Brad Woodling

In the My Favorite Game series, get to know us better as staff writers share the game they love most and why.

When I first laid eyes on an NBA Jam arcade machine, I was blown away. The announcer was screaming, the basketballs were on fire and my favorite NBA superstars were windmill dunking on each other. In addition to the TV-style presentation, the in-game player graphics transcended anything that had been seen in sports gaming. The faces of Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal were digitized and very recognizable. The watershed moment of experiencing this firsthand when I inserted my first quarter spawned my love for the game and series. READ MORE

There is a lineage of portable puzzle games that have been successful on handheld consoles. Tetris for the Game Boy and Columns for the Game Gear were the originators and set the groundwork for an influx of puzzle endeavors. While the market has been flush with options over the years, the games we remember most are those that are intuitive while being challenging and fun. Released exclusively on the 3DS eShop, Renegade Kid’s Bomb Monkey is one of those games. READ MORE

Tt Games has been bringing popular movie series to the Lego universe since their Lego Star Wars hit in 2005. In addition to the three Star Wars titles, they’ve also captured the worlds of Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter (among others). An adaptation of Lord of the Rings is already finished and set for a release later this year.

On the surface, Lego games are similar to a good Pixar movie. They are directed at children with subtle humor and depth that will make adults smile and enjoy the show. Lego games are about problem solving and collecting, with little repercussion for falling into a pit while trying to accomplish those tasks. READ MORE

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. READ MORE

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? READ MORE

Right on the heels of releasing the download-only NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, EA Sports has dusted off another former Midway license and brought back the original NFL arcade masterpiece: NFL Blitz. A 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 Madden Arcade, could EA restore the Blitz franchise to its former glory? READ MORE