The Saga Of Mario, Wario, And A Bucket
But What Did The Critics Say?

What Could Have Beens And Never Wases

Banjo-Kazooie If you follow video games in the media from announcement through development to release, it's common to play the finished game and wonder what happened to some hyped feature or advertised gameplay element that has gone missing.  Wasn't Perfect Dark supposed to let you use the Game Boy Camera to add your face into the game?  Didn't BioShock Infinite include a boss battle with Songbird at one point?  I'm certain we were meant to visit the Hidden Palace Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.  Parts of showcased features are cut during development all the time and GamesRadar has picked up twelve such elements from the cutting room floor and held them up for all to see.  Banjo-Kazooie, Skyrim, Mass Effect, Portal 2, and more are all represented.  Here's what was cut from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag:

Ubisoft had once planned to have Edward Kenway participate in the high seas battle that led to the arrest of Calico Jack, Mary Read, and Anne Bonny. If your high school history classes skived on the piracy lessons, I’ll catch you up: it was the tightest shit ever, with Read and Bonny fending off the British dogpile until they were overrun. Getting to participate in that would have been an adrenaline-pumping pirate extravaganza (plus educational!), but alas, it was shuffled into the background early in development. It's like a knife in the heart... or back, or wherever. Or a plank walk. What else did pirates do?

Some of the cut features are heartbreaking removals (especially when they push the limits of the available technology as in Banjo's infamous Stop 'n' Swop function).  Some of my favorites from over the years that aren't in the article include the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros. 3 returning for Super Mario World, GoldenEye 007's "All Bonds" option for multiplayer that lets players play as every incarnation of James Bond through Pierce Brosnan, Banjo-Tooie's lost two-player mode "Bottles' Revenge", and the inclusion of a playable Dr. Wily in Mega Man Soccer.  Sometimes an idea exceeds the available time, money, or technical horsepower needed to implement it correctly which leaves us with this graveyard of deleted bits.  Like any cemetery of buried love ones, take the time to visit every now and then.