MegaStar [Wii – Cancelled]

Mega Star is a cancelled music game that was being developed by EA Montreal in late 2009 with a release being targeted for the following year exclusively on Nintendo Wii. It was in the works for approximately two months, never advancing past the pre-production phase of development.

MegaStar project EA

The logo and mock-up for MegaStar’s title screen.

According to an artist who worked on the game, it was being prepared as EA’s response to Just Dance, which launched in November, 2009. The Montreal team had previously worked on other music titles, such the Boogie games, but Mega Star was being pitched as a much more direct competitor. It was planned to have had similar Wii motion dancing mechanics to Ubisoft’s game, but would have added its own twist in the form of a singing component via a USB microphone, similar to that of Boogie.

MegaStar EA Cancelled UI mock-up

Up to 4 people would have been able to play together locally with any combination of the two gameplay types (karaoke and dancing) simultaneously. Its setlist would have been mostly comprised of rock/pop music. Some of the examples given in EA’s user interface mock-ups include artists, Fergie and Avril Lavigne. Although these were merely for conceptual purposes, these were selected purposefully to convey the theme of the game to EA’s management. There was also plans to feature customisable avatars for players, similar to Miis.

User interface concept art/mock-ups:

MegaStar had a brief life span in development and was ultimately cancelled in mid November, 2009. After the success of EA’s Wii titles began to dwindle, EA Montreal was subject to a complete studio refocus. Games that the developers at Montreal had worked on included Spore Hero and Skate It; both of which received a lukewarm to negative critical reception and failed to meet sales projections. The company’s general manager, Alain Tuscan blamed the “unpredictable” climate of the Wii’s market and shifted the company into focusing solely on HD platforms

DJ Hero: After Party [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii]

DJ Hero: After Party is a cancelled spin-off to the original DJ Hero game, which was briefly being worked on by Zoë Mode, the UK based subsidiary of Kuju Entertainment, for Activision in 2009. It was proposed as a game for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.

Another Spin On DJ Hero

As FreeStyleGames was in the final stages of developing the first DJ Hero, Zoë Mode set a team of artists on formulating ideas for a spin-off game to it in July 2009. The developer had, in the recent past, created other such music games as Rock Revolution and Disney: Sing It! when the project began.

Leading Light, the design studio of Christian Bravery, was contracted to help make concept art for the company, as the vision behind game was steadily being realised. Together, they imagined an alternative approach to the formula of DJ Hero, one developer explained.

“It would have had a very different vibe to it than the other games. We wanted it to have its own personality and feel. More relaxed and laid back.”

DJ: After Party would have made for a more casual-friendly approach to the series. Another developer described the possibility of it being made up of “slower, more up beat” tracks, although work on the title never got as far as assembling a set list.

The general idea behind it was that most of the show venues, as you might imagine, were after parties. Leading Light and the developers put together images of some of the events, which included celebrity wedding receptions, boat parties and a private luxury island.

Activision allowed the developer to use the DJ Hero license in developing conceptual documents and a prototype demo for their potential spin-off, as well as the opportunity to present a proposal to their management. Zoë Mode ended up working on the concept for a few months before Activision ultimately decided against pursuing the project, rejecting the pitch in October 2009; the month of DJ Hero’s first release.

According to one artist, the concepts were, however, retained by Activision and some of their ideas were later used in DJ Hero 2.

Character art:

More concepts including pitch documents/research:

Air Drums [Genesis / Mega Drive – Cancelled]

When Sega presented their quirky Activator add-on controller, they shown two games meant to be pack-in for the peripheral. One was Bounty Hunter while the other was an air drum simulation called, guess what, Air Drums. Both games however were cancelled.

Scan from Super Sonic issue 21.


Bit.Trip Series [WiiWare – Unused Stuff]

Bit.Trip is a series of action / music games that has been released on Wiiware download service for the Nintendo Wii. The series has been started in 2009 and finished in 2011. It was developed by Gaijin Games and published by Aksys Games. Each game revolves around the adventures of a character named “Commander Video”, and features “a crazy mix of 80s aesthetics and modern game design”. (Info from Wikipedia)

Six games have been released for Bit.Trip:

  • Bit.Trip Beat, first one of the series, which introduces a style of pong;
  • Bit.Trip Core, second one of the series, which introduces a style of more peculiar rhythm, similar of Dance Machines;
  • Bit.Trip Void, third one of the series, which introduces a different rhythm;
  • Bit.Trip Runner, fourth one of the series, introduces a new style, with 2D Platformer with rhythm;
  • Bit.Trip Fate, fifth one of the series, introduces a new style of side scroller shooting with rhythm;
  • Bit.Trip Flux, sixty one of the series, Gaijin games have returned the Bit.Trip Beat style.

Some of those games have unused stuff hidden in their code, such as animations and sound effects.

Bit.Trip Beat

There is a different game over screen in the first game of the serie. Later, it’s never have been used:

Bit.Trip Core

In Bit.Trip Core, there are still sprites for WiiRemote that appears in Bit.Trip Beat, probably the game could be different.


Bit.Trip Void

There is some testing stuff into the title screen folder. It’s really unknown about it:

BendIndirect BendTest

Bit.Trip Runner

There is a unused idle animation, which probably would be used if the player left controller. Maybe, just discovering this animation, the game could be a lot of different, it could probably a sidescroller which you could move manually, and if stops, it could appear this animation rarely. However, Bit.Trip series have the main goal of rhythm, so they retired the animation and did as automatic sidescroller game (probably).


Bit.Trip Fate
Originally planned to be a more traditional shooter where CommanderVideo was in a ship and he had free movement around the screen. The game also did not use pointer controls or the “fate line” until a later date.

Bit.Trip Flux
Started off using Breakout style gameplay during the normal course of the levels, but was cut because it simply wasn’t that fun. Bosses also used to be at the beginning of each level, reinforcing the reverse nature of the game, but that upset the pacing right away.

The whole serie:There is a sprite which appear in all the games, into the game files. Probably, it’s only used in Japanese Version:
Those sprites only appears on the Japanese version of the game:
Translation: BIT.TRIP VOID’s sytem file is corrupt.
After erasing BIT.TRIP VOID from the Channel Management Screen, please redownload BIT.TRIP VOID from the Wii Shopping Channel.
If you still get the same message afterwards, please contact the Nintendo Service Center.

BIT.TRIP CORE’s sytem file is corrupt.
After erasing BIT.TRIP CORE from the Channel Management Screen, please redownload BIT.TRIP CORE from the Wii Shopping Channel.
If you still get the same message afterwards, please contact the Nintendo Service Center.

Translation: BIT.TRIP RUNNER’s sytem file is corrupt.
After erasing BIT.TRIP RUNNER from the Channel Management Screen, please redownload BIT.TRIP RUNNER from the Wii Shopping Channel.
If you still get the same message afterwards, please contact the Nintendo Service Center.

Thanks to Gabrielwoj and Susumu (translation) for the contributors. 

Patapon [PSP – Beta]

Patapon is a music / strategy game developed by Pyramid and produced by Japan Studios, presented in a cartoonish, silhouetted two-dimensional environment designed by Rolito, and features the player acting as a deity who commands an army of caricatured miniature tribal creatures by beating traditional talking drums. Patapon was released in Japan in december 2007, but when the beta version was first shown at E3 2007, it had some interesting differences. As we can read from the description of the beta video uploaded on Youtube by Nymo:

This is an EARLY version of the game and thus different aspects in this video, like (lack of) music, text, interface, additional units, characters, etc. does not represent the final game.

In the beta version of the Mine Tree mini-game, the tree says “Listen to my song god dammit!!!” but in the final version he says “bon bon bo bon here goes” before the mini game starts. Check the beta video below and compare it to the one from the final game.

Thanks to Kieranmay for the contribution!


Video from the final version:

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