Nintendo

High Heat Major League Baseball 2004 [GBA, Gamecube – Cancelled]

High Heat Major League Baseball was a series of baseball games published by the 3DO company. The game made its debut in 1999 and featuring the official licensed team and player names from all 30 MLB teams each year a new game was up for release. High Heat Baseball was acclaimed to be one of the best baseball games around; the game always had its focus more on genuine and realistic gameplay than on the quality of its graphics.

The 2004 edition however promised improved graphics and a new graphics engine, a new animation system and renewed motion captured player movements. The Gameboy Advance version was under development by Mobius Entertainment (later renamed Rockstar Leeds) and this edition would be the third version of the series on the handheld. For the Gamecube the game would make its first appearance and development was done by 3DO itself. 3DO announced the new installment of the game in December 2002 as they released the first images of the game and a release date was set for spring 2003, around the same date as the release of the Playstation 2, the Xbox and PC versions.

Both versions were finished and ready for release as things went wrong for 3DO in May 2003, the company faced big financial problems for quite a while now, mainly due to bad title sales, and the company now even had to file for bankruptcy and made the announcement that the team and it’s games were for sale and were finally acquired by Rockstar Games.

The Playstation 2, Xbox and PC versions just had had their release dates in March and would shortly after have been followed by the Gameboy Advance and Gamecube versions but with 3DO in serious trouble both titles were shelved for the time being and thus finally resulting into a non release for both platforms. At the 3DO bankruptcy auction in August of that year Microsoft bought all rights for the High Heat series from 3DO for an undisclosed sum. Microsoft however hasn’t developed a new title in the series so far and for now it’s even more questionable if they ever will with a baseball franchise of their own on the Xbox.

Below some screenshots of both titles; I could retrieve no promotional or gameplay footage of the cancelled versions.

-Lesur-

Screenshots and Box cover Gameboy Advance – 12-2002:

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Screenshots and Box cover Gamecube – 12-2002

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Game Boy Gallery [Beta]

Game Boy Gallery is a collection of Game & Watch mini games (Ball, Vermin, Flagman, Manhole, and Mario’s Cement Factory) released in Europe  and Australia in 1995 for the original Game Boy. Aidan noticed that a 1994 UK ad for the Super Game Boy has beta footage of Ball, Vermin, Manhole, and Vermin’s mode select screen. The footage is only a couple of seconds (or, in Ball’s case, a couple of frames), but you can check a few screenshots here, with comparisons to the original G&Ws and the final version of Game Boy Gallery. Manhole’s character also changes his expression!

Thanks to retted98 for the contribution!

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Blue Angelo [GBA – Cancelled]

Created by Adriano Baglio (Virtual Spaghetti) and published by Shibuya Interactive, Blue Angelo was originally developed in 2004 for the Korean GamePark 32 console and well received by the public. Little information is available on Shibuya Interactive but the company appears to be no longer in existence. Unfortunately the GP32 sold poorly and prevented the game from gaining any real attention. While a Game Boy Advance version of Blue Angelo was planned for release after the European launch of the GP32, the Korean handheld was never released there and thus the Game Boy Advanced port was canceled.

Firmly embedded in sci-fi and fantasy, Blue Angelo’s storyline involves the idea that Earth is a planet created by a group of unknown creatures. While Earth is instinctively violent, humans have progressed to the point where a large number of the population has left the planet in order to pursue colonization in other parts of the galaxy. One of these planets, Lyra, has been afflicted by a variety of monsters and demons. The scientists on Lyra create a fighter of their own (controlled by the player) in an effort to eliminate any existing threats on the planet. Mysterious in nature, the fighter does not eat or drink and has a lifespan limited to the course of only one year. This creature is called “creature 331” or Blue Angelo. The subtitle of the game appears to have been “Angels from the Shrine,” but it remains uncertain exactly how this subtitle factors into the Blue Angelo storyline.

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Blue Angelo for the Game Boy Advance was about eighty percent completed on Livello, a level editing program, before it was canceled. There are currently two playable versions of the of the GBA version available online: one offers only a demonstration of two monsters, while the second version is a more polished prototype. These small samples of the game are merely intended to provide an idea of the work in progress and show off gameplay elements. The GBA version of Blue Angelo utilized parallax scrolling of 4 or 5 layers while adding transparency special effects, which at the time was unprecedented for handheld consoles. It is unknown if the GP32 version used the same method.

The sidescrolling mechanics and button use for Blue Angelo appears to be fairly standard with the exception that the L button of the GBA port is designated as the “call the invocation lavos” button (according to available information on the game). While not exactly explained, this does sound like a summons button and would fit with the game’s world.

For many years, a reboot of Blue Angelo was considered. A failed Kickstarter campaign was launched for a PC version of an updated Blue Angelo game, emphasizing a complete redo of the game with improved graphics and providing each character with a unique feature. The game’s designers wanted to use the Unity Engine 2D to achieve organic 2D effects that are both easy to understand and simple to navigate. New stories and a unique universe apart from the GP32 and GBA versions of the game were also created for this renovation. It’s unknown how much of the story would carry over from the original game.

This Kickstarter was run by the publisher Vetasoft, a company founded in 2009 by the brothers Adriano and Massimia Baglio in Mons, Belgium. Vetasoft has established a reputation as a game developer for mobile devices, developing such games as Lucky Luke Shoot & Hit, Yakari Wild Ride, and Garfield’s Wild Ride. While the Kickstarter failed to reach its goal, it’s unknown if Vetasoft will continue pursuing the Blue Angelo reboot.

Article by Blake Lynch, thanks to Lanz for the contribution!

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Chronicles of Eden Vol I: Vangarde’s Tale [GBA – Cancelled]

Long title, short story. Chronicles of Eden Vol.I: Vangarde’s Tale was announced in 2004 by its developer Lightspire Studios as an upcoming Gameboy Advance title. The game was supposed to be a top down story driven action adventure/ role playing game. At the time of announcing the game no publisher was known yet and nor was a hint given on a final release date.

The game tells the story of Dyrvaine, an elite agent of the Elven Council of Tannale. The agent is sent out to investigate mysterious activities with a gate seal on a world called Elzian. The game was divided into four episodes and would give the player three characters to choose from, each wit an unique style of gameplay and each one with a different look on the storyline. A fourth character would become available after completing two of the four episodes. An interview with one of the makers of the game by Planet Gameboy can be read here.

After the announcement things became quiet on the game and it is assumed to be fully cancelled, most likely too hard to find a publisher for the game.

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Extra – Artwork, possible Box Cover & Lightsphere logo:

(note: I only picked 3 recognizable pictures shown in the promotional video.  more?) 

Project FUUB (Juice Games / THQ) [Xbox 360, PS3, Wii – Cancelled]

Project FUUB was a peripheral device being developed by THQ Digital Warrington (Formerly Juice Games) at some point between 2006 and 2010 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii consoles. Acting like a set of four individual dice, which were to be bundled together as one purchase, the FUUB was predominantly aimed towards local group play. Each player would interact with one or more of the dice when playing one of the FUUB specific games designed for the device. The devices themselves were fitted with some physical sensors, though it’s not exactly clear what each device was actually able to monitor. We also believe that the FUUBs required a separate, external camera to track the their movement in 3d space, though this cannot be 100% confirmed.

Two games are known to have been designed for the FUUB, to varying degrees of completion. The first, titled “FUUB” was a simple, cartoonish Mario Party style game which you can see concept mockups for below. It’s not clear how far this game got into the development cycle, but it’s possible it never level the early conceptual stages due to the lack of actual gameplay or information available on it. Since it also shared a name with the device itself, it’s likely that the game was meant to come packaged alongside the FUUB device, much like Wii Sports did with the Wii.

A second game – tentatively titled “Quest for the Magic Stones” – was also being developed, which you can see footage of in the video below. A developer described the game as being aimed at “fans of the Harry Potter series” as it shared a mystical narrative theme, and was set in a magical dungeon. Several minigames were already implemented, including logic and physics puzzles, as well as a simplified take on the rhythm-based format of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games.

Ultimately, the FUUB concept was scrapped as THQ were in the middle of realigning in their priorities, and as a result the studio’s focus was shifted away from physical releases, causing multiple projects to be scrapped. Two other projects – Split Shift Racing & Stormbirds – were also known projects that were also cancelled due to the change in direction.. The studio would go on to make Red Faction: Battlegrounds and Warhammer 40K: Killteam before being closed by THQ in 2011.

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