Cube Games That Never Were
I’m going to make this post short, sweet, and to the point. I was thinking about a couple of videogame related things this weekend (Imagine that…). While I was deep in thought, I began to wonder what would-be games never saw the light of day.
After some looking around, I was pretty surprised at what I found. There were some gems for the Gamecube that for some reason, never got beyond the rumor mill. Here are a list of ten of those games–in no particular order:
- Animal Crossing 2 — Or, as our friends over in Japan like to call it, Doubutsu no Mori 2. While the original Animal Crossing came out in Japan for the N64, the low sales made the rest of the world weary of giving the game its chance. When it did come out in the US of A –ported from the Japan N64 version– it was an instant hit. So, it is no wonder why talks began to surface about a sequel. Talks however were about as far as it went for this game, as it was mentioned only in an interview in a Japanese magazine. It’s no doubt Nintendo was waiting for its new system to launch this game.
- Banjo Threeie or Banjo Kazooie 3 — —It’s not that this game suddenly got buried because people lost interest or the development slowed down. On the contrary, Banjo games have quite the following. What did happen was the Microsoft effect. With Rare and Microsoft sharing the same bed, the chance for this game to come out on the Cube was all but a far-off memory. Apparently, this game is still in development for the 360. Well, go ahead Microsoft, keep your Banjo. What’s that? You want to re-release Goldeneye? Don’t hold your breath.
- Burnout 3: Takedown — –Now, I really don’t blame EA for its decision to give the Gamecube version of this game the axe. No, not at all. And you know why? That’s right. I’m looking at you “broadband adapter”. And, yes, you too Nintendo. According to EA, the focus of this game was to be the online components. In other words, the Cube lacked the equipment that EA was looking for in a system. Talk about an ego deflating breakup! “Sorry Cube, your online is a little small.” Ouch.
- Juiced — Huh? Sounds like the title to a Roger Clemen’s novel. I kid. I kid. Really this game, a sort of Need For Speed clone, is only worth mentioning because of the reason why the Cube never got it. The game was set to release to the purple box until Acclaim found out it was spending more than it was making and went bancrupt. Whoops. When THQ picked the game back up, they made the execuitve decision to keep this game from the Nintendo crowd once again choosing to go with Sony and Microsoft. Third-party support for the Cube was anything but prevelent.
- NFL Retro Football — Your guess is as good as mine. Retro Studios announced the game and then cancelled the game. You’ll be hard pressed to find even a short description of what this game was going to be. So, I’ll leave that who imagination to you dear reader–go on, imagine all the retro goodness…
- Pilotwings — –What would have been an amazing game for some reason never materialized. The reasons are still shrouded in mystery, but I can make an educated guess and say that Nintendo just wanted to push one of its more “headliner” games onto its new system. My fingers are still crossed that this game sees development with some quality motion controls on the Wii. (Crosses fingers).
- Super Mario 128 — Ok, talking about this “game” is like trying to figure out whether or not there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll that fateful day in November. In development since 2000, this “game” has been around forever and a day. In fact, when Mario Galaxy came out for the Wii–people were still asking if this was finally the Super Mario 128. The short answer by Shiggy–no. According to Shiggy, there really wasn’t ever a game by that name, but Super Mario 128 was a concept that helped shape other games such as Pikmin and Galaxy. However, stepping back to Gamecube days, in 2004, Gamespy asked Shiggy about the mystery game coming out on the Cube: “It’s moving along secretly like a submarine under the water. When developing, we often look at the different hardware and run different experiments on it and try out different ideas. There have been a number of different experiment ideas that we have been running on the GameCube. There are some that we have run on DS, and there are other ideas, too. At this point I just don’t know if we will see that game on one system or another. It is still hard for me to make that decision. I am the only director on that game right now. I have the programmers making different experiments, and when I see the results, we will make the final decision.” Apparently that decision was not to release the game. Ever.
- Super Monkey Ball 3 — –Remember all those cool LAN parties you used to have? Yeah, umm, me neither. But, when this game was announced for the Cube it was supposed to support some LAN 8 player action. IGN even stated that this was to be one of the most anticipated game to be released for the systems. Well, so much for that. I never played the Wii version–anyone have anything to say on this one?
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter — This could be another example of a game not releasing on the Cube because of the lack of an online mode. Or perhaps Ubisoft just got cold feet. In either case, when this game was announced it was supposed to go out on all systems. Yet, when it came down to actually being released, the crowd of consoles this game was to be released on got narrowed down a bit. Ok, let’s be honest, it really didn’t get narrowed as much as it just kicked the GCN version out of its plans.
- Too Human — Another Microsoft converter. And another game that IGN had noted (back in the development days) as “must have” for the Cube. Originally however, this game was going to released to Sony on the Playstation. When 2000 rolled around it appeared that the Nintendo was in the drivers seat when it sealed the deal with the developer Silicon Knights on an exlusivity partnership. Yet, as we all know, partnerships never last as long as we think they will. So was the case here with Nintendo and Silicon. In 2005, the game found a home with Microsoft. However, that is not to say that it has had much luck in seeing actual shelf time. Numerous lawsuit and development issues later, the game is still waiting to see a release on the 360 sometime this Spring. Talk about a game that knows no loyalty. And, well, I guess that accounts for all the delays.
So, there ya’ go. Take a gander at the list and see what never was. Makes you wonder how many Wii games will see similiar delays and worse yet–similar console flips or untimely deaths. Project H.A.M.M.E.R, anyone?