Wii

NinjaBread Man 2: Blades of Fury [Wii – Cancelled]

The original NinjaBread Man was a low-budget action game developed by Data Design Interactive and released for Playstation 2, PC and Wii. While the game was received with low scores, somehow it gained a cult-following of fans and the team officially announced a Wii sequel in 2008, titled “NinjaBread Man 2: Blades of Fury”.

As we can read on the original press-release:

“Guide Ninjabread man through Candy Land on his mission to rescue his girlfriend ‘Treacle Tart’ from the evil clutches of ‘Emperor Sly’ Fox and his three Fox Cub Overlords. NinjaBread Man: Blades of Fury will be a combat and exploration based adventure utilizing the Wii remotes unique control method to create an intuitive, fun and involving game experience with plenty of exciting game features.

Fight your way through Emperor Sly’s armies of Wasp Warriors, Rat Thugs and Jelly Ninjas as you explore the Sweet and Tasty worlds of Candy land. Use Ninjabread Mans Grapple Hook to Swing over chasms, disarm enemies and pull down objects to create bridges to new areas. Buy new weapons and stock up on useful items at the many Candy land ‘Weapon outposts’.

Learn amazing combat skills and new moves by entering the Training Dojo and find out how to take out your enemies quicker by using combination attacks. Take on Emperor Sly and his three maniacal Fox Cub Overlords in this stunning action packed Ninja adventure.

Storyline: after ridding Candy Land of the Hordes of evil Cupcakes Ninjabread Man found himself a nice girlfriend called ‘Treacle Tart’ and settled down for a quiet life in the lush Candy Fields estate. One misty moon lit night an elite band of Jelly Baby Ninja’s sneak into Ninjabread Man’s home, knock him out and kidnap Treacle Tart. They take her away to their secret base deep within the ‘Sugarcane Wastes’ of Candy Lands northern territory.

Outraged by this unnerving turn of events Ninjabread Man sets out in search of his beloved Treacle Tart and the despicable individuals responsible for her kidnap. Little does he know that an evil presence more powerful than he could have imagined is plotting his downfall and that the adventure he is about to embark on will be the most challenging he has ever encountered.”

An archived version of the official NinjaBread Man website is still accessible via the Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive. On this site fans were asked to send in ideas for the sequel in the form of artwork or descriptions of challenges. The designs would’ve been published on a forum where other users could comment on them, and the best designs would be put into the game, with the creator getting a place in the credits.

In the end Data Design Interactive went quiet after NinjaBread Man 2 announcement and soon closed down. Back in 2016 Zander Shepherd contacted Stewart Green (the founder and CEO of Data Design Interactive) to ask about the state of the game. His reply was:

“Sorry Ninjabread Man 2 was never started above design work, we have no plans to release it at this time.”

Unfortunately it seems not much remains from this cancelled sequel, but the fan-designs published online by the team and now preserved below. If you know someone who worked at Data Design Interactive and could have saved more documents from Ninjabread Man 2, please let us know in the comments below or by email.

Thanks to Zander Shepherd for the contribution!

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Eagle Summoner [Wii, DS – Cancelled]

Eagle Summoner is a cancelled puzzle – RPG hybrid similar to Puzzle Quest, that was in development by Sensory Sweep Studios around 2008. Following Puzzle Quest’s progression, in Eagle Summoner players would move their character around the world while encountering enemies to fight in puzzle-battles to gain experience and acquire treasures.

Some more details and images for this lost game were shared online thanks to former Sensory Sweep developer Christopher Enderle and artist Jenna Kemker:

“After the successful completion of My Spanish/French Coach, two coworkers, Peter Anderson and Niel Westover, began development of the prototype to this game. Upon completion of the prototype I involved myself in the creative process and began exploring puzzle designs and game play concepts. The prototype was shown to the company committee who received it favorably and green lit its development. While the game’s primary focus was always on puzzles, various other features, such as minigames and RPG elements, were explored for game play purposes. These additional features fell in and out of favor of project management at various stages of development.”

“Each puzzle has a set number of Eagles placed on a grid against a dragon of certain power. The goal of the game is to combine a number of eagles until their power equals the power of the dragon. The catch is that all the eagles move together at once, thus if an eagle is moved to the right, they all move to the right simultaneously. Players must be careful to not touch a fireball or a powerful dragon before their eagle is of equal strength or the Eagle dies and the puzzle must be restarted. To line up two eagles together, a player must push their eagles against a neutral object, such as a cloud. If an eagle pushes against a cloud, it will not move. A player must use this mechanic to safely maneuver his eagles to combine their strength. Hundreds of puzzles each with a different twist will challenge players as they try to save the world.”

“Upon selecting adventure mode players will be taken to an over world map of the kingdom of Earth on the bottom screen.  This map will contain the locations of the major cities and areas that they will visit on their adventure.

NPC interaction will be represented by houses or other icons, pertaining to the situation. When selected dialogue boxes will pop showing a detailed image of the characters in one box and an image of the NPC in another.  Basic information can be gained this way as well as story progression and side quests. Players can choose to do optional quests for rewards such as items or to increase their gold token count to unlock story progression.”

The game was cancelled when Sensory Sweep finally closed for bankruptcy, with employees working without being paid for months. As we can read on Mobygames:

“The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2005, but kept all projects going with two name changes (including Fooptube). In early 2008 the employees stopped receiving contributions, even though their paychecks were still deducted for the next few pay periods. Soon after that the paychecks bounced and Sensory Sweep lost Brash Entertainment as a big client when it folded at the end of 2008.”

Some images are preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this lost game.

Among Sensory Sweep other cancelled games there are such titles as Crash Tag Team Racing DS, Time Traveler, Sentient, Raphael and Oregon Files.

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Hogs of War 2 [Cancelled – Wii, PS2, PC]

The first Hogs of War is a turn-based strategy game developed by Infogrames Sheffield House (Gremlin Interactive), released for the PlayStation in 2000. While the game received average reviews at the time, it soon became a cult-hit and many years later (2008) Infogrames officially announced a sequel for Wii, PlayStation 2 and PC, titled Hogs of War 2. A Nintendo DS version was also announced, but we can assume it would have been much different from the others.

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Hogs of War 2 artwork was preserved by the Gremlin Archive in their awesome book, with some more details about the project:

“Hogs of War II was started as a concept by the Infogrames Sheffield House team, but never materialized. Was cancelled at Gremlin by Infogrames, passed by Sumo Digital and then cancelled again by Atari (Infogrames) after Blitz Games (Oliver Twins) had started a DS version I think.”

Some images from this cancelled sequel are preserved below, to remember its existence. At the moment we don’t have any screenshot from the lost Nintendo DS version.

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Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2 (River City Ransom 2) [Wii, PC – Cancelled]

As we can read in the Kunio-Kun Wiki, Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari for the NES / Famicom is the third entry in the Kunio-kun series, published in the west as River City Ransom / Street Gangs. The game is more RPGish and open-ended than other beat ’em ups, with a non-linear city to freely explore while fighting against enemies to level-up your characters. In the main Kunio series you take the role of Kunio, a japanese high-school delinquent (bancho) with a good heart, punching and kicking other gangs to free the streets of your city.

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The game was released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2007 and a sequel titled “Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2” was announced in 2011 by Miracle Kidz (a team of former Technos developers), planned to be released for Wii and PC. Unfortunately the team decided to officially cancel the project in 2012, to switch resources on different projects.

As noticed by Arc Hound on Twitter:

“Miracle Kidz’s teaser site for Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2 (the canceled Wiiware sequel to River City Ransom) is still up after all these years, although it only contains character bios and a link to purchase the planning document from their site.

Sueshiro and Okita, the two planned protagonists from DNM2, actually appeared in a fan-video from 2008 by AC-Promenade supporting the launch of Miracle Kidz’s website. Shame that the game become vaporware and Miracle Kidz has since been disbanded.”

If you can do a translation / summary of the details found in those japanese Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2 design doc pages (saved in the gallery below), please leave a message below!

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Baten Kaitos 2 / 3 [Cancelled – Wii]

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is a now cult-classic RPG developed by Monolith Soft and tri-Crescendo, and published by Namco for the GameCube in 2003. A prequel titled “Baten Kaitos Origins” was published in 2006 directly by Nintendo, which a year later officially purchased the majority of Monolith Soft’s shares from Bandai Namco.

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Just before Nintendo’s acquisition of Monolith the team started working on the third Baten Kaitos, but the project halted when Namco sold them to Nintendo. We can assume this “Baten Kaitos 2” (as it would have been a sequel to the first game) would have been developed for Wii, as the console was released in late 2006 just a few months after BK: Origins. Yasuyuki Honne (director and producer for the Baten Kaitos series) unveiled some details about their “Baten Kaitos 3” on Twitter in September 2018, as translated by a ResetEra user:

“It’s been more than 10 years since the release of Baten Kaitos II, and even now it pains me that I continue to receive requests for a sequel. I think the statute of limitations has run out, so I can say a little bit about it. Immediately after the release of Baten Kaitos II, Namco (now Bandai Namco) worked on a sequel up until the pre-production phase, but just before Baten Kaitos III could become a reality, the story ended due to the circumstances of the involved parties.

If we made it, it would have been grand-scale game with settings at the bottom of the sea, on land, and in the sky. There’s a large amount of concept art for the sequel sealed away at Bandai Namco. Requests for a sequel should be directed not just to myself and Monolith Soft, but also to Bandai Namco.”

Unfortunately at the moment it seems unlikely that Bandai Namco would ever share or use concept art from this unrealized third Baten Kaitos project. The two released games sold poorly and even if Nintendo would have not acquired Monolith it’s possible that the game would have been cancelled anyway, just as it happened with the announced (and canned) “Baten Kaitos DS”.

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As we can read on Wikipedia:

According to Sugiura, Monolith Soft’s relations with Namco had undergone a negative change after Nakamura retired as head of Namco in 2002, three years before the merger with Bandai. The company underwent changes and Monolith Soft felt they were being given less creative freedom, and the newly-created Namco Bandai was less willing to take creative risks. The company then received consultation from Shinji Hatano, an executive director at Nintendo, who advised them to continue creating innovative projects. Spurred on by Hatano’s supportive attitude, Monolith Soft decided to break away from Namco Bandai to become a Nintendo subsidiary; this provided Monolith Soft creative freedom in exchange for software development exclusivity for Nintendo platforms. Nintendo’s purchasing of the majority of Monolith Soft’s shares from Bandai Namco Holdings was publicly announced in April 2007.

After the cancellation of the third Baten Kaitos, Monolith Soft developed and released many new games loved by fans, such as Soma Bringer, Disaster: Day of Crisis and the Xenoblade Chronicles series.