With the release of some Concept art for Heavenly Sword 2 circulating it may give fans hope that a sequel could be inbound. While it’s good not to discount anything the truth is games get cancelled all the time and Heavenly Sword 2 is most probably one of them. Some call these projects vapourware.

This concept art may be as close to a sequel as fans will get

The concept art drawn by a Sony artist is not related to the studio that developed the 2007 original. Communications Manager of Ninja Theory Dominic Matthews told VG247 that the images are:

“Not Ninja Theory art. Sony own the Heavenly Sword IP, whether or not they dabbled with new concepts independently of us is not something I can comment on.”

With Nariko confirmed as a character in PlayStation All-Star Battle Royal  There may be some life in the franchise after all. But it may be too much to hope these images might lead to a sequel.

Still this news got us at the Awesome Games office thinking of other games that got shot down before they hit the shop shelves. It’s a sad reality that more games than you know get the plug pulled before going gold. Some games get frighteningly close to being complete having vacuumed a sizable price tag while other games simply never made it past the concept stage.

So here, good readers, is a dose of pure elated disappointment. Prepare to be crest fallen, gutted and enraged all over again as we hit you with the top five most cancelled games of all time.

Star Fox 2

 Unbelievably this game was finished and ready to ship when the Mr. Nintendo himself Shigeru Miyamoto stepped in and intervened. His reason being The N64’s release was imminent and Shiggy didn’t want the swansong SNES title to take the sizzle off the next gen power house. In fairness the 1995 release of Star Fox 2 would have looked a little old school compared to the year old PlayStation polygon shifting power. Still, Star Fox hasn’t had the sequels it deserves in many eyes and to deny fans a completed entry in the franchise because Nintendo say so, that’s just rough. By the way, Fox fans if you want to play Star Fox 2 download an emulator and Google the rom.

Capcom Fighting All-Stars

Planned for a 2003 release, Capcom Fighting All-Stars put together a modest roster of Capcom’s fighting franchises in a 3D 1v1 brawler set in Metro City. The story revolved around Mayor Hagar needing to defeat a villain named Death and disarming his bomb called the Laughter Sun. The Laughter Sun device required 3 codes to disarm. These plot devices lead to the inclusion of three new characters D.D.Rook and Ingrid. The games cancelation came after early beta tests met negative feedback. Whether the feedback was based on a fierce loyalty to the 2D format or perhaps the game was just plain bad is hard to say but graphics and technology still had a way to go before something like SFIV could be produced. The game did see something of a release in Capcom Fighting Jam with Ingrid making a return of sorts in a 2D form but sporting all the individual mechanics featured in her cancelled debut.

Killer Instinct 3

The Killer Instinct games were like an infusion of both Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter while bringing in its own fresh design and look. The combo’s you could perform in K.I. seemed to be limited only to how many button presses you could commit to memory. K.I. was a big hit in the arcades and proudly touted that it ran on Nintendo’s Ultra 64 technology. The game didn’t make an appearance until much later in the N64’s life in the form of KI 2 update Killer Instinct Gold. All signs pointed to KI 3, but it never arrived. Many believe the title never existed let alone cancelled. But RARE ex-employee Donnchadh Murphy explained to notenoughshaders that the game was very much on the drawing board but Microsoft forbade them from making anything but child friendly games. As it stands today the once powerhouse RARE are now the kiddy game department for own brand Xbox gaming and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon. That didn’t stop some enterprising young fan from Chile knocking this together. goose bumps when the dude says “Killer Instinct”!!

Megaman Universe/Legends 3

Capcom are at it again, this time it’s a fan favourite. Many could argue that Megaman is to Capcom what Sonic is to Sega and Mario to Nintendo, so why cancel your mascot’s games? Perhaps after 23 years of service to CapcomMegaman creator Keiji Inafune quit had a part to play.

“I’m leaving Capcom with the intention of starting my life over.” Keiji Inafune

Strong words indeed and the aftermath of that is Megaman has hardly seen the light of day since, Inafune was a strong proponent in realising SFIV and in a shock move Yoshinori Ono revealed bad box art Megaman would appear in Street Fighter X Tekken. In an interview he stated that Inafune’s input had been involved in choosing that iteration. The fan outrage of seeing a comedy version of their hero waddle around didn’t serve Capcom any favours. But perhaps Ono and Inafune knew all along and just wanted to laugh behind the backs of their reputedly short sighted bosses.

Megaman Legends 3 for the 3Ds’ cancellation was blamed on not meeting “the required criteria” and the innovative developer room where fans themselves were invited to give their input into the games creation has since been ignored.

Megaman Universe Never got an explanation as to why it was cancelled but seemed to be pretty far along in development and even had Ryu as a playable character!

Shenmue 3

It’s getting to the point where most gamers will be saying “shenwho”? But that doesn’t take away the impact Sega’s dark horse franchise has had on the development of games. Shenmue was an incredibly ambitious ($70 million) project offering a fully interactive world with active day and night cycles. The first game was labelled as chapter one of sixteen. The game allowed you to go into almost any home and look through all the cupboards and rooms.  In all fairness by today’s standard this is no big deal but back in 1999 it was almost unreal. Sadly the game just didn’t fly with gamers looking for a thrill ride as Shenmue was slow and focused on narrative. Grand Theft Auto III came out a year or so afterwards and pushed Shenmue far out of the spotlight.

Shenmue 2 continued the saga by encompassing chapters two to five, but saw diminished returns despite seeing a graphically sharper re-release on the original Xbox. A group of hard-core Fans out there love Shenmue but its history does not support the chances of solid profit in future releases. Despite the games protagonist Ryo appearing in Sega All-star Racers it seems we may never see chapters six to sixteen of Yu Suzuki’s epic.

Honourable mentions

Here is a list of games that could have worn out the disc drive of your favourite gaming machine but instead you had to play another yearly franchise update (probably). my personal favourite from this list is the Dirty Harry game, the trailer had its flaws but captured the feel of the movies perfectly. too bad eh?

  • 2 Days to Vegas
  • The Agency: Covert Ops
  • Alhambra
  • AionGuard
  • Avengers
  • Axiom: Overdrive
  • Bonk: Brink of Extinction
  • Brutal Legend 2
  • Cipher Complex
  • Coded Arms Assault
  • The Dark Knight
  • Dead or Alive: Code Chronos
  • Dirty Harry
  • Elveon
  • Ender’s Game: Battle Room
  • Endless Saga MMO
  • Eyedentify
  • Faith and .45
  • Factor 5 Superman Game
  • Frame City Killer
  • Gears of War: Exile
  • Gotham by Gaslight
  • Gun Loco
  • Halo: Chronicles
  • Halo MMO
  • Harker
  • Heavenly Sword 2
  • Hei$t
  • Huxley
  • Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
  • Killing Day
  • The Lord of the Rings: The White Council
  • Metalocalypse: Dethgame
  • Milo (This “game” turned out to be a massive lie and was never interactive as its video suggested)
  • The Office
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
  • Rendition: Guantanamo
  • Bumpy Trot 2 (Steambot Chronicles 2)
  • Sadness
  • Scivelation
  • Severity
  • ShadowClan
  • Six Days in Fallujah
  • Star Wars: Battlefront 3
  • Sundown
  • Survivor
  • Theseis
  • This is Vegas
  • Tiberium
  • Totems/Urban Race
  • Ugo Volt
  • Voodoo Nights
  • Wardevil
  • Xbox 360 MMOs: Final Fantasy XIV, Age of Conan, Star Trek Online, APB all points bulletin

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