Wii

Bonk: Brink of Extinction [Cancelled – XBLA, PSN, WiiWare]

Bonk: Brink of Extinction is an adventure platformer developed by Pi Studios that was planned to be released in 2010 for XBLA / PSN / WiiWare. It was set to be priced at 1000 points on the Nintendo Wii Shop Channel’s WiiWare platform, 800 points on XBLA, and $10 on PSN. In September 2009, before the title was officially announced, a Neogaf user inadvertently stumbled upon an official fact-sheet for the game on Hudson’s website:

A doomsday comet, surrounded by smaller chunks of debris, is on a collision course with Earth. A strange magnetic field around the comet seems to be driving most of the planet’s weak-willed creatures crazy, and smaller bits of debris are smashing into the jungle near Bonk’s home. Bonk must undertake a perilous journey that will take him to the very center of the planet to save the world.

The Return Of The Most Widely Requested Classic Platformer

  • Story Mode with Co-Op play. Play alone or have a friend join you at any time!
  • An entire new adventure with Bonk as he swims, bites, climbs, jumps, runs, and head-butts his way through jungles, deserts and volcanic caverns
  • Search for help along the way: power ups, check points, and extra health are the staple for every adventuring caveman.
  • Transformations are back and weirder than ever! Now Bonk can transform himself into eight different forms by eating meat or encountering Primordial Jelly. No enemy is safe from the boy with the super noggin!

New Features

  • Online play for the first time in the series!
  • Classic 2D platforming in a 3D world.
  • Tons of collectibles will have you searching the entire prehistoric world.

In two 2009 interviews with Nintendo life, and Diehard GameFAN, Andrew Plempel (Hudson Entertainment Producer) & Jeremy Statz (Pi Studios Lead Designer),  disclosed a few more details about the game: 

Zblu Cops [Cancelled – Wii]

Zblu Cops was a cancelled adventure game based around the French comic book of the same name. It was being developed by Biodroid exclusively for Wii with a release being targeted for mid-late 2010.

Zblu Cops banner

Bringing Back The Classic 90’s Adventure Game – Zblu Style

The original Zblu Cops comic series, a comedy about a group of incompetent yet reluctantly heroic group of law enforcers, grew a modest cult following in its country of origin throughout its run. However, with no official English translations of it ever released, its fanbase was never able to expand beyond there in any great numbers. Biodroid’s video game would have been its first foray into English-speaking markets with the team hoping for an international release.

The title entered development midway through 2008 with ambitions high, one former developer recounted, calling it “an attempt to revive the classic 90’s adventure game”. Biodroid’s initial pitch to comics publisher Glénat placed a high emphasis on accurately conveying the humour and goofiness of the comic, but was very much set on blazing its own trail. It would have seen players controlling 10 different members of the Zblu Cops, each with their own unique abilities used to solve puzzles and take down enemies. Two officers were rendered on screen at a time, but you could cycle through a wheel of other playable characters to alternate between them in real time; similar to the LEGO video games. It was to be fully playable in 2 player local co-op, as well.

Zblu Cops Wii screenshot

Excerpt from the initial press release:

On a criminal trail which takes them underwater, through the jungle, down the sewers, up the tower-blocks, inside a volcano – and even into deep space – the Zblucops display all of their notorious dysfunctionality, bad taste and even worse humour… before emerging triumphant with a fist-full of medals.

This action/adventure game brings to Wii the kind of strong storytelling, humor and dialogue found in traditional adventure games.

Cutscene art:

Zblu Cops was presented in a cel-shaded art style; a play to authentically represent the hand-drawn look of the comics. Even more crucially, we were informed that Bill and Gobi, the writing duo responsible for the series, were actively involved with development on the project from its inception. Their contributions mostly included overseeing the art direction, in addition to having final say on any other aspects. We were told that the two were very laidback when it came to writing duties, allowing the developers plenty of creative freedom. 

MegaStar [Wii – Cancelled]

Mega Star is a cancelled music game that was being developed by EA Montreal in late 2009 with a release being targeted for the following year exclusively on Nintendo Wii. It was in the works for approximately two months, never advancing past the pre-production phase of development.

According to an artist who worked on the game, it was being prepared as EA’s response to Just Dance, which launched in November, 2009. The Montreal team had previously worked on other music titles, such the Boogie games, but Mega Star was being pitched as a much more direct competitor. It was planned to have had similar Wii motion dancing mechanics to Ubisoft’s game, but would have added its own twist in the form of a singing component via a USB microphone, similar to that of Boogie.

MegaStar EA Cancelled UI mock-up

Up to 4 people would have been able to play together locally with any combination of the two gameplay types (karaoke and dancing) simultaneously. Its setlist would have been mostly comprised of rock/pop music. Some of the examples given in EA’s user interface mock-ups include artists, Fergie and Avril Lavigne. Although these were merely for conceptual purposes, these were selected purposefully to convey the theme of the game to EA’s management. There was also plans to feature customisable avatars for players, similar to Miis.

User interface concept art/mock-ups:

MegaStar had a brief life span in development and was ultimately cancelled in mid November, 2009. After the success of EA’s Wii titles began to dwindle, EA Montreal was subject to a complete studio refocus. Games that the developers at Montreal had worked on included Spore Hero and Skate It; both of which received a lukewarm to negative critical reception and failed to meet sales projections. The company’s general manager, Alain Tuscan blamed the “unpredictable” climate of the Wii’s market and shifted the company into focusing solely on HD platforms

DJ Hero: After Party [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii]

DJ Hero: After Party is a cancelled spin-off to the original DJ Hero game, which was briefly being worked on by Zoë Mode, the UK based subsidiary of Kuju Entertainment, for Activision in 2009. It was proposed as a game for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.

Another Spin On DJ Hero

As FreeStyleGames was in the final stages of developing the first DJ Hero, Zoë Mode set a team of artists on formulating ideas for a spin-off game to it in July 2009. The developer had, in the recent past, created other such music games as Rock Revolution and Disney: Sing It! when the project began.

Leading Light, the design studio of Christian Bravery, was contracted to help make concept art for the company, as the vision behind game was steadily being realised. Together, they imagined an alternative approach to the formula of DJ Hero, one developer explained.

“It would have had a very different vibe to it than the other games. We wanted it to have its own personality and feel. More relaxed and laid back.”

DJ: After Party would have made for a more casual-friendly approach to the series. Another developer described the possibility of it being made up of “slower, more up beat” tracks, although work on the title never got as far as assembling a set list.

The general idea behind it was that most of the show venues, as you might imagine, were after parties. Leading Light and the developers put together images of some of the events, which included celebrity wedding receptions, boat parties and a private luxury island.

Activision allowed the developer to use the DJ Hero license in developing conceptual documents and a prototype demo for their potential spin-off, as well as the opportunity to present a proposal to their management. Zoë Mode ended up working on the concept for a few months before Activision ultimately decided against pursuing the project, rejecting the pitch in October 2009; the month of DJ Hero’s first release.

According to one artist, the concepts were, however, retained by Activision and some of their ideas were later used in DJ Hero 2.

Character art:

More concepts including pitch documents/research: 

Heroes: The Video Game [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC]

Heroes, as it was tentatively titled, was a cancelled video game based off the NBC TV show of the same name. It was being developed by High Voltage Software and would have been published by Ubisoft. The title was planned for releases on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Wii.

Heroes: The Video Game

Shortly after the successful first season of the Heroes TV series concluded in May 2007, Ubisoft entered talks with NBC Studios to use the license for a video game adaptation. This was to be the second big TV property Ubisoft would adapt following the development of LOST: Via Domus, which had began earlier that year in February. While Ubisoft’s Montreal division was busy working on that game, the publisher reached out to external developers including High Voltage Software.

At the time, High Voltage already had experience with developing TV tie-in games, including the Family Guy video game, and was therefore “a natural choice for Ubi”, one developer recalled. Ubisoft successfully negotiated a deal with NBC, which they announced in June, but the final decision to secure High Voltage as its developer was made over the following few months without ever being revealed to the public.

High Voltage Software’s Vision For Heroes

Just as LOST: Via Domus introduced an original character, Elliot Maslow, as its protagonist, the Heroes video game would have centred around a new female character of High Voltage Software’s own invention. Given how short the project’s lifespan was, it appears as though this redheaded heroine had yet to be named, but you can see some concept art of her below.

Heroes Video Game Protagonist Concepts

In the vein of Ubisoft Montreal’s character, this new member of the Heroes mythos would have acted as the player’s vessel through which they could explore the world of the show and interact with its extensive cast of superhumans. She would have enabled High Voltage and Ubisoft a higher level of creative freedom as they attempted to delve into the Heroes universe without too greatly interfering with the pre-established lore.