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Games featured in magazines that never got released


Preacher
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Got a couple for Saturn that I happened upon - found very little info about them online, though. Sacred Pools was intended to be an FMV game developed exclusively for Saturn, but it must have been cancelled during development; there's absolutely nothing online to suggest it ever existed, beyond general inquiries as to its whereabouts. Another was Vanishing Power by Ocean games. Outside of this reference on unseen64, there's absolutely nothing else on the game, besides what was featured in SSM.

I think it's probably more accurate to say that games magazines, being perfectly separate from the internet archiving process, serve as a fixed point of reference for games like Terra Phantastica, which does vastly more for its profile and reputation than the internet. I mean, how else would you come to know of it? Terra Phantastica doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry, only a brief mention in some staffer's page.

I'll try and get the Sacred Pools article scanned and inserted into this post. It's not particularly revealing, but it does come with a couple of screenshots.

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Can't remember the name of the game but one of the early Dreamcast mags had a game that used the light gun but instead of it being a standard shooter you used the d-pad to move around.

You might be thinking of Gun Valkyrie. It got cancelled and retooled before eventually surfacing on the original Xbox, minus light gun controls.

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There was that EXO game for PS2 that was on the cover of Edge - a kind of futuristic tactical shooter for the PS2 with some pretty city environments and things.

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Going back to the 8-bits, I remember that Commodore Format had this at-a-glance preview round up in every issue. Covering a single-page, it was styled like a radar and the points closest to the centre represented games nearing release, but it was the ones that always lingered around the outer rings that I was interested in. One of the more well-known cases is that of Parasol Stars - it was the sequel to Rainbow Islands and a C64 version was in the works, but the guy working on it got all his kit stolen or vandalised or something. Another one I kept seeing on the radar was Mega Twins, a conversion of the Capcom platform beat 'em up. I always used to see ads for it in the magazine so it makes me wonder how complete it was. I actually kind of enjoyed the arcade original so it would have been interesting to see a C64 release. Apparently it was pretty much finished but the publisher wasn't interested in making any more money from C64 stuff... :(

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You might be thinking of Gun Valkyrie. It got cancelled and retooled before eventually surfacing on the original Xbox, minus light gun controls.

No this was some kind of Virtua Cop style game (in appearance) but with said controls (the only thing I can think of that sounds remotely similar would be Resident Evil Survivor)

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No this was some kind of Virtua Cop style game (in appearance) but with said controls (the only thing I can think of that sounds remotely similar would be Resident Evil Survivor)

Take the Bullet?

EDIT: Whilst looking for a screenshot of Take the Bullet to upload here - I came across this http://www.unseen64....led-videogames/ which is a site dedicated to cancelled games. Enjoy!

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Take the bullet is the game you're talking about. I think there is a half finished game out there, either available or in the hands of a collector.

Shenmue on the Saturn is amazing, no one even knew it existed unless you count the virtua fighter rpg code name. Looks amazing too. At the same time VF3 is also meant to have a Saturn port locked away somewhere.

The N64 had loads of cancelled games, most looked terrible like very empty 3D worlds but there was a number of interesting ones too.

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Putty Squad on the Amiga! Amiga Power seemed to review a full version of the games (the screenshots showed more levels than were in the coverdisk demo) and, oddly, printed level passwords in the tips section a few months later. Perhaps the passwords were for a leaked pirate copy of the game, I have no idea, but the game itself never got a commercial release.

Another Amiga vapourware game I remember was Dynamic Debugger, which seemed like a typical platform game of the time, but was hyped up as using the Amiga's HAM mode, which meant it had 4000+ colours on screen rather than the standard 32. Never heard anything more from it, assume that the screenshots were just mock-ups.

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Saboteur for PSone and PC was something I was following quite closely. It was a third person action game starring a guy with a katana and a dog who helped him out. The U64 article has a transcript of the original press release:

Saboteur is a fast paced combat adventure game, which fuses genres and gameplay styles. It is a game that embraces new concepts and new production values whilst holding onto solid game-play values of older classic titles. It is not a fighting game, nor is it only an adventure game.

Saboteur will be the first arcade adventure game to feature a full on 3D fighting system (complete with high/low defending and grapples). It embraces the complexity of 3D fighting games and adds multiple opponents.

You play the part of Shin Ienaga, trying to avenge the death of your grandfather and rescue your sister from the clutches of the evil G.E.N.E Corporation. The action is viewed from a third person perspective and involves a variety of combat, puzzle solving and exploration. It matches a strong story line to proven genres (action adventure and 3D combat) and adds its own spin of magic, ninja style.

Saboteur’s most unique feature is the introduction of a second character on the player’s side. Shin is joined in his quest by Shiro, his faithful hound, who follows him wherever he goes. Shin is able to command Shiro to either attack enemies or give assistance in tricky areas of the game, by retrieving objects or helping to solve puzzles. Due to his advanced senses Shiro is able to give advance warning of approaching or hidden danger, however there is a price to pay if you don’t look after him.

Features:

Strong story line and plot development with emphasis on Ninja main character.

Refined Combat System within third person perspective. When in combat Shin operates on a different plane and automatically locks-on to the nearest attackeCombat includes: hand-to-hand, swordplay, and weapons (throwing knives, guns and clubs).

Use of second character on player’s side – a largely computer controlled dog Shiro. Shiro is a powerful weapon in a fight and also a useful navigation tool in the game world.

Wide range of characters (30+) each with their own set of unique moves.

Sophisticated enemy AI, enemies learn your fighting style and adapt their defences to it.

Variety of locations with over 20 levels spread across five huge game worlds.

High technology – motion capture, single skinned objects, true object dynamics.

I'll dig out my copies of Arcade magazine and see if it was in there. If its from any of the psone mags I used to have I think they're all gone now. There were some screenshots too:

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One of the more well-known cases is that of Parasol Stars - it was the sequel to Rainbow Islands and a C64 version was in the works, but the guy working on it got all his kit stolen or vandalised or something.

The truth is a little sadder.

http://www.gtw64.co.uk/Pages/p/Creator_Parasolstars.php

From the developer

"My wife and I had not been getting on very well, (usually rowing about her drinking habits,) and she decided to go back to her first husband of twenty years earlier. Before leaving, she broke or corrupted all the disks she could find, including all the Parasol Stars developments and back-ups. She expressed extreme remorse afterwards, (she was two different people depending on whether she had been drinking,) but the damage was done. I only had a disk previously shown to Ocean, about three months old, which had remained in my briefcase since showing it to them. They, unfortunately, could not spare the time for me to repeat the work. I really felt that I had let them down, but there was nothing else I could do. I am grateful that they were so understanding, but I didn't get any more work from them.
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Urban Decay, from the guy who did Ecstatica. It looks a little like GTA but with ellipsoid style characters. Screen shot below isn't too great but I recall thinking it had a lot of potential.

Urban Decay is a cancelled action game that was in development by Andrew Spencer Studios and it would have been produced / published by Psygnosis for PC. The project was to be an ellipsoid game like Ecstatica, but it was put on hold at one point to focus on Ecstatica 2. When they went back to work on Urban Decay the design switched to a traditional polygonal engine from which no images have surfaced yet. Relationship with the studio went south after this and the game disappeared forever. Pcloadletter sent an e-mail to Ken Doyle, that graciously replied and says in his own words:

I did work on it. The ol memory’s a bit dim but basically various issues assailed and eventually sunk the project. Firstly the main creative and design force behind the game, a guy called Eamon Butler left to pursue a successful career at Disney. He became frustrated with endless requests for design and style changes. It was originally due to be an ellipsoid game but later changed over to a more regular poly look for the sake of realism. Urban Decay was shelved so work on Ecstatica 2 could begin. We returned to Urban Decay but the studios relationship with Psygnosis soured and that was that. Studio closed and we all moved on. That’s about it. Hope this helps.

More here - http://web.archive.org/web/20080418064949/pcgtw.retro-net.de/index.php?id=games:urbandecay

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I've been reading old Amiga magazines on archive.org and there's loads of games mentioned in the preview sections which I didn't remember, if I check them by looking them up at Abime.net's game database (which includes many unreleased games) I often find that they haven't been cataloged yet.

I found a preview for a (very, very) early version of Sensible Soccer, in a C64 magazine from the late 80s - meant to save it but forgot , and haven't been able to find it again!

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Hired Guns on the Amiga probably is my most favourate game of all time so when I heard there was an updated version based on the Unreal engine I couldn't wait!

It never got released to my knowledge and whilst that might have been for the best after looking at it I would still like to play it.

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Seems it was even shown at E3 at some point. Really it seems to be much more an arcade run and gun game but wish I could have played.

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Edit, seems there is a leaked iso, will check it out :)

http://www.betaarchi...topic.php?t=992

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It might turn out this was actually released and I never noticed, but there was a sort of horse racing game that used rockets instead of horses and you had to fire a rope at a wall to go round tight corners. That looked cool, it was previewed in a CVG. I'll still have the preview at home somewhere.

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Reading through old editions of The One magazine, there does seem to be a lot of stuff I don't recall being released. No specific examples but just stuff I thought "Wow! Can't wait for that" that never seemed to make an appearance.

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Having been a massive fan of Knight Lore, Batman and Head Over Heels on the Spectrum, I was really looking forward to Universal Monsters on The Amiga:

http://www.abime.net/games/view/game/id/1813

The magazine coverdisk demo was really nice. Shame it failed to make it into a full game.

I was also looking forward to an Amiga conversion of Ultimate's Underwurlde, following a preview which originally appeared in the October 1991 issue of CU Amiga.

I don't think that one progressed very far at all.

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My internet skills have failed me here but I definitely remember on a Commodore Format tape a demo of something I'm sure was by Codemasters called "Spellbound". It was a side-scrolling action platformer, the main character had a grey skin tone/blue outfit and the demo ended with a boss fight against Medusa (I know it sounds like I'm mixing it up with Myth but it wasn't that)

Me and my mate thought it was really awesome but it never surfaced, I vaguely remember reading it was cancelled even. Maybe it wasn't called Spellbound exactly as I can see something else with that name and of course Codies did a Spellbound Dizzy but if anyone can confirm that I am not insane and this did exist that would be great!

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My internet skills have failed me here but I definitely remember on a Commodore Format tape a demo of something I'm sure was by Codemasters called "Spellbound". It was a side-scrolling action platformer, the main character had a grey skin tone/blue outfit and the demo ended with a boss fight against Medusa (I know it sounds like I'm mixing it up with Myth but it wasn't that)

Me and my mate thought it was really awesome but it never surfaced, I vaguely remember reading it was cancelled even. Maybe it wasn't called Spellbound exactly as I can see something else with that name and of course Codies did a Spellbound Dizzy but if anyone can confirm that I am not insane and this did exist that would be great!

Spellcast? The protagonist seems to fit the description:

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http://www.gtw64.co.uk/Pages/s/Review_Spellcast

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