Sony

Technic Beat [Beta – PS2, Arcade]

Technic Beat is a music rhythm game developed by Arika for Arcade and Playstation 2, as a sequel to their title Technictix. Sossigu64 found some beta screenshots and videos on the old Arika website, using WebArchive. Here’s a list of the main differences found in these images / footage:

  • The tension gauge is different from both the arcade and playstation releases.
  • The intro is a lot shorter and very similar to Technictix’s intro.
  • Hassy (platypus) and Willie (giant stuffed bear) in the video are too fast. Both characters are considered slow characters and their speed is on the level of Bot (robot) and Cart (human glasses man, kinda resembles Klug from puyo puyo and Jeff from earthbound.).
  • The sets for each “session” are identical from Technictix but have a bit more going on (more visual effects) and the sets look a lot more cleaner (better refined)
  • Concept art found on the Omake page for Technic Beat also shows concept art for Technictix.

Images:

Videos:

 

Streets of Rage Online (BottleRocket) [PS3, Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Streets of Rage Online is a cancelled sequel to the SOR series, pitched by BottleRocket Entertainment to Sega around 2008. The game was planned to be developed for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, during a strange period in which Japanese publishers hired western developers to create new games for their old IP series. Sega did the same with Golden Axe, and the result was the average Golden Axe: Beast Rider, developed by Secret Level and released in October 2008.

Marvel artist Roger Robinson drew concept art for this Streets of Rage Online pitch, which was shared online on his DeviantArt profile in 2010. As far as we know development for this pitch by BottleRocket did not went much further, possibly because Sega reconsidered their plan after seeing what happened with Golden Axe: Beast Rider.

Since the mid ’90s Sega did try many, many times to create a new Streets or Rage (SOR by Grin, SOR for Dreamcast, Fighting Force, etc.), but in the end fans had to wait until 2020 for the release of Streets or Rage 4 by DotEmu & Lizardcube. BottleRocket also worked on the beta version of Splatterhouse reboot and the cancelled The Flash video game, before closing down in 2009 for lack of funds.

Images: 

Ape Escape: Trapped in Space (FAKE) [PS2, PS3 – Cancelled]

Update: thanks to Brian, Specter, and Keichoro on Twitter, we found out Ape Club was not officially related to Sony and Trapped in Space was just another fake game they conceived:

“The english Ape Club was the product of a fan who tricked various news outlets that it was an official, Sony-sponsered Ape Escape website. They made up fake news stories, fake statistics, etc”

“This has proven to be false, as there were no official information from Sony regarding this game. If I recall, the concept pages they used and claimed are for “Trapped in Space” were actually from Ape Escape Million Monkeys. I also checked Ape Escape Japanese sources like piposaru.com and they have no evidence of “Trapped in Space”.”

Original article below:

Ape Escape: Trapped in Space is a cancelled action game in the Ape Escape series, which was conceived by Sony Japan Studio for Playstation 2 (or possibly Playstaton 3) after the release of Ape Escape 3. Players would have been able to visit different planets to catch monkeys, exploring a virtual universe created by Specter. The project was never officially announced by Sony, but some details were shared online by Ape Club (now offline) around 2010:

“Ape Escape: Trapped In Space (working title) was a game that was originally set for release in 2006, however due to complications, it was never released. The game was in the process of being made after Ape Escape 3. Several paper’s containing the concept were leaked on the internet in mid 2005. Japan Studio continued to develop the game, hoping that the concept wouldn’t be taken. Originally the concept was that Specter had kidnapped The Professor and it was up to the protagonist (character had not been announced yet), to get him back by catching the monkeys and defeating bosses. Specter had created a computer generated universe, with many planets which the protagonist would have to visit and capture the monkeys. The planets would each be very unique and each have its own theme. Finally, the protagonist would defeat Specter and the Professor would be rescued. After E3 in 2006, Japan Studio was disgraced to find out another popular platforming video game franchise had used this concept after it had leaked. The game was scrapped.”

While it’s said that some pages about Trapped in Space were leaked online in 2005, we were not able to find anything unfortunately. If you saved a copy of those pages back in 2005 and could help us to preserve them, please let us know!

Ape Club was founded by a few people who previously worked with Sony, as we can read in this old interview by Siliconera:

“Originally Ape Club started out as a Promo site for SCEE’s Ape Escape titles and was run by them up until 2007. In 2007, there wasn’t any maintenance to be done except Newsletters. So Rebecca, who was a major fan, was left in-charge of that. She updated the newsletters and received updates from SCEE, and Japan Studio about upcoming Ape Escape games. She was also asked to promote Ape Quest when it was released.

Are there any other canceled Ape Escape games you’re aware of?

Apart from Trapped in Space, the only other game would be Ape Escape 2 which was going to be released on PlayStation 1. However, Japan Studio (JS), was already releasing Piposaru 2001 beforehand, so releasing a PS1 game after a PS2 game didn’t make much sense. So in Early 2000, they stopped working on AE2-PS1, and worked on AE2-PS2. Apparently, looking at the leaked photo of it, it seemed to have the same graphic engine, and look, as the first.”

 

Ugo Volt [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

Ugo Volt (AKA FLOW: Prospects of Mayhem) is a cancelled FPS – TPS Adventure game that was in development by Move Interactive around 2005 – 2007, planned to be published on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The game was officially announced in 2006 and it was shown at E3 of the same year: graphically and stylistically it looked like a strange mix between Halo, Too Human and Fable, with cross-settings between sci-fi and fantasy.

As we can read on IGN:

“Ugo Volt will switch from third-person view to a first-person perspective as players move through these two areas of the game, but we didn’t see much of any gameplay mechanics.

[…] In the near future, global warming melts the polar icecaps and floodwaters ravage the earth, covering all but the highest altitudes. (Waterworld?) Things, well, things don’t look good. Out of the ruins, the World Order Corporation harnesses nanotechnology to construct buildings and sanctuary for the population quicker than humanly possible. As the world’s savior, mankind gives ruling power to the World Order Corporation, which by expertly misleading the population, gradually takes away more and more liberties from the population, and eventually goes so far as to instill a dictatorial leadership, complete with emperor and creepy throne room (Revenge of the Sith?).

In 2031, in order to create the first advanced human prototype, the WOC selects a worthy man and woman to give birth to and raise the child. The prototype will use powerful artificial implants and the test period will last 60 years. If successful, mass production will begin. The child’s name is Ugo Volt. At 15, one of Ugo’s neurotransmitters malfunctions and sends out a shockwave that pushes his father into a pit of molten lava. […] Ugo internalizes his anger toward the WOC and eventually creates an alter-ego bent on revenge.”

By looking at available footage Ugo Volt seems like an interesting project. There’s something fun in its style and setting that could have made it enjoyable to play, just like watching a b-movie with friends. In prototype videos we can see some of the first-third person shooting gameplay: the protagonist uses special powers to resolve physic-based puzzles and some kind of black-hole gun, which attracts objects scattered through the levels to use them as projectiles (somehow like the Gravity Gun in Half Life 2). You could also assembly and edit your weapons to create new ones by mixing their parts together, open up shooting gameplay to experimentation.

Unfortunately it was still in early development when the team had to put the project on-hold, for lack of funds. They started working on a tie-in game for Portuguese TV series Floribella, receiving some money from SIC publisher. This was not enough to keep the company afloat and without any new investor interested in Ugo Volt, Move Interactive was closed down in 2008.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

Images:

 

Videos:

  

Shitkickers [PSP, PS2 – Cancelled]

Shitkickers is a cancelled action shooter that was pitched by David Jaffe on PSP and PS2, possibly when he was working with Incognito Entertainment o Eat Sleep Play. Just as with his Twisted Metal series, Shitkickers would have heavily used vehicle-combat during missions, with the high concept being “Max Payne set in the deep South of USA“.

While the game was never officially announced and possible not greenlighted by Sony, Jaffe shared a couple of pages from their original pitch on Twitter:

“Shitkickers gives the Nascar fan their own action hero. Shitkickers is not goofy, silly ‘dumb rednck” humor, it actually glamorizes the Red State culture. Think a hard edges Dukes of Hazzard or Smokey And The Bandit. Game would have country music and southern rock soundtrack with country stars even starring in some of the smaller NPC roles (Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Dolly Parton, etc.). Kind of like what the Urban Rap games do with the rap star (i.e. 50 Cent’s BulletProof).

Be cool to get the actual licenses for specific trucks, guns, stores and such that are indigenous to the Red State Culture. Game itself is a shooter and driving game (lots of vehicles to use in the missions). A streaming environment would be great, but I don’t know if this will work on the PSP. In an ideal world we’d be making this on PS2 as it has the more casual audience at this point and the casuals would probably dig this more than hardcore, elitist gamers who may make fun of the subject matter.

That said, if our hero is just bad ass in every way (think The Rock in Walking Tall) we could be fine on any platform. I see this as a hard T-rating, something dads and their sons can play together, it’s rough and tough and down and dirty, but it’s not nasty and dark and violent. Hell, maybe we should just get The Rock and scan him and do the 50 Cent thing? Right now, it’s just a vibe and a setting, we would have to work to really make the third person shooter gameplay feel fresh and to give it some unique ideas. But that doesn’t worry me so much.

Overall, I think it’s a fresh, fun theme that may very well be one of the last remaining cultural avenues that games have not exploited. Could this be the action game for those droves who bought ATV OffRoad Fury?”

As far as we know these 2 pages are the only remaining document proving the existence of this lost project and the team may have not started any prototype before it was rejected.

Images: