Way of the Dogg
But wait... HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER! It wouldn't be a proper XBLA music-game-hybrid fracas without this absolutely absurd rhythm-fighter. As you might've guessed from the title, all the action revolves around Snoop Dogg, legendary West Coast rapper and master of all things marijuana-related. It's likely that Snoop wasn't the only one who was high out of his mind when this game idea got greenlit, seeing as its blend of one-on-one brawls and a confusing knock-off of Elite Beat Agents is laughably abysmal. Oh, and at the time this game was released, its star was actually going by Snoop Lion, which kind of - that is, completely - diminishes the point of having 'Dogg' in the title.
Game developer James 'DJames' Goddard (not to be confused with the Olympic swimmer of the same name) has some legendary projects under his belt. The man's intimately familiar with fighting games, given how he currently works on the new Killer Instinct, had a hand in developing combat for a bunch of classic Capcom beat-'em-ups and modern Blizzard games, and even created Jamaican kickboxer Dee Jay while working as co-lead designer on Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting. But he's also got an Asteroids-style space shooter on his resume, courtesy of Shred Nebula. This is an incredibly colorful, hectic, 360-degree shmup that was sadly ignored, given that it was released just after Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. If you're enjoying the recent indie standout Galak-Z, Shred Nebula might be right up your asteroid-blasting alley.
Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom
Not to be confused with the excellent bloodsucker RPG Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, this Masquerade may or may not actually exist. The Xbox Marketplace claims that this cel-shaded beat-'em-up was released on June 30th, 2015, yet there's next to zero information and not a millisecond of footage of the game to be found across the great plains of the Internet. From the look of what few screenshots are out there, you play as either a blue jester dude or a thief dudette (seemingly ripping off the equally obscure Pandemonium! on PS1), beating back the burly, make-up-caked legions of the evil Clown Army. This game has vaporware written all over it, yet Microsoft's site shows that 103 people have voted to give it life on Xbox One. And frankly, I find that hard to believe.
Here's another example of 'fans' 'voting' for a game they never even got to play. If you search for "sledge hammer xbox" on YouTube, you're going to find way, way too many videos of smarmy, privileged white kids smashing video game consoles. But you might also stumble across a trailer for this eccentric combat-racing game, which is chock-full of big rigs outfitted with missile launchers and rocket thrusters. Despite your instincts telling you otherwise, there's an inherent, kitschy charm to Sledge Hammer's grimy, low-budget visuals, goofy arsenal of arcade weaponry, grunge-tastic soundtrack, and the animated portrait of your burly driver in the upper left at all times. Alas, it was never released, and you can't exactly resurrect something on Xbox One when it never truly lived in the first place.
Red Johnson's Chronicles
"Point-and-click detective adventure" is probably one of the last things you might think of when mulling over a name like Red Johnson's Chronicles. Unfortunate title aside, this is an intriguing (albeit mediocre) puzzle game starring Red, a ginger, trenchcoat-wearing private eye, in a modern noir take on Professor Layton. The game itself is rather clunky, but it's got a unique art style, what with the grandiose scale of the generic Metropolis city and frequent switches to a black-and-white aesthetic. If nothing else, it's one of the few games in existence to have a QTE for a high-five-to-fist-bump transition, which surely must count for something.
DreamWorks Superstar Kartz
I know we've had some fun perusing these long-forgotten 360 games, but listen... playtime is ogre. There is, in the world right now, a kart-racing console game that lets you race as everyone's favorite pop culture icon: Shrek. And if, for some unfathomable reason, you'd want to be anyone but Shrek, you've got plenty of DreamWorks-themed options, including the lively animals of Madagascar, the Seth Rogen-voiced blue blob B.O.B. from Monsters vs. Aliens, and the adorable Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon (who looks ridiculous when jammed into the driver's seat of a go-kart). The drab course layouts and generic power-ups can't hold a candle to anything in Mario Kart, mind you... but then again, Shrek.