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Xbox Live Arcade Games That Have Vanished…But Are They Gone For Good?

Bonk: Brink of Extinction Screenshot - 1111411

Xbox Live Arcade has a whole plethora of great games to offer, from long-lost favorites like Radiant Silvergun and Crazy Taxi to new releases that are bound to be classics, like Spelunky.  But despite the growing offering of downloadable games, there are a certain few that didn’t quite make it to the service.

Why is really beyond us, because these games that we found really deserved just as much of a chance as the ones that did find a release.  So here now are some titles that we feel should’ve been given a second look, followed by an explanation as to what went wrong on their way to Xbox Live glory…

Bonk: Brink of Extinction

Bonk

What’s the story: Bonk, the star of numerous Turbo-Grafx 16 games, is a hard-headed caveman who worked his way into our hearts in the old-school days of gaming.  Hudson Soft, a company that knew how to take good care of its franchises, was looking to bring him back to the new gaming scene, with a refined visual upgrade and plenty of head-butting gameplay to go around.

What went wrong: Hudson Soft went belly up when they were consolidated by Konami a while back, and in the process, Bonk ended up, ironically, on the extinction list.  That’s not to say the project couldn’t come back some day, but for the moment, Konami is working on other franchise titles.

Toki Remixed

Toki

What’s the story: Remember the old Taito arcade game Toki?  Golgoth Studio sure does, and for the past few years, the company has been working on a high-definition version of the game, featuring the orb-spitting ape that fights to rescue his beloved from a sorcerer.  Featuring beautiful animations and a reworked soundtrack, this remake looked rather promising.

What went wrong: Golgoth has been having some trouble finding a publisher for the game, and has also been working on another project, Magical Drop V, which is currently in beta.  However, all is not lost, as the company released a new trailer in June indicating the game was “coming soon”.  Well, that’s great…but who’s publishing it?

RBI Baseball

RBI

What’s the story: Back on the NES, if you wanted quality baseball, you only had to look in one place – RBI Baseball, Namco’s classic homerun slugger.  But, surprisingly enough, a company called Six Degrees Games was working on a modern version of the game for Xbox Live Arcade, and, at one point, a complete version even appeared on PartnerNet, the online network used with Xbox 360 debug units.  It almost looked like it was going to be a prime hitter, complete with an ESRB rating.

What went wrong: 2K Sports, owners of the MLB license at the time, probably didn’t see much interest in releasing another downloadable baseball game, especially since MLB Stickball didn’t do so well.  So, before any sort of public advertising could begin, it probably pulled the plug quietly on the game.  Too bad – but at least we have the NES classics to tide us over.

Eclosion

Eclosion

What’s the story: Another interesting looking shooter for the Xbox Live line-up, Candella Systems Ltd. first announced Eclosion back in 2010.  Featuring top-down shooting action that reminded us of classics of old, along with new 3D visuals and post-processing particle effects, the game was looking quite promising.  And it also featured a soundtrack created on analog retro synthesizers, along the same lines as the SID chip on the Commodore 64.

What went wrong: There was no word of the game’s cancellation, so it could possibly still be in the works, just like Deep Black was for the longest time before it released earlier this year.  However, with no official world from Candella Systems, your guess is as good as ours.

Metalocalypse: Dethgame

Metal

What’s the story: Konami, at one point, was ready to release a game based on the popular Adult Swim cartoon, focusing on the misadventures of a death metal band called Dethklok.  Featuring a wide assortment of brutal combat scenarios and plenty of rockin’ songs from the Dethklok 2 album, it was expected to really get the attention of numerous fans.

What went wrong: This is another one of those situations where the game could still be in development, though neither Konami nor the game’s developer, Frozen Codebase, would confirm this.  It could’ve possibly been canned after the release of the disappointing South Park and Ugly Americans games, both of which didn’t fare nearly as well as Comedy Central was hoping.  Still, who knows – the Metalocalypse could rise again…

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Robert Workman
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