A lot of money and work goes into making a video game, and sometimes all of it is wasted when the project gets canceled. However, here are six insane examples of how that isn't always a bad thing.
Waterworld (Sega Genesis)The movie Waterworld lost so many millions of dollars that it would have been cheaper and less embarrassing if Kevin Costner spent $110,000,000 hiring crowds of people to watch him cry during sex. While he was filming Waterworld, MC Hammer was holding Oakland money eating contests that were more fiscally responsible -- and more watchable.
The movie was made into a game for the Super Nintendo; a game that's historically considered less fun than playing with a small pox blanket. It was also released for the Virtual Boy, but wasn't received as well there. In fact, "Waterworld on Virtual Boy" is now how you tell a computer to fuck itself in machine language. It's the most horrible thing to ever be put inside a Virtual Boy, including Japanese robot inventors.
Finally, after making the worst movie into worst game on the worst system, someone said enough, and the Sega Genesis of Waterworld release was canceled. The game required players to kill tiny semi-harmless jet skis from their sailboat that kept coming and coming until the everyone-is-dead alarm went off. This was your signal to start your search, while an alarm sounded, for a buoy that lets you dive into the water. When your core gameplay is "go ahead and shoot until we tell you to stop," that lacks strategy or even simple urgency. Waterworld might as well ask the player to wait in the car for 20 minutes while it goes and gets its nails done. Except that if Waterworld did that, it would come back three months late, let you know the bill was way more than it expected, and ask you to pretend to be a chicken because it sold you to its Vietnamese manicurist. The only thing you can trust Waterworld to do is fuck up in every direction.
If you get to the water-diving stage, it's so dull your body will swear it's dying of old age. You slowly steer Kevin Costner through underwater ruins to collect treasures where it's impossible to tell what you will or won't get stuck on. To add to the excitement, nothing has any interest in killing you. This game is as rewarding as finding a fish in your couch. The only way you could have a more miserable Waterworld-like experience is getting a job as Dennis Hopper's condom.
Rap Basketball (Super Nintendo)Rap Basketball is hard to explain, but let me see what I can do: It was going to be a mix of rap and basketball. Now that that's over, the plan was to have rappers with no basketball experience be the stars of the game. Unfortunately, this chain of stereotypes leading from rap to black to basketball created a bizarre vortex of unlogic that only didn't sound racist if you were already a racist. I mean, don't get me wrong, I bet LL Cool J is great at basketball, but I'd never say that to his face.
Before any rappers were signed, the production company bounced all its checks to its contractors and went out of business. Rap Basketball died a hard death. The game was finished up to the point where the player could control one of four identical men, dribble a basketball, drop a basketball, and do nothing else. I can't believe they threw that much work away. Here's a couple ideas on how they could have released it exactly how it is:
So I guess we can be thankful that such a stupid idea never made it to the market. A game about rappers playing basketball? That's ... oh shit, never mind. In 1995, Mandigo made that exact thing starring such notable basketball stars as Queen Latifah, House of Pain, and Coolio. It was called Rap Jam: Volume One, if only so us future people could enjoy the told-you-so feeling of there never being a Volume Two.
Steven Seagal is The Final Option (Super Nintendo)No one has a worse movie-star-to-video-game ratio than Steven Seagal. Robin Williams and Tim Allen have had more video games based on their movies than Steven Seagal. That's the kind of outrageous statistic that makes me think math is calling us pussies. Steven Seagal and TecMagik tried to fix this in 1994 with Steven Seagal is The Final Option. It was cancelled, renamed Deadly Honor, then cancelled again. During that time, nine games about Power Rangers were released. My god... according to these numbers, that means there are fewer than negative eight balls on every one gamer.
Steven Seagal had a lot of input on the game, which explains why it might not have been awesome in the way they wanted it to be awesome. In the first mission you infiltrate Nanotech's underground munitions depot, an underground munitions depot populated by only two kinds of people: maintenance workers and lab technicians. The odds were ridiculous even for an action star famous for his one-sided fights. Fact: The closest a fist has ever come to Steven Seagal's face in a movie is when the script calls for his character to eat a hot dog. In fact, there's a Hollywood legend that when Steven Seagal eats a hot dog, they have to slow the film down just so you can see it.
The Nanotech lab technicians are the bravest corporate employees you'll ever see. They don't run away when a well-armed maniac bursts into their office and murders their janitor. They don't even drop their clipboards. While you threaten to sue the company every time a co-worker gets caught smelling your gym clothes, these guys walk right up to Steven Seagal and jab him with their free hand. Nanotech needs to give these guys a raise. And in honor of these kick ass scientists, I'm going to scientifically prove how they star in the perfect game:
Controls: Steven Seagal moves like time-lapse footage of a pigeon decomposing and it's a five step process for him to change directions. So in that way, this is a precise simulation of what it's like to pilot a Steven Seagal.
Graphics: In Steven Seagal is the Final Option, you look exactly like Steven Seagal from Hard to Kill. Which is easily the nicest thing anyone has ever said about anything. They never finished Seagal's running animation which is a shame because I'm sure it would have involved motion capturing a fat woman waking up in bathtub full of snakes.
Realism: Steven Seagal has proven many, many times that if he has a knife and a gun and he goes up against a scientist carrying papers, he wins. It's the main reason science has no explanation for Steven Seagal-- no one has ever returned from studying him.