Dream Team Basketball is a cancelled sport game that was in development in 1996 by Anvil Incorporated and it would have been published by US Gold / Eidos Interactive for the Playstation. For some reasons the game was never released, but a playable beta version 70% complete was preserved by the Playstation Museum:
The Dream Team concept: a basketball game where you pit the 1996 USA Men’s Olympic Basketball Team against other countries. All of America’s top basketball stars are in the game: Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Scottie Pippen, …etc. On paper this game sounds like a sure winner. Anvil Incorporated and U.S. Gold Sports through Eidos Interactive were to bring this concept to the PlayStation in time for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.
Thanks to Pcloadletter for the contribution! Scan from EGM 82, May 1996
Kunio-kun is a famous series developed by Technos Japan and it was their mascot in Japan. Despite the first game was a beat’em up, soon Technos used the characters for games in other kind of genres, even puzzle games. The most well known Kunio-kun spin off were those concerning sport games ( dodge ball, beach volley, football, basket, hockey, baseball ), always presented through Kunio-kun crazy and not-so-serious atmosphere the series is known for.
Yoshihisa Kishimoto, one of the main men behind Kunio-kun, revealed on his site how a polo (?) game starring Kunio for Super famicom was in a preliminary phase in early ’90. As expected by the series tone, horses were replaced by other kind of animals ( even pigs !). Unfortunately it seems the game never went into production and soon after ( 1996 to be exact ) the japanese developer declared bankruptcy.
Rumble: The Mad Match is a cancelled fantasy dodge ball game that was in development for the GameBoy Color at Protonic Interactive (also known as Prograph Research) around 2000. The italian team cooked up a game that looks very reminiscent of Neo Geo classic Windjammers only with six (plus one hidden) strange fantasy creatures as players. The goal was to score more points than your opponent by throwing the ball behind him even with the use of special moves.
Rumble was designed and completed in a few months in a space of time secondary to the priority projects of Prograph.
Game Boy Color market was already down sharply and we found no publisher interested in publishing; unfortunately at that time you had to have an interesting license or else paradoxically , even if the product was complete, it was not worth to be published due to the high cartridge production costs.
The game was never released despite being complete.
Avatar Sports was a sports game in development at Rare Ltd. in 2007 / 2008 before Kinect development started. It used an unpublished motion controller that can be compared to the Wii Remote. Little is known about this title apart from the use of Microsoft’s Avatars and the inclusion of tennis. Development was halted when the motion controller was abandoned and first Kinect/Natal prototypes emerged. Rare then started to create their Kinect Sports, released in november 2010.
Wicked Surfing is a cancelled sport game that was in development in 1999 / 2000 by RUNANDGUN! / Cave Barn and it would have been published by Interplay for the GameBoy Color. As we can read from a short preview on IGN, in the game you would have been able to use 5 playable characters to do various surf-tricks in 2 different modes: Thrash Mode (timed competition for points) and Contest Mode (tournament against other surfers). The team that was working on Wicked Surfing was small (1 programmer, 1 artist and 1 musician), but the graphic was really good for a GameBoy Color, with an isometric view and a nice palette. Sadly Interplay was in some economic issues at the time (in 2001 it was acquired by Titus Interactive) and they decided to never pay Runandgun! to finish the game, even if it was almost complete.
Thanks a lot to Jeremy for his help to preserve more screens of their lost game!
Super Mario Spikers is a cancelled volleyball-wrestling hybrid game in development for Wii at Next Level Games. Started after Mario Strikers Charged Football in 2007, it was meant to be the next entry in the Mario Sports franchise. Next Level Games tried to combine their knowledge from their previous Mario football games with their experience about wrestling which they had from the cancelled WWE: Titans (Xbox/PS2, THQ).
For unknown reasons the title was not greenlit. Nonetheless, the studio started production of Punch-Out!! for Wii, which was released in 2009.
DOAX is a title most people don’t take very seriously, and I guess that’s fair in a way. Regardless of the nature/content of the game, I was curious to find out if there had been any interesting changes during the course of its development. While browsing the image archives of such sites as IGN.com, I stumbled across a few screenshots that depict early versions of certain items, etc.
Anyone who is familiar with the interface of the retail version of DOAX should instantly notice slight differences in the look of these early menus. It isn’t incredibly unlike the ones we have now, but the icons for the items/bikinis appear to be 2D as opposed to the 3D rotating models that appear in both the icon view and the main window of the final. The names for most of the items are quite different from what we see in the final game as well, not to mention sold at a drastically reduced rate than we are used to now (the devs must’ve had a VIP membership at Zack Island). For example, the “camisole” bikini is shown in one screenshot, and is listed at $900. Certainly a more realistic price than the released version (in a twisted way), as this same bikini is sold as “Ariel” in the final at a whopping $80,000… although, assuming that the Zack Island currency is based on yen, then the former price would have been a bit silly.
Anyway, it seems like at this stage of the game the developers were simply labeling the bikinis by type or style. Maybe they were cheaper just to make testing easier, or maybe there really wasn’t much of a reason at all. An entirely unused item can be seen in one screenshot, labeled as “cat ears.” Interesting that this was intended to be a separate accessory, because ultimately the devs instead included them as additional pieces to specific bikinis. In other words, they cannot be worn unless the player equips their character with a bikini like the “raccoon.” Regardless of this fact, the original cat ears accessory still remains unused because the color and exact texture is not found for ears as an addition on any bikini.
So, it’s safe to say we got shafted with the released version of DOAX, right?! Nah, just joking… it really isn’t much different.
This is the beta for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. There were very big differences from the beta to the final game. Some levels are heavily edited from their final versions, and some levels didn’t make it at all. In the character select screen, the characters (save for Bucky Lasek) are very unchanged from their final versions. Chad Muska is used as placeholder for some of the characters.
The School is the first level in the beta. There are some differences, like the fact that the rooftop is blocked by fans, and that the pool area is also very changed. Instead of collecting 1 secret tape for each level, there are multiple secret tapes to be found in each level. The “Bonus 500″ and the “Bonus 200″ point symbols are now just plain rings.
Thanks to Christopher Mauro for the contribution!
Here is footage of some levels that didn’t make it:
Downhill: This level didn’t make the final cut because it looked too similar to a level in the arcade game, “Top Skater”.
Classic Concrete: This level didn’t make it because it was just a physics test, to see how the skater model reacted to terrain like grass, dirt, etc.
Suburbia: It’s unclear why this level didn’t make it. Some say that it was an early version of the San Francisco level, And I definitely see similarities. But for the most part, it doesn’t look anything like it.
Freeway: This was probably taken out because it was boring and didn’t have many things to trick off of. I think some of the level was used in the second level of Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX, like the grindable steel girder and the porta-potties.
In 1994 / 1995 Core Design was working on a new golf game titled “Tee Off”, planned to be released on the Sega 32X, Playstation and Saturn. Various magazines published 3D models for the characters, taken from an early tech demo, that shown an awesome graphic for its time. As wrote by Yakumo and Segafreak_NL on the Assembler Forum, Tee Off later became Virtual Golf / Tournament Leader and was released in Europe and Japan only for the Saturn. The 3D pre-rendered models were never used in the final game, but the option select font remained the same. You can see a video from the final version on Segagagadomain!
NBA Elite 11 is a cancelled basketball game that was in development by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, meant to be the first installment in the NBA Elite series, succeeding EA’s NBA Live series. As we can read in Wikipedia, NBA Elite 11 was originally planned to be released on October 2010, but the game was delayed until March 2011 due to “concerns about gameplay polish”. Basically, the game had too many problems, gamers we not happy with the demo and EA decided to cancel it.
The game’s cancellation was officially announced on November 2010 and development of the franchise was moved from EA’s Black Box studio to its Florida-based Tiburon studio. EA has stated that it will instead release free DLC for last year’s NBA Live 10, including roster updates for the 2010–11 NBA season.
EA recently conducted “seasonal layoffs,” though the company says its current restructuring efforts are “relatively small.” Part of this restructuring appears to be moving the NBA Elite series, which it does plan to bring back in the future, from EA Black Box to EA Tiburon.
Analysts estimated that NBA Elite 11′s delay was going to cost EA somewhere in the realm of $60 million with around 1 million in lost sales for this fiscal year, so now those estimated numbers may be straight up losses. NBA Elite 11 was reportedly delayed over quality concerns, which freed up pack-in NBA Jam for a solo release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.