Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Gone But Not Forgotten 4: Even More Game Cancellations That Still Sting

There's nothing worse as a gamer than following the development of a game you're so excited about, then all of a sudden the developer/publisher announces that the project has been put on hold, or worse, cancelled. Okay, maybe losing your save files to a corrupt memory card back in the day is worse, but work with me here. Anyway, the feeling of utter disappointment is immense. Like with part one, part two, and part three of this continuing series, these cancelled games that were once hyped, whether by many gamers or a select few, still manage to make those that were following them wince.

Silent Hills (PS4)

A dream team of Metal Gear's Hideo Kojima and famed Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro was behind Silent Hills, a psychological thriller of a horror title that saw an amazing, exciting, and downright scary demo, P.T., for PlayStation 4 owners. However, after Kojima's tumultuous departure from Konami, the developer opted not to continue the game's development, though it said it remained dedicated to the franchise. This was a tremendous blow to many Silent Hill and horror game fans, as the demo had brought such hype and excitement. The announcement of the cancellation of this promising project was like a blow to the gut, taking the wind out of many fans' sails.

Eight Days (PS3)

Eight Days was a game being developed by Sony's SCE London Studio and was set across the eponymous eight days. Not only that but it was intended to be set across eight different states. The choice of two characters would have been offered, one good and one bad, and the two would eventually cross paths and work together. Eight Days was cancelled along with The Getaway, and the main consideration for cancelling the former was because there was a lack of an online component. I don't know what that says about the current state of the industry where a very compelling and engaging game gets cancelled despite being far along only because there's no online component to it. It's very disappointing that Eight Days was cancelled and still hurts to this day.

Dirty Harry (PS3, 360, Wii, DS)

It recently came to light that along with the Dirty Harry game that The Collective was working on for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, developer Sensor Sweep was working on a port of that game for the Wii and Nintendo DS. Unlike the HD console versions, the Wii and DS versions would have offered a very pleasant-to-the-eyes cel-shaded look. However, Sensor Sweep was not cut out for console development, having only worked on handheld titles in the past. Thus, the SD versions, along with the HD versions, would all eventually be cancelled by publisher Warner Bros. Forgive me for this joke ahead of time, but I guess Warner Bros. didn't feel lucky, punk.

Cosmic Walker (Wii)

Developed by the non-defunct Gaia, a company founded by Kouji Okada from Atlus (his prior credits include a good amount of early titles in the Shin Megami Tensei series), Cosmic Walker was revealed in a sizzle reel of Wii games near the end of 2008. The game was set to be a space exploration game where characters would roam through zero gravity areas. It looked darn appealing, but years passed and no word of the game's fate was uttered. The radio silence continued until the studio's unexpected closure in 2012, thus hitting home the point that Cosmic Walker got its legs cut out from under it, thus walking no more. (I'm proud of that analogy.)

Sabreman Stampede (360)

This next game hurts a bunch because it was essentially cancelled twice. Sabreman Stampede's original form was the planned GameCube game Donkey Kong Racing. However, as we all know, Microsoft wound up purchasing the developer Rare when the founders of the company let go of their shares and Nintendo didn't buy them. Thus, Donkey Kong Racing became a cancelled game, but Rare would still use some ideas from that title towards a racer starring their old school character Sabreman, an old explorer with a killer 'stache. However, like many projects and concepts from Rare after being bought by Microsoft, Sabreman Stampede would end up being yet another cancelled game, unfortunately. Maybe after Sea of Thieves or some time in the future Rare will return to this concept.

Bonk: Age of Extinction (PSN, XBLA, WiiWare)

Originally planned for an early 2010 release, the planned digital download for WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade, and the PlayStation Store, Bonk: Age of Extinction, was being developed by Texas-based Pi Studios and was to be published by Hudson. The familiar hard-headed caveman Bonk would move around 2D worlds with 3D models, using his head (literally) to smash prehistoric foes. Offering different, new power-ups such as the ability to shoot fireballs, this revival of Bonk seemed to have everything going for it. That was until Hudson pulled the plug on the project, leaving many a-Bonk and 2D platforming fan seriously let down. There's a cruel irony in the subtitle of this game, as Bonk is now an extinct franchise.

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