For as many games that reach the market each year, there are a few projects that slip through the cracks and die unsung deaths. Some games just don't make it to stores and are left uncompleted and unloved. Who will speak for these lost games? Who will throw some light into the dark corners to reveal potentially promising titles featuring characters both new and notable? Leave it to 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish and Frank Cifaldi to look back at games you may have seen in magazines way back when such as Bean Ball Benny, Bio Force Ape, Duelin' Firemen, Earth Bound (née Mother; also, two words), Final Fantasy Extreme (X-TREEEEEME level grinding, yeah!), Magical Vacation, and many more. One of the games on the list is one that I've been fortunate enough to see for myself: Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball.
Nintendo was poised to make an unusual foray into sports -- real sports, not the kind where Mario and pals offer a creative take on events -- with the Exile-developed Pennant Chase Baseball, even going so far as to host a hands-on media event with the game at Safeco Field at the Mariners' 2005 season opener. And then, quite unceremoniously, the game simply... vanished.
According to a few sources, including Unseen 64, Pennant Chase Baseball simply fell prey to the complicated, hands-tying snafus surrounding Major League Baseball rights and licensing. Despite being a perfectly solid game and reportedly being more or less complete, the complexities of rights and likenesses and franchise branding quietly rained out this ball game before opening day.
Pennant Chase for the GameCube turned up proudly at E3 back in 2005 alongside the Mario Party 7, Mario Baseball, and Mario Strikers displays where, true to form, I ignored it for being a realistic sports game. I would have played it if only I'd known it was doomed to rot in the vault. Funny how something suddenly has value when it becomes lost to history and obscurity.
See, these are the kinds of stories that you can only get here at Press The Buttons. I once was in local proximity to a game that ended up canceled. Exciting stuff!