When Capcom Made Sports Games

December 15, 2012 at 9:13 am | Posted in Features | Leave a comment
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Capcom’s legacy in the video game industry will forever be linked to popular series like Mega Man, Street Fighter and Resident Evil.  The publishing giant was a top third-party contributor going back to the 8-bit era and their titles have graced almost every video game console.  Capcom has tackled multiple genres along the way, demonstrating a mastery in platformers, fighting games and role-playing games.  Booming after a successful run on the NES, Capcom turned its eyes to sports games on home consoles for the first time in 1992.  How did things turn out?  Here are the stories of the five sports games Capcom released over three years in the 1990s.

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Behind the Scenes with Tecmo Super Bowl 2013

September 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Posted in Features | 6 Comments
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Tecmo Super Bowl.  I would like to channel John Facenda’s stoic voiceover of “The Autumn Wind” while I wax nostalgic about one of the greatest sports games ever.  There was the joy at finding a copy at the video store to rent with a buddy for the weekend, followed by hours of play, eyes bleeding from a lack of sleep when my parents would pick me up for church the next day.  There were the stories a friend would tell over lunch after staying home sick from school the day prior to play through another season.  The game had every NFL team with real players and a complete regular season mode.  These were dreams coming true for sports gamers in 1991.  And if you didn’t witness Bo Jackson with your own NES controller, you’ve probably seen him in YouTube videos racing around defenders or on someone’s list of the greatest video game characters of all-time.  How do you recapture this video game magic of decades past?  With hard work, passion, and a dedicated community, the team from Tecmobowl.org keeps Tecmo Super Bowl alive with an updated game each year.  Here is the story of Tecmo Super Bowl 2013.
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The Collector’s Guide to Tecmo Bowl

September 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Features | 10 Comments
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Tecmo’s football franchise is a true flagship in the world of retro sports gaming.  Fueled by 8-bit success on the NES with the still very popular Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl, Tecmo expanded to the 16-bit era before one last hurrah on the PlayStation in 1996.  Spanning just seven years, the series that mastered two-button football gaming retired as sports gaming moved to 3D.  As with many vintage video games, there have been attempted reboots of Tecmo Bowl to stoke the nostalgic fire of gamers.  All told, if you are a fan of the series or looking to experience it for the first time, the Tecmo Bowl library is very manageable from a collecting standpoint. The big question as always is, what are these retro titles worth?  The Collector’s Guide to Tecmo Bowl sets out to cover the entire Tecmo Bowl cannon, from the late 1980s through the re-releases of late.
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The Best Sports Games for Gamers Who Don’t Like Sports

May 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Features | 1 Comment
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Don’t like sports? There’s a whole segment of video games you can immediately write off, as far as you’re concerned. Or can you? You don’t have to be a comics fan to like Batman: Arkham City, and the appeal of Mario isn’t just limited to plumbing aficionados. Retro Sports Gamer World partnered up with Snackbar Games to help with a list of games you should check out even if they have sports in them, because you’re missing out on a lot of fun.
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The Rarest and Most Valuable Sports Games

April 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Features | 2 Comments
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When one conjures up images of older sports games, they most likely think of a stack of sun-bleached PlayStation 2 games; victims of being sorted through and left to bake under the hot sun at a flea market or swap meet.  For years, the steady giants like Madden or FIFA have been mass produced across numerous gaming platforms, becoming nearly irrelevant just a year later when the next iteration is released.  Outside of a few classics that are still played (but worth hardly anything) through fan competitions or online leagues, the shelf life for sports games is incredibly short and the basic tenants of supply and demand dictate that many are worth just a fraction of their original retail price.

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Retro Replay Diary: Coach K College Basketball

April 9, 2012 at 1:12 am | Posted in Features | 4 Comments
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In the mid ’90s EA Sports hit their stride.  Their ongoing NHL Hockey and Madden franchises were winners, they struck gold with NBA Live ’95, and FIFA Soccer was a big hit.  College Football brought in money with the Bill Walsh College Football series of games, which then spun off from the (then) Stanford coach’s license and became College Football USA.  On the hardwood, college basketball wasn’t a yearly lay-up for the guys at Electronic Arts.  In 1995, they wisely took their incredibly successful NBA Live engine and created a college basketball counterpart.  Coach K College Basketball was a one-time unique enigma in the 16-bit sports universe as the game came out for just one console and had no yearly follow-ups.  With the white cover branding of EA titles of that gaming generation, Coach K College Basketball had real universities (32 teams plus 8 classic squads) and real college players (just with numbers instead of names – similar still to restrictions today).  This was the first attempt at any type of college basketball simulation that didn’t have generic state-named teams with made up players and EA delivered the complete NCAA basketball experience on its initial try.  When the game was first released, I was ecstatic that one of my favorite teams, Villanova, was in the game.  I knew all the player’s real names and played through a full season before being shockingly bounced out of the tournament by #1 ranked Arkansas in the Regional Final (Elite 8).  While I played the game for years after that stunning loss, I never played another season nor took my beloved Wildcats through another tournament run.  My thirst for nostalgic revenge was the motivation for this Retro Replay Diary.  It was time to dust off Kerry Kittles and friends and make another run at the college basketball championship.

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The Ten Most Valuable NES Sports Games

March 2, 2012 at 12:36 am | Posted in Features | 13 Comments
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Video game collectors often overlook the sports game genre and it is easy to understand why.  First, as talked about in the Retro Sports Gamer World gospel, the number of retro sports collectors and gamers is a small percentage of hobbyists.  The ratio of memorable and replayable retro sports titles is considerably smaller than that of classic role-playing games or platformers.  While the laws of supply and demand can deflate the prices of even the most popular retro sports game titles, the sports gaming marketplace is not void of games that are rare and valuable.  The Nintendo Entertainment System is stocked with a large number of 8-bit sports games thanks to the success of the system and growth of the industry overall.  As you’re sorting through stacks of games at the next convention or flea market, here are the ten most valuable NES games to keep an eye out for.
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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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Game Planning for NFL Blitz: A Retrospective on the Series

December 30, 2011 at 12:39 am | Posted in Features | 6 Comments
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Midway’s NFL Blitz piggybacked on the fun, over-the-top atmosphere of NBA Jam and rocked arcades and home consoles in the late ‘90s. Unique in a crowded marketplace with its fast-paced arcade 7-on-7 NFL action, NFL Blitz spanned numerous systems during its run and sold millions of copies. Unfortunately, the series would suffer from poor sales, sequel fatigue, and an eventual loss of the NFL license, resulting in the franchise stepping away from the virtual gridiron. When Midway went bankrupt in 2009, Electronic Arts purchased the license for NFL Blitz and now, some three years later, the first true NFL Blitz offering since 2002 will be debuting on January 4th, 2012 across the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. There is palatable excitement as a series reboot is always looked forward to by gamers, especially as the NFL Blitz name once carried some serious prestige. As we get ready for a new release, let’s take a look back at the history of the franchise and how we got to where we are today.

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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.
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