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Tecmo Bowl, Part 2

Everything I know about football, I learned from Tecmo Bowl.

  1. Walter Payton is the greatest football player of all time.
  2. Bo Jackson’s career was cut way too short.
  3. Lawrence Taylor was the most dominant defensive player in the history of football.
  4. Chicago is awesome when they have a great running back and a dominant middle linebacker.
  5. Special teams can win or lose a ball game (the ability to block extra points by choosing the second guy on the line from the top with Chicago, is an extreme advantage).
  6. A good tight end can bail  you out of a lot of problems (especially when calling Pass 2 with Chicago).
  7. Tackling with one man is good, tackling with two or more is better.  And when tackling, it is very risky to leave your feet.
  8. Nothing is more embarassing on a football field that getting thrown into the air by your opponent.
  9. You need a balanced offense – If your plays are 3:1 in favor of passing, it is too easy to shut you down, no matter how great your quarterback is (sorry San Francisco and Miami).
  10.  Halftime shows are always too long.
  11. There is nothing wrong with a high-five after a touchdown.

Any more things you learned from Tecmo Bowl?

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Tecmo Bowl – the first great sports game, Part 1.

Last week I picked Super Tecmo Bowl as one of my top 5 favorite video games of all time.  The reason I picked it over Tecmo Bowl is that it was a perfect sequel.  It kept the game play similar, but added a few dimensions.  I believe that Tecmo Bowl was a revolutionary sports game.  I’m no video game historian, but it was the first game that I remember that used things that are common in football video games today. 

  1. The scrolling screen.  Before this, almost all sports games had the entire field on one screen.  Using a scrolling field allowed for much more realistic scale and better gameplay.  Madden, the most popular sports game in history, now uses the scrolling field, but switched it to a vertical field, whereas Tecmo Bowl was a horizontal field.  The horizontal field better simulates the way we watch football on TV.  The vertical screen makes for a more realistic players’-eye-view.
  2. Player’s names.  Tecmo Bowl had permission of the NFL Players Association, so actual players and stats were used.  These stats were also used to individualize each video game player.  Even though they all looked alike (except for skin tone), each player had different attributes.  Oddly enough, they did not get permission from the NFL, so the teams did not use team names – just cities, and a loosely patterned color scheme (the San Francisco team was red and gold, but Seattle was pink for some reason).  Super Tecmo Bowl remedied this problem by getting the NFL’s permission – I think the first game to do so – and used the actual logos.
  3. An ongoing season.  The game simulated a season by randomly selecting a team for each “week.”  You were given a password after each week, and if you kept winning, you would advance to the playoffs, and then the Tecmo Bowl.  Super Tecmo Bowl took this a step further, by keeping some basic stats as the season went on.
  4. Play calling.  Tecmo Bowl coaches had four plays to choose from.  For most teams there were two runs and two passes, but for some teams, the ratio was 3:1 (Miami and San Francisco had three passes, LA had three runs).  Super Tecmo Bowl expanded the play calling to eight.  The defense called plays too, guessing which of the four offensive plays their opponent would call.  If they got it right, the defense would overrun the offense (most of the time).

You might be wondering, “Why the sudden interest in Tecmo Bowl?”  Well, I just downloaded it on the Wii, and it is as fun as I remembered.

 

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