What could have been: A profane, free-roaming urban adventure casting you as a young banger looking to succeed in the world of organized crime. Hardly a groundbreaking premise – but the Gizmondo had nothing else like it.
That doesn't sound so bad... It's a pity Colors wasn't released: that would mean Gizmondo co-founder Stefan Eriksson could have made big bucks off a game infamous for sensational depictions of prison sex, before himself going to prison on unrelated embezzlement charges. As it is, the irony isn't delicious, just vaguely tangy.
What happened? Imagine every Gizmondo owner you know all rushing out at once to buy Colors. Hopefully your vision – which obviously doesn't have any people in it – at least honors tradition by including an errant tumbleweed or two.
Above: Oohh, I'm picking “noncommittal!”
The legacy: With Colors denied distasteful success, the game took its place next to fellow Gizmondo failures Momma Can I Mow The Lawn and Johnny Whatever, while players (wherever they may be) were stuck with Sticky Balls.
Above: It happens to be one of the system's best-known games
Steven Seagal is The Final Option
What could have been: “No, it's not a movie,” gushed an EGM preview, “but it's pretty damn close to one.” What movie was that, exactly? After all, this is a game greenlit before Under Siege had anyone taking Seagal seriously (historical note: people once took Steven Seagal seriously). But hey, if you liked Nico: Above the Law, surely you'd buy Seagal's digitized Final Fight clone?
That doesn't sound so bad... Developed when “making a new title” meant “doing the motion-capture thing with an old title,” TekMagic assured us the game had been developed with Seagal's “active participation.” This didn't extend to appearing in-game – that was just some guy with a ponytail. Seagal is (um, was) a busy man.
Above: Don't be looking like that, you stay in there and think about what you've done
What happened? Chugging on until a 16-bit release was no longer an option, final or otherwise, TekMagic revived the dream of letting people ignore their game by renaming it Deadly Honor and promising release on PlayStation and N64.
The legacy: Deadly Honor, despite having a perfect name for a direct-to-video Seagal vehicle, was also canned.
Meanwhile, competitor Jean-Claude Van Damme's similar ventures met with universal approval.
What could have been: BFF with Nintendo after Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct, it was suggested in 1994 that Rare might like to visit the set of the new Bond movie with a view toward making a Nintendo game out of the pic.
Above: No media was ever released for the SNES version of GoldenEye. Would you settle for a look at a painfully early N64 beta?
That doesn't sound so bad... No, not that game. This was to be a rail-shooter for the SNES. As if intentionally trying to waste as much potential as possible, it wouldn't even use the poor Super Scope – because the only thing that could improve the concept would be taking even more control away from players.
Above: The lack of support reduced players to shooting at Super Scopes, with other Super Scopes
What happened? After a few months busting their hump trying to do 3D on SNES, everyone at Rare (we like to imagine) simultaneously gasped “hang on...” and suggested to Nintendo that instead of competing with the console's nobly subpar Doom port, how about an N64 game that would revolutionize the FPS as we knew it?
The legacy: Nintendo (we like to imagine) exclaimed, “Well, when you put it that way, why don't you forever change the face of console action games? Here's an N64 dev kit – go nuts.” Around this time, the Virtual Boy driving game based on GoldenEye was also scrapped, because well, just reread that sentence.