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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King of Lanes: On League Bowling and the Neo•Geo

January 27, 2012 at 10:03 am | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment
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With the technology we have today, the natural progression of bowling video games has been to use motion controls. Wii Sports first enabled gamers (and non-gamers) to imagine they were at an actual bowling alley as they held their controller close to their chest before twisting their wrist as they completed their simulated motion of rolling a bowling ball. Before we had to worry about inadvertently smacking our pets while following through with a controller strapped to our wrist, bowling games relied solely on positioning, timing and physics. While there have been bowling games attempted on home consoles going back to the Atari 2600 (the aptly named Bowling – a game I remember fondly), SNK’s League Bowling was one of the first arcade games to be centered exclusively on the recreational activity (or sport; at least it uses a ball). Available outside of the original 1991 Neo•Geo MVS or AES carts with a NeoGeo Station release on the PlayStation 3, League Bowling ignores the 21-year handicap to titles of today and delivers a simple, but engaging arcade experience.

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NFL Blitz Returns: Does the Comeback Fall Short?

January 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | 2 Comments
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Off the heels of releasing NBA Jam: On Fire Edition as a download-only title, EA Sports has dusted off another former Midway license and brought back the original NFL arcade masterpiece, NFL Blitz.  An arcade hit in the late ‘90s, the series spawned console releases for six straight years before sequel fatigue led to poor sales and an eventual cancellation.  No stranger themselves to arcade football titles like the NFL Street series and a Madden Arcade download-only game, could EA resurrect the NFL Blitz franchise to its previous glory?

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SNK’s Cure for Touchdown Fever

December 14, 2011 at 12:51 am | Posted in Reviews | 7 Comments
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SNK’s Baseball Stars is one of the most popular baseball franchises in video game history. While best known for the Neo Geo and some of the best arcade action ever, SNK also dabbled in the home console market with a number of NES releases. The original NES Baseball Stars game is always a trendy choice in debates about the best baseball game ever because of the customization and options the game provided. Baseball Stars gave you the ability to create your own players and teams, and boasted the ability to earn money by winning games which could then be used to upgrade the attributes of your created ball players. It was essentially a sports game / role-playing hybrid that stood out despite the familiar look of 8-bit baseball titles at the time. With Baseball Stars a hit in 1989 and with a precedent now set for success in sports gaming, would SNK make a successful foray into the North American Football market with Touchdown Fever?

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Daytona USA Hits the Track Again

October 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment
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Do I feel that NASCAR is a sport?  No.  Did Sega Sports produce the original Daytona USA games?  Technically the home releases were labeled as such.  Talk about a conflicted retro sports gamer!  Given that I recently talked about the state of downloadable sports titles hereI would have been remiss if I didn’t take a look at the recent HD release of Daytona USA.

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EA Sports Gets One Right: NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Lives Up To Its Name

October 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | 51 Comments
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As a retro video game collector, downloadable titles would seem to conflict with my passion for the hobby. I love games that can be displayed in my office complete with their box and manual, representing my own personal archive of video game history. I do not have my head in the sand though. Downloading full games and additional game content is 100% the future of where gaming is going. We’ve already see it with the available titles on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live and possibly may with entire systems like the Playstation Vita (its predecessor, the PSP Go was full download only). As a sports gamer, there is potential with the avenue of download-only games but to date the execution and selection has been pretty poor. Perusing online marketplaces, your options are normally limited to darts, bowling, fishing or PSOne snowboarding titles. There have been attempts before to release unique standalone titles (we’ll explore them here at RSGW), but overall most are re-releases like Baseball Stars 2 or poor original arcade attempts like Madden Arcade and NHL 3-on-3 Arcade. Like a beacon in a storm of sports shovelware, EA Sports’ NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is exactly what downloadable sports gaming should be, and the results of their recent endeavor are glorious.

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