Fighting

Phantom Dust [XBOX – Proto / Beta]

Phantom Dust is a pseudo-card-based fighting / action game developed by Microsoft Game Studios and published for the Xbox in 2005. The game soon became a cult hit among hardcore gamers. Players construct “arsenals” similar to decks of cards and then use them to do battle against other players. The game incorporates strategy and action elements into a game that requires both mental and reflexive skill. [Info from Wikipedia]

In a 1UP article about the game are a couple of images from a Phantom Dust prototype / beta build, in which we can notice the early graphic, different HUD and a removed arena.

From an interview published on Xboxphreaker we can read even more info about those removed areas and other missing content:

If we had more development time, I would have really liked to increase the number of missions in the single-player mode. I also wanted players to be able to move from one underground town to another. (Take a look at the area near the town shop. The driller-like machine is the remnants of this plan.)

We had more than 500 skill ideas. From that large batch we organized them, edited them, and cut them down to the present level. At first, we had intended to create a lot more environments, including:

The Aquarium

This would be the ruins of an aquarium, with only water and fish still remaining. Only in the middle of the fish tanks would be lit up, and that light would be destroyed as players fought and destroyed things around them.

We also envisioned the floor to have leaking water on it.

The Station

The other stage we had in the planning stages was a station. In Tokyo there are a number of different subway lines, and we wanted to isolate one of them and make that into a 3D stage. In that one area there would be a memory train that was still running. Players could ride that train to different platforms. Inside the trains we would place the regenerating capsules. This is one of the very dynamic stages I had wanted to make.

You know, practically speaking it was just too much production work for our time to make these two maps, but I think we could have done it if we were creating the game on Xbox 360…

Lastly, we had also wanted to create maps to be used exclusively for multiplayer, but creating stages took longer than expected. Including normal-mapping took longer than expected, then getting designers to be comfortable with the development took a lot of time, so map creation was quite difficult.

Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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Here’s a video from the final version:

 

Sorcery [PSX – Cancelled]

Sorcery is a cancelled fighting game that was in development for the original Playstation in 1997 / 1998 by Sony Interactive Studios America, later renamed to 989 Studios (Sony’s San Diego team). Players would have been able to choose between many fantasy characters that used fighting moves and spells to battle their opponents.

The first concept of Sorcery was much different from the playable prototype, as originally 989 Studios wanted to develop an ambitious multiplayer RPG, with a big overworld, quests and huge cast of characters. Because of the limitations of the PSX hardware and for economic reasons, Sony ordered the team to scale down the project to an arena fighting game (which was seen as more profitable / less risky).

As their own project was killed and because 989 Studios had no experience with fighting games, Sorcery went through various development issues that lead to its final cancellation after 2 years of work.

More info and screens can be found at The Playstation Museum!

The original concept would have worked great in today’s on-line environment. The scope, which started out as a split screen, was to run around a large world, setting magical traps, using magic to detect and find your opponent, then finally tracking him down and combating him, kept getting whittled down further and further until it devolved into a magical arena fighting game, where opponents would stand across from each other in very small (fits on a single screen) arenas and dispatch each other with spells and counter spells.

Thanks to Stone and baphomet for the contributions! Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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Cybernauts (DNAction): The New Breed [SNES GEN MD – Cancelled]

DNAction: The New Breed (AKA Cybernauts: The Next Breed) is a cancelled fighting game that was in development for the Super Nintendo and Genesis / Mega Drive that would have been published by Accolade, Inc. in 1994. Accolade made its name in the late 80’s and early 90s with franchise’s such as Test Drive, Hardball, and Bubsy but started losing steam around the mid 90’s which caused the company to want to shift focus and reinvent itself. It is possible that this change of direction in the mid 90’s was the cause for some games to be cancelled in development such as DNAction. Accolade was also purchased by Infrogames in 1999 so any hope of the game being revisited seems to have ended there.

Although The game was never released, some info about the project and various character renders were found in old gaming magazines as Games World #1, Banzzai #21 and GamePro #56,  plus some  in-game screens from an early prototype found in Player One #43. DNAction used pre-rendered sprites for characters and backgrounds, created with Silicon Graphics in the same way as Killer Instinct.

The game was to be placed in a future setting with scientists being able to genetically enhance humans to create their own superheroes. Some, however decide to use their powers for evil thus pitting a rivalry between those who received super powers. There were at least four planned playable characters: Pitbull and Hotshot who were members of Matrix Alpha, the superheroes trying to help society. Then the two members of the evil organization Overlord: Ground Zero and Tracer. An additional 4 characters were shown, Shockwave and Banzai (Overlord) then Recoil and IronClad (Matrix Alpha).

Thanks to Celine and Rod_Wod for the contributions!

Post by Ja’Ron Riley

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Daidaros [PSX – Cancelled? No, released on the Saturn!]

Update: thanks to Yakumo we found out that this game was released as Deadalus in Japan (in Europe and the States as “Robotica”) for the Sega Saturn! As he noted, probably the magazine did a poor translation of the katakana and came up with “Daidaros”. The game was by Micronet who only ever made Sega games, so it’s possible that the news about a Playstation version was just another mistake.

Thanks to linlhutz for the contribution!

Original news:

It seems that a mech game titled “Daidaros” was in development for the Playsation, but as far as we know, it was never released. Celine found a screen of the game in CD Console magazine issue 3, but sadly there are no info about Daidaros’ developers in their article, so we cant check if this project could have been released under a different name. If you recognize the mech in the scan, please let us know!

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Mech Arena [PC XBOX – Cancelled]

Mech Arena: The First Match (aka Battle Arena III) is a cancelled action / fighting game that was in development in 2002 / 2003 by Made By Kiddies, for PC and the original Xbox. As the title can suggest, the player had to combat against huge mechs in various arenas, to win the competition. In the end Mech Arena was never released, maybe because they did not find a publisher interested in the project.

The main features of the game were:

– Supports Single and Multi play

– Play from 10 different stunning interactive arenas.

– Play 18 challenging Single arena missions.

– Multiplayer action over Internet, modem or LAN. Human opponents deliver new tactical challenges with every engagement with battle records.

– Battle statistics

– Repair, upgrade and organize your player. The weapon and armory inventory is displayed at the garage with money available for the next upgrade.

– Buy new weapons and pilots with resource points gained by winning missions or trade in equipment you no longer need.

– Repair and refit your Mech to your own specifications.

Thanks to Userdante for the contribution!

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