flight simulator

Flying Aces [32X/Saturn – Cancelled]

Flying Aces is a cancelled flight simulator / shooter set in the first World War, that was originally in development by Rocket Science Games for the Sega 32 X in 1994 / 1995. As we can read in GamePro #68 (thanks to Celine for the scan!), the gameplay was depicted with live action FMV and included multiple views from both inside and outsite the aircraft.

Only few screenshots remain from the 32X project and when the Sega Add-On was already dead, it seems that RSG tried to port the game to the  Saturn (scan from Cd Consoles #4), without any luck. Neither version of Flying Aces was ever released.

Unfortunately, while some Rocket Science’s games were critically acclaimed, none of them did particularly well financially, and unable to secure additional funding, RSG was forced to close down in 1997. [Info from Wikipedia]

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VX Vampire XDV-7 [N64 – Tech Demo]

VX Vampire (aka Vampire XDV-7 or Ultra Copter 64) is a flight simulator that was planned to be ported to the Nintendo 64 by Paradigm Simulation / Entertainment. Previously Paradigm worked on realistic flight simulation for space, military and aviation clients, but  in 1994 it was contacted by Nintendo to aid in the creation of one of the Nintendo 64’s launch titles, Pilotwings 64. It seems that VX Vampire was originally one of Paradigm’s military simulators, that they though to convert to a more “arcadish” game to enter in the mass-entertainment market.

In 1995 Nintendo / Paradigm send some screens of Vampire XDV-7 to magazines (that you can see preserved in the gallery below), claiming that the Ultra 64 would have been able to achieve similar level of graphic details. In reality, VX Vampire was running on the Silicon Graphics Onyx Reality Engine, the same engine used for the Magic Edge Hornet Simulator Hardware, a technology much more advanced (and expensive) than a normal Nintendo 64.

When Paradigm had to finish Pilotwings 64 in time for the release of the N64 in june 1996, they probably had to shift resources to Nintendo’s project and the VX Vampire XDV-7 port went on-hold. In the end Pilotwings 64 was a critical and commercial success for the developer, causing the simulation and entertainment divisions of Paradigm to separate and focus on their respective products. The newly independent Paradigm Entertainment continued to develop for Nintendo’s 64-bit console. [Info from Wikipedia]

Some years later, Paradigm Entertainment announced Harrier 2000 / 2001 for the Nintendo 64, a new flight game that sadly was never released. It’s possible that their plan to port VX Vampire XDV-7 changed when they understood that it would have been too difficult to convert an Onyx simulator to an N64, so the project evolved into a new, different title: Harrier 2000.

Thanks to jorcyd and Celine for the contribution! Scans from Cd Consoles #4, Console Plus #49 and Edge #29

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Videos (@ 04:10)

 

After Burner [X360 – Concept]

In 2005 Juice Games had an idea to develope a “next gen” Flight simulator / Shooter, probably for the soon-to-be released Xbox 360. To easily find a publisher and funds they tried to pitch their flight project to Sega, as new game in the After Burner series,  but without any success. As the After Burner pitch was unsuccessful, Juice Games decided to use an original IP for their Flight Shooter and the project became Stormbirds for the Xbox 360 and PS3. In the end Stormbirds was canned by THQ, Juice Games’ publisher.

Only few concept arts remain to preserve the existence of this project.

Thanks to Hey Hey for the contribution!

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SimCopter 64 [N64DD – Cancelled]

SimCopter 64 is a cancelled Nintendo 64DD remake of the original SimCopter developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts for PC in 1996. It’s unclear if this version for the 64DD was going to have some substantial differences from the PC one, as happened with SimCity 64. As we can read on IGN, SimCopter 64 was officially canned in 1999:

Sim Copter 64 was even previewed at a very early stage at the Tokyo Game Show. Onlookers were not impressed with its foggy, first-generation graphics and the game’s US release was soon cancelled in favor of a Japan-only release for the disk drive system.

Since then, Nintendo has again delayed the debut of the 64DD to later this year and Maxis, apparently losing faith in the viability of the title on the DD, has abandoned the project completely.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! (Scans from Console Plus #79 and Mega Console #44)

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Video (Nintendo 64):

For comparison, a video from the PC version:

 

Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat [NES – Cancelled]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager (born 1923) is a noted test pilot. He is widely considered to be the first pilot to travel faster than sound and his career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces. In 1991 Electronic Arts published Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat for PC, an aircraft simulation in which Chuck Yeager was a technical consultant in the game and his digitized voice is featured in the game, giving encouragement and praises before and after missions.

A NES game featuring Chuck Yeager, titled “Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat” was also in the works for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but it was never released for unknown reasons. In May 2010, mrmark0673 and BeaglePuss were able to buy a prototype of Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat NES from an eBay auction and shared many screenshots of the game. Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat will

As BeaglePuss and mrmark0673 wrote in the Nintendo AGE Forum:

This game is fantastic!. It’s extremely involved for an NES game. There are two selectable training options and two gameplay options including a two player game where Player one flies the jet and Player two is in charge of artillery. There are four weapons (including remote missiles that the player take control of to seek out long range targets), tons of baddies (Planes, helicopters, tanks, etc), awesome pseudo 3-D effects (Think 8-bit Star Fox), well developed story line, tons of in-game options (multiple camera angles), and some of the most ridiculous digitized voice overs of all time. Not only is the voice fantastic, but Yeager’s disembodied head appears on screen every time another one liner is shared.

The two things that continue to stand out for me are:

– The digital voices. Every five seconds, Chuck says something bizarre like “Engage!” or “Out of Missiles” and my favorite “You call yourself a pilot?!”

– The “polygon” graphics that I never thought I’d see on the NES. For the hardware, I can’t believe they can pull it off. Sure, it’s primitive next to something like Starfox, but not bad at all for the NES.

The game will be released (Cart and box) for less than $60 shipped. If that doesn’t interest you as a collector, you could always wait until the initial sale is over and play the rom for free. As always, huge props to mrmark0673 and BeaglePuss!

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