We look at 5 of the most interesting games that never were.
5 Games We Want on the Xbox 720 (That Aren’t Halo or Gears of War)
While the spotlight is shining brightly on the PlayStation 4 as we near its potential announcement this Wednesday, it’s hard to not think about what exactly Sony’s competitor Microsoft has brewing for Xbox fans. Sure, nothing besides speculation is known right now, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out bit after bit of possible information about the Xbox 360’s eventual successor.
And while the Xbox 360 might not have as robust an exclusive library as that of the PlayStation, it still has a fair amount of games we want to see show up on the console. For the sake of not stating the obvious, we’ve opted to not put Halo or Gears of War on here. They’re coming for sure. These however, are longer shots we’d still like to beg Microsoft for.
SHADOW COMPLEX 2
It’s hard to make a good Metroidvania-style 2d platforming game. And it’s even harder to take that formula and make that good.
Set in the world of Empire, a novel by Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Shadow Comlpex sees you moving through a dangerous and mysterious facility where an evil military group has taken your girlfriend captive. In classic Super Metroid fashion, the game only allows access to certain areas within the complex once you’ve found the right tools to get past the barriers. Add to that tight platforming, fun combat, a great atmosphere, and Nolan North, and Shadow Complex is arguably one of the best games on Xbox Live Arcade and one of the first downloadable games to really challenge the boundaries between what we consider to be a “downloadable” title.
Since there’s still plenty of story left to explore in Empire, why not make a second Shadow Complex game? There’s plenty of call for it, and we’d love nothing more than to have the opportunity to backtrack and explore another creepy facility again. Bring it to the Xbox 720 and use it to promote the system’s new and improved Arcade, and we’d all go home happy.
VIVA PINATA 3
Being one of the most famous developers from the N64 generation, Rare has largely been reduced to handling some of the lesser-known titles in Microsoft’s library this gen. But when they took a break from the smaller games to handle the creation of Viva Pinata, something special emerged on the scene that captured both its intended audience of kids and an even more surprising one of adults worldwide.
Based on the television program, Viva Pinata is one of the more interesting and well-designed licensed games in the Xbox 360 library today. Part sim, part resource management game, Viva Pinata and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise allowed players to create their own custom garden in order to attract different types of pinatas and make their own masterpiece, all while protecting their precious pinatas from the evil surrounding your precious garden.
Trouble in Paradise was largely more of the same Viva Pinata formula with a few changes added in to spice things up. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we’d still love to get our hands on a brand new Viva Pinata title that gives us a bevvy of new mechanics, new pinatas, and new environments. It was a surprisingly fun and challenging game that players of all ages could enjoy, and by far one of the most unique games on the Xbox 360. Sadly, the idea of a brand new Viva Pinata experience heading our way anytime soon is highly unlikely, but it’s still a pipe dream worth dreaming about for games to appear on the Xbox 720.
Much like Viva Pinata, Crackdown was a surprisingly interesting and unique game to hit the Xbox 360 exclusive library. That’s about where the comparison ends, however, as Crackdown is an infinitely more violent game.
Crackdown saw you, a superhero-like agent, protecting the infamous Pacific City with a handful of weapons and abilities. It was fun and frantic, offering a number of main story missions and side quests that kept you engaged in the game’s sandbox for hours on end.
Crackdown 2 was no less great, but was somewhat hindered by the fact that it barely changed anything about the first Crackdown. Same city, roughly the same mission structure, and a shallow story all kept it from rising to greatness.
In Crackdown 3, why not give us a completely new experience while staying true to the conventions of the Crackdown series? It’s a given that we want more weapons and mayhem, but maybe take us to a completely different city and put us in a unique new story with a bit more depth and plot? Giving us both the open world mayhem we crave and a great story to boot would make for a compelling addition to the Crackdown franchise to debut on the Xbox 720.
While it probably won’t release for another seventeen years, Gran Turismo 7 is one of Sony’s best offerings for racing games. What better way to counter that than by giving Xbox 720 adopters another great racing title in Forza 5?
Forza Horizon was known for being a great game thanks to its mechanics, open world, and beautiful presentation. What better way to deliver a great new experience than bringing some of those elements over to a fifth Forza? Since Horizon is still relatively new, the idea of a Forza 5 is probably still a ways off. But there’s no better way to counter a Gran Turismo 7 announcement than by saying Forza 5 will appear on the eventual Xbox 720.
The pipe dream of all pipe dreams. But this is America, folks, and we can all dream about a brand new Killer Instinct game appearing on the Xbox 720.
While it’s not an exclusive to the Xbox brand (yet!), Killer Instinct is another great game to come from the masters at Rare. Ever since Rare’s acquisition by Microsoft, however, the game has been tied up in licensing issues and hasn’t seen the reboot we all so desperately want from it.
That hasn’t kept Microsoft from renewing the trademark, however, keeping our hope alive and well as we head into the next generation. We’re hoping some sort of agreement can be met within the next few years so the series can make its triumphant return on the Xbox 720.
Have any Xbox franchises you’d like to see appear on the Xbox 720? Share them and tell us why in the comments below!