The San Antonio Spurs in Retro Videogames

The San Antonio Spurs have been represented many times in retro videogames. Which one of these games is the most fun to play as the Spurs? Let’s find out. First I’ll keep a bit of a journal as I play the retro titles, then rate and sort them until we find the Top of the Heap.

Day 1

NBA Action ’95 Starring David Robinson

Season Mode, Veteran Difficulty, 4 min. periods

Game 1: Warriors 77, Spurs 56; Assists 17, 3; Rebounds 13, 17; Steals 9, 4; Blocks 11, 4; Turnovers 6, 12; Fouls 9, 7; FTs 5/7, 8/11; FG% 71.4, 47.1; Trey 2/7, 0/0; Run 11, 12; Spurs Most Pts. Scored – W. Anderson 19, D. Robinson 14, D. Rodman 10

Spurs 0 – 1 Trying to get used to controls and vertical orientation. There are three difficulty levels so I chose the middle one, “Veteran.” I got clobbered in the first period, then mostly held my own the other three periods. I subbed some players in the second half but I think that was a negative. Perhaps I don’t need to sub with 4 minute periods.

Game 2: Nets 85, Spurs 50; Assists 21, 4; Rebounds 13, 6; Steals 18, 5; Blocks 13, 5; Turnovers 5, 21; Fouls 10, 7; FTs 5/7, 6/10; FG% 72.2, 52.4; Trey 2/6, 0/1; Run 10, 7; Spurs Most Pts. Scored – D. Robinson 21, W. Anderson 15, A. Johnson 10

Spurs 0 – 2 If it seems like I played even worse in Game 2, then I’d say that’s accurate. It was very sloppy. I can’t get Elliott going and Rodman is very mistake prone so far. I was trying to be aggressive but I think it was just out of control. Next game, I’m starting Chuck Person instead of Rodman.

Game 3: Jazz 68, Spurs 57; Assists 16, 5; Rebounds 11, 12; Steals 7, 4; Blocks 10, 4; Turnovers 7, 10; Fouls 8, 8; FTs 0/0, 7/12; FG% 64.2, 61.0; Trey 0/11, 0/0; Run 8, 6; Spurs Most Pts. Scored – W. Anderson 25, D. Robinson 19, S. Elliott 6

Spurs 0 – 3 Much better. Actually tied 16 – 16 after the first period. Person didn’t do much but also didn’t make a lot of mistakes. I moved Elliott to the 2 spot for a few minutes and got him a couple of buckets but he still wasn’t impressive. It’s an Anderson/Robinson show on offense. Maybe I caught a break since the Jazz were 0 – 11 on three pointers but even that wasn’t enough for a win.

Game 4: Knicks 64, Spurs 71; Assists 17, 2; Rebounds 19, 16; Steals 5, 5; Blocks 3, 1; Turnovers 6, 11; Fouls 12, 8; FTs 2/3, 12/15; FG% 52.5, 69.0; Trey 0/6, 1/2; Run 8, 7; Spurs Most Pts. Scored – D. Robinson 24, W. Anderson 16, C. Person 16

Spurs 1 – 3 Wow. We got one. Elliott scored in double figures and played the 2 spot some. Moved Anderson to 1 spot for awhile. Person was fantastic. Rodman came in for a spell in the second half and grabbed some critical rebounds. We played better defense and relaxed on offense. For the first time it felt like we had some smooth sub rotations forming. I’m not really getting assists. I have a feeling that may be more important when I decide to increase the difficulty level.


Supergirl: Wings


Supergirl: Wings by J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Jamie Tolagson (artist), Ken Lopez (letterer), Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh (colorist); Published by DC Comics, 2001

I never had an interest in Supergirl. In fact, any derivative of Superman was a turn off.  Early versions of Superman were so ridiculously powerful and yet so ridiculously humbled by a green (originally red) rock. So why read an expansion on that theme? Well, let’s be fair. Superman has changed. Science fiction and fantasy writing has often succeeded in creating characters that are not human, yet are equally or even more human (exhibiting the best/worst of human traits) in their actions, thoughts and feelings. Comics have trended this way over the decades and even Superman has become more Watson than the other worldly Sherlock.

But none of that was part of the calculus when selecting this comic. It came down to two things. It was in the preowned dollar bin and it had a really cool cover. The cover let me know that this comic was about more and less. More depth. The angel with a closed form is breaking the fourth wall by staring at me, the reader, with burning hatred and disgust. And yet, she is a creature of light. Counter that with the darkness, the sin, that consumes the vulnerable woman in the background. The commanding devil is also looking our way and if you peer closely, you’ll see the woman in red is too, from the corners of her eyes. Surely this comic would provide more layers of thought on our existence and supernatural forces around us. But I also theorized it was about less. There couldn’t be a lot of punching, kicking, KAPOW!-ing around in this title. So I expected less of the action and snarky comments that became a hallmark of many superhero comics.

Now, this comic is weird. It’s part of the Elseworlds collection in which “heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places.” There is some action and quite a few DC regulars are sprinkled throughout, though not in their typical form. All of that with a deep subtext we are to take seriously seems like a train wreck if not done with exceeding care and love for the work.

When I opened to the first page, I was immediately disappointed. There are nine constricting horizontal panels on this page which force a lot of focus and perseverance to read and piece out what is going on. But I did and it was well worth it. After turning the page, I found a single piece of art that opens over the next two pages. The artwork following the cramped panels, makes for an incredible motion. A spring. You move your eyes down the first page, building tension, finding yourself at the very bottom of the page, only to turn the page and explode upwards into a starry sky.

But that’s only the first three pages. What about the rest? Well, this book is deserving of multiple reads and I’ve only done two, so far. Two was enough to realize the parts I felt were unnecessary on first reading were found to be critical on the second. Whether that’s my own deficiency or the consequence of layered art is unimportant. What is important is that Supergirl: Wings is worthy of diligence. I would enjoy this comic with or without the DC branding. This is not just a DC Comics fan pleaser. It’s a great story with many sometimes subtle, sometimes overt tributes to the DC pantheon.

Variations on the Hundreds Chart

Splat Square 1 – 100 and Splat Square 0 – 99 – Use 7 different colors in these two versions of a hundreds chart. Only 1 color may be used per number. Also, there’s Splat Square Reveal 1 – 100 and Splat Square Reveal 0 – 99.

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Hundreds Chart – Print a hundreds chart from this pdf file.

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Blank Hundreds Chart – Print a blank hundreds chart from this pdf file.

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Blank 1 to 120 Chart – Print a blank 1 – 120 chart from this pdf file.

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