News on Beta & Cancelled Games

Mother 3 – Earthbound 64 [N64 – Cancelled]

Mother 3 was originally announced in 1996 for the Nintendo 64. Development soon moved to the Nintendo 64DD, where it was to be a launch title. Developer Benimaru Itoh remarked at E3’s 1997 convention that the game would probably utilize the Rumble Pak in battle sequences, but worried that the controller would become too cumbersome for players given the time-consuming nature of role-playing games. Itoi also aimed to allow players to pick several character faces or create new visages with Mario Artist. Shigesato Itoi’s team ran into some trouble while developing this game, due to their inexperience with 3D games and the difficulty of developing for Nintendo 64 hardware. The Nintendo 64DD became a commercial failure, and on August 21, 2000, Itoi officially confirmed the game’s cancellation. The project was revived in 2003 on the Game Boy Advance, and it was eventually released on April 20, 2006. [Infos from Wikipedia]

For more info check the first video below, created by OKeijiDragon, or read our summary of the Mother 3 Project

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For more infos: www.starmen.net

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Nobi Nobi Boy [PS3 – Proto]

Nobi Nobi Boy is a game in development exclusively for the PlayStation 3 video game console by Keita Takahashi of Namco Bandai, creator of the Katamari Damacy series. One of the meanings of “Nobi” is “stretch” in Japanese.The game was first shown at a press conference held during Sony’s Playstation Premiere 2007 event in Tokyo. Takahashi showed a silver stretch hose with two pink balls at the ends, explaining that it wasn’t a controller, but a visual aid to help explain the game. A 30-second demostration clip was then shown, featuring a quadrapedal character shaped like two round balls, with an elastic abdomen that can stretch like a hose.A playable prototype of the game was showcased at the GameCity 2007 International Interactive Entertainment Festival, where Takahashi delivered the festival’s Vision Statement for the year. In the demo; as many as three Nobi Nobi Boys were shown interacting on flat plane filled barnyard animals; in which their elastic bodies were be used to snap, whip, entangle, and drag themselves around. The Nobi Nobi Boys could swallow animals, distending the Nobi Nobi Boys’ bellies, which could then be whipped to the posterior to be expelled. – [info from Wikipedia]

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Heavenly Sword [PS3/X360 – Tech Demo / Proto]

Heavenly Sword started development on PC since 2003, with a view to moving onto next generation platforms such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It had, at one time, been up and running on an early Xbox 360 prototype but this was abandoned in favour of the PlaySation 3 when the title was picked up by SCEE. – [info from Wikipedia]

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Little Big Planet [PS3 – Beta / Prototype]

Before LittleBigPlanet was called “LittleBigPlanet”, it was called “Craftworld”. It was a physics-based 2D side scrolling game and it’s main character was a little guy by the name of “Mr. Yellowhead” (he is an unlockable character in LBP). His arms were controllable with the right analogue stick and his legs were controllable with the left analogue stick. The main point of the prototype was to guide Mr. Yellowhead past a bunch of little and big obstacles by grabbing on to them and pushing and/or rolling them around, much like a puzzle game.

This was enough to make Sony interested in the game and after much work and a public beta, LittleBigPlanet was released worldwide by November 5, 2008.

As wrote on TheEscapist, it seems that Media Molecule had some plans to make the game a “full 3D” exploring platform:

Media Molecule co-founder Alex Evans told Joystiq at Gamescom that an early build of LittleBigPlanet had “free depth and completely moving cameras, and the gameplay engine wasn’t layered fundamentally.” Levels could “travel into the screen,” so Sackboys were able to move more than just left and right.

Evans admitted that this level of freedom was “really hard” and “creatively unconstrained.” He says: “We found our level designers wasted tons of time in 3D land, so we iteratively reduced it; first of all, we reduced the scope, then we added the layers, and with each restriction we did, it improved the quality.”

In the screenshots below, we can see some interesting concept art of the various stages of the game.

Thanks to Robert Seddon for the contribution!

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Endless Saga [PS3 – Cancelled]

Endless Saga was a MMORPG being developed by Webzen for the PC and PlayStation 3 platforms. It has recently been announced that the project has been cancelled: “We have recently decided to cancel the Endless Saga project. Endless Saga was one of our ambitious development projects to enter into the next generation console market. However, after some rigorous development effort, we found the gameplay of Endless Saga to be short of innovation and creativity we seek to achieve in online gaming space.” – [wikipedia]

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