Namco Hometek

Pac-Man Ghost Zone [PSX – Cancelled]

Pac-Man Ghost Zone is a cancelled platform game that was in development in 1996 by Namco Hometek for the original playstation. This would have been the first 3D Pac Man game to be released for home consoles. Ghost Zone was previewed in various old magazines and it seems that it was even shown in some form at E3, but after a while Namco decided to kill the project for quality reasons. As we can read on the Playstation Museum:

We built a playable demo and even though there was some fun gameplay, the game just never felt right. The environments all felt too much the same and it was lacking a sense of grandeur found in other games like the recently released Mario 64. Japan must of felt the same way too – when we flew to Japan and presented it to Namco president Nakamura-San, he was very displeased. As a result, almost the entire team – save 1 designer (myself), 1 programmer (Gil Colgate) and 1 artist (Neil Strudwick) – were fired and we had to start again on what eventually became Pac-Man World.”

Thanks to Celine for the scans! (GamePro #100, Console+ #78, GameInformer #53)

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Snake Plissken Chronicles [PS2/XBOX – Cancelled]

Snake Plissken Chronicles (also know as Snake Plissken’s Escape), is a cancelled action game that was in development at Namco Hometek in 2003, for the original Xbox and Playstation 2. The game was based on Snake Plissken, the protagonist (portrayed by Kurt Russell) in John Carpenter’s films Escape from L.A. and Escape from New York. A playable demo was created, but the project was never finished for unknown reasons.

S0me videos from the game were shared online by Neurobellum:

This video shows a functional SNAKE PLISSKEN game built in 2004 by the remaining Dead to Rights 2 staff. Campaign design was complete, storyline was approved by Carpenter, Russell, and Hill, and concept was well underway. The game would have included full particpation by all three, including a completed cyber-scanned version of Kurt. This game was going to rock. Video produced and edited by Mike Kennedy. Music by KMFDM and John Carpenter, remixed by DJSkavenger.

A sequence of key events storyboarded for the campaign mode of the unproduced Snake Plissken’s Escape video game, by Namco. These boards were illustrated by Comic Book legend Chris Warner.

 A compilation of Environmental concept art developed for the campaign of Snake Plissken’s Escape, developed for Namco in 2004 before cancellation. Contributing artists included Francisco Ruiz Velasco (Hellboy 2, Pacific Rim) and Tim Tao (Dead to Rights).

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Dead to Rights 2: Hell to Pay [PS2 / XBOX – Beta]

Dead to Rights 2: Hell To Pay was the original concept that Namco created for their Dead To Right’s sequel, but that beta version was canned and then reworked, to make the final DtR2 that was finally published in 2005, for Playstation 2 and Xbox. The project was developed by Namco Hometek /  Widescreen Games and it seems that the game was supposed to be a real sequel instead of a prequel (as the released version).

As Vicente has noticed, in the early screens and videos the main character had different clothes than the ones he wears in the “prequel” and he had the scars in the hair that he only gets  in the first game. Also, it seems that the 3D engine in the beta version was the same one used in the original Dead to Rights, but it was “updated” for the published DtR2. It’s currently unknow how much of the original Deat to Rights 2 was kept in the prequel, but probably Namco decided to rework the game for quality reasons.

Thanks to Vicente for the contribution!

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