action game

Vectorman 3: Ultra [Sega Saturn – Cancelled]

Vectorman Ultra is the cancelled third game in the Vectorman series, started with the first one developed by BlueSky Software and published by Sega for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis in 1995. Vectorman 2 was released in November 1996 and after it went gold it seems that BlueSky started to pitch a new sequel to Sega (Next Generation magazine published a rumor about it in their website that year), planning to develop it for Sega Saturn, the “new” Sega console that was released in May 1995 in USA.

Ellis Goodson, the artist that worked on the original Vectorman and other cult games as Skullmonkeys and Shadowrun, drawn many concepts to be used in the design doc for Vectorman Ultra created by Jason Weesner. It’s interesting to notice that these concept arts were sold sometime ago on eBay and in some of those auctions they described the game as planned for the Nintendo 64, but it’s possible that they got confused because of “Ultra” in the title (N64 was known as Ultra 64 before its final name).

It’s currently unknown if Sega Saturn’s Vectorman would have been in 2D or 3D, but looking at those awesome concept arts it seems that at least this lost game would have had some side-scrolling levels. We hope to be able to see more from this project sometime in the future, it would be interesting to know if any actual prototype was started at all. Some years later Sega tried to revive the Vectorman IP with a new PS2 game developed by Pseudo Interactive, but that was also cancelled.

Thanks to eSPy, Youloute and Ellis for the contributions!

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Primal 2 [PS2 – Cancelled]

Primal was a PS2 game developed by SCEE Cambridge. Despite a prominent advertising campaign, it went largely unnoticed upon release, failing commercially. However, development on a sequel had already began shortly after the first game launched. As early preliminary work was underway, Sony acquired the license to develop an offical tie-in game for the TV show, 24. The development of Primal 2 was thus cancelled in favour of doing that game, as stated by Paul Donovan:

Any hints that there might be a Primal sequel in the pipeline? Pleeeease! :)
Sorry, afraid not. We were playing around with ideas for a Primal 2 and did some prototypes of some new features but then we got the 24 license so we did that instead :-) – Paul Donovan, Senior Programmer, SCEE Cambridge

In 2012, the game was re-released as a PS2 classic for PS3. This is when Chris Sorrell, creative director of Primal, wrote an article on the official PS blog where he and the concept artist of the game, Mark Gibbons, revealed some bits and pieces of the possible plots that were considered for the sequel:

Mark Gibbons – Lead Artist, Primal:
Once the game was completed, preliminary work on a sequel was begun that featured Jen’s lover Lewis as the central character. Primal II would’ve told the story of his journey through Oblivion’s Hell, back to Mortalis, the real world.

Chris Sorrell on February 28th, 2012 at 10:39 am said:

[and finally] – If there were to be a Primal 2 it should feature Jen. …Well I do agree with that one. Further to the comments by Mark, yes we did explore a Primal 2 with Lewis as a lead character. We also explored another take that had Jen as lead and centred on the notion that the demons of Oblivion had found a way through into our world. That one had some cool imagery that I recall – Jen in a flowing leather coat riding a spike-wheeled moto-X bike, Prince Jared driving to Jen’s rescue in an ice-cream truck (garbled music blaring) and sub-way tunnels teeming with spider-like Wraith mutants. Ah, if only..

In addition, Mark Gibbons once published some of the concept art he made for this sequel via his old portfolio. His website is no longer online, but part of the concept artwork was retrieved and posted by fans after the original site went offline.

Thanks to Erameris for the contribution!

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Hotline Miami [Beta – PC]

Hotline Miami [Beta – PC]

Hotline Miami is a 2D top-down action video game developed by Dennaton Games, a team composed of Jonatan Söderström and Dennis Wedin. The game was published by Devolver Digital and released on October 23, 2012 for Windows PCs. Hotline Miami is the final product of a development process starting back in 2004, when Swedish developer Jonatan Söderström (better known as cactus) began working on one of his many videogame projects called Super Carnage.

Cactus stated, in an interview with PC Gamer UK (Issue 247):

What was the original idea for Hotline, why did you want to make it?
JS: My original idea, when I made the first prototype called Super Carnage, was just to make the goriest game I possibly could, with as many weapons as possible. I was only 18 at the time so it was a pretty silly and incomplete idea.

Cactus was inspired by different games for this prototype, especially by a number of games from Japanese developer Ikiki, another prolific mass-producer of indie games like him. Hakaiman in particular, with its top-down style and gore grapichs, was one of the main influences (even for the enemies’ patterns and AI).

Hakaiman inspired Hotline Miami

Screenshot of Hakaiman from The Ludoffin

Cactus also stated that he really liked the game Nikujin (also made by Ikiki), featuring a naked ninja, because he gave him the feelings of possessing all the abilities from the beginning of the game, not acquiring them through the game but trying to master them from the start, as he said in the same interview with PC Gamer UK:

I really wanted to capture that feeling of always being outnumbered and having to master the controls and plan your actions to beat a level.

Tango Strike, a freeware game by Fallen Angel Industries, influenced the aiming system.

A beta demo of the game was released by cactus on gamermakergames.com forums. At that time (2006) the game looked like this: 

Heroes: The Video Game [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC]

Heroes, as it was tentatively titled, was a cancelled video game based off the NBC TV show of the same name. It was being developed by High Voltage Software and would have been published by Ubisoft. The title was planned for releases on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Wii.

Heroes: The Video Game

Shortly after the successful first season of the Heroes TV series concluded in May 2007, Ubisoft entered talks with NBC Studios to use the license for a video game adaptation. This was to be the second big TV property Ubisoft would adapt following the development of LOST: Via Domus, which had began earlier that year in February. While Ubisoft’s Montreal division was busy working on that game, the publisher reached out to external developers including High Voltage Software.

At the time, High Voltage already had experience with developing TV tie-in games, including the Family Guy video game, and was therefore “a natural choice for Ubi”, one developer recalled. Ubisoft successfully negotiated a deal with NBC, which they announced in June, but the final decision to secure High Voltage as its developer was made over the following few months without ever being revealed to the public.

High Voltage Software’s Vision For Heroes

Just as LOST: Via Domus introduced an original character, Elliot Maslow, as its protagonist, the Heroes video game would have centred around a new female character of High Voltage Software’s own invention. Given how short the project’s lifespan was, it appears as though this redheaded heroine had yet to be named, but you can see some concept art of her below.

Heroes Video Game Protagonist Concepts

In the vein of Ubisoft Montreal’s character, this new member of the Heroes mythos would have acted as the player’s vessel through which they could explore the world of the show and interact with its extensive cast of superhumans. She would have enabled High Voltage and Ubisoft a higher level of creative freedom as they attempted to delve into the Heroes universe without too greatly interfering with the pre-established lore. 

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