Beat Force (ビートフォース) is a cancelled hack ‘en slash that was in development by Sammy for Mega Drive. A single screenshot was published in french magazine Joypad (issue 18, March 1993) with a short description (translated with Google Translate):
“Nothing is easy when you are a great hero. AHL knows this very well, he’s always asked to save the world from debacle. […] Beat Force is a kind of futuristic Gauntlet in which you play the role of an over-armed gladiator. While the action is viewed from above, the screen moves in a multi-directional scrolling with an excellent effect.”
More images and details could be still hidden away in other Japanese magazines.
It is not the first, but one of the more memorable failures in Keiji Inafune’s growing history of cancellations and shortcomings: “Kaio: King of Pirates” was announced for the 3DS in 2011, and was planned to not only be a launch title for Nintendo’s wildly popular handheld, but also to spawn an own multimedia franchise with anime, manga and toys. The project was the first game that Comcept, Keiji Inafune’s new studio, should develop after he left Capcom. Looking for an alternative way to achieve his visions and free himself from restrictions, he decided to found Comcept and Intercept, two new game development companies to work on his own ideas and titles.
Kaio: King of Pirates was the first game to be developed by Comcept and Intercept. Marvelous had acquired the rights to fund and thus publish the game. It was planned as the first part in a trilogy of games that would recount the infamous Romance of the Three Kingdoms tale, similar to other Japanese games like Dynasty Warriors. In this case, the scenario was that of pirates, ships and sea monsters, albeit with the twist of anthropomorphic characters. The main character Sangokushi is a penguin, and in the trailer one can spot numerous other animals such as lions, snakes, parrots, cats and even dragons. There is not much else to be found on the internet: the first and only trailer with English subtitles from 2011 is everything that is left of Kaio: King of Pirates.
Gameplay was planned to be quite like the Dynasty Warriors series, with the ability to pick up and play for longer sessions without problems. This is also one of the reasons why Keiji Inafune chose the 3DS as main platform, as opposed to mobile phones. The game was announced almost around the same time that the 3DS was unveiled, and was planned for release in 2012. Later, it was delayed to 2014, before being cancelled by Marvelous in the beginning of 2015. The company stated it had lost around 3.8 million dollars (or 461 million yen) in the 4-year-period of Kaio’s development.
Keiji Inafune has since turned to crowdfunding for his newer projects, but it seems the former Mega Man-talent cannot reach the glory of his past projects: Mighty No. 9, despite being a successful Kickstarter campaign, has received rather mixed and average reviews after release in 2016. Other Comcept games are Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z from 2014 for PS3, X360 and PC, as well as the Microsoft Studios-published ReCore, which also released in 2016 for PC and Xbox One. Let’s hope Inafune’s bad luck will end soon, because his next project Red Ash: The Indelible Legend is described as the spiritual successor to the Mega Man Legends titles. Despite causing some controversies in its Kickstarter campaign, which ran when Mighty No. 9 was still in development, the game is planned for a 2017 release on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Gauntlet DS is the cancelled chapter of the popular hack and slash series, that was in development at Backbone Entertainment and it would have been published by Eidos Interactive / Midway Games. The game should have been released in October 2008, but after its initial announcement, the project vanished from their release list. There’s not any official statement, but it’s possible that Gauntlet DS was canned for economic reasons.
The bankruptcy of Midway Games, owners of the Gauntlet license, could be one of the reasons behind the game’s death. The game would have had local wireless and online four-player mode, 40 maps, and voice chat capabilities. We really hope that in the future a playable version of this game could be leaked and preserved, it looked like an awesome coop-game!
Shade: Wrath of Angels is an action game for the PC and Xbox, developed by Black Element Software and published in 2004 by Cenega. Shade: Wrath of Angels’s working title was Nefandus and development Started in 1997 as isometric shooter based on Quake2 engine. The project was to be released by freeware, but distributors got attenttion, orginal concept was changed to 3rd person shooter with new storyline and title changed to Shade: Wrath of Angels. Game was finished in 2003, but developers didn’t fell they could succeed with the game concept and development started once again as hack’n’slash action with free moving camera, 1st person view and 2nd playable character the Servant, Mequon physics and DirectX 9 features added, story was brand new and final game released fall 2004 had nothing to do with previos version. Final game was to be ported to orginal Xbox and Nokia Ngage phone, but that never happened.
Final game was about saving main characters brother trough present, medieval, Egypt and Shadowland, but that has nothing to do with previous builds.
The Bard’s Tale is an action adventure developed by InXile Entertainment, and released in 2004 for the Playstation 2, Xbox and PC. DCodes7 found a way to activate the debug menu in the PS2 port. Most of the debug functions are disabled and the only working functions are the level/area select and level load option. Thanks to the debug menu it’s possible to reach three unused yet complete areas that can be played. Some names of removed (?) test maps were also found: