Scalebound was a highly anticipated Xbox One exclusive back when it was announced in 2013; it featured PlatinumGame’s signature, tight combat mechanics, and a unique world. Unfortunately, it was confirmed that the game was canceled in 2017 and it will never see the light of day. But to many of our surprise, there are talks of the game being brought over to the Nintendo Switch instead. But what was so special about Scalebound, and why should we care about it coming to the Nintendo Switch?
What Is Scalebound?
Well to start things off, let’s look into the concept and mechanics of the game itself. Scalebound has you control a young man named Drew, who’s rocking headphones and kind of looks like someone cosplaying Dante from Devil May Cry. Drew is bonded to a dragon named Thuban, and together you and your dragon must journey through a fantastical world and defeat evil knights and giant monsters.
It’s a third-person action RPG with the combat stylings of Bayonetta and a unique dragon commanding system, allowing you to end wicked combos with the help of your faithful dragon. While many games have dragons, there aren’t many that have you actually having the dragon with you in a fully explorable, open world. A mechanic called Dragon Link had Drew and Thuban melding their minds, having you directly control the dragon’s attacks.
The Minds Behind It
The talent behind the game was also noteworthy, with the director of Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, Hideki Kamiya, as well as producer of Viewtiful Joe and God Hand, Atsushi Inaba spearheading the development of the game. These two video game veterans are the lifeblood of PlatinumGames, so you know you’re getting a quality game when these two are helming it. Granted, Scalebound was announced alongside Nier: Automata and the gaming community didn’t have the same amount of confidence they had for the company as they do now. But their credentials should have been more than enough to convince the heads at Microsoft to not cancel the game prematurely.
On top of all that, the game also had a 4-player online co-op. You and three other friends could all join in on an adventure together with your respective dragons in tow, and take down giant enemies ala Monster Hunter. While PlatinumGames aren’t exactly known for cooperative multiplayer games, this would have been a major step in their usual game design and would have certainly been the main selling point.
Our Saviour Nintendo?
So why Nintendo and should we really believe that the game is coming to the Nintendo Switch? To answer that we must look at the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U. The Wii U has 3 exclusive games made by PlatinumGames on the system; that being The Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, and Star Fox Zero. While The Wonderful 101 was made with the Wii U in mind, Bayonetta 2 was truly saved by Nintendo themselves. The original Bayonetta was published by Sega and released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 to mild success, though not enough in Sega’s eyes. As Bayonetta 2 was being made, Sega had complications publishing the game and Nintendo stepped up to fund the publications of the game while making it a Wii U exclusive.
Bayonetta 2 is one of Platinum’s best games and it’s all thanks to Nintendo that the game saw the light of day. While Platinum still makes games for other developers and systems, they have since had a special relationship with Nintendo, starting with them developing Star Fox Zero. The upcoming Bayonetta 3 and their newly announced Astral Chain are both Switch exclusives as well, so looking at this pattern, it would make sense for Platinum to bring a scrapped game in their library to the Nintendo Switch. Especially one with Monster Hunter-styled co-op.
If Scalebound is going through publishing woes like Bayonetta did, then it is no surprise if Nintendo is picking up the game to add to their library. Overall, there’s nothing worse than a cancelled game, especially one that has been unveiled to the world and anticipated by fans at large. But miracles do happen, like Blizzard’s Overwatch wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the cancellation of their Titans MMO. Here’s hoping that Scalebound gets its due eventually.