Nintendo

Spiderman (2000) [Beta – PSX / N64]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Spider-Man is an action game based upon the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is loosely based on the 1990s Spider-Man and Spider-Man Unlimited cartoon series. The game was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision for the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 in 2000.  In the videos below we can see some beta differences, as the Web Counter (different textures), some beta levels were bigger than the final, some  monsters looks different and they were in other areas than the final ones.

Thanks to solidsnake11 for the contribution and Megaroxas12 for the videos!

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Kunio-kun Kart [SNES – Cancelled / Concept]

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 go-kart racing game starring Kunio for Super famicom was in a preliminary phase in early ’90. The idea probably sprung after witnessing Super Mario Kart huge success on the platform. Unfortunately it seems the game never went into production and soon after ( 1996 to be exact ) the japanese developer declared bankruptcy.

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Blues Brothers 2000 [N64 – Beta]

Blues Brothers 2000 was a platformer developed by Player 1 and released on November 17th 2000 for the Nintendo 64. Titus Interactive acquired the license to a Blues Brothers 2000 video game at around the time of the BB2K movie release. They began their search for a developer to take on the project and had an estimated release date Q2 1999. The game ended up suffering many delays being pushed back to December 1999 and then again to early 2000. These delays may have been due to the poor reception at the time of Carmageddon 64 and Superman. It was in August 2000 that Blues Brothers 2000 got a rental release at Blockbuster. Gamers had to wait till November 2000 before they could finally purchase Blues Brothers 2000 at a retail store.

Blues Brothers went through many changes throughout development. I have checked many beta pre-release screenshots and videos and have come up with this list of changes:

General Differences

  • The title screen just had a plainish blue background in the beta version.
  • The sound effect used for picking up the key in the beta version was the same as the musical note.
  • The hud with all the musical notes is different in the beta version.
  • A different font was used with a different A button icon the beta version.
  • The hud is absent in most screenshots, but it is different in the few it’s scene in.
  • None of the music that’s used in the below beta video appears in the final version.

Level 1 Differences

  • In the starting room of the joliet prison in the beta version, the musical note is on a different bed. Also the key is a shelf, instead of a guard giving it to you. The golden records are also in different spots.
  • There was no crystal heart outside your prison cell in the beta version. The golden record explaining what crystal hearts are is also absent.
  • The beta version had a cutscene showing the guard then Elwood walking out of the very first room and then talking. This cutscene was cut in the final version and just starts with Elwood talking.
  • Elwood’s text was slightly modified. Beta: “I better free him or I’ll have no guitarist for the band!”. Final: “I better free him so I have a guitarist for the band!”
  • The coins and golden record that are located just slightly down the hall from the entrance to Elwood’s cell, are not in the final version of the game.
  • The vents in the 3rd room had numbers written more clearly brightly in the beta version.
  • The guy with the afro has different text the first time you talk to him. Beta: “Here’s a little routine I’ve been working on. Keep the beat and copy my move 3 times!”. Final “You’ll need a variety of moves to win at the battle of the bands. Here’s a little routine I’ve been working on. Keep the beat my pressing the button when the bar flashes. Copy my move 3 times.”
  • The place where you fought the warden was originally in a very different looking room.

Level 2 Differences

  • The platforms on a blue building are absent in the final version.
  • There was only 1 dialogue box spoken by Willie before the boss fight in the beta version. Not even Elwood says anything.
  • There are no hearts in the boss room in the beta version.
  • Willie is much slower at throwing bottles in the beta version.

Level 3 Differences

  • The trampolines originally used in this level were different.
  • In the beta version one of the houses was originally more detailed with gravestones out front.
  • Busters text is different. Beta: “Elwood! Get me down from here, you old fart!”. Final: “Elwood! Get me down from here!” None of the other text after that was used in the beta.
  • The cutscene and text from the tree were not in the beta version.
  • The apples were originally 2D sprites. They were made 3D in the final. Also there’s more of them in the final.

Level 4 differences

  • In the beta version, the the frogs were in different spots and the texture used on the wall behind them was not used in the final version.
  • In the beta version, the queen’s servent appeared outside the Battle of the Bands house. In the final version Queen Mousette herself is there.
  • The final dance scene in the beta was about scoring points instead of who could complete the dance moves first.
  • The last part of Queen Mousette’s text is not in the final version: “The Rules are simple: whoever wins 1000 points first wins. Go!”.

Post by: cheaterdragon1.

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Shin’en GBA Racer [GBA – Prototype]

Shin’en Multimedia is a development team that was known on Game Boy Advance for the amazing proprietary sound engine and the beautiful 2D graphics of its games (Iridion II, Maya The Bee Sweet Gold etc.). However it is little known that as early as 2001 they were testing polygonal graphics on the little Nintendo handheld with a top down futuristic racing game that resembles F-Zero.

Manfred Linzner, Shin’en co-founder, shared with us the following insights on their 3D engine and the GBA development in general:

We had at this time [2001] a pretty fast 3d engine for flat and textured polygons on GBA running.
We used it in some menu parts in Iridion2 and for intros of our games. It featured 16 colors, 60fps, 1×1 resolution.
The major performance trick for all of our games and this 3d engine was to use the GBAs 16kb ram-scratchpad area to locate as much data and code there because it was much faster then the rest of the ram.
I remember that almost everything in Iridion2 was running in only this 16kb to get the speed we needed.
The rest of the RAM was used to store the background images.

Although the project was never completed because Shin’en had too much retail work to do at that time, a decade later the company released on Wiiware the jaw-dropping F.A.S.T. Racing League, a futuristic racing game with a Wipeout aesthetic but with a very personal twist on the gameplay department based on changing phase.

Manfred was so kind to dig out a 11 year old prototype to preserve its existence to the public. You can watch the video below, just keep in mind that being a “work in progress” build it has some glitches (most notably the sound). Also remember that the game target was the tiny GBA screen (240 x 160), so the graphics result stretched out on youtube.

Racer Prototype Credits:

  • Graphics: Florian Freisleder
  • Code+Audio: Manfred Linzner

This image from Iridion II show the icons composed by textured 3d polygons:

Video:

 

Space Agency [DS – Cancelled]

Space Agency is a cancelled action-rpg planned for the Nintendo DS that was being developed by Audio Inc, the same people  behind Contact and Sakura Note. A video of the game was uploaded on youtube by the team in 2009 , but sadly the project never found any publisher, probably because the other Audio Inc titles performed very poorly. The player controlled a new member of the Space Agency, an organization created in order to defend planets from the space pirates.

By exploring the planets and by interacting with the local populations we could acquire various new skills.

It seems also that we had to fight in space with our spaceship and answer help calls.

If you have other informations about this game please let us know!

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