- Backyard Sports series
Backyard Sports is a series of
video games that play on both consoles and computers. The series is best known for starring kid-sized versions of popular professional sports stars, such as Albert Pujols, Paul Pierce, Barry Bonds, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Thorntonand Andy Macdonald. The Backyard Sports series is the only game brand licensed by all the leading professional US sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS).
The series includes "
Backyard Baseball", " Backyard Basketball", " Backyard Football" ( American football), " Backyard Soccer", " Backyard Hockey" ( Ice hockey), and "Backyard Skateboarding". In the games, players form a team consisting of Backyard Kidsand pro players, which they take through a "Backyard League" season, attempting to become the champions.
The games evoke or supplant childhood memories for its players by recreating the types of sports fields seen in suburban parks and recreational areas.
Players can create their own athletes, starting in "
Backyard Football" (1999). Players choose from silly names such as "Fancy Pants" or "Noodles," customize physical attributes such as hair color and height, and then distribute skill points as desired.
Another appealing aspect of the games is the imaginative use of Power-Ups, allowing players to gain wacky "super-abilities." For instance, "Super Dunk" allows a basketball player to make an incredible dunk from nearly anywhere on the court, "Leap Frog" allows a football player to jump over the entire defensive line, and "Ice Cream Truck" causes the other team to be completely distracted for a brief period of time.
All of the Backyard Sports games take place in the Junior Sports Neighborhood, with the exception of "Backyard Football 2006" (which takes place on an unnamed island) and parts of "Backyard Skateboarding", "Backyard Hockey 2005", and "Backyard Skateboarding: Game of the Year Edition".
Backyard Sports games are produced by
Some of these games are playable with
History (Specific games)
In 1997, the first game in the series, "
Backyard Baseball", was released. " Backyard Soccer" was released in 1998. Each one was quite popular with children between 5 and 12, which is the target audience. The first of the franchise to be licensed by a major sports league was 1999's " Backyard Football", which featured Jerry Rice, Dan Marino, Drew Bledsoe, Barry Sanders, Brett Favre, John Elway, Randall Cunningham, and Steve Young.
The year 2000 saw "
Backyard Baseball 2001", which had licenses from Major League Baseballand Major League Baseball Players Association, followed that fall by "Backyard Soccer MLS Edition", which was licensed by Major League Soccer.
The first two Backyard Football games, along with Backyard Baseball 2001, were notable as they were the only games in the series to feature online play.
Following the buyout of Humongous Entertainment by
Infogrames, Backyard Football 2002and the first "Backyard Basketball" game were made. The latter had no NBA licenses, but it featured Kevin Garnettand Lisa Leslie. Each one was released in the fall of 2001. " Backyard Baseball 2003" followed in the spring of 2002, with updated rosters (e.g. Cal Ripken Jr.was no longer in the game, but Ichiro Suzukiwas). Later that year, " Backyard Hockey", a game licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA, was released. Backyard Hockey introduced new character designs for each of the Backyard Kids(e.g. Pablo Sanchez now wears a purple baseball cap backwards, but his shirt remains the same) along with announcer Sunny Day.
The year 2003 saw updated versions of the most recent "
Backyard Soccer" (with original character designs), "Backyard Basketball", and " Backyard Football". In 2004, a new game, " Backyard Skateboarding", was released, and it featured Andy MacDonald.
With the release of "
Backyard Baseball 2007," the "next generation" of character designs for each of the Backyard Kids was introduced, with older and edgier kids along with improved graphics. The series has changed radically over time, which evokes resentment from the people who grew up with the series, as the art design has become drastically different and some of the key characters are no longer in the series.
Following the buyout by
Infogramesvarious games from the Backyard Sports series have been released for game consoles, including: Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and the PlayStation 2.
*The Backyard Sports theme song was performed by the band The Presidents of the United States of America.
Brenda Arellanoand Dex Manleyare the only 2 voices who have provided at least one voice in each of the six Backyard sports. Manley is known for providing the voices of Barry DeJay and Buddy Cheque. Arellano has only provided additional voices.
Klem Danielshas provided the voice of Chuck Downfield since 1999.
Jen Taylor, Lani Minellaand Samantha Kelly have provided the voice of Sunny Day.
Ryan Drummond, better known for voicing Sonic the Hedgehog, has provided voices in two Backyard Sports games.
Mark Lundoriginally voiced both Amir and Achmed Khan and now voices Arthur "A.C." Chen. He has also voiced a number of the pro athletes including Steve West, Reggie Bushand Alfonso Soriano.
List of games
Some games, notably console versions have completely distinct gameplay than PC/Mac version with same title, thus they're listed separately.
Backyard Baseball(PC, Mac) (1997)
* Backyard Baseball (GBA) (2002)
* Backyard Baseball (GameCube) (2003)
* Backyard Baseball (PlayStation2) (2004)
* Backyard Baseball 2001 (PC, Mac) (2000)
* Backyard Baseball 2003 (PC, Mac) (2002)
* Backyard Baseball 2005 (PC) (2004)
* Backyard Baseball 2006 (GBA) (2005)
Backyard Baseball 2007(PC, GBA, GameCube, PlayStation2) (2006)
* Backyard Basketball aka Backyard Basketball 2002 (PC, Mac) (2001)
* Backyard Basketball aka Backyard NBA Basketball (PlayStation2) (2003)
* Backyard Basketball (GBA) (2004)
* Backyard Basketball 2004 (PC) (2003)
* Backyard Basketball 2007 (PC, GBA, PlayStation2) (2006)
* Backyard Basketball 2008 (DS) (2007)
Backyard Soccer(PC, Mac) (1998)
* Backyard Soccer (PlayStation) (2001)
Backyard Soccer MLS Editionaka Backyard Soccer 2001 (PC, Mac) (2000)
* Backyard Soccer 2004 (PC, Mac) (2003)
Backyard Footballaka Backyard Football 2001 (PC, Mac) (1999)
* Backyard Football (GBA, GameCube) (2002)
* Backyard Football (PlayStation2) (2005)
* Backyard Football 2002 (PC, Mac) (2001)
* Backyard Football 2004 (PC) (2003)
* Backyard Football 2006 (PC, GBA) (2005)
* Backyard Football 2007 (GBA) (2006)
* Backyard Football 2008 (PC,
Wii, DS, PS2
* Backyard Hockey (PC) (2002)
* Backyard Hockey (GBA) (2003)
* Backyard Hockey 2005 (PC) (2004)
* Backyard Hockey (
* Backyard Skateboarding (PC) (2004)
* Backyard Skateboarding (GBA) (2005)
* Backyard Skateboarding: Game of the Year Edition aka Backyard Skateboarding 2006 (PC) (2005)
List of Backyard Kids
* http://www.snapsports.com / - Leading Manufacturer & Supplier of Premium Backyard Courts for Sport.
* http://www.backyardsports.com/ - Hosts the NFL Kids Backyard Awards and gives updates on upcoming games.
* [http://bhimpact.gamespress.com/release.asp?i=142 Humongous Releases Backyard Baseball 2007]
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