December 14, 2011 at 12:51 am | Posted in |
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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?

Retro Replay Diary: Tecmo Bowl

November 24, 2011 at 12:35 am | Posted in | 6 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.

Continue Reading Retro Replay Diary: Tecmo Bowl…

November 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Posted in |
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“This one’s for John” is what Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen exclaimed (in a somewhat canned tone) while holding the Lombardi trophy after the Super Bowl win in 1997 over the Green Bay Packers.  This was the ultimate retribution as Elway had been drafted #1 overall (and then traded from the Colts after refusing to sign) and had lost his three prior Super Bowl appearances.  He never had a running game or much of a defense but was always known for his 4th quarter comebacks, most notably at the expense of the Cleveland Browns in two AFC Championship encounters.  While his career would end in storybook fashion after another Super Bowl win in 1998,  Elway’s losing streak (after losing a third Super Bowl in four years in 1989) would not be helped by his soon-to-be mainstream video game title.  Synonymous with being a choker, Elway’s name was already being used for the same game in the arcades and other home computer systems, until Tradewest came along looking for a quick buck with their first NES sports game.  Taking what was already produced by Virgin and porting it to the NES,  Tradewest would license and distribute one of the worst sports games ever for the Nintendo Entertainment System in John Elway’s Quarterback.

Opening Tip

October 18, 2011 at 12:16 am | Posted in | 1 Comment
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When I was eight years old, I would carefully set up my grandparents’ Atari 2600 so that both joysticks were within my tiny grasp. There was no such thing as a CPU opponent in those days. You played games like Baseball and Football with a friend, cousin or sibling. Being the oldest grandchild in the family, my options were pretty limited. With this the case, I did what any other resourceful sports-obsessed youth would do – I played against myself. Sitting Indian style, I would pitch with one controller, quickly grab the other to swing, and then immediately switch back and field. This display of advanced hand-eye coordination impressed my Dad and Uncles so much that no one would ever accept my offer to play (or perhaps they were adults that couldn’t be trivialized by such things).

Continue Reading Opening Tip…

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