Wide World of Retro Sports Game Videos Vol. 1

September 25, 2012 at 12:13 am | Posted in Videos | 3 Comments
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There are a lot of great retro sports game videos on YouTube and across the internet.  We highlighted the excellent Polygon mash-up A Brief History of Sports Games recently and it prompted me to explore the medium further for our readers.  Our newest feature, the Wide World of Retro Sports Game Videos, gathers five videos all in one place for your viewing pleasure.  We’ll look to share sports game highlights, reviews, mash-ups, and more.  If it is retro sports-themed, then it belongs on Retro Sports Gamer World.  Volume One features one of the most popular sports game videos of all-time, an ambulance montage from John Madden Football ’92, crazy defensive plays from a softball game, the fastest “tool assisted” fingers to ever face Mike Tyson, and a “Lets Play” review of the classic NES game Ice Hockey.

Bo Jackson goes crazy in Tecmo Super Bowl

If you ever needed to show someone proof of Bo Jackson’s power in Tecmo Super Bowl, witness the hapless New England Patriots chasing him around for an entire quarter before he finally completes a 99-yard touchdown run.  I would love to know how many takes this video took to complete as there are some really close calls.  Bo knows YouTube views.  This video has surpassed an audience of 1.25 million.

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Tecmo Bowl in Monochrome

August 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | 4 Comments
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When Tecmo Bowl for the Nintendo Game Boy was released in September of 1991, the game broke the stereotypical mold for handheld sports games.  Often stunted because of hardware limitations and developer resources, portable sports gaming has always taken a backseat to its big brother on the home console.  Sculptured Software’s work on porting Tecmo’s NES classic to the two year-old phenom Game Boy did more than just mirror the NES game to four monochrome colors.  They also introduced gamers to something Sony would boast about their own handheld twenty years later
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Retro Sports Games Roundtable

May 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Posted in Podcasts | 1 Comment
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The Racketboy podcast has produced 36 retro gaming episodes, interviewing the likes of James Rolfe, Nathan Barnatt, Retroware TV’s Lance Cortez, and the Smithsonian’s “The Art of Video Games” curator, Chris Melissinos.  They’ve talked with folks from XSeed and traversed different conventions like Pax East and Too Many Games to interview game developers on upcoming titles.  I was flattered to have been asked to join the show to discuss some of my favorite and least favorite retro sports games of the 8 and 16-bit eras in their latest production.

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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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Twenty Years of EA’s NHL Hockey: A Look Back at the Original

December 1, 2011 at 12:30 am | Posted in Reviews | 11 Comments
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EA’s NHL Hockey franchise turned twenty this year but does anybody else out there care? While the video game industry celebrates Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th birthday or the twentieth anniversary of the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World, EA’s franchise and groundbreaking hockey game isn’t even a footnote. I was perusing my free subscription to Game Informer (Yes, I frequent GameStop and am a Power whatever it’s called) and they recently ran down all the big milestones in gaming for the fall of 2011. Twenty years of relevance is an impressive feat and 1991 was really big in the history of video games so the list was substantial. I put my finger on the page and skimmed down, hoping to see some kind of acknowledgement or tip of the cap to EA and found nothing. I was so upset I even tweeted (follow me @retrosportsgmr) my disdain at the oversight to Game Informer (We actually follow each other now – it’s cute). Turning to Google, surely other video game writers would have blazed the path of commending the NHL Hockey lineage, like my man Jon Robinson over at ESPN (formally Johnny Ballgame at GamePro), but nary a word was to be found outside of EA themselves putting together a cool retrospective video. I will champion this accomplishment along with you EA! In getting it all started, NHL Hockey and EA Hockey for the Sega Genesis and (Sega) Mega Drive, respectively, were out of this world compared to the other hockey games in the early nineties and set the tone for the franchise with great 16-bit sprites and fast and fun game play.

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