midway

Career Criminal [X360 / PS3 – Cancelled]

Career Criminal is an action game that was in development at Midway Austin (formerly Inevitable Entertainment) for the XBOX 360 and PS3, but later cancelled because it was too risky economically. It seems that the game would have been about stealing jewels / other precious stuff and it was set in a sandbox world. Sadly the studio closed its doors in December 2008, laying off the entire local workforce as part of a larger, company-wide, action.

As we can read on Kotaku, the president of Midway explained that: “The Career Criminal title was a large, ambitious, open-world project. Midway management recognizes that ambitious games need extensive resources and can require lengthy development cycles with much iteration. We are willing to invest in the long run and we need to continue developing new intellectual properties. But all of our projects have to demonstrate a likelihood of success and profitability. The resource needs, feature set, schedule and financial profile for the Career Criminal project were not converging towards a reasonable chance of success.”

Images:

Videos:

 

Mortal Kombat 4 [ARC DC N64 PSX – Beta]

dc_mkg

Mortal Kombat 4 is considered the 4th intallment of the Mortal Kombat series, 6th if you count MK3U and MKT. Released in 1997, it was the first MK game to use 3D graphics. It was first released in the arcade version and it would be the last arcade MK made. It was released on the N64, Playstation and PC in 1998, ported by Eurocom. An updated version was released on Dreamcast in 1999 called Mortal Kombat Gold, which was identical with the exception of better graphics, added players and a few more stages.

A new character named Belokk was intended to appear in Mortal Kombat Gold, but was cut from the released game. The developer of the game, Eurocom, sent information about the game with Belokk to Game Informer, and as a result, six screenshots of him were published. According to Ed Boon, Belokk was cut due to time constraints during development. Despite the mention of Belokk’s scrap, he was still rumored to appear as a secret character. [Infos from Wikipedia]

Actual secret characters can be accessed via rotating a specific box for a normal character, however when a player do this to Tanya’s box a question mark that was rumored to unlock Belokk appears, but it unlock nothing.

Since it was the first Midway 3D fighting game, the staff had many difficulties while in development, partly due to the fact the staff had doubled in size. Which means many changes were made and many interesting aspects were taken out.

Differences from the arcade version to the N64 version would include: Lower pixel rate and additions such as Goro being a playable character, extra costumes, and another arena called Ice Pit.

Pre-release trailers show Reptile and Fujin with God-O-Mite as their name in the lifebars. More then likely this was before they got to the name detail.

Kitana, Noob Saibot and Kano were orignally going to be in MK4. Kitana was then changed to Tanya. Noob saibot was taken in and out many times and replaced with Reiko. Jarek replaced Kano and for some reason was left with Kano’s moves, which caused many fans to complain because Jarek was hardly original. Noob Saibot can be accessed in the N64 version by a cheat, but was never in the Arcade. These characters were taken out mainly because Midway wanted more new characters in the game.

The hidden character Meat was originaly intended for testing.

Thanks to Pachuka and Sir_Brando for the contributions!

Images:

 

Crank the Weasel [Cancelled – GameCube, XBOX, PS2]

Crank the Weasel is a mature cancelled platform / adventure game that was in development by Midway Games in 2002, for the Playstation 2 and Xbox.  The goal of Crank was to create chaos in the game’s world, with lies, cheats and stealing loot from the other characters, to be able to get enough Big-Ticket-Items to fly to Pleasure Island. The game’s look and feel were inspired by 1920’s cartoon art style and authentic big band swing music, but with a humorous / mature twist, similar to  Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

In the website of Brian Silva, Co-creator and Lead Designer of Crank the Weasel, we can read many interesting info about the concepts behind the Crank project:

At the beginning of a game, each NPC possesses a preliminary set of “ideal” characteristics, meaning that they will go about their business, acting and functioning in an initially “composed” manner appropriate for their personality type. However, depending upon Weasel’s player-controlled actions (as well as the independent actions of the NPCs), these “ideal” characteristics will soon begin to alter as they are manipulated in a vast variety of ways that can either benefit or work against the player, and often provide surprising results. NPCs, while going about their business, will even change their own behavior to suit their immediate needs even if Weasel does not interact with them, resulting in amusing and varied gameplay. Basically, each playfield would naturally evolve on it’s own, Weasel just happens to throw a huge wrench into the equation.

An example of the weird scenarios that the player would have been able to explore in the game, is the Hell level:

While floating along the River Styx, Weasel can hear the merry tune of Jingle Bells echoing throughout the fiery pits of hell, snow is drifting, trees are decorated, lights are hung, and all the little devils want to wish Weasel a “Merry Christmas!” Gnarled and twisting tree roots wrap and wind from above and all throughout this town of torment. Little demons drive their little demon cars, walk their demon dogs, and mow their demon lawns in front of their little demon houses. Elevators transport a nonstop supply of unrighteous heathens to the hoary underworld to suffer an abundance of dreadful eternities. Weasel will be glad to know that there are hundreds of take out restaurants in hell… unfortunately they’re all Chinese take out, and the only available places of business are either the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Internal Revenue Service, Hellth Food stores, Social Security Departments, jury duty registration, or fabric stores. But on the bright side, there’s plenty of flashy advertising for products and places that these sinners will never have a chance to enjoy.

Sadly Crank the Weasel was  officially cancelled in 2003, as we can read at IGN Xbox:

“That game will never come out,” said our source from the innards at Midway. “It just never seemed to take off and all I can tell you is that you’re not going to see it again.”

A playable prototype was leaked online in late 2017 thanks to a former Midway developer!

Images:

Videos: