Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gone But Not Forgotten 3: More Game Cancellations That Still Sting

Time to open up some old wounds, ladies and gentlemen! When a game you're hyping is suddenly cancelled, whether it's with an official announcement or worse, quietly never talked about again, it's an emotional blow that takes something out of your soul. Perhaps I'm waxing poetic here, so I'll just say that a game cancellation for something you're hyped about takes its toll on you. That's what this series of articles is all about, games that were cancelled, either ceremoniously or not, that still hurt to this day. If you'd like to check out the first and second installments of this series, check them out with part one and part two. Now, let's open up those wounds!

Maverick Hunter X (PS3, 360)

We kick this third look at cancelled games with some Mega Man X action. Developed by several folks who had worked on Metroid Prime, Maverick Hunter X was pumped and primed to be Capcom's attempt to create a similar game. Played in a first-person perspective with the ability to scale walls, Mega Man X was in an all-new form for this perceived reboot. However, as Mega Man lead director Keiji Infaune left the company, this project was scrapped. Thankfully, all of us can view this footage of what could have been a fantastic entry in the series and a new era of Mega Man games.

True Fantasy Live Online (XBX)

A collaboration with Level-5 and Microsoft, True Fantasy Live Online was met with feverish anticipation from the moment it was unveiled. Offering an expansive fantasy world allowing for thousands of players to inhabit it simultaneously, the promises made by both companies involved sounded too good to be true. Unfortunately, they very much were too good to be true. A combination of Level-5's inexperience with online gaming and Microsoft's continued demands made for a partnership that quickly unraveled at the seams. The project was officially cancelled, and the two sides left with a bit of equal bitterness.

Star Fox 2 (SNES)

Nintendo and Argonaut Games worked together on this direct sequel to 1993's Super Nintendo classic Star Fox. It was to feature new vehicle types, two new Star Fox team members, and an upgraded use of the Super FX chip, allowing for unparalleled 3D on the Super Nintendo hardware. The latter was the reason this basically complete game was shelved, never to be released in official capacity. Star Fox 2 was set to release in the summer of '95. However, it seemed this projected date was too close to that of the launch of the Nintendo 64. Thus, Nintendo decided to not release the game, wanting the next Star Fox to use highest caliber graphics possible that only the N64 could provide.

Crash Team Racing 2010 (PS3, 360, Wii)

Planned for development in 2010, a prototype for an all-new Crash Team Racing was being devised by High Impact Games, most notably the makers of various PSP spin-offs of acclaimed PlayStation series like Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, Secret Agent Clank, and Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier, to name a few. Before the prototype could be completely 100% finished, the publisher Activision cancelled the project. However, there is footage of the prototype and game in motion. The cancellation of this 2010 incarnation of Crash Team Racing was a rolling snowball in the number of cancellations surrounding the Crash Bandicoot IP, including a Nintendo DS racer by Renegade Kid and a new 3D platformer in the series. Nowadays, Crash Bandicoot sits at home reliving his best days and old adventures on his busted PS1 and watching commercials starring himself. He now weighs 408 lbs.

Toe Jam & Earl 3 (DC)

While the funky duo of Toe Jam and Earl did arrive for a third installment on the Xbox, that finished product and the original vision of the game on the Dreamcast are two entirely different beasts. While the Xbox game is more of a traditional 3D adventure, the Dreamcast game was much more in line with how its Genesis predecessors behaved and played. The so-called "rough cut" is available to play, and you can do so and find more information about the project at this link, courtesy of Eurogamer. Do you think in a parallel universe the finished Dreamcast would have been more intriguing than the released Xbox game?

Mega Man Mania (GBA)

Bookending this edition of Gone But Not Forgotten is a double dose of Mega Man. Around the time that Mega Man Anniversary Collection, which contained all eight mainline classic Mega Man games, was announced and later released for the PS2, GameCube, and later the Xbox, Capcom also had plans to release a companion collection for the Game Boy Advance. This would have been a compendium of Mega Man's handheld adventures from the original Game Boy. Months upon months turned into years with little information regarding Mega Man Mania (here's footage in the form of a trailer), the compilation in question, until it was sadly and silently killed off, much like the Blue Bomber is with Capcom today.

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