baseball

High Heat Major League Baseball 2004 [GBA, Gamecube – Cancelled]

High Heat Major League Baseball was a series of baseball games published by the 3DO company. The game made its debut in 1999 and featuring the official licensed team and player names from all 30 MLB teams each year a new game was up for release. High Heat Baseball was acclaimed to be one of the best baseball games around; the game always had its focus more on genuine and realistic gameplay than on the quality of its graphics.

The 2004 edition however promised improved graphics and a new graphics engine, a new animation system and renewed motion captured player movements. The Gameboy Advance version was under development by Mobius Entertainment (later renamed Rockstar Leeds) and this edition would be the third version of the series on the handheld. For the Gamecube the game would make its first appearance and development was done by 3DO itself. 3DO announced the new installment of the game in December 2002 as they released the first images of the game and a release date was set for spring 2003, around the same date as the release of the Playstation 2, the Xbox and PC versions.

Both versions were finished and ready for release as things went wrong for 3DO in May 2003, the company faced big financial problems for quite a while now, mainly due to bad title sales, and the company now even had to file for bankruptcy and made the announcement that the team and it’s games were for sale and were finally acquired by Rockstar Games.

The Playstation 2, Xbox and PC versions just had had their release dates in March and would shortly after have been followed by the Gameboy Advance and Gamecube versions but with 3DO in serious trouble both titles were shelved for the time being and thus finally resulting into a non release for both platforms. At the 3DO bankruptcy auction in August of that year Microsoft bought all rights for the High Heat series from 3DO for an undisclosed sum. Microsoft however hasn’t developed a new title in the series so far and for now it’s even more questionable if they ever will with a baseball franchise of their own on the Xbox.

Below some screenshots of both titles; I could retrieve no promotional or gameplay footage of the cancelled versions.

-Lesur-

Screenshots and Box cover Gameboy Advance – 12-2002:

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Screenshots and Box cover Gamecube – 12-2002

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Crushed Baseball 2004 [PS2/GC – Cancelled]

Crushed Baseball 2004 is a cancelled Baseball game that was in development by Amaze Entertainment for the Playstation 2 and GameCube, that would have been published by Bam! Entertainment. It was meant to be an over-the-top arcade game (similar to Sega Soccer Slam), featuring crazy characters (you can see a human-shark in the screens below) with superhuman abilities. As we can read from a GameSpot preview:

Special powers, known as mojo abilities in the game, will include pitches that slice through the hitter’s bat like a buzz saw, batters hitting the ball so that it lodges itself in the ground and can’t be picked up, and fielders using suction gloves to ensure that they don’t miss a catch.

Many of the mojo abilities in the game will have to be earned during matches played in one of the game’s fully interactive ballparks. For example, at the Karate Dojo stadium, players who hit a gong with the ball will be rewarded with a new ability, as will players who manage to smash a stained-glass window in the centerfield wall of one of the other stadiums.

Originally announced in october 2002, Crushed Baseball was scheduled for release in March 2003, but it was later cancelled probably because of the publisher’s economic problems. In 2004 BAM! Entertainment was delisted from NASDAQ and continuing financial troubles made it impossible for them to publish any new games.

A GameBoy Advanced version of Crushed Baseball was developed by Griptonite Games and published in September 2004 by Summitsoft Entertainment.

Thanks to Les Betterley for his help in preserving some more screens from this lost game!

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Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball [GC – Cancelled]

In 2005, Nintendo announced that Exile Interactive (World Series Baseball 2K2) were working on a new baseball game exclusively for the GameCube. After some months of development, the game was delayed and then it vanished without traces. It seems that this was originally conceived after 2K Sports received exclusive 3rd-party rights to release MLB games, which removed EA Sports’ MVP Baseball series (which released 2 of its 3 entries on the GameCube) from the market. Since a Nintendo-developed game would not apply to this deal, they started work on this. However, after 2K announced that MLB 2K6 would see a GameCube version, this was quietly cancelled.

Thanks to Matthew Calliham for the contribution!

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