The Xbox Reveal and the Games I Want (that never quite made it)
Microsoft is holding its #XboxReveal Partay on this very day and with it, we will see into the future of Console gaming. Sure the Playstation event has already happened so we have a good idea of what to expect, but for Xbox fans the world over – this is where we get to see what the future holds for the little box beginning with X.
With the introduction of a “Generation” of consoles there are those franchises that we can rely on to show up (Call of Duty and Fifa 201X will be on the next-gen consoles… Yeah! You heard it here first. Official 😉 ) but in some ways, more interestingly, we are often introduced to new ideas, IP’s and characters. Remember that it was only the last generation that we were introduced to Desmond and the Assassins Creed world. It was only the last generation that Drake and his fortune were… Charted? In Uncharted and finally, we were introduced to Gears of War. All those titles have had a fair few sequels and all found a massive fan base. So what NEW goodies are all the games developers and publishers cooking up?
Well. I have no idea. No-one does. Only the developers themselves, and they have all signed NDA’s so that their firstborn will be enslaved in beta-testing camps, or perhaps more horrifyingly – They won’t be allowed A shiny new console. *GASP*
However you look at it, they aren’t saying anything yet. And what about OLD games that were announced and then never released? Those games that got lost down the back of the production hell sofa? Or ones that were canned because other, seemingly more profitable games came along? Sometimes, in rare cases – no pun intended (Ed – Rare are game developers… Just keep reading), they are miraculously raised from the dead and walk forth once more. Much like the ever-prevalent zombies in games today.
So I asked myself What games would I like to see resurrected? The games that were promised, perhaps launching the last generation of consoles, that never quite managed to find their way into the light. This is the list I came up with.
BC Before Fable
Before Fable, well, at the time of Fable there was another little Lion Head developed game that reared its monstrous head. It was called simply BC and all I really know is that it involved dinosaurs, and the possibility of playing as a caveman/woman (not historically accurate no, but as a rebuttal, I give you: Every other game ever) That has to hunt, forage and survive life with dinosaurs. It was ultimately cancelled as every bit of lion head became solely focused on Fable, but the thought of a Fableesque RPG with Dinosaurs does kinda get me excited. I think it could have a bit of monster hunter thrown in there for some Epic win.
Why might it happen now? Well, it was unveiled as an Xbox original title along with Fable, but fable obviously won the battle, the hearts of the developers and Microsoft. But we have now had 3 fables and Fable the journey. I think it might be time they look at what else they could do. Plus, Dinosaurs. Although a recent hiring/firing at Lionhead makes a Fable MMO a lot more likely. This is fine, but let’s be honest; Severely lacks dinosaurs!
This one has been flying around almost forever (or at least since shortly after Killer Instinct 2 was released). As soon as Microsoft bought Rare in 2002 people were giddy with excitement at what they could bring to the Xbox. Rare had produced classics such as Perfect Dark, GoldenEye and Banjo Kazooie, the list goes on, but many were Nintendo-owned properties. When Microsoft launched the Xbox it was lacking a fighting game in its stable. It initially relied on DOA for that and since then Tekken and Soul Calibre have graced the console, but with DOA recently going multi-platform, there isn’t really an Xbox exclusive fighter.
Maybe the fighting game genre, like its platforming sibling, has fallen on hard times as they don’t have the Call of Duty money-making power, but a first-party exclusive fighter on the next Xbox – that could sell a few units surely. Unfortunately Rare may just be working on a Kinect Sports game for launch – but we can dream.
*Update* – It only took a few decades, but Killer Instinct WAS finally released. I guess good things do come to those who wait.
Beyond good and Evil 2
This is tricky. Beyond good and evil was an exclusive club. Hailed by critics and people that played it as an amazing game that transcended most genres. Unfortunately, people that have even heard of it are a rare breed. But when enough people love a game, especially with the internet, that love can grow, become united and bellow out over crowds of like-minded gamers. The game became sought after by people that felt they had missed out and eventually it was re-released in HD on PS3 and Xbox360 as a downloadable game. For me, that is a move of a games publisher that KNOWS people will buy it (the ardent fan) and is testing the waters to see if they can expand that fan base thus paving the way for number 2!
A gloriously pretty trailer was shown at E3 in 2008 and later some “gameplay footage” was leaked that showed jade doing an assassins creed over and through some buildings. It looked very good, it looked plausible as assassins creed is also by Ubisoft, and it looked promising… Except, 5 years on and there is still no actual honest-to-goodness information about it. The last I heard the creator had said that the current generations weren’t capable of creating worlds with enough people and places to make them feel real and believable. He was optimistic for the coming generation and thus I am optimistic that we may hear or see something at E3. Even if it is just a tease.
If I’m going to make a case for a title that had a new lease of life as a downloadable game, I really have to mention Okami. Though currently only available on PSN I do hope it comes to the Xbox. It has already graced the PS2 and Wii and I am perfectly happy to buy it once more on the iPad or Xbox if it means we can have another instalment. First introduced in 2006, it’s fair to say that it would have more fans today, 7 years later, than it did then. Word of mouth and adoration is a pretty good marketing tool! And I would be first in line if they ever did make another.
As with the turbulent waters of the games industry, many games will get swept out to sea and never heard from again. The list goes on and on and unfortunately, there are many games I vaguely remember but don’t remember their names. Are there any games you would like to see a return to a new generation? Games you wish you could bring back from being cancelled? Any blatant omissions I should rectify? This is not limited to the Xbox of course. I’m still waiting for “The Last Guardian” Ahem… Which could well be coming to PS4 instead of PS3? So leave comments below or #gamesiwanted @weirdassica to raise awareness for those poor lost souls.
Duke Nukem Forever