The Month in Sports Gaming--November 2004

This regular feature keeps you informed on the big sports games on the release schedule for the coming month. The highlights for November, 2004 include WWE Smackdown! vs Raw, ESPN College Hoops 2K5, ATV Offroad Fury 3, and Mario Power Tennis.

By Brian Ekberg
Design by Marty Smith

Traditionally, November is one of the peak times for sports game releases, as publishers look to release their final slate of games for the year just in time for the big holiday buying rush. Because of this, we have a ton of titles to look forward to in November, including some long-awaited wrestling titles and a new hockey title sporting the name and face of "The Great One," Wayne Gretzky himself. The month begins with a bang with a glut of racing titles, along with two big-name college basketball games that will be dropped in the middle of the month.

Week of October 31

SmackDown! vs. Raw has a huge roster of WWE talent and online play to boot.

WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw (PS2, wrestling)
Triple H, Kurt Angle, and the rest of Vinny Mac's high-powered stable takes to the mat in the newest grappling title from THQ.

ATV Offroad Fury 3 (PS2, racing)
The third game in the popular quad-wheel racing series finds a new developer and online support for up to six dirt-caked, off-road race fans.

IHRA Professional Drag Racing (PS2/Xbox, racing)
From full stop to 300mph in seconds, this next installment in the drag racing series should please the nearly deaf gearhead in everyone.

Other releases:
Choro Q (PS2, racing)
Hot Wheels Stunt Track Challenge (PC, racing)
Midtown Madness 3 (Mobile, racing)
Monster Garage (Xbox, racing)
MTX Mototrax (PC, racing)
Sensible Soccer (Mobile, soccer)
Stadium Games (GBA, sports)
Vijay Singh Real Golf 2005 (Mobile, golf)

Week of November 7

This is the only Rumble Roses screenshot we could find that is appropriate for all audiences.

Rumble Roses (PS2, wrestling)
Humiliation moves, a vow system, and, of course, beautiful mud-splattered babes are all at your fingertips in this controversial wrestling game.

Outlaw Golf 2 (PS2, golf)
Speaking of babes and humiliation, the golf series with an attitude is back with online play and caddies who are just asking for a punch in the face.

Gretzky NHL 2005 (PS2, hockey)
"The Great One" returns to the rink (or at least to a hockey game's cover) in 989 Sports' newest hockey title. The question is: can you make his head bleed?

Golf, tennis, hopping on koopas; man, you'd think Mario would be a bit more svelte.

Mario Power Tennis (GC, tennis)
Mario slamming a power serve down Luigi's throat? Sign us up! The cartoon tennis game features great controls and the prototypical Nintendo sense of humor.

Other Releases:
American Chopper: The Game (racing, Xbox/PS2)
Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2005 Adventures (other, Xbox/PS2)
Hot Wheels Stunt Track Challenge (GBA/Xbox/PS2, racing)

Week of November 14

Catch the purple car and Brooke Burke will reward you with 5 to 8 seconds of disinterested eye contact.

Need for Speed Underground 2 (Xbox/PS2/GC/PC/GBA, racing)
The cars are fast, the racing is furious, and Brooke Burke sure is purdy. The street racer looks to build on the success of the first game in the series.

Ridge Racer DS (DS, racing)
The Nintendo DS' first racing game will allow you to play with up to five of your friends via the handheld's Wi-Fi capabilities.

ESPN College Hoops 2K5 (Xbox/PS2, basketball)
ESPN's college basketball title drops this week, accompanied by an interesting feature rarely found in real basketball: defense.

We just called the "please score now" play.

NCAA March Madness (Xbox/PS2, basketball)
EA's popular roundball title is highlighted by classic college confrontations and an improved play-calling system.

Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood (Xbox/PS2, wrestling)
Grabbing the attention of Tera Patrick would normally be a very good thing. Grabbing the attention of a chain saw-wielding Tera? Not as good. Let this ultraviolent wrestler satiate your bloodlust.

Other releases:
Crash 'N' Burn (Xbox/PS2, racing)
Deer Hunter (Mobile, hunting)
Greg Hasting's Tournament Paintball (Xbox, extreme)
Pac-Man Bowling (Mobile, bowling)
Racing Gears Advance (Xbox/PS2/GC/PC/GBA, racing)
Room Zoom (GC, racing)
SSX Out of Bounds (Mobile, extreme)
World Championship Pool 2004 (GC, billiards)
Worms Golf (Mobile, golf)

Week of November 21 to 27

Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2005 Adventures (GC, other)
If you're sick and tired of the moose overpopulation problem, do something about it in this console hunting title, which lets you prey upon more than 35 different big-game species.

Top Gear RPM Tuning (Xbox, racing)
The venerable Top Gear series comes to the Xbox for the first time in this street racing game that is 100 percent Vin Diesel-free.

Week of November 28

Total Club Manager 2004 (Xbox, soccer)
If the real pace of soccer (or football, as it's known everywhere else in the world) is too hectic for you, you might enjoy this soccer management simulator.

American Chopper: The Game (PC, racing)
Build your chopper, customize your chopper, ride your chopper. No word yet on whether Paul Sr. will scream at your horrible workmanship or lazy attitude.

Other releases:
Asphalt: Urban GT (NGE, racing)
High Gear (Mobile, racing)
Savage Safari Hunt (Xbox/PS2/GC, hunting)

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