Nintendo

Pokèmon SNAP! [N64 – Beta]

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Various beta images of Pokèmon Snap show a bar in the bottom right corner where you can select Pokè Flute, Apple, and some bomb thing. Also unseen in the same images are shots of a desert area not used in the final game. There’s also some screens from the forest and swamp, showing some pretty big changes. Ekans, the snake Pokèmon was also in the beta version, but not in the final. Why Ekans was cut is unknown. If you can notice more differences in the beta screens below, please let us know!

Also, you could be interested in the “Jack and the Beanstalk” project , an unreleased Nintendo 64 game that evolved into Pokemon Snap!

[thanks to Michael Cheek for the confirmation for these beta screens!]

[Thanks to Henrique Resende for the contribute!]

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Sim City 64DD [N64 – Beta]

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SimCity 64 is a city-building video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo, and believed to be a part of the SimCity series, although Maxis was not involved in the development or release of the game. The game is considerably obscure, given its Japan-only release and designation to run on the ill-fated Nintendo 64DD platform.

Although general gameplay in SimCity 64 is much like SimCity 2000, the game’s graphical textures and building tilesets are considerably different. However, the game sports several advanced features that were not seen in SimCity 2000 or even SimCity 3000 (1999): The ability to view the city at night (now also available in SimCity 4), pedestrian level free-roaming of a city, and individual road vehicles and pedestrians (which could only be seen while in the free-roaming mode). Cities in the game are also presented in 3D hybrid graphics. The game SimCopter 64, which was first planned as a stand-alone game, was later integrated into Sim City 64. [Infos from Wikipedia]

Henrique Resende has sent to us some screenshots from a beta version of the game, in which the HUD is different from the final version.. and maybe more?

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Mortal Kombat: Special Forces [N64/PSX – Unreleased/Beta]

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Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is an action game for the original PlayStation. It was released in North America on July 30, 2000, and in Europe on September 29, 2000. The player to take on the role of Jax (a.k.a. Major Jackson Briggs) as he tracks down the Black Dragon. There were plans for a Nintendo 64 version but after Tobias’ departure and the release of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems, Midway management decided on a budget release of the game priced at $20.00 for the PS1 only. The N64 version could have been finished, but it was never released. [Infos from Wikipedia]

Thanks to Edward Kirk we can read more interesting info from the Mortal Kombat Special Forces’ development:

the game had a convoluted history which, with the departure of MK co-creator John Tobias from Midway, left it incomplete. The final release was only half the game that was originally planned, with the storyline shifting its place within the MK chronology

the game was reduced from seven levels down to five, and from two characters down to one (Sonya was originally playable, but then removed).

You can download a PDF with the full article written by Edward in here. It compares what was planned for the original game with the one that was released.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Presentato al pubblico per la prima volta durante l’ E3 1996, con Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, la Midway avrebbe rinnovato la classica saga di MK. Non si sarebbe dovuto trattare del solito picchiaduro, bensì di uno spin-off di genere Action/Adventure 3d simile a Tomb Raider. La trama prevedeva come protagonisti Jax e Sonya, i quali avrebbero dovuto sconfiggere una malvagia organizzazione guidata da Kano, nemico storico della protagonista femminile.

Il gioco prevedeva percorsi alternativi per ognuno dei due personaggi selezionabili, la complessità dei livelli e degli schemi di gioco sarebbero stati sostenuti dalla potenza dell’ espansione RAM per N64. Oltre alla versione per console Nintendo, la Midway aveva intenzione di pubblicare Mortal Kombat: Special Forces anche su Pc, Sega Dreamcast, Game Boy Color e Playstation, e fu soltanto quest’ ultima versione ad essere stata pubblicata nel 2000, rivelandosi un gioco veramente mediocre.

La decisione da parte della Midway di cancellare tutte le versioni del gioco, tranne quella per console Sony, è dettata dalla scarsissima qualità del gioco, senza scordare che nel ’97 la Midway aveva già provato a rinnovare la sua immortale saga con un altro spin-off, cioè Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero per N64 e Playstation, anche in questo caso i risultati furono deludenti. Fortunatamente la serie si sarebbe ripresa con Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, titolo multiformato datato 2002.[/spoiler]

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Doraemon 64 [N64 – Tech Demo / Beta]

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Doraemon is a cat which has accompanied many generations of children with its famous series of cartoons. The character was created in 1969, but his fame has allowed him to be the protagonist of Doraemon 64, a 3d platform game releases in Japan in 1997. Obviously the final game is very different from the screenshots that you see in this page: the graphic was nicer and more defined, as the screens are probably from an early target render.

These images were released to show the general look of the game, without being created in real time by the 64-Bit console. Perhaps the developers thought that they could have been able to create such good graphic in the final version. The scenarios in these target renders included a submarine level (with sanked ship), a castle with an huge boss and a classic green-field area.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I never played the final version of Doraemon 64 and I have no idea if the areas shown in these screenshots were then used in the game. If you would like to play this game, the full title is “Doraemon: Nobita to 3-tsu no Seirei Ishi”, then let us know if those places are really in the final version!

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Doraemon è un gatto pancione, che ha accompagnato intere generazioni di bambini con la famosa serie di cartoni animati. Il personaggio è stato creato nel 1969, ma la sua fama gli ha permesso di essere il protagonista di questo Doraemon 64, uscito in Giappone nel 1997. Ovviamente il gioco finale è molto differente dalle foto che potete vedere in questa pagina: la grafica mostrata nel tech demo è decisamente più bella e definita rispetto alla versione completa.

Le immagini sono state diffuse come semplice Concept del gioco, senza essere create in real time dall’hardware a 64 Bit o forse gli sviluppatori pensavano di poter creare un simile livello grafico, una volta conluso il progetto. Gli scenari del Tech Demo includevano un livello sottomarino (compreso di nave affondata), un castello con un enorme boss ed una classica area verde.

Purtroppo (o per fortuna) non ho mai giocato a Doraemon 64 e non ho idea se le ambientazioni mostrate in questi screenshots siano state poi realizzate effettivamente. Se qualche pazzo maniaco di Doraemon vorrà mai provare a giocare questo episodio per Nintendo 64, il titolo completo è “Doraemon: Nobita to 3-tsu no Seirei Ishi”: nel caso in cui lo provate e vi accorgete che le situazioni presenti nel Tech Demo siano assenti dalla versione finale, saremo lieti di ricevere una vostra email con tutte le informazioni! [/spoiler]

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Extreme G [N64 – Beta / Tech Demo]

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Extreme G was just one of the many “extravagant” racing game that were released on the Nintendo 64. Developed as an alternative to F-Zero and Wipeout, the game was created by Probe Entertainment and published by Acclaim. When it was announced, some early pictures were released to show the graphic of the project. The 2 original screens are probably taken from a tech demo / target render, as the graphic is much more defined than the final version.

The other images are taken from a Beta version: we can see in the bottom left of the screen, some debug bars, used by developers  to check the 3D engine parameters, such as the effort of the CPU and fluidity. The game still lacked many of the on-screen HUD, the speed was indicated with a needle and simple colored bars, while the lap-time was occupying too much of the screen.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Extreme G è stato uno dei tanti racing game stravaganti che ha potuto vantare il Nintendo 64. Sviluppato come alternativa a F-Zero e Wipeout, il gioco è stato creato da Probe Entertainment e pubblicato da Acclaim. Quando fu annunciato, probe diffuse alcune immagini del gioco, per mostrare lo stile del suo nuovo progetto. Le 2 foto iniziali sono tratte probabilmente da un tech demo, creato su hardware più potente rispetto ad un normale Nintendo 64 e la grafica è molto più definita della versione finale. Le altre foto sono tratte dalla versione Beta vera e propria: possiamo infatti notare, in basso a sinistra, le barre di testing, usate dai programmatori per tenere controllati alcuni parametri del motore 3D, come lo sforzo della CPU e la fluidità. Mancavano ancora molte delle indicazioni su schermo, l’indicatore della velocità era segnalato da un semplice ago con barre colorate, mentre il tempo del percorso sembrava fin troppo grande e fastidioso, occupando parte della visuale. [/spoiler]

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