With the official release of the Nintendo Wii U console just a few days away, I thought I would take the time to look back at three promising horror titles for the Wii that never made it to the store shelves. Mind you, I'm not talking about horror games that were released for the Wii overseas but not in the U.S. (although there are a few of those, such as Japan's Night of the Sacrifice), nor am I talking about horror games that were released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and not the Wii. No, these are games that spent plenty of time in production and development but for whatever reason were not released--ever. Click below to read more about these unseen Wii games (listed in alphabetical order), games that may still have a chance on the Wii U.
Title: The Grinder
Developer: High Voltage Software
Plot: The Grinder takes place in an alternate world where vampires, werewolves and zombies are very real problems for humans. Players can choose to play one of four monster hunters--Hector, Doc, Miko and AJ--who are hired by a secretive organization called Book to exterminate hordes of these monsters and to discover their origins.
Background: From what I know about this game, The Grinder looks and feels like what Hunter: The Reckoning would have been like if it had been designed as a first-person shooter. And what a first-person shooter The Grinder would be: Players would spend level after level gunning down rows of gargoyle-like vampires, hulking werewolves, and hard-to-kill zombies. The game is also supposed to feature a "dual wield" option for the weapons, as well as online cooperative play that could accommodate up to four players simultaneously. See the videos below for the teaser ad and a game play preview.
Wii U Release?: There's no word on whether The Grinder will appear on the Wii U. The last I read about it, this game was put on IGN's "Games in Danger" list back in 2011 and I couldn't find anything else about this game since that article was posted. Still, with plans to broaden its player base by porting this game over to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles as a top-down, third person shooter--while still remaining a first-person shooter for Nintendo--I'm hoping that The Grinder will have some kind of afterlife through the Wii U. Click here to see IGN's page about The Grinder.
Title: Last Flight
Developer: Bloober Team
Plot: Last Flight takes place on a gigantic passenger airplane during its maiden flight. A mysterious virus spreads through the plane that turns many of the passengers into vampires. Players can either play as Larry, a portly American food critic, or Anna, a Romanian vampire, to fight off the new army of bloodsuckers and find a solution that can stop the virus before the plane lands.
Background: Even though its fate has yet to be decided, I'm still excited about Last Flight. It features some very bloody hack and slash action, and it puts the survival horror format into a very confined and claustrophobic environment: an airplane. The plot device of a passenger airplane that carries a virulent pathogen has been used before in movies like Flight of the Living Dead (2007) and Quarantine 2 (2011), but Last Flight would be the first video game that I know of to exploit such a premise to challenge and scare gamers. Furthermore, the game was intended to be released as an ongoing WiiWare title with new episodes released every few months, thus bringing serialized storytelling to horror gaming. See the videos below for the teaser ad and a game play preview.
Wii U Release?: News about Last Flight has been circulating since 2008, so I would like to believe that at least the first episode of this game is ready and waiting for release. However, I have no idea if it will be released for the Wii U or if it is, if it will need to be updated to add features for the Wii U's touch screen controller. Click here to see IGN's page about Last Flight.
Plot: Winter puts gamers in the role of Mia, a young woman who awakens within a wrecked ambulance and cannot remember anything about herself or the events leading up to the wreckage. The town she finds herself in is experiencing an unusually powerful snowstorm, which is causing the temperature to drop to dangerous, frostbite-inducing levels. As players keep Mia alive and search for clues regarding her past, they encounter strange creatures that seem connected to the snowstorm ... and to Mia herself.
Background: It's hard to read about Winter and not compare it to another Wii title, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Nevertheless, the development team behind Winter wanted to emphasize the "survival" aspect of survival horror within their game, and that's a creative goal that I'm willing to support. It also helps that the pictures I've seen so far of the game's creatures are as intriguing as they are disturbing, so I'm itching to find out what they have to do with a temperature-plunging snowstorm that never seems to end. See the video below for a game play preview.
Wii U Release?: Of the games listed in this post, I think that Winter has the greatest likelihood to make it to the Wii U. Gamers have shown their interest through a few fan petitions, and a representative from n-Space had this to say in an interview that was posted on the Nintendo Everything site last August: "There's an intense amount of love among the team for the game. And the more we've seen the survival horror genre switch its focus from surviving to reloading, the more we feel the market is hungry for a game like Winter. So what's the bottom line? The bad news is that we haven't yet found the right opportunity. The good news is that Winter is just like any good horror movie monster. It's not dead." Click here to see IGN's page about Winter.