Thursday, February 21, 2013

Games that Never Were

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of video games that have been canceled midway through development. A lot of these titles are ports of titles that already existed on other consoles, or else were movie tie-ins deemed unworthy of publication. Conversely, a few prototype cartridges of unreleased titles for systems like the Atari 2600 or NES have become highly valued among video game antiquarians. Then you have interesting anecdotes such as the history of Irrational Games. Three titles; The Lost, Deep Cover, and Monster Island were made by Ken Levine and crew but never saw publication (despite being more or less playable!). Perhaps the company name is all too accurate? Here are five more games I'd like to highlight:

Now with 50 percent more "itchy tasty"
Resident Evil 1.5 is one of those titles that horror purists have been craving to play. Personally, I like Resident Evil 2, Nemesis and 4 over Zero, the un-remade original or Code Veronica. Blasphemy to some, I know, but those are just my tastes. That said biker girl Eliza Walker does look like a cool character and there were a number of things implemented here that never made it into any of the later titles in the long running franchise. Supposedly, a mostly complete build (painstakingly restored by a group of dedicated fans) is freely available on the internet.
It's never a good sign when the box art has an
integrated discount inscribed on the cover
Most uncomfortable clothing EVER!
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans and Starcraft: Ghost. The former was Bizzard's attempt at a point-and-click adventure game. The story was based around you controlling a young orc intent on reclaiming his heritage and leading the Horde to victory over the Alliance. Meanwhile, the latter was a third person shooter and had players controlling an elite "Ghost" operative in a trademark sci-fi backdrop known for RTS games. Lumping both these together might sound strange, but to me they're really the same in that both represent Blizzard's attempts to stretch their genre wings only to have them clipped before takeoff.

Rage count may vary...some primal settling might occur...
Primal Rage 2. Apparently there was an arcade cabinet of this game available for play at a miniature golf course in California, beyond that the game supposedly featured a number of new plastic action figure looking humanoid fighters to choose from (as opposed to the rubber dinosaur like beats of the original. A bone dragon planed for the first game (but never implemented) was the last boss. Regardless of how good a fighting game it was, I would have liked to play the new version of Vertigo, the fanged bite on that poisons blue frill-necked snake/lizard had one heck of a reach. Oh well...

Elveon is...well...if you've ever played an cult classic 2001 PC title called Severance: Blade of Darkness then your most of the way there. If not then maybe Dark Souls or Demon's Souls would be the next closest thing. To cut to the chase Elveon was supposed to be a third person fantasy combat game with priorities placed heavily on animation and physics. I would say that I was really sad to hear it got cancelled except it never officially was. It just sort of disappeared sometime around 2008 with no word since. Talk about vaporware...

Elf on elf action doesn't mean what you think in this game
On the upside game play for pretty much all the stuff I mentioned above can be seen on Youtube. If you click on the game title at the beginning of each paragraph (except the first and last).  It will take you to one such video. You can also find out a lot of additional information do a little searching around on the internet. That's really just the tip of the iceberg though. Not just for the games I mentioned in this blog post, but also for all the games that never were, and for better or worse probably never will be.

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