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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Playstation – Cancelled]

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女, Toki o Kakeru Shojo) is a cancelled adventure game that was planned around 1998 by Bandai for the original Playstation. The game was based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui and possibly the related 1997 movie (and not the 2006 anime, unless Bandai leapt through time), which were quite popular at the time.

By looking at gameplay from the available footage (found in the VHS edition of the 1997 movie and on a CD-ROM from “Pre-Pre” PlayStation CLUB magazine) the game looked similar to Revelations: Persona on PS1, with top-down 2D exploration and animated cutscenes. As far as we know there was no combat in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but there could have been some kind of dating-sim mechanics.

Character design for this lost PS1 video game was by Minene Sakurano (who at the time was working on Mamotte Shugogetten) and the scenario was written by Hiroshi Yamaguchi (mostly known for his participation in Gainax and Gonzo). A preview was published in Dengeki PlayStation magazine (Vol.76, June 1998): if you are able to translate the most important parts from this preview, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks go GIoN for the contribution

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Switch (GRIN) [Cancelled – PSP]

Switch is a cancelled FPS that was in development by GRIN around 2006 (after they finished working on Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for PC), planned to be released on the Sony PSP. It seems the game was officially announced by the company, and they wanted to launch it along with some kind of hardware add-on for the PSP. Not much information is still available online, but we know the game was set on a space base, following a sci-fi story similar to Alien.

Some Switch concept art was shown by the company at the time and a 3D model was shared online by a former GRIN artist. These images are preserved below, to remember the existence of this lost game.

In the end GRIN had many more canned games when the company bankrupted: Streets of Rage Reboot, Strider, Wanted 2, Tower, Final Fantasy Fortress.

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Blades of Rage (Ocean) [Cancelled – Playstation, Saturn]

Blades of Rage is a cancelled helicopter flight-sim that was in development by Ocean Software for the original Playstation and Sega Saturn. The game was set in the near future, when maniacal dictators and random violence prevail in the world. Players would take the role of a pilot / tactician, flying in different missions trying to restore peace.

Each mission would offer various objectives, such as transport jobs and assassinations, with day and night cycles. Six custom choppers would have been able to choose from, each with unique, experimental weapons systems. Blades of Rage would have been played in first person view, so we can speculate gameplay could have been similar to G-Police. A couple of screenshots from the game were published in Gamepro’s Cutting Edge (spring 1996).

Thanks to KFHEWUI for the contribution!

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Broken (Magenta Software) [PSVita – Cancelled]

Broken is a cancelled detective adventure game that was in development around 2011 – 2012 by Magenta Software, planned to be published by Sony on PSVita as one of their launch titles. The team was inspired by movies such as Mystic River, Zodiac, and Se7en: players would take the role of a detective in Miami, examining crime scenes and trying to stop a serial killer.

As far as we know the game was never officially announced by Sony nor the team, but some details and screenshots were shared online by former Magenta Software developers and artists:

“The Idea of the game was to showcase the features of the new PlayStation Vita hardware by utilizing some of the unique game-play scenarios the hardware could offer, such as the touch-screen, the back of console touch sensor, the cameras and the gyroscopes. In the initial game-play, the detective would be represented as a floating first-person camera, and navigate interior crime-scene environments by touching point of interest nodes in the 3d scene which would trigger dialogue, navigation, interactions, and cut-scenes. During development, this progressed through moving a 3d character model along “rails” between points, and further into the player having full autonomy of the character in a first-person perspective.”

“Another unique element of the game was the use of the console itself as an in-game “smartphone” owing to the device’s similarities. When evidence was collected from the crime scene, it could be examined within the smart-phone. The phone could be used to make calls to other officers during the investigation, examine evidence with Mini-games such as DNA matching, and even take photos of the game’s environment using the gyroscopes to detect the orientation of the device.”

In the end Broken was canned by Sony when they switched their market strategy:

“Regrettably for budgeting reasons Broken was eventually canceled by Sony, as early sales forecasts for the PS-Vita indicated that only larger budget games such as Uncharted, or much smaller budget games were expected to be successful on the console, leaving Broken in an unfortunate middle-ground.”

Screenshots from this lost game are preserved in the gallery below, to remember its existence.

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Under Pressure (Rage Software) [Cancelled – PC, Playstation]

Under Pressure is a cancelled underwater shooter adventure that was in development by Rage Software Newcastle around 1997, planned to be released on PC and the original Playstation. By looking at the few screenshots available it seems you would have been able to play in first and third person, exploring a 3D sea filled with fishes and robotic enemies.

As it happens for many other cancelled games, today not much can still be found online about Under Pressure. Screenshots were published on Edge magazine in February 1997 and a former developer mentioned the title in an interview with Arcade Attack:

Have you ever worked on any games that were never released, and if so, which unreleased games do you feel would have been the most successful?

After Power Drive Rally, I designed and helped create ‘Under Pressure’ running on PC for Rage Newcastle, an underwater submersible/action adventure game in 3D. EA were funding the game development at the time, but unfortunately they pulled the plug mere months away from release. The next game we made was the co-op space shooter Expendable, also known as Millennium Soldier on the Dreamcast/PC.”