Tecmo Super Bowl Review

Developer: Tecmo Publisher: Tecmo
Release Date: N/A Also On: None

Football games. Anymore if they’re not made by EA, most people ignore them. But ten to fifteen years ago, there was a different superstar in the football games business. They were called Tecmo, and their Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES is widely regarded to be the best football game of the 2D era, and by some to be the best football game of all time. I must admit that I don’t believe anymore that Tecmo Super Bowl is the best football game of all time, I do agree with those who’d call it the best football game of the 2D era.

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For its time, the graphics on Tecmo Super Bowl were pretty good. They were outclassed by a peer known as Super Mario Bros. 3, sure, but every game released up to that point was in one way or another. It is easy to tell the difference between a player and the field, even with the players for teams that wore green uniforms. The ball flying through the air graphic was as realistic as they came in the NES era. Graphically, Tecmo Super Bowl left every other NES football game in the dust, including its own prequel.

The same can be said of the sound. The music changed depending on which team had the ball, so you never got sick of hearing the same thing over and over unless a drive was sustained for a long time. The sound effects were as good as they came for sports games on the NES. Tecmo Super Bowl set a standard for sound also that, to my knowledge, was met by no other football game on the system.

So far as gameplay goes, it was football. You pick one of eight plays to run/pass or defend, then you go out to the field and help your team to victory. Tecmo Super Bowl boasted controls that by current standards would be very pick up and play. There weren’t a lot of complicating things to worry about like audibles or men in motion like in subsequent football games. Sure, such facts detract some from the simulation aspect of the game, but it did serve to make the game more accessible to the common fans and it was a two button controller after all, so how much depth could have been placed in the game?

Running, blocking, and passing all work as well as could be expected on an NES also. Tecmo pulled out all the stops in order to deliver the best football experience they could, and deliver they did. Whereas the Madden franchise has to have a new incarnation every year to keep its fans, Tecmo Super Bowl transcended roster changes and continues to be a dominating presence in many people’s minds when it comes to football games. If you haven’t played this game, you have missed something, and I suggest you go out and buy a copy of this game immediately.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.5
Written by Martin Review Guide

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