Every Cancelled Game Boy Advance Game (Mario, Zelda, Pokemon + more)
Did you know? There were over 120 games planned to release on the Game Boy Advance that were ultimately cancelled. Ever wondered what they were and why they were canned? In this video we’ll be covering all of them, with a few exceptions. We’ll leave out certain titles, such as games that were rumored to exist but have no evidence to back them up, and hoaxes like the rumored Halo game for GBA. And while some titles are listed as cancelled on old gaming news sites, they did actually see a release, just not in the United States, so we won’t be counting those either. We’ve also covered some cancelled GBA games in our cancelled DS games video, as many GBA projects were pushed to the DS after 2005 -- so we’ll be skipping over those to avoid repeating ourselves.
And with that said, let’s jump in to over an hour of cancelled Game Boy Advance games... Some of the most fondly remembered GBA titles belong to the Pokemon franchise, but there’s one Pokemon game we never got to experience. A Pokemon title with MMO elements was once being developed for the Advance. The game would've been based on Pokemon Fire Red and LeafGreen when played on the handheld, but would become a 3D title based on the code and assets of Pokemon Colosseum when battling online using a computer. While online, players could trade, store Pokemon in servers, chat with other players, battle, and participate in online tournaments. It was pitched by Nintendo's co-owned Chinese studio iQue, and was planned to launch in 2005 with the online component releasing in 2006.
Although the game would feature the entire Pokedex, Pokemon would be distributed based on the player's location by reading their IP address. These same readings would inform the title's weather patterns. Unfortunately, the game never surfaced, and Nintendo nor the Pokemon company have really attempted anything like it since. Another scrapped GBA game was Lunar Blaze; a sim-RPG developed by HAL Laboratory, with Nintendo most likely planned to be published. First shown at Nintendo's Space World event in 2001, the title tasked players with recruiting various monsters.
These creatures could be summoned to overcome large swarms of enemies. More than 170 kinds of attacks were planned for the game’s battles, and each attack would be summoned by energy balls, with players having to distribute the energy to the monster’s attacks. The game was canned a few months after it was first shown, and we’re not certain why.
Though Lunar Blaze’s cancellation may remain a mystery, some titles have a very clear reason for being scrapped. Diddy Kong Pilot was a sequel to Diddy Kong Racing that focused on planes. Vehicles were controlled with the D-pad, but could also be controlled by tilting the GBA, as Pilot’s cartridge had the same gyro-tech Nintendo used in Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble. The title was announced at E3 2001, and demoed at E3 as well as Space World that year. The demo was praised for its graphics, but Nintendo became concerned about the game’s quality. They felt the tilt controls had an underlying issue, as GBA titles were hard to see on the system if the screen wasn’t aligned with a light source, and tilting it around could make games hard to see.
But the title had other problems. Regarding the project, one programmer said Rare was "micromanaging us into different directions, disregarding any hardware or cartridge space limitations". To no one's surprise, the game wasn’t finished on time.
And by late 2002, Microsoft acquired Rare in its entirety. Microsoft let Rare keep making GBA titles, as Microsoft wasn’t in the hand- held business, but Rare no longer had access to the Donkey Kong IP. Rare were eventually told to finish Diddy Kong Pilot, but retool it as a Banjo game- Banjo-Pilot.
Rare's Paul Rahme said the retooling took five months, which included altering all the graphics, adding new race tracks, and the tilt controls being removed. Although Diddy Kong Pilot and Banjo Pilot use a Mode 7-style engine, at one point Rare tried rendering the backdrops using voxels. But the voxel engine had frame rate issues when sprites were added, so it was thrown out. But at least Diddy Kong Pilot lived on in some way; other games were shelved before they even got off the ground.
A document dating back to 2004 shows that publisher Vivendi Universal had plans for portable versions of the 2003 classic, The Simpsons’ Hit and Run. The document outlines the handheld versions having the same “scope and depth” of the console game, with a wholesale price of $29.99. Although the original game had a “T” for teen rating, this version would be rated E for everyone. It was also proposed for the game to have tie-ins with the Simpsons Season 4 DVD, which came out in June of 2004. The GBA port had a tentative shipping date for the 4th quarter of 2004, with a PSP date listed in the 1st quarter of ‘05.
When this document was brought to the attention of Hit and Run’s lead programmer Cary Brisebois, he said the PSP port was up and running and looked “pretty sweet”. Cary had heard about the GBA version, but never saw it for himself. And this isn’t the only cancelled 3D open world title on the platform. In May 2001, publisher DSI Games had a number of licenses under its belt, with a GBA port of Grand Theft Auto 3 among them. This version was set to release alongside the console game that October, but a year later GTA was still MIA. DSI stated the title was still in its early stages, and from 2002 all the way to Spring 2003, its projected launch dates kept getting pushed back.
On November 5th, 2002, after rumors spread of GTA’s cancellation, DSI dispelled these rumors and had an announcement planned for the end of that week. On November 8th, news leaked that Crawfish Interactive were developing the game, but exactly one week later, it was announced the studio closed its doors due to a myriad of problems. In July 2003, several former Crawfish staff came forward and shared tons of info about their version of GTA 3, from the game’s graphics style, to its controls, and more.
Come 2016, games archivist Andrew Borman showcased two early demos of Crawfish’s GTA, with the builds both compiled in April 2002-- only days apart. A Grand Theft Auto title would release on GBA in 2004, but this game was developed by Digital Eclipse, and served as a prequel to GTA 3. But the system had plenty of family-friendly titles that were nixed. Donkey Kong Plus is an unreleased game demoed at E3 2002. Nintendo planned for the game to be a sequel of sorts to Donkey Kong on Game Boy, which is more commonly known as Donkey Kong '94. What's interesting about this project is that players could make their own Donkey Kong style levels on the GameCube, and send them to the GBA -- Mario Maker style.
Although the title never came out, it clearly served as the basis for Mario vs Donkey Kong, which came out two years later. The game's sequel, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis for the DS even had its own level editor, just like Donkey Kong Plus. It was also discovered that unused code for a level editor exists in Mario vs Donkey Kong on GBA, tying the projects together further. Despite their strong connection, it’s still uncertain if Donkey Kong Plus is the same project as Mario vs Donkey Kong, or if DK Plus simply inspired it. Other retro titles were set to have a GBA release too.
A handheld remake of the original Battletoads was found among several other axed Rare titles in the mid-2000s. The now-defunct YouTuber transparentjinjo uploaded footage of the game, showing its pre-rendered graphics. Although the game used the same tech that made Donkey Kong Country's art possible, the revamped Battletoads had a more cartoony style that contrasted the original vision of Battletoads. The game wasn't in development for long, with only one actually playable level and many reused sound effects from other Rare titles like Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge.
As well as a short and rushed production, the game also lacked a clear direction. The team working on Battletoads were given conflicting guidance by those in charge, such as “make it a shiny clone of the NES game” and “just do whatever you think works best". They were even told to leave out any cool ideas they had for this project, and save them for an Xbox version.
This wasn’t the only scrapped GBA title that was dismissed by higher-ups... Davide Soliani is best known today as the director of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, but he's been a Nintendo fan for years. And when Wind Waker hit store shelves, he loved it so much he spent a month making a Wind Waker sequel on GBA with Ubisoft artist Fabio Pagetti. Pagetti told DidYouKnowGaming, "We were both in love with Wind Waker, and Nintendo handhelds were the major focus of Ubisoft Milan at the time.
So Davide and I were wondering how Wind Waker would look on GBA. [...] Eventually, I prepared [this mock-up] and we also worked on some 3D test scenes. But we never got the opportunity to pitch the game to Nintendo..." The duo made a pitch with several tests to go with it, but when they showed their prototype to the managing and studio directors at Ubisoft, they decided to kill the project before Nintendo ever got a chance to see it. Unfortunately, the pitch itself is lost, and all that remains is this single image.
Going from an actual Zelda game to one that was heavily inspired by the series… Dark Night was an action RPG inspired by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The game stood out not only because of its detailed visuals, but also because of its day and night system. When the game transitioned from day into night or vice versa, the titles presentation, and certain parts of gameplay, would change.
One example the developers gave was an old man changing into a werewolf at night. The game would've had about 30 hours of gameplay, and was planned to release in 2004. However, the devs at Naps Team failed to find a publisher for the project, and the title was shelved. Some developers have had publishing issues, even after being backed by Nintendo directly. Bits Studios teamed up with Nintendo to make a real-time strategy game called Warlocked for the Game Boy Color in 2000. The game was well received by critics and gamers alike, but sales were low, likely due to a lack of interest in the genre outside of the PC market.
Despite this, Bits Studios began work on a GBA sequel to Warlocked called Wizards, sometimes referred to as Warlocked 2. Much like the original, players would move a cursor with the D-Pad, and give commands with buttons to imitate a computer mouse. This time around it seems Nintendo wasn’t interested in publishing the project, and neither was anyone else. Bits Studios couldn’t find a publisher, and had to scrap the project. Bits were also developing a Jet Ski racer called Jet Riders, inspired by Wave Race.
It was due to be finished in December 2001, and published in early 2002, but with an unknown publisher. Jet Riders incorporated real-time water effects and backgrounds with pre-rendered 3D sprites -- making it stand out visually from many other early GBA titles. Players could choose from five modes including practice, races, stunts, time trial, and multiplayer. This would’ve been single-pak multiplayer, meaning only one cartridge was needed between upto 4 players.
The game had a stunts system, with tricks being performed over ramps, gaps, crevice jumps, as well as on rails. The game had 6 racers to choose from, and 21 tracks. It’s not known exactly why the game was canned, and Bits Studios kept making games until 2006.
When the Game Boy Advance was first announced, Nintendo showed off a Yoshi tech demo to illustrate the power of the console. This demo seemed to be a GBA port of Yoshi's Story, but had a few differences. The demo started with a spinning Yoshi's Island rotating, then faded into Yoshi's Story inspired level that loops. The game has a different health system as well, and when Yoshi ground pounds, he slams with his head instead of his rear.
The demo also had Toadies as enemies, who dropped spiked balls and Thwomp-like creatures on players. Though the game is assumed to be a cancelled title, it's currently unknown whether Nintendo actually intended to release it as a game. That said, Nintendo have shown plenty of tech demos in the past that’ve turned into full games, like the Balloon Trip demo for DS that became Yoshi Touch and Go. Some tech demos aren’t as well known, but were impressive nonetheless. Turok was set to have a 3D first-person-shooter on the GBA, as can be seen in this early prototype which surfaced in 2009. This title was loosely based on the original N64 game, but lacked any enemies-- besides one stationary target that the player can spawn using the B button.
It's believed this iteration of Turok was abandoned in favor of Turok: Evolution, which launched in 2002 on the Advance. This project was short lived, but some other projects actually spanned three generations of Nintendo hardware. Game Boy Music was a rhythm-action title originally developed for the Game Boy Color by Nintendo. The project shifted to the GBA when devs saw they could improve the quality of the game’s audio on the Advance. The project was announced in March 2001 at the Tokyo Game Show, and planned to release that same year. Game Boy Music had 45 songs and around 50 instruments, which could all be used in 5-player jam sessions.
It would’ve also been packaged with the Game Boy Speaker, a cancelled speaker peripheral that was planned to improve audio quality. But the game, which was originally planned for the Game Boy Color, was pushed back even further on to the Nintendo DS. After a lot of reworking, the title finally emerged as The Japan exclusive Daigasso! Band Brothers, and even got a sequel on DS that released in Europe as “Jam with the Band”. Another Nintendo title on our list is Battland, an action-strategy game developed by HAL Laboratory, set to be published by Nintendo. It was first shown off at Space World 2001, and was said to be planned for a Spring ‘02 launch.
The title focused on action and strategy, with a character’s positioning on the battlefield being the key to victory. Weaker characters could even overcome strong enemies with the right tactics. Based on this and the games presentation, it seems the game took some cues from the Fire Emblem franchise.
The title would even make use of the GBA link cable, letting multiple players fight against each other, even if they only had one copy of the game. Little else is known about the game's development. Shantae 2: Risky Revolution, also known as Shantae Advance, was a sequel to the 2002 Game Boy Color title Shantae. It was developed by WayForward technologies and would have featured new abilities like flying across Sequin Land on Sky's bird Wrench, and Shantae could move between the foreground and background. The game had a 4-player Battle Mode, and its plot involved Risky Boots using a "Tremor Engine" to wipe out Sequin Land. Shantae could later use the Tremor Engine to change scenery and access new areas.
Unfortunately, the original Shantae didn’t sell well, which meant WayForward lacked a publisher and had to cancel the project. Several features, like the fore and background switching, were re- purposed for Shantae: Risky's Revenge. The title was streamed on Twitch by series creator Matt Bozon in October 2013, showing a glimpse of what could’ve been. As well as your more traditional games, the GBA has some scrapped projects that were highly experimental. Hanasaki Kassen, which means Flower Blooming Competition in Japanese, is a cancelled real-time strategy title that was being made by Blue Planet Software, who made the original Tetris for Game Boy.
The project was one of the first games announced for the GBA, and was being funded and published by Nintendo themselves. However, no images or video of the game ever surfaced. Unseen64 tried to get in contact with developers from Blue Planet Software to find out more about the title, but to no avail. The only information currently available comes from developer resumes, all of which imply that AI played a large role in the game. One staffer had this to say: “There were many factors that the AI needed to evaluate, and simulated annealing was used to allow the AI to learn strategies by playing itself overnight, adjusting its internal weights until the best strategy was found. The AI could thus adjust to changing game rules, and even discover new strategies!” It's clear the game was about breeding flowers, and involved some fairly complicated programming for the GBA.
One cancelled GBA title that Square Enix fans might mourn is a Secret of Mana remake. After the release of Sword of Mana in 2003, plans were made to remake Secret of Mana in the same art style. It wasn’t until July 2018 that the world learned of its existence, when Mana artist Shinichi Kameoka shared artwork he did for the game on his Twitter, as well as a screenshot from the game itself. Aside from those tidbits, virtually nothing else has been shared about this title’s development.
Speaking of remakes… MegaMan Anniversary Collection, also known as MegaMan Mania, is a cancelled portable Anniversary Collection of MegaMan games. But unlike the home console collections, this release would've featured the uniquely different Game Boy versions of Mega Man one through five, all in full color, with an option for black and white graphics for purists. The title had behind-the-scenes extras like concept art and the like as well. The game was delayed multiple times, and was even rumored to switch handhelds from the GBA to the Nintendo DS, but was ultimately never released. One more canned DK title for the GBA was first announced at E3 2003.
Donkey Kong: Coconut Crackers was planned to come out in 2003, but much like Diddy Kong Pilot, the Microsoft buyout in 2002 meant that Rare lost access to the Donkey Kong IP. The game was called Donkey Kong Puzzle Paint in its early stages, but after the Microsoft buyout, the title went through even more reworkings. It’s name changed to Splonge, then Nutcracker, Animal Cracker, Sunflower. The team at Rare even considered making it a part of the Banjo-Kazooie or Sabreman franchises, but finally released the game in 2004 as ‘It’s Mr. Pants’. Mr. Pants was a crudely drawn mustached stick man who was the mascot of the survey section for Rare’s website.
Amusingly, artwork for Donkey Kong: Coconut Crackers managed to find its way into the trailer for the 2012 comedy Foodfight. Another scrapped Nintendo project on GBA belonged to the Custom Robo franchise. 2002’s Custom Robo GX for the Advance was planned to receive a sequel called Custom Robo GX2, being made by series creator NOISE with Nintendo as publisher. It was slated for release in late 2005, but by this point the GBA was at the tail-end of its life cycle.
Work on the game was shelved in favour of a Nintendo DS title instead, which was released as Custom Robo Arena in 2006. The game’s developers briefly mentioned the title in an interview on Nintendo's Japanese website, and little else is known outside of what was said on the site. While some Advance titles remain overlooked, the UK developer Pocketeers managed to grab the attention of the gaming press in the early 2000s with its C2 game engine. Using this engine, Pocketeers made an impressive recreation of Quake’s gameplay on the GBA to demonstrate the engine. However, this was simply a demo, and the company had no intent to pitch the project to id Software or Activision. One project using the engine may have actually been planned as a full game, but it’s a little unclear.
TWOC, an acronym for Taking Without Owners Consent, was a GTA 3 style title on GBA. TWOC had indoor and outdoor areas, 3D vehicles, shading effects, mipmapping and advanced physics for vehicle control and collision. When talking about the game, one developer told a member of portable gaming-dot-de, “What you see in the videos are demos of game engines. That means that they’re more than simple tech demos, but less than a game. They’re more than a tech demo as some elements of gameplay, physics and collision have been implemented to show publishers how the game will feel and play. In a final game we would hope for around 50 to 100 different car types and as many different types of pedestrians.”
The fact the devs speculated on how a full title would work makes it seem like Pocketeers were shopping the demo around to publishers in hopes of turning it into a full game-- but this is just speculation. Even Nintendo themselves made some pitches that failed. There was a time where Nintendo wanted to obtain the exclusive rights to the Harry Potter license. In 1998, Nintendo of America’s internal team, Nintendo Software Technologies, made a pitch for the Harry Potter license. If it went through, it’s possible the films people know today would never have existed.
When news broke of the license being auctioned off, Nintendo halted work on three titles being made at NST, and split the devs into two teams for two Harry Potter pitches. One larger team was in charge of a third-person adventure title, and a smaller team for a title based on the series’ in-universe game of Quidditch. NST had plans to release the potential projects on N64, GBA and future platforms like the ‘Cube. Over the course of a week the teams put together several pieces of artwork to showcase to the book’s author, JK Rowling, but both parties didn’t completely see eye-to-eye. In the end, Rowling declined Nintendo’s offer and the series rights were eventually sold off to Warner Bros., and while various games made their way to Nintendo consoles, the ones being made at NST were scrapped.
You may have already heard about Raylight Studios and their spectacular Blueroses engine. Using Blueroses, Raylight made many tech demos for GBA, such as the Metal Gear Solid hangar demo. And probably the most well known, a demo of Resident Evil 2 on the Advance. Raylight also made a demo based on the original Resident Evil, but not much is known about this prototype. What we do know however is that these demos were actually pitched to Capcom as full games, and Capcom were interested in bringing them to the handheld.
In an Unseen64 interview with Raylight Studios CEO Massimiliano Di Monda, Di Monda said, "At the time we were invited to the Capcom offices in the UK. We discussed the project at various levels, but then Capcom Japan vetoed it because of the downturn of the GBA, adding the fact that a mature game was not suitable for that type of console." Another big franchise that had a scrapped title on the Game Boy Advance is Sonic the hedgehog.
A port of Sonic Riders was planned for the Advance, but due to the system being extremely limited in power compared to home consoles like the PS2, this version of the game was going to be quite different, and would’ve had gameplay similar to Out-Run. The GBA version was listed in the resume of Arvin Bautista, and the portfolio of Keith Erickson, who posted the only known piece of art from the game: a simple waving flag. Apparently, the port was cancelled due to Sega of Japan insisting that more 3D elements make their way into the game, but this couldn't be done within a reasonable time frame, so Sega of America axed the project. The GBA also had several canned titles based on cartoons. Though the Warner Bros. series Animaniacs had long ended by the early 2000s, it was
still getting video-game tie-ins. Animaniacs: Hollywood Hypnotics, set to be published by Swing Entertainment and developed by FULL FAT Games. Its story had The Brain using the WB Water Tower as a rocket, sending out audio signals that sounded like barking dogs. With the whole world shouting at their neighbours to keep their dogs quiet, Pinky and Brain would step in to take advantage of the confusion and conquer the world. The Warner siblings are immune to the sound, so it’s up to them to set things back to normal.
This game was a 2D platformer with a number of settings, and various Animaniacs characters would serve as enemies or ways to interact with puzzles. It was canned when Swing Entertainment declared bankruptcy on February 11th, 2003. Hollywood Hypnotics was set to release alongside a console title called Hollywood Hijinx, though that game actually came out as “The Great Edgar Hunt” in 2005, with a new developer and publisher to boot. And this wasn’t the only canned cartoon game. Oggy and the Cockroaches was also planned to have its own 2D platformer on the GBA. Based on the French cartoon of the same name, players would take control of Oggy and grab collectables and jump on enemies across 14 stages and 7 boss areas.
The game was being developed by Xilam and was set to be published by Telegames, but it never made it to store shelves, and no reason was ever given as to why. Speaking of animated projects with an unknown demise… In the early 2000s, In-Cubus Inc developed a prototype based on Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, aptly titled ‘Adventures of Mr. Bean'. The game matched the cartoon’s style faithfully, with hand drawn backgrounds and characters. The proto had six levels spanning various genres, all apparently focused on the comedic nature of the show.
It's unclear why the game never got picked up for full production, but this isn't the only project In-Cubus were making at the time. In-Cubus also developed a prototype called Rabbitator: Never Cry. The title had quote "arcade and logical components" and a system based on Tamagotchi. They also made Underseas Adventures of Agent 00Cat.
This game had fairly well-rendered 3D models, four layers of parallax backgrounds, and a dynamic tiling system. It had 12 different levels full of puzzles, and full-screen animations. Another In-Cubus project was Moorhuhn Jagd: a port of a classic German PC game of the same name. And although a similar looking Moorhuhn game did release on the GBA, it wasn't this title. The studio even made a port of the arcade game Viewpoint for the GBA, but this was simply to test the team's development tools and was never planned to be released.
Some titles on the Advance were cancelled simply because they were too ambitious. The GBA version of The Sims Bustin' Out was once a straight port of the original Sims game for PC, but on the Advance. Even though the original ‘Sims was very basic, the simulation gameplay of the title just didn't translate very well to the GBA’s hardware, and a different direction had to be taken.
This new approach was inspired by the first console version of The Sims where players could follow their Sim's story in a more personal way that resembled a traditional adventure game. Using this premise, producer of the title, J.C. Connors, pitched to EA what would become Bustin' Out on the Game Boy Advance. It’s fascinating to consider what the Advance title would’ve looked like if they managed to pull off a port of the original PC game on GBA, but it’ll have to stay in our imaginations. One more ambitious unreleased title is Dune: Ornithopter Assault.
The game was a 3D shooter based on the Frank Herbert novel, Dune, which entered development sometime in 2001. Although it had a promising start, by summer 2002 production had stopped outright due to financial issues at Cryo Interactive. The title’s cancellation is particularly unfortunate, as the game was almost done, with just multiplayer mode and the briefing room left on the cutting room floor. There is a silver lining however: a ROM of the game leaked online in 2015, with a seemingly complete single player campaign. Another scrapped GBA title with impressive visuals is the action RPG Spiralstone. The title had a lott of hype surrounding it, as its developer Gatehouse Games was founded by top talent from Core Design, the creators of Tomb Raider.
The game was described by one developer as a mix of Diablo and Everquest with the collection and trading aspects of Pokemon. Spiralstone had hundreds of quests, but with a fluid story that was defined by the player. It also had a multiplayer feature that let players team up to fight enemies, solve puzzles, trade items, or fight each other in arenas. The title even had 3D characters in its menus, which were fairly imposing for the GBA.
Despite how well crafted the game was, Gatehouse failed to find a publisher for it, even after pitching a GameCube version as well. The company ended up going under in 2003, putting an end to Spiralstone Having impressive visuals is starting to seem like a death sentence for GBA games. The Haunted Mansion was an adventure game developed by Pocket Studios, and planned to be published by TDK Mediactive for the GBA.
The title was in development around the same time as the PS2, Xbox and GameCube builds, but unlike those titles, the Advance version never released. All versions of the game were based on the Disneyland ride of the same name, but the GBA game was a unique experience compared to the home console versions. Players would explore the mansion finding keys, avoiding enemies, and completing some on-rails sections as well as some Nancy Drew esque point and click segments. The main reason for the title's cancellation was that the publisher, TDK Mediactive, was bought out by TakeTwo during development, and TakeTwo didn’t seem to care about the title.
Another nixed GBA game that had a lot of potential was Static Shock. Based on the animated show of the same name, Static Shock was set to release in 2004, and was first shown off at E3 2003. The game let players take control of the titular hero to thwart villains such as Hotstreak and The Breed. Static's superpowers enable players to sky surf, generate force fields, and throw bolts of lightning. But players could also use their static powers to interact with several background objects, turning them into all kinds of useful tools and projectiles, such as energize manhole covers to become flying discs.
The promising title never materialized however, though it got far enough in development for Nintendo Power to review the game. The Metal Slug series saw an entry on GBA in 2004, but publisher SNK had plans for even more games. In 2005, a remake of the first Metal Slug was making its way to GBA, and was said to be a perfect port of the arcade title - nothing new, and nothing removed. A Famitsu article dated September 2005 also said the handheld would receive ports for Metal Slug 2, 3 and X. Gamespot and IGN got to play the game during GDC in March 2006,
and while still in an early state, it showed promise. SNK was aiming for a September ‘06 release to mark the series’ 10th anniversary, but ultimately missed the mark. And in October, Famitsu confirmed the other Metal Slug games were canned as well. In 2007, SNK Playmore’s US website gave an official statement for Metal Slug’s axing, stating it was due to limited memory on the GBA cartridge, and asked players to buy the Metal Slug Anthology on Wii, PS2 or PSP to play the title instead.
In June 2020, Hidden Palace user Endrift dumped a prototype of the game, alongside an early version of Metal Slug Advance, but still no news on the other titles. In 2004, French studio Delphine closed its doors due to bankruptcy. They were famous for creating critically acclaimed adventure games like Another World and Flashback. Due to the company's closure, titles that were in development at the time had to be scrapped. One of these games was Flashback Legend, a new entry in the Flashback franchise for the GBA featuring the series' signature gameplay.
The game had 16 levels, but only 9 were playable due to its unfinished state. Although the title was never completed, a prototype ROM was dumped online, giving fans a taste of what could’ve been. Speaking of cancelled games from French companies…A handheld version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon was in the works for the N-Gage and GBA, with Ubisoft as publisher. A listing even appeared on Nintendo’s own site for the Advance edition, slating a release date for April 2003. Unfortunately, this is just about all that’s known about this port.
On April 3rd, 2002, Ubisoft also announced a deal with Fox Interactive to make Alien Vs. Predator titles until 2003. And one of these games was set to appear on GBA. All that’s known of the title is a statement from Ubisoft’s president, Laurent Detoc, with him saying they looked forward to bringing all the excitement of the franchise to a handheld system.
One other acclaimed horror series almost came to GBA. The system was planned to get a game based on the horror classic, The Thing. Universal Interactive and Konami announced the title in September 2000, with it also being made for the Game Boy Color. Despite John Carpenter's remake of The Thing being the best known version of the film, IGN reported that the GBA game was mainly based on the original 1951 film, with a new plot following up from where the film ended. The console versions of the game were based around the Carpenter film, so it’s possible IGN was given the wrong info.
Although the home console titles launched in late 2002, handheld ports never materialized. Contraband Entertainment were making an action adventure title for the GBA called Monster Hunter, not to be confused with Capcom's massive franchise of the same name. Monster Hunter was announced in early 2003, and was apparently based on a PC version the team were making at the same.
The game's website also stated that Fallout designer Scott Campbell was working on the title. In Monster Hunter, players are tasked with destroying different beasts inhabiting various mazes. In these labyrinths players had to find specific weapons to eliminate specific monsters, and using the wrong weapon on a monster can actually make it stronger, so planning and strategy were very important. Contraband went on an extended hiatus sometime around the end of 2003, which is probably why we’ve heard nothing on the game since. This isn’t the only unused concept where players kill monsters in a top-down perspective on GBA.
Serious Sam saw a release on the Advance, but during the early stages of production, developer Climax London seemed to have had another idea in mind for the project. The final game used a first-person point of view, but this video evidence shows a top-down style was attempted. Whatever the case, this version seems to have been shot down in favor of something that better lined up with fan expectations. Many of the GBA’s most promising prototypes were original IPs. Pirate Battle was a turn- based strategy RPG announced in 2004 by Orbital Media. The title was inspired by Front Mission 3, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, and Final Fantasy Tactics, but it distinguished itself with an interactive battleground.
Players could knock over a statue to damage the enemy behind it, or push a barrel into water to be used as a stepping stone. The team for Pirate Battle was small, with most of the game being made by just three people. Unfortunately, the game was shelved for unclear reasons: though an understaffed development team may have contributed to its cancellation. The title was reworked slightly for a potential DS release, but this too was scrapped.
Another cancelled RPG for the system was just as ambitious, but had a very different approach to the genre. Sometime in the early 2000s, Marvelous Entertainment were prototyping a fully 3D RPG for the GBA titled Dark Empire. The game looked quite promising despite it clearly being unfinished.
Humorously, Marvelous had temporarily been using images of famous actors like Mel Gibson for character portraits-- an indication of how early the prototype was. The title was completely unheard of until an online auction in 2009, and would be dumped online in 2018 at obscuregamers.com. Other cancelled titles were far less obscure… An entry in the tile-matching puzzle game series Bejeweled was planned for the GBA. The game was announced by its publisher Majesco in 2004, where a press release said both PopCap’s Bejeweled and Bookworm would be going handheld. Bookworm ultimately launched in 2004, but Bejeweled never showed up.
Bookworm’s gameplay on the Advance was faithful to the PC version, and we can only assume Bejeweled would have been a faithful port as well. One other scrapped Majesco title comes from the “Boy and His Blob” series. The franchise actually had a couple attempts at getting a game out the door, with a GBA title being one of the casualties. Announced May 18th, 2001, Majesco revealed “A Boy and His Blob: Jelly’s Cosmic Adventure” was in the works at their internal studio PipeDream Interactive.
It was expected to see release in 2002, and it’s not known why it was cancelled, though it’s believed the publisher ran into financial issues. Speaking of familiar franchises... Swing Entertainment had a title from a grand IP.
Developed by Tantalus Games, Flintstones: Dino to the Rescue was a 2D platformer where Dino and the Great Gazoo save the Flintstones and the Rubbles from alien invaders. Tantalus’ own website boasted Dino as “the most versatile character on the Game Boy Advance”, with over 15 moves at his disposal. The title would’ve had 42 different levels, and a mix of 2D and 3D environments. Dino’s model was fully rendered in 3D, and some bonus levels even made use of a Mode 7 effect.
In September 2003, Tantalus producer John Szoke did an interview with Planetgameboy- dot-de, saying Dino to the Rescue would be out soon. Apparently the game was finished before one of their other titles -- Top Gear Rally -- but the team ran into publishing issues. In Issue 1 of Australian Gamepro magazine, Tantalus employee Tom Crago also said the game would be out in 2004.
That seems to be the last update on the game, with all hopes of release going the way of the dinosaurs. A cancelled game you might actually be glad never got a release on GBA is Charlie's Angels. Based on the franchise’s early 2000s films, Charlie’s Angels also got a video-game tie-in on the PS2 and Gamecube, published by Ubisoft and developed by Neko Entertainment. It was apparently announced for Xbox, Windows, and of course Game Boy Advance, but given the title’s awful reception, it seems they backpedaled on this decision and scrapped it, saving many their time and money. Another game that got a home console release but never surfaced on the Advance is I-Ninja. A version of the title was reportedly being developed by Destination Software for the GBA in 2004, a year after the GameCube, PS2 and XBox versions.
This build was unique due to the limitations of the GBA, but was still 3D. The title had a mix of fast paced 'Inertia Run' levels, combat arena's, and 'Ball Rolling' levels across five worlds-- four islands and a Moon Base -- with a giant boss at the end of each. It’s unknown why this version was cancelled. One more axed project with imposing 3D graphics came from Karma Studios in 2002. The team were making Radium for the Advance, with the game planned to be published by Telegames in April 2003 in the United States.
Radium plays out in a 3rd person perspective with the impressive 3D "Radium" engine, which is capable of texture-mapping, depth shading and fogging, 3D mirrors, and has a dynamic camera. When players trigger certain events, the camera will swoop around to show different parts of the area. The title was set to take place over four unique worlds and 16 different stages.
Players would escape from prison, but with scientists and soldiers out to stop them. In early previews, the game was criticized due to its framerate dipping when the action got intense, and the character's sprite blocked the player's view immediately in front of the sprite, making targeting enemies a chore at times. The game received a trailer saying ‘coming soon’, but was quietly cancelled sometime after. This wasn’t the only game that quietly bowed-out was the platformer-RPG hybrid, Kien.
The title had a hectic development, and was picked up and dropped on at least three separate occasions. On October 30th, 2002, European publisher GMX Media was set to release the game in PAL regions for Spring 2003, but to no avail. Other publishers once attached to the title included Ingram Entertainment and Destination Software Inc-- or DSI for short. Kien was actually finished and sent out to a few gaming publications in Fall 2003.
Both Pocket Games and Issue 154 of Nintendo Power apparently gave it a score of 60. The title’s controls were cited as responsive, but criticism came from its lack of depth and difficulty spikes. The title was pulled from the system’s lineup due to one publisher believing a new IP would be a hard sell. In the years since, the game’s ROM has surfaced online, and currently, developer PM Studios is working on a title called Astral Equilibrium, which is directly inspired by Kien. In fact, the game’s trailer even features Kien footage.
Another scrapped game with a cute art style is Odema and the Magic Book. Originally developed at Namdoo, this title was seen as a kid-friendly Metal Slug, being helmed by a team of four: Two programmers, one QA tester, and one artist. By mid-2004, Namdoo said on their website that the title’s most important sections were finished, and they were looking for any interested publishers. That’s where the original game’s story ends, but in November 2019, Piko Interactive contacted members of the dev team and secured the rights to Odema.
The publisher currently has a Spanish-based team developing it for the Neo-Geo, though when Piko bought the rights, not only was the game incomplete, but the version they received from one of the programmers was not the latest version. The project’s other programmer left the company for personal reasons, and either sold most of his software or threw it away. Still, Piko is set to put the game together and release it someday, and shared several of its source files for preservational purposes.
Shining Star was a military-based strategy game being made by Eworks Studios in 2005. It starred a military man named “Kool Shen”, who was accompanied by two support characters - a short-tempered colonel named “Shurk’n”, and a female commander named “Dragon Ash”, who had a more positive approach to helping the player. The title’s visuals were inspired by titles like Riviera and the Metal Slug series, where things like dialog took a page from Advance Wars.
Eworks even wanted to create a unique type of AI for the game’s foes, where they’d react to the player’s strategies and movements. Despite communication issues between the studio and producer, a playable prototype was made with a few areas to explore. Several other roadblocks stood in the team’s way however. Not only was the GBA nearing the end of its life, but Eworks was unable to obtain a DS dev-kit, and no publisher was in sight. The team later thought about reworking the game in 3D and making it a digital download title, which also never came to be. More strategy games almost came to the GBA.
Commandos 2: Men of Courage was a strategy game released in 2001 for the PC, PS2 and Xbox. It’s the only Commandos title playable on home consoles, but it was also planned for a handheld release. A ROM of a proposed GBA version was published online in 2020 by the preservationists at Forest of Illusion. The prototype was apparently made by Toyonaka Studios, and pitched to Pyro Studios and series’ publisher Eidos Interactive.
The game seems quite different to the original, not only in gameplay but in presentation. Players took control of one character via the D-Pad, rather than using a cursor. It’s unknown why the title was scrapped, but if we had to guess, it was due to RTS games historically having poor sales on Nintendo handhelds, as was the case with Warlocked on the Game Boy Color. Back to GBA titles that had impressive visuals… The formula-one Sega-branded racer, Virtua Racing, may have had a chance on the Advance.
Two programmers at Dream On Studio created an unofficial mockup of Virtua Racing, hoping they’d catch the eye of Sega and get the chance to make a GBA port. The studio’s director uploaded footage of this pitch, and said the game didn’t go through due to changes in SEGA management, and the arrival of the upcoming Nintendo DS. But this wasn’t the only stunning racer for GBA that was axed.
Sometime around 2001, Shin’en Multimedia were developing a 3D engine for the Advance, and tested it by prototyping a top down racing game. The unnamed prototype, which seems to combine elements of Micro Machines and F-Zero, was ultimately scrapped as Shin'en was busy developing other titles. However, some elements of the prototype found its way into future titles. From experimentation, Shin'en learned how to manipulate the GBA's RAM for faster data transfer, which was used while making titles like the visually imposing Iridion 2. Another nixed title was Sword of Sia: Lady Sia 2, a cancelled action adventure title developed by RFX Interactive around 2002. It was a sequel to Lady Sia on GBA, and seemed to have similar gameplay to the original.
Unfortunately, RFX had to close its doors in 2003, and if Lady Sia 2 wasn't doomed enough, the game's publisher TDK Mediactive was acquired by TakeTwo in December the same year. Even more tragic is that Lady Sia 2 was actually rated by the ESRB, indicating the project was extremely close to completion when it was cancelled. One other 2D adventure title that never managed to find its way to the GBA wasHeart of Darkness. This was a cinematic platform game released on the PS1 in July 1998.
On February 16th, 2001, a GBA port was announced, planned to be published in Europe by Infogrames. A Gamespot article covering this announcement noted the lack of release date and a North American publisher, which were likely factors in its cancellation. Overstorm was a scrapped action platformer of a similar vein, which had been described as a mix between Donkey Kong Country, Oddworld, and Tomb Raider. According to Unseen64, the game was shown off only once at an unnamed gaming convention in 2003, but was later shelved. The title was unexpectedly given new life over 10 years later, by none other than its original developers.
The devs decided to give away a five-level alpha build of the game in 2014 as part of a sale for the online storefront IndieGameStand. Another title destined to never see the GBA was developed by, and planned to be published by, Sennari Interactive. Aegis the Awakening was a fantasy RPG first announced in early 2002, with Gamespot being one of the few outlets able to get hands-on time with the game. According to them, the title had two different gameplay styles to choose from: A 3D arena- style mode reminiscent of Final Fight, and a side-scrolling style in the vein of Castlevania. The Mega Man series also served as an inspiration, as after a boss was defeated, a new skill would be obtained to help take on the next area.
Players could choose between two warriors, with each one offering a different feel. The game also had a 2 player mode where players could compete against and cooperate with each other. At that point, the game was still in its infancy, and a blurb on Sennari’s website in 2003 listed the concept as completed.
No reason was given for its cancellation, though some theorize it was dropped due to Sennari shifting their focus to the cell phone market. In October 2002, the studio entered an exclusive contract with JamDat Mobile,which could’ve been a possible factor in Aegis’ axing. Torus Games, who'd gained some prominence after porting Duke Nukem Advance and Doom II to the GBA, revealed in 2003 that they'd made a 3D voxel engine for the system. They demonstrated the engine with Moto-X, a dirt bike racing game that showcased free-roaming dirt biking over varying terrain. The game was planned to feature both single and multiplayer challenges, all while maintaining 20 frames per second. The title had no publisher attached, which we can only assume is the reason it never released.
Speaking of 3D titles, Urban Reflex was an FPS that not only looked pretty decent, but had a noticeably smooth frame rate for a 3D GBA game. Developers Graphic State also made the fairly impressive port of Crazy Taxi on GBA, as well as Dark Arena, and clearly had a talented team. A January 2003 IGN article stated the title was finishing development, and hinted it’d be released before the end of summer that year. Despite this, Graphic State failed to find a publisher for the project. This didn't matter however, as the company shut down in 2003, taking Urban Reflex with it. On the subject of shoot-em-ups, EFX was a shooter in the works at Karma Studios, though this game took on a more 3D approach, seemingly taking inspiration from titles like Space Harrier.
It was said to have six worlds and a multitude of weapons and upgrades to collect. Not much else is known about its development, however. Thankfully, we do know a fair amount about Dinotopia 2, a cancelled sequel to Dinotopia: The Timestone Pirates, which was based on the Dinotopia series of books. Timestone Pirates was also developed for GBA by RFX Interactive, and sold well enough for publisher TDK Mediactive to greenlight a sequel. Although Dinotopia 2 shared a franchise and system with the original game, this sequel unexpectedly switched genres from an action platformer to a point and click adventure.
It also would've retold the same story, or something very similar. The game didn't get far in development, as TDK went out of business in 2003. RFX was ultimately saved by a purchase from TakeTwo Interactive, but this sequel had to be left behind. Treasure Hunt, was another prototype action adventure that was visually ambitious to say the least. It was inspired by point and click games and titles like Zelda, with the team's personal goal being to make it the best looking game on the GBA.
The game didn’t have much programming support at Orbital Media, and was mainly the work of a few enthusiastic artists. The game was shown at a few conventions, but very little of it remains online. Some aspects of it do live on though, as some characters were reimagined and put into the title Juka and the Monophonic Menace. However, the two games have little in common besides this. Another axed title with Hunt in its name is Demon Hunter, a Diablo- inspired action RPG by Independent Arts Software. The project was ambitious, despite lacking a publisher.
It had 8 huge areas planned, all split into procedurally generated sub-levels with a different layout every time they were played. A 2002 IGN preview also mentioned how a focus was replayability, with gamers able to replay areas with more powerful enemies that scaled to their level. Since the title lacked a publisher, we can only assume Independent Arts failed to find anyone to fund the game further, and Demon Hunter remained unreleased. We’ve already mentioned Raylight studios, but they had another title planned for the GBA called GB Rally 2 Advance, a 3D driving game with very impressive features.
Not only were its cars animated at all angles,they could have visual damage at angles as well. The title would’ve had 8 cars, and 42 tracks at 14 different locations. Each track was also fully 3D, with climbs and descents, rather than being mode-7 inspired like other racers on GBA. The title also had 5 different game modes, including multiplayer, which supported up to 4 players. Despite being called GB Rally 2 Advance, this is actually the 3rd GB Rally game Raylight announced, and amazingly, none of them saw release. It's believed that publishers simply weren't interested in the property.
Another scrapped racer was GP Advance, an F-1 racing game by the Italian studio Prograph Research. Prograph had developed a game engine for the GBA called DR Advance in 2003, which allowed for dozens of polygons on screen at a reasonable frame rate. To show what the engine could do, Prograph decided to make the GP Advance demo. But as Unseen64 reported, although there was interest in GP Advance, the profit margins publishers offered were too low to justify full development. GP Advance never saw release, and the DR Advance engine was never used in a retail title.
Another racer that met an unfortunate end was Extreme-G, a futuristic title by Probe Entertainment for the N64. The series had four entries across six years, but the 3rd game didn’t release on every platform it was intended to. Developers Similis were working on a downgraded GBA version of Extreme-G 3 to go along with the GameCube and PS2 versions.
The title wasn’t true 3D, and as such was able to run at an impressive 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, this build didn’t get very far before it was scrapped, having only a month of development. While some games never get off the ground, others are so doomed they actually get cancelled twice. A title based on the acclaimed DC series 100 Bullets had two attempts at a game. The first was being made for home consoles and was in the works at Acclaim. Aiming for an October 2004 release, the title was canned after Acclaim filed for bankruptcy earlier in September.
In May 2006, publisher D3 took a crack at the IP, and announced a 100 Bullets game of their own for several home consoles, plus versions for DS and Advance. Aside from this announcement, not much is known about D3’s project or what the GBA version might have looked like. We have a pretty good idea what some other cancelled titles look like, partly because they got so far into production they were actually listed on Amazon. Made by Saffire and published by Titus Interactive, Barbarian was a 3D arena-fighter for sixth- generation consoles. Before it was announced for all major consoles, it was first unveiled as a GBA game in June 2001, alongside a PS2 version.
The GBA title was set to have six different modes, including a training mode, quest, survival and extreme survival. Multiplayer was also on the table, and the initial announcement said two players were supported with the Link Cable, though this was later bumped up to four. The original Barbarian on Amiga had a decapitation move, which would appear in the Advance game through a cheat code.
Titus was set to release Barbarian in the US and Europe in October 2002, and although PS2, GameCube and Xbox versions all released, the GBA version was left in limbo. Speaking of Amiga games-- Published by Vulcan Software and in the works at Magic Birds, Desolate World was a side scrolling action game that began life on the Amiga. It appeared in several magazines during the late 90s, though this version never came to pass. Some time later it was repurposed for Game Boy Advance, but that build also bit the dust.
In 2013, demo footage of the GBA game surfaced online, and in 2017 a demo of the Amiga version was discovered as well. Crawfish was also in charge of bringing a trio of Amiga titles made by The Bitmap Brothers in the early 90s. These games were reinventions of Gods, Chaos Engine and Magic Pockets. Crawfish were huge fans of the original games, and the folks at Bitmap trusted them to reimagine their old titles for a new audience. No concrete reason was given as to why these games never made it to market.
These weren’t the only retro titles being brought to the system. In June 2002, Metro 3D Inc. announced Aero the Acrobat would be hitting GBA with a port of the original 1993 game, which was released later that month.
The studio expected the sequel to appear on the handheld in the future, alongside the game’s spinoff Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel. Unfortunately for fans of old school platformers, neither Aero the Acrobat 2 nor Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel made it to the system. Checkered Flag was another 90s title planned to get a GBA release. This Atari Lynx racing title was planned to be ported to GBA alongside ports of V-Rally and Stuntman within a compilation. On June 23rd 2005, a 2 in 1 pack featuring Stuntman and V-Rally 3 was released exclusively in Europe, but Checkered Flag never reached the finish line.
Rick Dangerous Advance was yet another canned port of a classic title. Rick Dangerous originally released on various home computers in 1989 and 1990, but the group Spoutnick Team planned to bring it to GBA as well in the early 2000s. On December 3rd 2003, the team had some disappointing news to share. They’d received a notice saying the rights holders to Rick Dangerous were unwilling to sell the license for “internal reasons''.
At that point, the team was legally unable to keep working on the title and production was halted. They hoped the reasoning was due to a possible Rick game in development, but nothing’s been done with the IP since. Another canned title was Haven: Call of the King.
Planned to be published by Midway and developed by Traveller’s Tales, Haven was an action-adventure title released on the PS2 in 2002. There were plans for it to be released on Xbox and Gamecube, and of course on GBA. While the console game used 3D graphics, the dev team felt the handheld could be used to showcase their 2D expertise, and promised an experience on par with its console counterpart. When Call of the King launched on PS2, it received mixed reviews and was deemed a commercial failure. Not only did all future ports get the axe, but two proposed follow-ups bit the dust as well.
Broken Circle was an RPG based on Nordic mythology set to release on GBA. Originally, the game was so massive it would've needed a 256 megabit cartridge, which was an expensive and unattractive proposition for publishers. Because of this, no publishers were interested until 7 Raven managed to crunch the game down to just 64 megabits. By this time however, the ship had sailed for the GBA, and the only publisher interested in the title wasn't even approved by Nintendo. All wasn't lost however. In 2009, 7 Raven released the game's ROM on their website for all to enjoy.
The 2D side scroller Eternity’s Child came out on mobile phones in the mid-2000s. A little later in 2006, the game’s creator Luc Bernard was aiming to bring the franchise to several consoles, including GBA. This port didn’t pan out, though at the same time Bernard was also working on a Wiiware version of the game, alongside a sequel titled Eternity’s Child 2: Retro Child.
Ultimately, the title only ever released on Steam, with all other versions cancelled, and the PC game was very different to footage of the GBA build. Eternity’s Child’s development also had a member worth noting-- Did You Know Gaming creator Shane Gill served as an artist and level designer during his time on the team, and even worked on the Advance version as well. From what Shane recalls, the GBA release was more in line with the original mobile title. Mythri was a Final Fantasy-inspired RPG, and a labour of love by the indie group Team XKalibur. The group became a licensed developer for Nintendo in Fall of 1998, and soon got to work on Mythri.
To gage interest in a JRPG for the console, the team launched a petition which got over 4,000 signatures and caught the eye of a few publishers, though it would be another few years before one of them bit. During this wait, the game moved from the Game Boy Color over to the Advance. It was then newly-formed publisher Variant Interactive showed interest in funding the project, but unfortunately, this funding never came about. Soon after, the XKalibur team went their separate ways, but in 2016, one of the devs, Tom Hullett, shared much of the game’s art, music, as well as the game’s prototype online.
This wasn’t the only GBA title to get its prototype leaked online. Space Pirate Captain Harlock was a manga series by Leiji Matsumoto starting in 1977, and was popularized in 1978 with a TV series. The character of Captain Harlock has appeared in several pieces of media since, but there’s one place they never ventured. In 2016, a GBA ROM of a non-interactive Captain Harlock prototype was released online by Unseen64.
The prototype was an RPG based on the titular IP, reflecting the style of the TV show that popularized the series. Unfortunately, not much is known about the project, or why it was cancelled. Another nixed RPG is Project Alpha, which was in development for the Advance by Multimedia Intelligence Transfer, best known for games such as Devil Children, DemiKids, and Megami Tensei Gaiden. This unnamed title was being developed using the same engine as the Devil Children titles, and reused many assets from Devil Children: Fire Book, which were likely temporary.
A build of the game leaked that was extremely early in development, and we're not entirely sure why it was scrapped. That said, MIT seems to have stopped producing games as of 2003. In May 2002, Majesco announced an extreme-sports title called Rolling in the works at Rage Software and set for release on Xbox, GameCube and GBA.
Majesco’s VP of Marketing, Ken Gold, said the dev team worked closely with the inline skating community to help deliver the most authentic experience possible in a game. The publisher listed several features like 14 different skate courses, over 18 different skaters, and lots of customization options. IGN noted that all features listed probably wouldn’t show up on the Advance, as the team were focused on console versions. The title was scheduled for release that Fall, but all versions of Rolling ended up on the chopping block. Another unpublished sports game for GBA was High Heat Major League Baseball 2004, the last in a series of baseball titles published by the 3DO Company before they struck out. While the console versions were being made by Team 366, an Advance version was in the works at Mobius Entertainment, and would’ve been their third consecutive High Heat game on the console.
It was announced in late 2002 and set for a spring 2003 release, alongside a port for the ‘Cube. The PS2, Xbox and PC builds hit the field in February and March, and the Nintendo versions were both finished as well, but in May 2003, 3DO filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and scrapped these ports. Later that August, Microsoft bought the rights to High Heat, but nothing’s been done with the series since then.
Yet another scrapped sports title on the system was a pool game known as Hardcore Pool, announced by publisher Telegames at E3 2003. The title boasted 3D rendered graphics and realistic ball and table physics. There were eight playable characters, eight different pool tables, and five modes.
Nintendo had the game listed in a holiday line-up for 2004, and it was projected to come out that December, but this wasn’t meant to be. Despite getting a boxart, the project was canned. The team at Game Titan also had a tennis game in the works for the Advance called “Superstar Tennis”.
First announced on May 10th, 2004. The title had a roster of eight characters, all of which were licensed creations of artist Kenneth Fejer. Each character had a court to call their own, and as you’d expect from this type of game, there were Super Moves, a tournament mode, and multiplayer.
It’s not currently known when this game would’ve come out, or why it was cancelled. Sennari Interactive was also making a tennis title on the systems called “World Tour Tennis” at some point, though save for a few screenshots, there’s not much else to say about it other than it was axed. We’ve previously talked about World Reborn and its canned DS title on this channel, but the GBA precursor also ran into its share of problems. On October 3rd 2003, DSI Games announced they were publishing the title, and it was expected to ship in early 2004. In 2008, one of the game’s developers explained some of the goings-on behind the scenes.
The first publisher they contacted liked the early demo and got the team officially licensed for the Advance. That publisher soon underwent a corporate restructuring and Neopong’s contract got lost in the aether. The deal they were offered wasn’t the greatest,