The Scorpion King is a prototype for a fighting game / beat ‘em up that was created by Osiris Studios, based on the 2002 film with the same name (featuring Dwayne Johnson). It seems that the studio tried to pitch this demo to publishers that had the Scorpion King license (probably VU Games in North American and Universal Interactive in Europe), to get to develope it into a full game, but without luck.
In the end the publishers chose Point of View to work on their Scorpion King videogame, released in 2002 as The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian for the Playstation 2 and GameCube.
The Scorpion King demo by Osiris remained just a prototype and the studio closed sometime later (or did they evolved into an audio restoration agency?).
As we can read on Wikipedia, Anarchy Reigns (aka Max Anarchy in Japan) is an online beat ‘em up action game developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The team shared some videos from an almost finished beta version in their Youtube Channel, in which we can notice a different HUD and more gore than the final version. Also, at Platinum Games’ blog there’s an interesting article about the development of the game (in japanese).
Anarchy Reigns was started as an online multiplayer sequel to Mad World, and the initial prototype in the images below shown the same cell shaded graphic in some early test-rooms. If you can read japanese and make a translation of the more interesting info in that article, please let us know! :)
Kunio-kun: The Claw of Kowloon is a cancelled sidescrolling beat ‘em up game in the famous Kunio-Kun series, that was in development by Technos Japan for the Playstation. The project was probably still in early concept phase before being canned, but from what we can see in the images below, they planned to make the characters more “realistic” than the usual super-deformer style of the previous Kunio-kun titles.
A big thanks to Johnny Undaunted for the contribution and translation from japanese.
Streets of Rage is a remake / reboot of the original Sega Genesis / Arcade brawler that was in development for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC by Grin, the same team behind titles such as Terminator Salvation, Wanted and the cancelled Wanted 2 and Final Fantasy Fortress. Nothing much is known about this game, apart that is was a download-only title. The project was halted because of Grin’s financial difficulties that eventually bankrupted the company. In the gallery below we can see some concept arts and screens from an early build.
It seems that another reboot of Streets of Rage was also in development by Ruffian Games (the team behind Crackdown 2), but there are not many more info about this unseen project, apart from a beta / tech demo video preserved below thanks to Huff Allium!
High School Heroes is an unreleased beat’em up / Action Adventure that was in development from 2010 to 2011 by Freedom Factory Studios for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The game would have had 3 main playable characters, each of them with their own superheroic skills and abilities. Players would have been able to explore the levels to lead a rebellion in planet Tyrannia, in 6 different main missions, each one with its own setting. High School Heroes looked promising, but even if a playable prototype was finished, they did not find a publisher interested in the project so they had to cancel it, at least for now.
Only some screens and concept arts are archived below, to preserve the existence of this lost game.
Hokuto No Ken: Legend Of The Final Hero is a cancelled game that was in development, probably for the Playstation 2, by an italian software house called Dokroton. The project started in 2006 / 2007 but sadly it was abbandoned in 2008 for copyright problems. Hokuto No ken, also known as “Fist of the North Star” is a Japanese manga series written by Buronson and drawn by Tetsuo Hara that was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1983 to 1988.
Only 2 videos of gameplay from an early prototype / alpha version of Hokuto No Ken: Legend Of The Final Hero still exists.
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a beat-em-up developed by Midway LA (formerly Paradox Development) and published in 2005 by Midway for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. In april 2012 a beta version of Shaolink Monk was shared online in the Assembler Games Forum, and Stranno noticed a few differences with the final version: textures, effects (water, lights) and some background changed like “the pit” level. In the E3 beta demo the moon is really shiny, in the final you can actually see the moon and there’s an UFO (?) flying around. The final enemy in the demo is Baraka (you cannot finish it), in retail there is one ogre-boss-like generic enemy, this Baraka fight comes in the next level, the monks academy. Options menu was reworked and there’s no aspect switch.
Shaolin Streets is a cancelled beat ‘em up that was in development in 2005 by Jailed Games for the Playstation 2 and PSP, before it was canned and reworked for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. A playable beta version of Shaolin Streets was somehow leaked online, so you can have a look at the videos below, to have a better idea about how the game would have been played. Sadly, even the Xbox 360 / PS3 versions of Shaolin Streets were cancelled and it seems that Jailed Games had to close down for economic issues.
City Heroes is a cancelled beat ‘em up that was in development by korean Samsung Electronics for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. Thanks to an article at Hardcore Gaming 101, we can read that the game was almost finished, but sadly because of some problems with the country’s censorship system, City Heroes was never released.
Gekido is a series of beat ‘em up games developed by Naps Team, released for the Playstation and GameBoy Advance, with a Gekido PSP and a Gekido GameBoy Color that were never finished for some reasons. It seems that they planned an N-Gage chapter too, as we can read in an old IGN article, but even this version was canned. The 2D sprites were really good and it could have been one of the best looking games for the N-Gage, but it possible that they had to stop the development because of the low sales of the Nokia console / phone.