The original “Dancing Eyes” was a quirky puzzle game developed by Namco for Arcades in 1996. You move a small monkey on a grid around 3D girls to cut out their clothes piece by piece while avoiding enemies, somehow similar to the concept behind cult classic QiX.
“Namco announced three “models” for Dancing Eyes on the official site – Crisitia Saietta, Francoise Mystere, and Musaki Kikka who appears to be tied to Japanese voice actress who played Alicia in Valkyria Chronicles.”
It seems this Dancing Eyes HD would have been a PS3 exclusive (with PS Move support) but in the end the project was canned for unknown reasons.
Stephane with the help of a few more developers such as Pavlos Germidis worked at Virtual Studio from october 1997 to september 1998. In just 3 months they developed a short prototype for Commando, used to show off its 3D engine and main mechanics. Stephane worked on the game’s 3D engine, its tools and game programming while Pavlos worked on the artwork design, the story pitch and the CGI movie which would introduce the game.
Commando would have been an interesting take on the 3D action genre. The game was divided into different missions, each set in a different area on Mars full of enemies and huge final-bosses. You could steal and control enemy mechsand bikes, there would have been different ways to resolve a problem such as killing an enemy or avoid it with by flying away using a jetpack. It was a bit more open-ended than similar third person shooters of its time.
The deal for Commando was that Stephane would create the game and handle everything directly with Namco. Only the financial aspect would go thru Virtual Studio, which would get 30% of the price for being a financial go-between. Many trips to Japan were required in order to find an agreement on the game design, technical features and financials terms. The contract was finally signed by Stephane in Tokyo at the Namco building.
Unfortunately it seems that Virtual Studio misunderstand its part in the whole deal. When Stephane directly signed the game with Namco, Virtual Studio were surprised to be limited to a financial partner and quickly changed their mind about the deal. In the end the game had to be cancelled.
Only a few, tiny screenshots from the Commando prototype are preserved below, to remember its existence.
In 2005 the Katamari series was on a roll (pun intended), and speculations about the series hitting Nintendo consoles started to emerge. In March 2005Nintendo Power listed the game as in development for the DS. On the same month that year IGN approached Namco to ask about the possible title to which they simply replied “At this point we haven’t made any announcement for the future development of this franchise.”.
Unfortunately that was the last note regarding the title before disappearing.
Some say that this game ended up being dropped in favor of the PSP Katamari gameMe & My Katamari which was released on December 2005. Sadly, Nintendo consoles still haven’t managed to get a Katamari game of their own aside from the DSiWare spinoff Korogashi Puzzle Katamari Damacy.
In 2016 the franchise came back from it’s 5 years hiatus with Tap My Katamari for iOS and Android so maybe the future might hold something for Nintendo platforms after all.
When Bandai unveiled a GPS add-on for WonderSwan at Spring Tokyo Game Show 2001, Namco shown three games compatible with the new device. Magic Formation WARS (known in japanese as 魔放陣WARS) was an RPG that used the peripheral to determinate where battles were held and monsters formation. You could draw a spell on the map to cast a magic. The only other detail known was that the story was divided in scenarios. When the GPS for WonderSwan failed to be marketed it’s likely that Namco cancelled the project.
At Spring TGS 2001 Namco announced three brand-new games for Bandai’s WonderSwan, all of which used the new add-on shown for the first time at that event (like Magic Formation WARS and Super GPS Pac-Man). One of these games was tentatively named Let’s Play Golf (やったつもりでゴルフ).
As the name suggest it is a golf simulation with the peculiarity to use the GPS add-on to create new courses based on your surrounding. Another interesting feature was the presence of an accelerometer inside the cartridge that enable the player to swing using motion controls. The game was never released for unknown reason though we can speculate that the cancellation of the GPS add-on hurt the project’s chance to be distributed.