Fighting

Swords of Yi [PS2 – Cancelled]

There is scant information about Swords of Yi. The game was co-created by Artoon and Melbourne House around 2002, planned to be published by Atari as a PS2 exclusive fighting game. Players would have been able to use weaponry, which likely judging by the title would have included swords. The game is also reported to have utilized story-based themes, which was not a very common element in fighting games at the time. Expected to launch sometime in mid to late 2004 initially, Swords of Yi was canceled early in its development and never made it past internal testing phases before being work on the project ended.

Unfortunately neither Artoon or Melbourne House ever released any images from Swords of Yi, but we hope to find some screenshots in the future, maybe with the help of former developers.

In the end Artoon only published two games for the PlayStation 2: Ghost Vibration in 2004 and Swords of Destiny in 2005.  In April 2011 Artoon merged with their parent company “AQ Interactive“, along with Feelplus and Cavia. In June of the same year, AQ Interactive merged with Marvelous Entertainment and Liveware, closing down their original studios. Melbourne House released Transformers and Test Drive Unlimited on the Playstation 2, before being sold to Krome Studios and renamed Krome Studios Melbourne.

Article by Blake Lynch, thanks to Tim Reimer for the contribution!

 

 

Gladiator 3000 (by Ion Storm) [Cancelled Pitch – PC]

Gladiator 3000 was a pitch from Ion Storm (the team behind such titles as Daikatana, Deus Ex and Anachronox) to Origin for a 3D man-to-man RPG combat simulator that would have been developed for the PC. Ion storm were looking for a budget of around $500,000 depending if an engine was already available for them to use. Ion Storm were awaiting concept approval so they could start development.

The game was going to use the ancient lore of Gladiatorial battles from ancient Rome and put them into the future on a very inhospitable planet in the farthest reaches of the Galaxy. There would only be one complex on this planet and it would be solely use for gladiatorial combat. Players would have taken the role of a warrior who had been enslaved by an alien race and the only way to win his freedom was to fight for it. This would have been against other gladiators, robots, animals and alien monsters.

The game was going to utilize a very popular RPG system where players would allocate points to their warriors in different stats that they would want to excel in, they would also have the option to pick a pre-generated warrior or randomize them. Many different alien races would have been available for the player to choose and each of these would have different strengths and weaknesses. The arena that the player would fight in would have different scenarios and landscapes and was described in the document as infinitely variable. There would have been water, fire, ice pits and mazes included, and the player would have to change tactics depending on the arena they were going to fight in.

The other main features that were to be included in the game were limbs that could be chopped off, dozens of weapons from primitive to advanced alien technology, numerous different combat manoeuvres, three levels of difficulty, head to head combat online. Graphically Ion Storm wanted to use bitmapped images over rendered 3D skeletons.

Described as the main risk for the game, was the actual 3D figure technology that would be used to animate the characters in the game. Ion Storm wanted to minimize the risk by utilising technology that Origin had already started developing, such as the corridor rendering technology form Bounty Hunter, Ion Storm thought that if they could not utilise the technology the risks would greatly increase in developing this game.

This game does not look like it was taken any further than the initial pitch and so there is not much more information that can be found on this game, if you do have any please feel free to contact us.

Many thanks to Joe Martin for the document.

Images:

Saints Row: The Cooler [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

Saints Row: The Cooler is a cancelled fighting game, which was in development for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was being created by Heavy Iron Studios in Los Angeles and was funded by THQ.

“It was a brawler game. Go to a bar, pick a fight, smash a bottle over someone’s head” – Former Heavy Iron Studios artist

Work began on the title in March 2010 at developer, Heavy Iron. In partnership with THQ, the company sought to create the first Saints Row game controlled entirely by motion; a ploy to capitalise on the rising industry trend at the time.

Two versions of the game were planned initially: an Xbox 360 game using Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral and a PS3 port with Playstation Move support. The Xbox 360 was the lead development platform for The Cooler, as the team’s creative focus was very much on Kinect.

A team of around 40 people were put on the project, while the rest of the studio was occupied with another Kinect-centric project for Disney called ‘E-Ticket’.

We were able to get in touch with several people, a mix of both former and current employees at the developer, who shared some details with us on the game’s lifecycle. According to these sources, the title was a brawler set in the Saint’s Row universe and was, in contrast with the rest of the series, not an open world game.

“It was a ton of fun to work on because we got to use the original Saint’s Row locales as concept art, basically, and give them a redesign and a highly upgraded art treatment (since Saint’s Row was open world and our game was not, we could afford to devote more time and engine resources to artwork)”

Saints Row The Cooler

One of the gritty environments of Saints Row: The Cooler

Kinect lap dancing

Despite it ditching the free roaming traditions of the previous games, The Cooler apparently offered a myriad of activities to experience. Its main premise was of motion-controlled fighting in various parts of the Saints Row universe, but players would have also been able to compete in poker tournaments and other miscellaneous mini-games. 

The Scorpion King [PS2 – Prototype]

The Scorpion King is a prototype for a fighting game / beat ’em up that was created by Osiris Studios, based on the 2002 film with the same name (featuring Dwayne Johnson). It seems that the studio tried to pitch this demo to publishers that had the Scorpion King license (probably VU Games in North American and Universal Interactive in Europe), to get to develope it into a full game, but without luck.

In the end the publishers chose Point of View to work on their Scorpion King videogame, released in 2002 as The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian for the Playstation 2 and GameCube.

The Scorpion King demo by Osiris remained just a prototype and the studio closed sometime later (or did they evolved into an audio restoration agency?).

Thanks to Tork for the contribution!

Images:
scorpion-king-osiris 

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