iOS Mini-Review: Ice Rage

February 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Posted in iOS Reviews | 3 Comments
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I really enjoy the throwback styles, old school graphics, and intuitive controls that can come with producing creative and original mobile games.  For every EA or 2K mobile clone of a big flagship game, there are unique titles like the 1-on-1 hockey action in Ice Rage by Mountain Sheep, Inc. ($0.99 App Store).  Ice Rage is a concoction of Ice Hockey and Blades of Steel from the NES mixed in with air hockey and pong physics.  Mountain Sheep pumps the retro up even more with the action played horizontally, something we haven’t seen a lot in sports games since the 8-bit age.  With a solid premise in place, is there enough substance in Ice Rage for it to be labeled a success?

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iOS Mini-Review: Arcade Hoops Basketball

February 18, 2012 at 1:14 am | Posted in iOS Reviews | 14 Comments
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We are all witnesses to a shift in the gaming industry.  With every Angry Birds game designed and every Farmville gift card sold, a new gaming audience is being tapped into.  Companies today are allocating large amounts of resources to focus on mobile gaming and social media gamification.  The sports gaming genre is not adverse to the clutches of casual gaming and nothing is more evident of this than the immense popularity of flick games.  Flick games are the natural result of using a device that is explicitly based on touch controls and, while I like to focus on arcade or simulation-style games brought to the small screen, casual sports games are here to stay.  With a simple premise and the most basic tenants of flick gaming,  Skyworks Interactive’s Arcade Hoops Basketball brings to iOS gaming the amusement park adrenaline of jacking (well, flicking) up as many shots as possible with the same payoff of going home empty-handed after trying to land a large stuffed animal prize.

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Retro Showdown: Walter Payton vs. Joe Montana on the Sega Master System

February 12, 2012 at 1:24 am | Posted in Features | Leave a comment
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Welcome to the first ever Retro Showdown at Retro Sports Gamer World.  Retro Showdown is where we take two retro sports games that share a common theme and compare them over a number of categories. After plugging the results into a complicated algorithm, we will come to a scientifically provable conclusion as to which is the better retro sports game.  The categories that we will examine include Game Features, Game Presentation and Graphics, Gameplay and Controls, Music and Sound Effects, and a final fifth category of Replay Value and Historical Significance.  In this Retro Showdown we’re going to take a look at two football titles on the Sega Master System: Walter Payton Football and Joe Montana Football.  Now, the Sega Master System isn’t usually associated with having classic 8-bit sports games.  For one, the quantity of titles in the genre is considerably small and definitely overshadowed by their 8-bit brethren, the NES.  Their earlier “Great” series of sports games (Great Football, Great Basketball, etc.) come off as generic based on the bland titles but the Master System built on those games with future releases that added affiliations with star athletes like Reggie Jackson, Walter Payton, and Joe Montana.  With these two titles released just a year apart, which of these Sega 8-bit gridiron games of yesterday will come out on top?
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iOS Review: Icebreaker Hockey and NaturalMotion Games

February 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Posted in iOS Reviews | 2 Comments
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NaturalMotion Games has run the gamut in utilizing different mediums to get their sports games out to consumers. In a world where Madden casts a wide shadow, I loved that NaturalMotion took the leap and showed off their impressive game animation engine and alternative vision to the static Madden series with Backbreaker, a non-NFL licensed game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Despite mediocre reviews and only 260,000 units sold for the first-time effort, NaturalMotion supported the original game with updates and patches and then expanded on the popularity of Backbreaker’s Tackle Alley mini-game with a Backbreaker: Vengeance release on the Xbox Live Arcade. This fleshed out mini-game where one eludes tacklers with jukes and spin moves, while picking up points along the way to a touchdown, would be the schematic for future iOS releases. NaturalMotion has released Backbreaker Football, Backbreaker 2: Vengeance and NFL Rivals on iOS and Android devices to date with the latest NFL Rivals title featuring an NFL license with real teams and logos (the players’ license still sits with EA). In stepping away from the gridiron, Icebreaker Hockey uses the same blueprint and transforms the fast-paced game play to the ice as you evade defenders with dekes and spin moves, while showboating your way through 50 different levels of game play.

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