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Recently my review of Tecmo Super Bowl II: Special Edition was posted on SNES Hub. This is a really great fansite that any of you SNES fans out there should check out. http://playingwithsuperpower.com/tecmo-super-bowl-ii-special-edition-review/ I'd love to know what you all think about the review!
http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/587684-tecmo-bowl/reviews/review-109599 Review by Eric43 "Get ready for some FOOTBALL!!"Tecmo Bowl is a pretty old football game, released back in 1989. There's only twelve teams, nine players per team on the field at a time, four plays per team, and the action scrolls left to right in a pitched camera view. Sounds like crap, especially when overshadowed by its famed successor, Tecmo Super Bowl, but it's not, it's AWESOME!! There's a pretty cool intro with some happenin' music and a scrolling list of the team rosters. As you can see, Tecmo Bowl uses the NFL Players license, therefore, your favorite players from the '85-'86 season are here, such as Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor, and Bo Jackson. However, there's no team names; just the names of the cities. The twelve teams in this game are San Francisco, New York (Giants), Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Seattle, Miami, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Washington. Each team has their authentic uniform color except for Seattle, which is pink for some reason. Yeah, it stinks that they couldn't include more teams, but that's life. There's only nine players for each team on the field, but like other arcade football games like NFL Blitz, the gameplay adapts well. Once the game gets underway, it's a delight to know the game's controls are very accessible and clear-cut all the way. On receptions, the ball carrier is controlled merely by the d-pad and can juke players like crazy. As for pass plays, the QB can move in the pocket and press A to change receivers and press B to pass it to the man. Defense is simple too. Before the snap, you can toggle through the defenders with the A button. You can stop plays by simply moving into another player and try to take them down, or you can press B for a dive tackle, which instantly takes down the player but also leaves you vulnerable if you miss. It's simple to learn but difficult to master. In between plays, the the offense's playbook is displayed on screen. Most teams have a unique playbook consisting of two pass plays and two run plays, while a few pass-happy teams like San Francisco and Miami have three pass plays and one run play. Press A and the specific d-pad button to call a play. However, the defense must pick one of the offense's plays too. The defense will adjust to the play, but should they happen to pick the same play as the offense, they'll read the play perfectly and usually sack the QB or RB right away. It sounds ludicrous that there's a 25% of getting a “play pick,” but it's a fun guessing game, where two players can match wits by trying to predict what the other's going to do. There's some oddities in Tecmo Bowl that sound bad at first but are for the best. For instance, there's no blocked or dropped passes; every time a defender gets to the receiver catching the ball, it's an interception—no questions asked, come again, see you later. This will no doubt cause some controversy, but the good news is that there's no Mario Party-like chance in this game. If you throw a first down or a pick, it's your fault. There's no fumbles. That makes rushing the safe alternative, but you can catch an opponent off-guard with a well-timed pass. Also, if you run into daylight (as in run pass all the defenders for a TD), you can expect the AI players to kick it into gear and catch up to you somewhat. You can juke them, however, and squeak out that game-breaking touchdown. There's no injuries or time outs either (the clock stops after each play). Special teams, in the form of kickoffs, punts, and field goals, are as simple as pressing the button as soon as a power bar reaches the top. Accuracy is never an issue as all you need to do is clear the uprights to score. There's no option to try for a two-point conversion, you can block most long field goals by being the OLB and moving in untouched, and the punt coverage on returns is insane. But like a good kicker in the NFL, special teams is not the game's best weapon but it does its job without any complaints. What truly makes Tecmo Bowl great is its use of player statistics. You can't read them in the game, but all players are graded on speed, acceleration, and strength; some on pass speed and kicking distance. You can "infer" who's better just by looking at some tentative in-game records, such as Yards or Interceptions. There's your fast running backs and wide receivers like Bo Jackson, Walter Payton, and Jerry Rice who are your go-to guys on most occasions. On defense, some cornerbacks and safeties are absolutely nuts at covering the field, such as Lawrence Taylor or Ronnie Lott, who are scanning the field for a pick. As for QBs, there's a difference in how fast they pass the ball. Dan Marino throws fast, but loser Jack Trudeau throws slow and is asking to be picked off. Also, some kickers and punters can get more distance than others. Statwise, you can say some teams are better than others, but there's also the playbook to take into consideration. Tecmo Bowl is a lot of fun, but there's some balance issues to deal with. For instance, if a QB throws a pass to a receiver in the middle of a cut or a curl, the pass can't be blocked. That means you'll have to ban that whenever you play with a friend. During a playpick of one of Indy's pass plays, one receiver is wide open no matter what, so you have to ban that too. However, you can't stop the fact that some offensive linemen don't block their man on a few plays, therefore greatly reducing the efficiency of the play. This can be exploited during Bo Jackson's only rushing play, in which his insane speed is contained to only a yard or so. Also, some plays are just bad. Washington has a wide receiver reverse and a curls play. The WR reverse is too easy to stop and the curls play leaves all three receivers right next to each other for an easy pick. The playbooks make a world of difference, and teams with little star power like Indianapolis suddenly own because of their versatile running plays and spread-out passing attacks. At least the graphics aren't as broken as Washington's playbook. There's the same old player model with pallete swaps to accommodate the team's uniform and the player's skin color, as well as the accomodating generic green turf football field. It's not bad; as a matter of fact, this game looks pretty awesome for a Nintendo game. The framerate is good and the players animate as well as Super Mario. Its only flaw is when the players are in action, they tend to do that awful NES blinking effect, but it doen't obscure the play and is hardly noticeable. There's TD celebrations which consist of two white guys jumping for a hi-five as well as half-time "slide" shows (that you can just skip cause they're stupid unless you like looking at pixelated cheerleaders). As for sound, there's a lot of goofy tunes in the game that you may or may not like, but there's the charming “Ready-down-hoothoothoothoothoot” from the QB before the snap. There's some crunching sounds and whistles, as well as an announcer who announces “Touchdown!” whenver someone scores. You'll love it. You can play one-player against the AI and beat all eleven teams to win the Super Bowl. Or you can just play two-player with a friend. Man, that's some good stuff. The AI is pretty stupid, so this is a pretty good buddy game. The controls are good, the gameplay is innovative, and the presentation is nice. The whole conflict with interceptions and whatnot can discourage some, but since there's no other football games out there with that features, this makes this game all the more interesting. If only a few of the game exploits could be fixed then this game would be better. Presentation: 9/10 – Doo..doo..doo, awesome intro! Gameplay: 9/10 – Fun football game as long as you can fix the danged exploits in this game! Graphics: 8/10 – Cool looking players as well as the classic hi-five touchdown celebration. Sound: 7/10 – Cool music and sound effects, but the game tends to repeat them a lot. Replay Value: 8/10 – Get a friend and you'll play this for a long time. The AI isn't very smart though, so you will only push them around for so long.
Hey guys, I reviewed TSB I for a SNES fansite a few months ago. I'd appreciated if you read it and told me what you thought. The SNES Hub is a really good site for those of you who dig the system. Quality articles and reviews are posted every week. http://playingwithsuperpower.com/tecmo-super-bowl-review/