Review: Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES

When I was a little kid, I loved me some Tecmo Super Bowl. I had not the foggiest idea what a Tecmo was, but I didn’t care (and likely pronounced it ‘Temco’ anyway). Hell, I didn’t even know how to read the selectable plays in between ’rounds’ or whatever football people call them. All that mattered was a quintessential 8bit soundtrack draped over a game that didn’t penetrate my butthole against my will every five seconds. Toss to the Quarterback, take off running, win. Good times, thems was. And thems times haven’t changeds.

Look ma, crop circles!

Tecmo Super Bowl is one of those special games that likely belongs in any retro game enthusiast’s library. It gives a sport that many people couldn’t give a rat’s ass about a sense of wonder. No? Well, I’m staring at a few boxes of Madden refuse in the back of the used game store I work at right now. These boxes exist because nobody will buy that shit… not even the suckers that would have bought it in the first place. Anyway, back to that sense of wonder thing…

With this game, football feels a hell of a lot like what I imagine it did back before corporate interests crawled in its every crevice and laid eggs. It is fun, light-hearted, and I shit you not, goddamn everyone can be a hero. My first match (bout?) in probably 10 sad, long years ended in 29 – 7, Bengals over the Green Bay Packers. All hail the king, Boomer The God-Damned Esia.. Esie… Eisas…. Isosceles, whatever. Interceptions, 70 yard touch down runs, dudes doing “hoorah!” moves. I’m about half an inch from getting a crotch sprain because I’m bouncing on the couch. All of this and I barely understand more about what I’m doing than when I was 10. Arguably… it’s probably better when you know stuff, but I’m hoping to cultivate the nickname “No-Look Willy.” I will also accept “Look-Away Johnson.”

The Game Stuff

Until you know this joy, your heart will be nothing but a barren womb.

The graphics are early NES (they is what they is), the music is classic and drives the action, there are a number of game modes and a bunch of teams with real player names that you don’t care about. Probably the most stand-out feature, at least in retrospect, are the totally sweet cut scenes. Even the stupid little halftime show feels invigorating.

There’s honestly not a whole hell of a lot else to talk about, though I’m sure there’s a nerd for that if you really want to get out the magnifying glass. This is one of those games where the experience truly tends to defy description. Levar Burton could jump out of your toilet right now and shout “But don’t take my word for it, you son of a bitch!!!” at the top of his lungs, and it would make perfect sense.

Other Versions?

There are more versions of this game than there are versions of games with less versions than this one, all thanks to an insane cult following. Hacked ROMS are still being released as recently as tomorrow. Madison, Wisconsin – of all bumfuck locations – is actually home to an annual tournament. The game itself, “Super Tecmo Bowl,” was updated and re-released on the SNES and Genesis. Super Nintendo saw what I believe to be the overall “best” version of the game, Tecmo Super Bowl III. There was also a weird isometric view version on those systems. And a bunch of other shit on other systems.

Hey pig, you ever had your shit pushed in?

One time ESPN named Super Tecmo Bowl the greatest sports game of all time. That’s probably meaningless, but roll with me.

The End Is Nigh

Whether it was on purpose or not, Tecmo Super Bowl did a lot for both gaming and football by combining said worlds in a way that has yet to be repeated – save for some of its other versions, of course… and maybe NFL Blitz. You should honor that accomplishment by popping it into your front-loader (or top-loader, you nit-picky bastards) and making your closest friend into your video football punching bag.

They can’t get mad at you for being a dick because they’re your friend.

 By Gamesman Anus

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