News Article

Feature: 3DS Games You'll Probably Never Play

Posted by Mark Reece


The 3DS has endured some trying times in its short lifespan, among these being a number of cancellations of high-profile games by third-party publishers and developers. We've decided to highlight five of the biggest titles to get the chop in the past year, why they were cancelled and the likelihood of these games being resurrected.

Saints Row: Drive-By

THQ’s trilogy of Saints Row titles available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 represents a certain kind of off-the-wall, preposterous entertainment. You may consider yourself the sort of gamer who’s above such juvenile pursuits as using the contents of a septic tank to bring down property values, or creating a supermodel with a thoroughly masculine voice, but its accessibility and complete disregard for realism serves as a reminder of the insane fun in older Grand Theft Auto titles, before they became more serious.

Saints Row: Drive-By was originally conceived as a companion game to Saints Row: The Third from the HD consoles, and would have also been made available on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. This would have been a prequel of sorts that when purchased would provide players with extra goodies, sharing the same relationship with Saints Row: The Third as Fable II: Pub Games did with Fable II, or THQ’s own Red Faction: Battlegrounds shared with Red Faction: Armageddon. Saints Row: Drive-By was also announced as a standalone title for the 3DS, though what form the game would take is still a mystery to this day, as no screenshots or trailers were ever released. Would it depict urban gangland violence through a bird’s eye viewpoint — like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars — or would it take the more adventurous and ambitious route of giving players a fully realised 3D city to explore?

THQ failed to provide any official explanation as to why they decided to pull the plug on Saints Row: Drive-By. However, if the poor critical and commercial performance of Red Faction: Battlegrounds is any indication, perhaps THQ was wary of wasting more time and resources on a similar project that wouldn’t have succeeded. It’s also no secret that THQ has been enduring some serious financial issues as of late, struggling to support development projects and facing a potential stock market delisting, so it seems extremely unlikely that Saints Row: Drive-By will ever see the light of day.

DJ Hero 3D

Activision is a company that constantly produces yearly updates to its most popular franchises, and with good reason: if a property such as Call of Duty proves itself to be financially successful, it makes perfect sense to give consumers more of what they love. The same could once be said of its Guitar Hero franchise. There was a time when picking up a plastic guitar — in addition to drums or a microphone as the series grew — and pressing different coloured buttons in time to famous rock songs was all the rage, and Activision responded by pumping out more rhythm action games each subsequent year.

The series later expanded to include Band Hero and DJ Hero: the latter saw players partaking in the familiar action of timed button presses, only this time on an extortionately priced controller modelled on a turntable, that also allowed them to mimic scratching and crossfading between songs. When the 3DS was officially revealed at E3 2010, a DJ Hero game was announced in which, predictably, the touch screen would take the place of the turntable controller.

Unfortunately, it transpired that you can have too much of a good thing, to the point that despite the number of Hero instalments released across all formats in both 2009 and 2010 combining to a staggering ten games, enthusiasm and interest in the genre waned. As a result, in February 2011 Activision halted the production of Guitar Hero titles along with all related projects, which included DJ Hero 3D. Of course, it’s possible that once the dust has settled and Activision and its subsidiaries have had the chance to devise a way of revitalising the genre, rhythm action games could make a comeback and DJ Hero 3D may see a release.

Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy

Ubisoft should take notice of the situation in which Activision found itself with the Hero franchise. As much as the series has improved and evolved, Assassin’s Creed — with four HD console titles and the same number of handheld and mobile spin-offs under its belt since its debut in 2007 — is also in danger of having its fans become fatigued and lose interest in its open-world period assassinations. Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy was announced for the 3DS and would see Ezio Auditore da Firenze — protagonist from three previous titles in the series — travelling to Masayaf, headquarters of the Secret Order of Hashashin and home of Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad in the late 1100’s.

Other than the basic premise, no concrete information on Lost Legacy was ever revealed, so how closely it would resemble its console counterparts is — and will forever remain — unclear. All we know is that the ideas behind Ezio’s journey to the Middle East actually evolved into what would become Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and in July 2011 Lost Legacy was officially cancelled. Given the circumstances, a game in the series that utilises that particular plotline is quite obviously not going to happen, yet we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of another Assassin’s Creed spin-off appearing on the 3DS in its lifespan.

Bomberman 3DS

Encouraging a few friends to gather together and attempt to blow each other to bits, the Bomberman series' penchant for tactical yet cute ferocity has over the years seen it become as synonymous with multiplayer gaming as the likes of Mario Kart. Bomberman 3DS was set to feature an expansive single player campaign alongside the trademark multiplayer, available locally for four players and supporting online play for up to eight. Hudson Soft had revealed that the title was in development for 3DS before it was released in the West, so this was great news for those of us who were planning to splash the cash on the new handheld.

Unfortunately, in March 2011 Bomberman 3DS was one of a few 3DS titles — including Omega Five and Bonk — in development at Hudson Soft to get the axe, with no explanation as to why it was given the chop. Worse still, in January 2012 it was reported that Konami — now Hudson Soft’s majority shareholder — will be absorbing the house that Bomberman built as of 1st March, so it’s unclear what the Hudson team will be developing in future.

We maybe shouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of the explosion obsessed little tyke making his 3DS debut in the future. For now, however, we can only lament the diminishing influence of one of gaming’s most endearing icons.

Mega Man Legends 3

The cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 was arguably one of the most disappointing pieces of 3DS news to come to light since the handheld was launched, and the ten-year saga is indeed a lengthy tale. Since the release of Mega Man Legends 2 in 2000, series creator Keiji Inafune was repeatedly asked about the existence and/or whereabouts of a potential sequel to the fan-favourite title. In September 2007 he explicitly expressed his desire to develop the highly anticipated game, although he was — for undisclosed reasons — unable to do so.

Fast forward to October 2010 and not only had Capcom answered our prayers and announced that Mega Man Legends 3 would appear exclusively on 3DS, but it was reported that the Japanese publisher/developer would be looking to its fans for help during the development process, pledging a desire for them to have direct input in finalising character design and other aspects of the game.

However, Mega Man Legends 3 started to go downhill in November 2010, when Inafune left Capcom altogether, despite becoming the company’s Global Head of Production just seven months prior. Undeterred by this setback, the team behind the title assured us that development would continue as planned, and that Capcom also planned to release Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype, which would feature ten missions, act as a prologue to the main game and be available when the eShop launched.

The cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 was arguably one of the most disappointing pieces of 3DS news to come to light since the handheld was launched.

But the hopes and dreams of Mega Man fans the world over came crashing down in July 2011, when it was officially announced that Mega Man Legends 3 had been cancelled, with a company representative stating, “unfortunately it was not felt that the Mega Man Legends 3 Project met certain required criteria,” and that neither the full game nor the equally anticipated Prototype version would be released.

To add insult to injury, mere days after the announcement of its cancellation, Capcom seemed to be blaming the fans for the demise of the game via its Capcom Europe Twitter feed, seemingly citing “lack of fan interest” as the reason. Capcom very quickly apologised for this poorly worded tweet and reiterated the meaning behind these comments, but it’s clear that passing the buck — or at the very least appearing to do so— to the audience who showed nothing but enthusiasm for the project, was perhaps not the best move.

Inafune was also disappointed in the demise of Mega Man Legends 3, as revealed when he publicly stated that he had even gone as far as attempting to work out a contract between Capcom and his own newly founded studio, Comcept, in a bid to get development back on track: a business proposition that Capcom refused.

With Capcom having no current plans to complete the development, and Inafune’s best efforts to resurrect his beloved project being rejected, it would seem that the fate of Mega Man Legends 3 has lamentably been well and truly sealed. The chances of us playing what would surely have been a high-profile 3DS exclusive may have been given the final nail in the coffin.

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User Comments (82)



BenAV said:

What a horrible article! D:
"Here's some potentially awesome games... But chances are you'll never get to play them."



Bass_X0 said:

I actually wonder how many people here played the first two Mega Man Legends games. I have, and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne too. But not Mega Man 64.



Corbs said:

I've still never gotten over Magical Vacation on GBA not showing up outside of Japan. Yeah, I'm looking at you Nintendo! >



ouroborous said:

Seriously, it will be a very long time before I get over the cancellation of Megaman Legends 3. I guess it WAS too good to be true after all. I'm a die-hard Megaman fan and despite criticism and the break from the norm with the style of the Legends games, I enjoyed ALL of them (including Tron Bonne) and have re-played them many times. A new entry, and in 3D AND on a handheld, would have been a dream come true. I was surprised and pleased though to see how many people were excited about MML3, shame that nobody in the big C cared and decided to throw all that potential money-making away. Capcom and Nintendo REALLY LOST OUT ON A GREAT OPPORTUNITY to reboot and reintroduce Megaman (and the Legends series) to a whole new generation of gamers. For shame Capcom, for shame Nintendo... when will you ever learn?



Myx said:

as a serious gamer in 2012 i can see why these titles were cancelled. despite some diehard-fans of each game who will be crying theirselves into sleep every night, no one really cared about these games. it is no big loss for these titles not getting produced. the sales figures would have been horrible. i would not have bought them.



IronMan28 said:

These remind me of the dark days of the 3DS, when every gaming related site was basically asserting the system was dead. Anyone with even a single neuron that fired knew otherwise....



Jono97 said:

Is there a point in bomberman 3d? I mean, the game won't really use 3d...



Savino said:

Who cares... They were probably a piece of, so that's why they were cancelled.

We dind't lost anything!



theblackdragon said:

@Tsuchinoko: He may be abrasive, but he's as welcome to his opinion as you are. If you don't like the fact that he doesn't care these games won't see the light of day, either explain why he is wrong (calmly and respectfully, please) or ignore him entirely.




No offence to the devs or to fans - but really no big loss there at all. Especially the more hardcore-ist games there. MML 3 and Bomberman 3D MAYBE,



darkgamer001 said:

Not only should MML3 have seen a release, but if Capcom had one ounce of common sense and logic, they would have used the opportunity provided by the 3DS to re-release MML1 & 2 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne in due time.
At least the Mega Man fans really rallied together after that cancellation, so all hope is not lost yet...As for Capcom, they'll soon realise that the over-milking of their main franchises is not a viable long-term strategy.



SarcasticWisdom said:

Those were some lame games other then Saints Row (Which i already have on PC). I dont see any loss for me.



hYdeks said:

only game there I wanna play is Mega Man Legends 3. CAPCOM!!! BRING IT OUT!!!!!!



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

I had noooooooo idea saints row was even supposed to be for the 3ds anyway O.o the biggest loss was mml3 (even though I have no interst in mega man at all >_> ) it looked like a nice idea. Now I know why my friends hate capcom XD



shonenjump86 said:

A Saints Row game would be nice to have on 3DS. Oh well, as long more great 3DS games come our way it won't be a big lost.



siavm said:

The first four I don't really care about (since I have the third and revelations, one bomberman is enough for me, and did not care about the whole music games) but I do care about the last one. I played a little of legends on ps1 but that was for a hour. The game was cool but I did not have a ps1 to continue playing it on. Could have got the one on N64 but I got my N64 halfway through that gen and being a kid with no money helped add to that. Still have not played either legend games now but was hoping to get back into the game with this one. I was definitely excited when it was announced. And months later when the prologue was coming I as even more psyched for it. But the cancellation suprised me. Especially seeing how they were releasing a brand new RE game. But maybe just maybe this game will come back. They do like making megaman games on nintendo handhelds.



Noire said:

I'm never getting over MML3. It's not just that they cancelled it, but how astoundingly bad they handled cancelling it, that will never let me get over it.



TheChosen said:

Meh. Wasnt really that excited about getting a sequel to Megaman Legends in the first place. Never thought the games were that good to have such huge, rabid fandom.

I bet the game sucked anyway. Companies cancel games for reason.

Its cancellation does suck for the whole series though, but people overreact too much to this. Some are even very hypocritic, yelling that "Capcom is dead to me" or "They're killing Megaman" yet have no problem purchasing the newest Resident Evil. He'll be back in a proper game eventually.



bonesy91 said:

Bomber man, Legends... We barley knew you

but we must look past this and to the future. Maybe a New Mega man will hit the 3DS... eventually....



RR529 said:

Don't really care about Saint's Row or DJ Hero, but it's a real shame about Assassin's Creed and MML3.



Drawdler said:

Now I'm not a fan on Mega Man... But I actually really wanted that game :T

@runeacer74 That's true... I actually planned to get that one, but I didn't hear any news on it, and when I saw the company shut down I was shocked.



Savino said:

Why every game that end cancelled makes ppl assume that is great lost gem?! If a big company like capcom cancels a game in well-succed console obviously is because the game sucks. And yes, I know that the 3ds had a rough start, but capcom could simply delayed the game or move it to another plataform!

And for thse who told that I am trolling... Why, just because my opinion is diferent?



Azikira said:

It's really sad that Crapco-I mean Capcom doesn't listen to what it's fans want anymore. There was a time when they did, but after being very active on the forums for a few years I started to see the decline in care. Don't get me wrong, I still love Capcom, I just wished they loved me back too (so to speak).



MentheLapin said:

Aw man, I love DJing, DJ Hero is one of my favourite games. It's a shame I won't be getting a portable version (or, in fact, a threequel of any sort) any time soon.



K1LLEGAL said:

@LEGEND_MARIOID Right... how is that a good thing? The Saints Row series is great in almost every way; big fun games that don't take themselves too seriously. How is it a good thing that a 3DS version gets cancelled?



cheapogamer4life said:

Dang, that list was in order of my top 5 most anticipated games that got cancel.
Saints Row 3D
DJ Hero 3D
Assassin Creed 3D
Bomerman 3D
MegaMan 3D

Gone but never forgotten



Onett said:

"If a big company like capcom cancels a game in well-succed console obviously is because the game sucks."

Put the pieces of the puzzle together. Keiji Inafune leaves Capcom for unknown reasons. Capcom announces "unfortunately it was not felt that the Mega Man Legends 3 Project met certain required criteria." Hmm... could it be that Inafune felt that Capcom was attempting to force him to take the game into a direction he didn't want and quit as a result? I wouldn't doubt that Capcom's reason for pulling the plug on many of the Megaman titles was due to Keij fleeing the Capcom scene.



MarkyVigoroth said:

This is going to get me a lot of hate, but I wonder if the refusal to develop Rockman Legends 3 was especially due to all the fan-following, Capcom not wanting to make the game equivalent of Snakes on a Plane (which also got a mess of Internet input but flopped). Even if this was not the case, games fans tend to be dissatisified with everything, so I doubt Capcom has any willingness to bother.



RevolverLink said:

I wonder if any of these developers would ever consider taking advantage of Kickstarter to finish some of these games (or start any other potentially interesting projects). Not only would gamers be funding a significant portion of a game's development, but publishers would also be able to gauge just how interested the gaming community is in said game.



cutepichu57 said:

These games arent that good, but they could give saints,bomberman, and megaman a chance at least.



Son said:

They should continue Assassin's Creed and Megaman Legends 3. I don't care about the other 3 games.



RantingThespian said:

I am so mad at Capcom about ALL of the Megaman games that have been cancelled. Something very nasty is definitely going on behind the scenes with Megaman.

Also, I have felt that Bomberman's multiplayer has hit a wall with what they can do. I was so excited to finally find another Bomberman game that had a single-player campaign that wasn't going to be just minigames. That was the 3rd game I was most looking forward to on the 3DS (the first two being SM3DLand and Mario Kart 7).



khalieon said:

tbh, these 3ds gamer makers do not think at all. i know they are starting a new leaf, but they want to dash away on the brooklyn bridge and make crazy ideas for games that are on system platforms, knowing they'll hit rock bottom. these big plans can wait later, besides the platform was just released not too long ago. i probably wont buy my 3ds unil late 2012- early and mid 2013. the 3ds is good, i'd admit. but they need to make short games worth while to play like little sonic games or a mini minecraft.



ecco6t9 said:

Capcom killing Mega Man Legends 3 and Konami killing off HudsonSoft's line up are insults.



Tare said:

Don't worry guys, if Duke Nukem has taught us anything; these games will be fired up again in a years time, come out a year after that, and suck really hard.

I always liked Bomberman, shame that it couldn't make it.



Mr_Reece said:

@Tare Duke Nukem Forever sucked because 3D Realms spent 14 years making it though, and it got left behind technologically and in terms of cultural relevance. If it had come out in 1998/99 when it was supposed to it would have been groundbreaking.



CanisWolfred said:

Thank you, NL, for reminding me that my one reason for owning a 3DS was gone as soon as I got one. Thanks a lot...



Krotar said:

Believe it or not, there are still some people who don't know about this, so I'll leave this link here:
It's a group of people trying to convince Capcom to restart production on ML3, or at least release the prototype to gauge interest as initially intended. For those who want to go the extra mile, there's lots more to do besides like the page. Most of it's taking place in the still-standing Legends 3 Devroom on Capcom's site:
Say what you like about the effectiveness of fan-movements, there's no harm in giving the page a like. And they've gotten some cool people to voice their official support like Inafune himself, the vocalist for "Another Sun", Legends's japanese theme song, and some mysterious supporter from inside Capcom Japan that's being kept under-wraps until a later date.

As for the other games, it looks like the Bomberman one could've been pretty fun. Would the "single player" mode've just been multiplayer fights against AI opponents, or would there've been some sort of story to it? We may never know.
DJHero's appeal lies in the crazy controller, I think. Swapping it for a touchscreen probably wouldn't've worked out well.
Can't say much about Saint's Row, and at least the Assassin's Creed was reinvisioned instead of outright canned.



Imagine23 said:

Wow, blaming your fans is the "smartest" idea I've every heard. Oh Capcom, you've disappointed your fans once again.



alLabouTandroiD said:

If done right all these games could have enriched the 3DS's game library. Especially SR, AC and MML3. Bomberman as an eShop title with heavy emphasis on global highscore hunting.
I'd still be interested in games from these franchises though in the case of MML3 it's hard to say how or even if the title can ever make up for the frustration fans feel because of how Capcom handled the cancellation.



MrAndrewJ said:

@Swiket Capcom games on the 3DS? Which one would I buy? I mean — assuming they don't tease a game and then kill it — do I want a lifeless port of a game meant for high-resolution 2D screens? Maybe one that won't let me erase my save game? Or the one that costs ten dollars more than most other top titles?

Every time I used to hear that the 3DS was dead, the first word that came to mind was "Capcom."



TheAmazingRaccoon said:

t was a shame about bomberman and hudson in general, that game would have been a perfect fit for the 3ds. The mega man legends thing was atrocious. In regard to the comment about the early GTAs in the article, I miss the humor of the early GTAs. Stalking Hare Krishna in your car and running them over when they formed a straight line to get the biggest bonus (Gouranga) was so much fun. By taking the point and bonus system out of the new ones, they made the much less fun.



misterpale said:

It's always the good games that had to be cancelled. It would've been a big hit, probably alot more people will get encourage to get a 3DS.



ClevelandRock said:

10-year saga? No. This April, it will be a 12-year saga. 12 years of begging for a sequel to my favorite game ever… waaaaaaaaaaaaaah…



Gioku said:

Dang, I never knew there had been plans for a 3DS Saints Row until now, and now I'm pretty disappointed.... Saints Row on the go (not to mention also in 3D!) sounds pretty cool. I bet that they cancelled it when they learned about the PSVita....

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