RPG

Ushiro [PSP – Cancelled]

Ushiro is a cancelled horror-themed, turn-based rpg that was being developed for PSP by Level 5. The game was officially announced and showed in 2008. Nothing much is known about this game apart from brief informations that appeared on 1up:

Ushiro (PSP) is a first for Level-5 — a horror RPG. You play Reiichiro Ushiro, a newly-minted shinigami spirit who has the power to give people near the brink of death a single wish in exchange for their lives. Whether listening in on conversations in spirit mode, possessing the living to do your bidding, or fighting personifications of the evil in man’s heart, you can be sure that being a not-so-friendly ghost is nothing if not hectic.

The game went dark shortly after the initial reveal, with no new developments on the title up until mid-late 2009, when Level-5 removed the game from their corporate website. It’s not clear why the game was eventually cancelled, but it’s possible that Level-5 decided to focus on their new ROID service, a smartphone app that launched exclusively in Japan in 2009 to help the studio break into the lucrative mobile market.

From the assets that did get released, we can see that the game appears to be in a working and playable state, though it’s not quite clear what percentage of the game was fully developed before Level-5 axed the project.

News of the game’s potential return began to circulate after Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu reported that Level-5 were considering bringing the project back from the dead, although this has yet to see any tangible results as yet. It’s possible that they were not referring to bringing the game back, but instead hinting towards the manga released in 2015, which is currently still active.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 (Agito XIII) [Beta – PSP]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Final Fantasy Type-0 is an RPG published by Square Enix for the PSP and developed by the company’s 1st Production Department. The game was originally announced at E3 2006 with the name Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile cellphones, but even though the game no longer has “XIII” in its title, the final PSP game still uses the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology.

Thanks to Dreams and anony we can archive some beta screens, videos and info from Final Fantasy Type 0: there are 14 playable characters in the final game, with a couple of non playable guests.

The pic above show kurasame, type 0 teacher as playable character. It seems that the guest plus one more were supposed to be playable in the beta version, even supposed to have their own dogde animations, but most likely cut for space problems, as type 0 is already packed with a lot of content. So, through hacking, it shows kurasame, Joker, Gilgamesh (not playable only has the name).

In the gamefaqs forum we can read that there is a FF Type 0 Artbook that has some unused content in it. Does anyone have some scans of the beta / unused content? Plus somewhere in the web there is art/model of phoenix as an unused summon (but we can’t find it).

In the released game, modders have found 3D models for summons that don’t appear in the game: Pandemona, Phoenix and Typhoon. There is also a hidden unused video which has live actors doing motion capture for the game. It’s not used in the game, and it has a blue overlay with three kanji, the first meaning “temporary”. It also has mono audio, unlike all other videos in the game.

If you notice more differences in the old beta screens and videos below, please let us know! Thanks to Dreams and anony for the contribution :)

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Magic Formation WARS [WonderSwan Color – Cancelled]

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.

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Final Fantasy 3 Remake [WonderSwan Color – Cancelled]

Bandai‘s Wonderswan was an handheld system released exclusively in Japan in 1999. This console was especially sought after because around December 1999 Bandai struck a deal with Squaresoft to bring their games to the console. The first projects announced were the remake of the first three Final Fantasy, a chocobo game, Romancing SaGa and a port of Seiken Densetsu 2 (known as Secret of Mana in the west).

However not all of these games would seen a release at retail as Seiken Densetsu 2 was never seen again. Final Fantasy III shared the same destiny although it was shown on the official Squaresoft site: Final Fantasy III Wonderswan archieved site

This cancellation was especially notable because the Final Fantasy remakes , which were bundled with the system, were the biggest sellers on Wonderswan Color. Later, after a brief rumor on a possible remake on PlayStation 2, Final Fantasy 3 was unveiled as new 3D remake for Nintendo DS that eventually sold around 2 million units worldwide. This 3D remake, very different from the 2D remake proposed for Wonderswan, would be made available on PSP, iOS and Android years after the original DS release.

In 2007 Hiromichi Tanaka explained why the Wonderswan remake was canned:

When we developed FF3, the volume of content in the game was so huge that the cartridge was completely full, and when new platforms emerged, there simply wasn’t enough storage space available for an update of FF3, because that would have required new graphics, music and other content. There was also a difficulty with how much manpower it would take to remake all of that content.

The strange thing is that Final Fantasy I and II remakes and Final Fantasy IV were all deployed on a 4MB cartridge and Wonderswan theoretical biggest cartridge size was 16MB in fact a few games (even Squaresoft own Front Mission) were stored on 8MB cartridge, with Konami’s Beatmania being the only game weighting 16MB so storage space limitation is unlikely to be the main culprit.

It’s very likely that the shaking Wonderswan market in 2001/2002 (the system was discontinued by Bandai in 2003) along with the costs in developing a 2D remake sealed the fate of this project.

Scan from Playmag issue 52.

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Black-Eyed Noir: Cielgris Chronicle [WonderSwan – Cancelled]

In March 2000 game developer Gust announced the sequel to their PlayStation 1 simulation RPG Kuroi Hitomi no Noir: Cielgris Fantasm for Bandai’s Wonderswan. Called Kuroi Hitomi no Noir: Cielgris Chronique or 黒い瞳のノア ~シェルグリスクロニーク~ in kanji (translated as Black-Eyed Noir: Cielgris Chronicle) the game is actually a prequel.

The main character is a young swordsman known as Sels, who is a pioneer of the foundation of his kingdom. After he gathered 8 warriors, they get blown into the storm of war.
The game’s system was supposedly been made simpler for the portable version and a new feature was added so that the weight of the characters’ equipment influence the turn order, allowing more strategy when equipping characters. This RPG was planned to be released in June 2000 but for unknown reason it was never distributed.

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