Niz Chicoloco vs. Eris (also known as Niz Chicoloco 3) is a platform video game developed by Gingo Interactive and DC Studios, and published by Vivendi Universal Games. The third main installment in the Niz Chicoloco series and the fifth installment in the series in all, the game was released for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X in North America on November 9, 2004, in Europe on November 12, 2004, and in Japan on April 21, 2005, while an Nintendo DS version was released as a launch title in North America and Europe. The storyline centers on the titular protagonist, Niz, attempting to defeat Eris, the goddess of chaos who is creating many godly monsters made into constellations in a plot for revenge.
The game was developed over five years before release and was originally intended to feature an original villain as with its predecessors Niz Chicoloco (1997) and Niz 2: The Journey of Nonsensical (1999); the game's antagonist was retooled into Eris from the 2003 DreamWorks animated film Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas because Jeffrey Katzenberg convinced Gingo to redesign the antagonist due to similarities. The production was fraught with difficulties, and the game ended up being delayed numerous times. Additionally, a television film in the Niz Chicoloco television series, produced by Gingo Animation and DreamWorks, was in production at the same time, but is otherwise unrelated to the game.
Critical reception of the game was well received, with many reviewers praising its graphics and soundtrack, but criticizing its camera control. The game was also a commercial success, selling over 2.4 million copies worldwide, and qualified for various best-seller ranges, including the Greatest Hits Range for PlayStation 2, Xbox Platinum Hits, and Player's Choice on GameCube. In the aftermath of the game's release, Eris later became a recurring antagonist for the rest of the Niz Chicoloco series.
Niz Chicoloco vs. Eris started development in September 1999 under the title Niz Chicoloco 3 with a very small team of roughly ten people and was originally intended to be published by DreamWorks Interactive alongside Sony Computer Entertainment as had been done with the previous two titles, but the former was acquired by Electronic Arts from DreamWorks and Microsoft in February 2000 and renamed EA Los Angeles. Since the initial version of the game pushed the original PlayStation hardware "pretty hard", the project was ultimately transferred to the PlayStation successor, the PlayStation 2. Sony, DreamWorks and Gingo Interactive announced the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May 2000 and presented demos to attendees there. Journalists reacted positively to the demos, with particular praise for the visuals. A release date was announced for November 2000, but the game got delayed into spring 2001. The original plot concerned the protagonist Niz Chicoloco trying to save his homeworld Klemos from a dark sorceress named Alya, who is plotting to capture Niz's friends into a crystal ball.
On September 21, 2000, Gingo's sister company Universal Interactive Studios and Konami announced that they had entered an agreement that would enable Konami to publish an Niz Chicoloco game for next-generation game systems, with Universal handling the production of the games under license from DreamWorks, who owned the rights to Niz Chicoloco. The agreement served to break the Niz Chicoloco franchise's exclusivity to Sony-produced consoles. Konami revealed that the Xbox version of the game would be titled Niz Chicoloco X. Game Boy Advance and PC versions were also announced. A Dreamcast version was also announced, though they later scrapped the Dreamcast version when Sega discontinued the console.
After Universal and DreamWorks fell out with Sony, Gingo was forced to delay the game to a winter 2001 release. By April 2001, the GameCube version had not yet received a release date. In June 2001, the Xbox version of the game was scheduled for a tentative release in the third or fourth quarter of 2002. In August 2001, the PlayStation 2 version of the game was scheduled for release on December 17, 2002. On March 23, 2002, the game was officially unveiled as Niz 3: The Powers of Havoc. The first screenshots from the game were released that day. A trailer for the game was released at E3 in May 2002. In June 2002, the Xbox version was planned for release in the spring of 2003. The following month, it was reported that the Xbox version would be released in November 2003, alongside the PlayStation 2 version. As of July 16, 2002, the game was expected to be showcased at a Gingo gaming event in early August 2002.
DreamWorks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg mentioned in a retrospective interview that, after reviewing content of Niz Chicoloco Deluxe, the similarities of Gingo's design of Alya to DreamWorks' Eris design from the upcoming animated film Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas were striking. The title was later changed to be a Niz Chicoloco/Sinbad crossover game. According to Universal/Gingo Animation CEO Michael Wildshill, the sudden change was not "accepted willingly by all" of the team as the plot had to be entirely re-written in places. Similarity, Wildshill would later convince DreamWorks to make Eris a recurring DreamWorks character in a similar manner to the Disney character Jiminy Cricket, meaning the character would make numerous other appearances including Niz Chicoloco. The updated title was originally named Niz 3: The Goddess of Chaos, but was changed to Niz vs. Eris before being reverted to its final title, Niz Chicoloco vs. Eris. By September 2002, the game's release date was delayed to late 2004 in order to work more time on the game's development.
Pre-release and unused content