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Entries Tagged ‘Sports’:

Maximum Letdown: Black College Football – The Experience: Doug Williams Edition (Xbox 360)

I had really high hopes for this game. Obviously it wasn’t going to be the next Madden out the gate (or even NFL Blitz), but there was a lot to like about it, and for the right reasons. For one, it’s development team features several black female programmers, and the developer, Nerjyzed Entertainment is headed by a black female CEO. The company’s mission is to produce games which promote the more positive aspects of minority cultures. While BCFX is a good note to start on, it tends to fall flat during the execution.

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Free Game of the Week: Barkley – Shut Up and Jam Gaiden (PC)

Back in the 90s, there was a little known game called Barkley: Shut Up and Jam. It had it’s high points, but really, it was a little more than a rip off of NBA Jam, which was released a short time before. It got a sequel which was just as forgettable. Years later, a group of developers known as ‘Tales of Games’ used a copy of RPG maker to create a sequel. Instead of another NBA Jam clone, this sequel would instead be a role playing game about one of the greatest ballers in the sport. Oh, and according to it’s creators, the game’s story is canon.
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Maximum Letdown: Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball

Bill Laimbeer may have been a douchebag in the eyes of many Basketball fans, but after a few brief stints in Italy and with the Cleveland Cavs, he was a somewhat significant part of the Detroit Pistons franchise throughout the 80s and early 90s, until his 1994 retirement (his jersey number 40 was retired as well). He gained a reputation for hard physical fouls and his attempts to bait officials into calling fouls against his opponents. For what it’s worth, he is the franchise’s all-time leader in career rebounds. Still, why a developer in their right mind would make a game starring him given the dozens of more popular and established stars at the time is anyone’s guess.
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Lost Classics: Ken Griffey jr’s Winning Run (Super Nintendo)

Back in the days, Nintendo made sports games. During the 16-bit days, Ken Griffey Jr was to them what Joe Montana was the Sega, that is an athlete that was perfectly marketable for a video game. Ken Griffey Jr’s Winning Run, named after the final play of Game 5 of the 1995 American League Wild Card playoffs (where Griffey scored from first base to win the game in the 11th inning), is the sequel to 1994’s Kenny Griffey jr presents Major League Baseball. Developed by Rare, it has received a major graphical overhaul. It was one of the first sports games to feature computer rendered graphics, similar to Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct. As a result, it was one of the finest looking sports games of its day. The stadiums looked so awesome, and the players were well animated. The game features 28 MLB teams (including the unlockable Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who had just been named around the time of this game’s development), but as there is no player’s association license, the only real player in the game is Ken Griffey, although many of the players have pun names that allude to real-life players, Fire Pro Wrestling style. You can play in exhibition mode, franchise, MLB Challenge Mode, and All Star Mode. It’s probably not likely that this game will be available on virtual console, so your best chance is to seek out the cartridge. If you can find it, definitely get it, as Winning Run is one of the best sports games of the 16-bit era.

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Marshawn Lynch’s 67 yard TD run reenacted in Tecmo Super Bowl

Yesterday the Seattle Seahawks caused a major upset by defeating the defending champion New Orleans Saints in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Normally, we geeks do not talk of such things on our geek blogs, but here is Seahawk Marshawn Lynch’s amazing 67 yard touchdown run reenacted in Tecmo Super Bowl.

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Lost Classics: Jordan vs Bird (NES, Genesis, Commodore 64, PC, Game Boy)

A few weeks ago, I included another classic Electronic Arts developed game, Lakers vs Celtics. With NBA Elite 11 being canceled, I figured I’d take another stroll down basketball memory lane. Most people don’t know this, but this game is actually a sequel to an earlier basketball game called One on One: Dr J vs Larry Bird. Jordan vs Bird was one of those games where were more more fond playing it as kids than as adults. At its time, it featured some of the best animations and graphics in a basketball game, and some pretty cool moves. Along with the standard one on one, the game featured a 3 point shootout featuring Larry Bird and a Slam Dunk contest featuring Jordan. As time went on, the game got a bit monotonous (with there only being 2 players and all) and the ref’s calls were a bit too unforgiving, but hey, it was two of the greatest players of the time going at it. Who would win? Jordan’s monster dunks, or Bird’s deadly-accurate 3-point skills? You be the judge.

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Lost Classics: Lakers vs Celtics and the NBA Playoffs (Sega Genesis, MS DOS)

During the late 80s and early 90s, there was no bigger story in basketball than the LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics, and this title from Electronic Arts bought it home like never before. More so than that, the game forever changed the way developers approached video game hoops. Lakers vs Celtics is perhaps one of the most significant sports games ever released. Playing off the successful and hugely popular rivalry, Lakers vs Celtics features the two titular teams along with six other teams that made it to the NBA playoffs during the 1988 – 89 season (Dos) or the 1989-1990 season (Genesis).
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Lost Classics: Baseball Stars (NES)

BaseballStarsCoverSNK’s Baseball Stars did for video game baseball what Tecmo bowl did for video game football. Actually that isn’t right. Tecmo bowl merely made video game football more fun and realistic. Baseball Stars not only made video game baseball more fun and realistic, but it also introduced features that were unprecedented at the time. By being one of the first video game sports titles to feature built-in memory, it contained some features that were unseen in other sports titles at the time. It is considered by many to be the best baseball game ever released on the NES, and many of the features it introduced still impact sports games today.
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