Retro Replay Diary: Tecmo Bowl

November 24, 2011 at 12:35 am | Posted in Features | 11 Comments
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In the retro sports gaming world, there is and will always be universal love for the Tecmo Bowl franchise on the NES. If you poll any retro gamer and insist they provide you with nostalgic sports titles from their youth, there is a 92% chance they include Tecmo Bowl (or its sequel) and make a reference to Bo Jackson being really good. To this day, Tecmo Super Bowl still has updated rosters put out by dedicated fans, either in a rom format for emulation, or for those inclined, a NES reproduction cart complete with label. The Tecmo Bowl series is also one of a handful of sports game franchises that have either online or in-person season play or tournaments (the other games being R.B.I. Baseball and NHL ’94). The passion around analyzing and playing those games today, while also reflecting on the nostalgia of our youth and how those titles created our perception of what a sports game should be is exactly what Retro Sports Gamer World is about. I loved every opportunity I had to play Tecmo Bowl growing up. Be it at a church youth group event or even if it was just watching a friend’s older brother play, seeing the same players (with real names!) I watched on Sundays in a fast-paced football title was unbelievable. Seeing that my friends and I always played against each other, I had never experienced the full single player campaign available to awestruck gamers in 1989. This drive to beat the game 22 years later proved to be the inspiration for my first Retro Replay Diary.
Continue Reading Retro Replay Diary: Tecmo Bowl…


This One’s Not For John: On the NES Port of John Elway’s Quarterback

November 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Reviews | 6 Comments
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“This one’s for John” is what Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen exclaimed (in a somewhat canned tone) while holding the Lombardi trophy after the Super Bowl win in 1997 over the Green Bay Packers.  This was the ultimate retribution as Elway had been drafted #1 overall (and then traded from the Colts after refusing to sign) and had lost his three prior Super Bowl appearances.  He never had a running game or much of a defense but was always known for his 4th quarter comebacks, most notably at the expense of the Cleveland Browns in two AFC Championship encounters.  While his career would end in storybook fashion after another Super Bowl win in 1998,  Elway’s losing streak (after losing a third Super Bowl in four years in 1989) would not be helped by his soon-to-be mainstream video game title.  Synonymous with being a choker, Elway’s name was already being used for the same game in the arcades and other home computer systems, until Tradewest came along looking for a quick buck with their first NES sports game.  Taking what was already produced by Virgin and porting it to the NES,  Tradewest would license and distribute one of the worst sports games ever for the Nintendo Entertainment System in John Elway’s Quarterback.

Continue Reading This One’s Not For John: On the NES Port of John Elway’s Quarterback…

Reggie Jackson and the Amazing Technicolor Baseball Game

November 7, 2011 at 12:55 am | Posted in Reviews | 4 Comments
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The year 1988 was the tipping point in the history of baseball video games. In the early eighties there were generic baseball titles for the Atari, Intellivision, and Collecovision, while the Commodore 64 and Apple II had simulation games like Micro League Baseball. After Nintendo’s Sports Series title Baseball launched with the NES domestically in 1985, sports gamers waited years for another real option. Sega’s self-proclaimed Great Baseball was released for the Sega Master System in 1987 and it wasn’t until Tengen published R.B.I. Baseball in 1988 that a follow-up NES baseball game was released. With a slew of sports games ready to flood the NES 8-bit hardware, Sega fired their last baseball bullet on the Master System with the color-clashing and somewhat novel Reggie Jackson Baseball. Continue Reading Reggie Jackson and the Amazing Technicolor Baseball Game…

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