Games That Weren’t


Japanese developer Irem, the team best known for the R-Type­ series, was one of those studios that was easy to love. While its track record wasn’t exactly spotless, it developed a number of quirky (if problematic) titles that demonstrated their talents in remarkable ways. My personal favorite from them was a unique action-RPG called Steambot Chronicles, a game that was as much about player agency as it was punching things with a giant mech-suit. READ MORE

Right before 3DO’s death, they had a few upcoming releases that showed promise. Back in 2003, the one that stood out to me was The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, an action game set right before the supposed end of the world. In it, you control the archangel Abaddon and team up with a group of three humans known as the “chosen,” to track down and kill the riders of the apocalypse in order to prevent, well… the apocalypse. It attempted to mix heavy action with some light exploration and horror elements to create a game that was not unique, but had some interesting potential. READ MORE

Like every good Nintendo fanboy, I awaited every bit of information about Nintendo’s next console like I’d just been tested after a week in Tijuana. Then one morning it was there: the reveal video for the Nintendo Wii. I loved the GameCube and couldn’t wait to see how Nintendo would fulfill all the promises made in that video. I’m still waiting. READ MORE

Long before StarCraft II was a thing, fans of the RTS hit were ravenous for more games in the rich science fiction universe that Blizzard had created. The decision to make Ghost a first-person shooter was somewhat unusual, but not unprecedented. EA had done something similar with Command & Conquer earlier that year. It didn’t do well, but that was mainly a result of quality concerns, something that Blizzard obviously never worries about thanks to their philosophy of quality over pretty much everything else. READ MORE

At E3 2006, the Wii made its playable-demo debut in anticipation for its launch later that year. A lot of solid titles were previewed in one form or another, including a five-minute demo of a game being developed by Nintendo Software Technology (Metroid Prime: Hunters, Mario vs. Donkey Kong) that looked unlike anything else Nintendo had published to that point.

Instead of any of the established characters that would eventually make up the roster for the then-unfolding Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it starred a hulking cyborg known as M-09 as he made his way through a series of robots armed with only one weapon: a titanic hammer that smashed robots as easily as it smashed everything else. Cars, walls, crates, whatever. READ MORE