Rockstar’s parent company, Take Two Interactive, just cancelled a game that $53 million had already been dumped into. They revealed this information in an earnings call earlier today. This isn’t the first time we have seen a big project like this cancelled, but $53 million is a lot of money any way you slice it.
The game was in development from studio Hangar 13 who developed Mafia 3. The project had the working title ‘Volt’ and was a third person action game that featured super heroes. So it probably was not the Bully 2 or Mafia 4 that people were speculating.
When you are dealing with massive AAA titles, $53 million is not nearly as much as the full budget would’ve been with some titles costing over $400 million. It sounds like this project had experienced a number of problems and adding the pandemic on top of that it had left it a bloated mess. This probably caused Take Two to just view it as a sunk cost, not worth continuing to invest in.
The GTA Trilogy: Definitive Edition was recently announced by Rockstar. Today we finally got a release date. The remastered trilogy will come to all major platforms for digital download on November 11. A physical release will be headed to Playstation, Switch, and Xbox on December 7th.
What we know so far is that these games will have certain quality of life improvements. There will be some improvements to textures, models, and overall resolution. We are finally able to see these visual improvements in the trailer that Rockstar shared this morning.
Rockstar has said that the games will control like GTA 5. That alone will be a massive improvement. On top of that, the aiming and lock on system will be improved. The Radio station selection system will also resemble the wheel that is used in GTA 5.
The Switch will have some exclusive controls with the addition of gyro aiming and touch screen camera controls. I’m sure if you don’t like the gyro controls, this is something that can be toggled off in settings.
We still haven’t heard anything about the radio stations and if any songs were removed or added. I speculated about this in a former article:
I commonly hear that the N64 only has 5-10 good games. I couldn’t disagree more. Of course the first party titles and the Rare classics are the really heavy hitters, but there are so many hidden gems on this system.
In this article, I’ll be talking about 5 of my favorite under-the-radar games on the N64. This is just a wish list and I will be ignoring any potential copyrite issues that would prevent Nintendo from adding these games.
5. Gauntlet Legends
Gauntlet Legends is an arcade game by Midway and Atari that launched in 1998. It was ported to the N64 in 1999 and later to the Sony Playstation and Sega Dreamcast in 2000. One of the things that made the N64 great in the eyes of fans was the possibility of 4-player local multiplayer. And this game makes the most of this feature! Couch co-op is always fun, but 4-player co-op makes it even better!
Getting to choose between 4 classes, players get to be a Warrior, Archer, Wizard, or Valkyrie to recover 4 runes to banish the demon Skorne back to Hades. The gameplay is really simple, but cutting your way through enemies with 3 friends is an absolute blast. This would be a great addition to the Switch Online Service and would be perfect to play with friends online.
This is definitely a bit of an oddball on this list, but I remember renting this game from Hollywood Video as a kid and it has always stuck out to me. In this game you play as a personified glove named “Glover”. Through many worlds of platforming levels, you are meant to retrieve crystals and help to restore the crystal kingdom is under threat.
This is a fun game with really interesting and unique level design. The environments are all really vibrant and there is plenty to explore. The glove gimmick lends itself to really interesting gameplay. As a big fan of platformers, this is a fun and unique game. I would love to see Nintendo add this to the Switch Online service.
3. Body Harvest
This is really where things get good. Body Harvest was developed by DMA Design which is now Rockstar North (a studio of Rockstar Games). In this game you can see plenty of ideas that would find their way into the Grand Theft Auto series. You play as futuristic super solider named Adam Drake. You are tasked with defending earth from invading aliens that are here to harvest the human population.
There is much more than just an action-adventure game. There are elements of mystery and puzzle solving. One of the things I really love about Body Harvest is the atmosphere. There is a cold and lonely ambience that emanates from this game and it really adds to the experience. This game would be perfect for the Switch Online service. I would love to revisit it.
2. Rogue Squadron
Of all the games on this list, Rogue Squadron is probably the most well known. You could argue that it doesn’t even belong on an “Underrated Games List”, but I rarely see people hold this game up with the best of the system so I am including it here.
Rogue Squadron is an arcade-style flight game. It takes place in the star wars universe and follows the the story from the Star Wars X-wing: Rogue Squadron comic series. The gameplay is presented in a third person view as you pilot different crafts from Star Wars. You collect powerups and complete different objectives in each stage.
The flying in this game still feels really good and the dogfighting is super satisfying. Of all of the Star Wars games on the N64, this is my favorite. This game spawned a trilogy of games that are all really good. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game ended up on Switch in a similar manner as Star Wars Episode I: Racer, but I wouldn’t bet on in being added to the Switch Online Expansion. Lets hope I’m wrong!
1. Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
This game first launched on N64 and Playstation in 1999 and later appeared on a number of other platforms. It follows the familiar plot of the movie with some added content (and new henchman to beat up).
There was a time when movie licensed video games weren’t consistently terrible and this game proves it. This game is such a fun mix of familiar characters, platforming, collecting, and fighting bad guys.
Similar to the ‘Army Men’ games, the level designs are fun to explore because you get to play around familiar spaces through the eyes of a toy. Boring locations like a child’s bedroom or a construction yard become massive environments to explore.
I know that we aren’t likely to see this game on the Switch Online service because of the licensing that would be required, but I can dream right?
What games would you like to see added to Nintendo Switch Online?
Rockstar recently announced the release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. This was sure to make fans of the franchise really excited. This month marks 20 years since the release of Grand Theft Auto III so this is a great way for Rockstar to celebrate the anniversary and reintroduce these great games to us.
To this day, I periodically will pick up GTA: Vice City and play through it. Some of the gameplay mechanics are dated, but is still a really enjoyable experience fueled by the awesome atmosphere of neon saturated Miami nights.
The Definitive Edition is sure to contain quality-of-life improvements and hopefully modernize the controls. This will be a welcome change and will make these games even more approachable for a modern audience.
The difficult thing about remastering old games, apart from the technical work required, is dealing with the licenses that the company originally paid for. I think I’m not alone when I say that one of my favorite parts of Vice City is THE MUSIC. The music in this game adds so much to the 80s atmosphere.
This is purely speculative, but I would venture a guess that the licenses that Rockstar originally purchased have expired by now. This means they would have to buy the rights to use these songs again. I’m not sure if that makes financial sense to repurchase these licenses just for a rerelease of older games.
I hope I am wrong. I am excited for the Definitive Edition release and will definitely pick it up. But I would love to hear that same old soundtrack.