there are games with uncertain futures about them.

Duke Nukem Forever

Needs no explanation.

Starcraft Ghost

The anticipated stealth action spin off to Blizzard's Starcraft series would have its own development problems over the years. I for one was anticipating the launch of for such a long time before it became labeled as indefinably postponed.

Beyond Good and Evil 2

The first game selling poorly put the planned trilogy on hold, & 2 years after a new teaser was released there's still no kind of reasureance or update on the games statues, or how it'll improve over the first or where the story will go next or even in a small sense what to expect.

But in the end we can only hope the best for some of these delayed games, or wish the best for the games soon to come. Though for certain games it's already to late.
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