Retro gaming, four of a kind: video games that were ultimately cancelled.

Posted on 23 July 2015
By James Brookfield
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This year Konami pulled the plug on one of the most highly anticipated games in recent times, Silent Hills. The P.T. demo has become a modern classic mostly due to the controversial cancellation reason and for the tense, in-game atmosphere it created.

At the beginning of July, unconfirmed reports and images of the SNES-CD ROM, a console originally developed during a brief partnership between Nintendo and Sony, surfaced on the internet. Even more recently the Wii U version of Project Cars has also been relegated to the proverbial vault.

As a result, this week’s edition of Four of a Kind will have a different approach, this list will detail four video games that, unfortunately, were never released.

1. The Mega Tree

Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy are, despite their various flaws, still two beloved retro games. Throughout the years various sequels were released without the consent or creative input from original programmer Matthew Smith. Before his infamous hiatus, wherein in he visited Holland for several years, Smith worked on a direct sequel to Jet Set Willy.

Similar to the aforementioned game, The Magic Tree was set to be a platformer with levels based on the tree of the title. Smith was allegedly a huge fan of Nintendo’s Mario and Donkey Kong series; therefore it is believed The Magic Tree levels would be influenced by the two including a mixture of single-screen levels, scrolling levels and item collection.

Software Projects halted development after only three months but some maintain a playable demo exists.

2. Star Fox 2

It would be a strong argument to suggest that one of the best video games on SNES is Star Fox/Starwing. The game’s graphics, presentation and sound effects were seen as innovative at the time. Despite having a short run time, this space 3D shooter was more than an enjoyable experience. Naturally Nintendo planned to produce a sequel but, though it was close to completion, the game was cancelled.

In-game images, information and hype suggested Star Fox 2 was not only building on its predecessor but also improving on it. Eventually some gameplay features became the foundation for the hugely popular Star Fox 64/Lylat Wars and even more mechanics are being enhanced for the upcoming Star Fox Zero game however gamers still lament for Star Fox 2.

3. Primal Rage 2

Following the success of Primal Rage, the two dimensional arcade fighting simulation, Atari ported the game onto many home consoles over a period of time. This resulted in a further increase in popularity and the decision to create a sequel.

In 1996 development began on Primal Rage 2 and was scheduled to be released the following year. The game was set to feature gods as playable characters but nonetheless it was cancelled owing to decreasing interest in arcade gaming.

A real disappointment for both fans of the beat ‘em up genre and arcades.

4. Sonic Xtreme

Many believe almost all of Sonic the Hedgehog’s ventures into 3D gaming have been somewhat disappointing. Sega’s first attempt was Sonic Adventures on Dreamcast, a mixed game on an equally mixed console. However prior to this a title called Sonic Xtreme was almost released on Sega Saturn.

There were many issues during production including; problems acquiring a game engine, two leading programmers falling ill and an inauspicious visit by Sega of Japan executives. Commentators argue that had this game been released the Sega Saturn would have been a more competitive console, Sonic may have surpassed mascots of the time such as Mario and Crash Bandicoot and the blue hedgehog’s 3D history may have started a lot stronger.

Thus ends production on this week’s Four of a Kind. As always please do leave a comment discussing the games presented or titles that have not been discussed.

Honourable mentions: Akira, Warcraft: Adventures Lord of the clans, Gotham by Gaslight, Odema and the Magic Book, Katakis 3D, Command & Conquer: Tiberium, Star Wars 1313 and Titan A.E.