Look at these beauties!
Can you believe it? Look at these amazing games. They're real. Or, at least, they were. You see, as a games writer, sometimes you get access to privileged information. You hear about, see or sometimes even get to play games that end up never seeing the light of day. Yes, that is awesome. No, I don't have Miyamoto's home phone number.
So despite loads of the off-the-record remarks from former developers and plenty of games cancelled while still under embargo, you--yes, you--never get to hear about them. Which is why it gives me massive pleasure to be able to reveal the names and details of some amazing games you never knew existed. Just as soon as my editor has gone over it to make sure I'm not saying anything that could get us in trouble with legal. Let's do this!
[REDACTED] HD remake
This one got as far as being made as a proof of concept, during the same process that eventually gave us [REDACTED]. While it never got further than this pre-alpha stage, it was playable nonetheless and a source close to the project confirmed that footage of it in action does exist in his house. Sadly, there are loads of potential issues with [REDACTED] so it looks like no screenshots or footage will ever actually see the light of day publicly. Still, at least we got [REDACTED].
One of the all-time classics. [REDACTED] HD was finished and ready to go, yet [REDACTED] inexplicably denied its existence. I didn't personally play it, but I know someone who did and apparently it is wonderful. Updated in all the right ways to feel fresh, yet still maintaining the perfectly-distilled [REDACTED] essence of the original. Whether [REDACTED] was able to be [REDACTED] still remains a mystery, but you can always set a house rule. But despite all this awesomeness, [REDACTED], [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] couldn't come to an agreement and so the entire thing was canned. What a [CENSORED] waste.
The official story is that this was briefly in pre-production, but canned by [REDACTED] before anything happened. But I know otherwise. I know that [REDACTED] was working in earnest on the production of [REDACTED] until [REDACTED] and that was the end of that. Needless to say, this is a massive disappointment because [REDACTED] showed massive potential. I also understand [REDACTED] suffered a similar fate, which is also a shame. I actually liked that one more.
This one is even more exciting to me than the prospect of [REDACTED], although the similarities between the two are obvious. Why? Because the original pushed the [REDACTED] really hard, punching above its weight and evoking a feel similar to the [REDACTED] visuals of [REDACTED]-bit machines. Again, the new game was playable in a rough concept form but [REDACTED] disbanded before anything came of it. But the real kicker? This was going to be far more than [REDACTED]. My mind is crying just thinking about it.
Ready to get angry and have your mind blown at the same time? Truth is, a near-as-dammit finished version of [REDACTED] HD not only exists, but was actually installed on one of our office test kits a few years back. It looked ready to go, but presumably never happened because [REDACTED]. Still, considering [REDACTED] still looks amazing after [REDACTED] years, you can imagine how good [REDACTED] HD looks/looked on [REDACTED]. I wish I'd borrowed that test machine. I didn't know until it was too late.
This is a relatively minor addition to the list, but worthy of inclusion all the same. The addictive, one-more-go [REDACTED] gameplay of [REDACTED] is 2D-only, but a playable 3D version was in the works at [REDACTED]. With a behind-the-[REDACTED] camera and [REDACTED] that come towards you, most of the work was complete. It almost appeared as DLC for the original, but was canned late-on while the developer worked on an update for [REDACTED] instead. Which is admittedly damn awesome, whereas [REDACTED] 3D felt compromised and ultimately pointless, especially considering the original [REDACTED] was arguably perfect already.
What do you mean, 'not cool, man'?
I'm so glad I finally got to unburden my mind and tell you about these games. Some of them have been eating away at me for years. I do hope that my editor didn't make too many changes to my submitted copy. I'm a little scared there might be a few areas that need to be carefully snipped with the editing scissors. Nothing major, though. Probably just some typos. Oh, and if you know of any more games that exist(ed) but have been kept secret, then let us know in the comments.
And if you're looking for more, check out 12 cancelled 360/PS3 games (that we actually miss) and The greatest Sega games that never got released.