The 2002 Sports Video Game Awards: ThatSportsGamer Show Special Edition

December 29, 2012 at 10:57 am | Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment
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Prior to announcing their 2012 sports video game awards, I joined a special ThatSportsGamer Show podcast to talk about the best sports games from a decade earlier.  Relive a time where there were at least six baseball games released in one calendar year, as well as multiple wrestling and basketball games.  We each talked about two honorable mention picks and then listed our top 3 games of 2002 before crowning the 2002 Sports Game of the Year.

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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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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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Team USA Basketball: Olympic-sized Letdown

August 8, 2012 at 10:20 am | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment
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The mission statement for Retro Sports Gamer World has always been to educate on the best and worst of sports gaming.  In judging and labeling a certain title, I strive to have an open mind and either eliminate or be very transparent about any bias coming into a piece.  I’ve had my mind changed from a previous perception – for better and worse – in a number of articles.  This brings me to our participation in 1 More Castle’s Review a Bad Game Day” with Team USA Basketball for the Sega Genesis.  Despite this edict of reviewing something “bad”, my approach to Team USA Basketball was no different from previous games.  I nominated the game because of a previous negative play-through (I talked about it here) and being topical and all with the current Olympics in London.  And there was even a 15-minute stretch where I found myself enjoying the game and thought I would have a different angle for this piece.  Alas, Team USA Basketball had a great premise but at the end of the day, just could not deliver an experience worth replaying or recommending.
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College Lacrosse 2012: Indie Dev Covers Ignored Sport

July 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Reviews | 2 Comments
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In the industry’s history, there has been exactly one commercially-released lacrosse game. In 2001, Blast Lacrosse, a NFL Blitz-style game, was released by Acclaim for the original PlayStation. This dearth of lacrosse interest among video game developers is what makes the work done at Cross Studio and Complex Games all the more impressive.  Fueled by a passion for the sport and video games, owner Carlos Sunseri’s initiative has yielded five lacrosse titles on the Xbox Live Indie Games scene over the last four years. This library includes three College Lacrosse games and two National Lacrosse League licensed titles, with real teams and players from the indoor league. The newest title, College Lacrosse 2012, is a game ripe with promise but flawed in a number of areas of execution.
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Mario Tennis Open: Suit Up and Serve Against the World

July 8, 2012 at 9:42 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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When we last saw an original Mario Tennis title, Camelot and Nintendo had us traversing the halls and sidewalks of the Royal Tennis Academy in search of opportunities to level up our main protagonist in hopes of advancing through the school’s leader board of tennis prodigies.  It has been almost seven years since Mario Tennis: Power Tour for the Game Boy Advance uniquely blended the role-playing and sports genres, giving us a relatable sports narrative to go along with the already successful formula of Mario & friends squaring off on the tennis court.  With the storytelling of Power Tour not replicated in their new game, just what could we expect as progress with Mario Tennis Open for the 3DS?  And most importantly, would it be enough for gamers to want to come back?
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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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