Tecmo Super Bowl – a sports classic

The NES had hundreds of sports games. To be honest, about 98% of them sucked. Even the Super NES had a mediocre library of sports games. It wasn’t until the Sega Genesis came along did we see a library of good sports related games. Tecmo Bowl was one of the few NES sports titles that was awesome.

I rented the game one Friday. I had the original which was a good game. My main issue with that game was the fact it had no NFL team license. While the cities of teams was accurate, the mascots and logos were not. Tecmo Super Bowl fixed all of that. That was just the beginning of the greatness of this game.

After playing a couple of preseason games to learn the basic controls, I went into the season mode. During my second game of the season, I had a player get injured. What? That was a brand new aspect to sports gaming. I also quickly found out that the game kept track of season stats. Wait, what? Now days this is common. Back then, that was freaking unheard of!

This was the first football game I ever played where you could sub and bench players. It also kept track of players’ health. If your running back was in bad health, his speed and breaking tackle ability would decrease. Again, this was a new concept during this era of video gaming. Like in real life, some teams were better than others. The 49ers had two great players at QB, Craig a decent running back and of course, the legendary Jerry Rice. Lawrence Taylor was nearly unstoppable on defense. You could block about 75% of your opponents extra points with him. Then there was Bo Jackson…. the greatest video game football player of all-time before the “create a player mode” existed.

The main goal of the game was to take a team through a 16 game season and win the Super Bowl. Each passing week the games got tougher and tougher. With each passing week the computer would complete more passes, run faster and guess your plays better. When you guessed a play of your opponent correctly, your entire defense would basically blitz them and run them over.

While not very realistic overall, it was sure fun. Nothing was better than breaking a tackle and throwing a player 15 yards downfield. Most of us ran backwards 40 yards with Bo Jackson to then run right pass the entire defense for a touchdown. We also loved picking a passing play and bombing a hail mary to our best wide receiver. The cut scenes were cheesy but fit perfectly into the gameplay.

Normally I don’t recommend sports games to newbies getting into retro gaming. This is one title that is a must own. Besides a season mode, you can play preseason games, play and edit your own Pro Bowl teams or try the coaching mode out, where all you do is call the plays while the computer performs them. A fun game with very simple controls to learn.

Graphics 4 out of 5 – I actually think the first Tecmo Bowl game had better graphics, as the players were larger. That is really my biggest knock of the game.

Controls 5 out of 5 – While very basic controls, they work awesomely. It’s simple to dodge tackles and to change your running direction. Picking plays and choosing players to pass to is also very simple and easy to learn.

Music 4 out of 5 – The music gets old very fast, as the game only has a few tracks and they do repeat over and over.

Gameplay 5 out of 5 – This game has a great replay value. Say you beat it with a good team. Start over and try beating it with a sucky team such as Tampa Bay. With random injuries, it can be hard losing a great player such as Dan Marino. You can also play against friends for even more fun.

Overall score 18 out of 20 (90%). Excellent game.



Mega Man 2 -Review

Mega Man 2, a true NES classic. The original NES released six of these 8-bit gems. While the other five are good games, two is the one that has stood the test of time. Everyone knows two in the same way everyone knows Super Mario Brothers 3. Nerds like myself rate Mega Man 2 as not only one of the best NES games of all-time, but one of the best games of any system. Hard for me to disagree.

In 1989, my dad lost his job of 34 years. Money was tight in my household. I can recall living off of spam and off-brand food. With my birthday and Christmas around the corner, I didn’t expect to land a new video game. Lucky for me a local family owned video store went out of business. My mom picked out a game I knew nothing about. I remember opening up the gift and thinking to myself, “This sucks. Who is Mega Man,” as I had never heard of the first game.

To my shock, this was the best $9 game ever (price tag listed on the game). The levels were so colorful. Each stage had a different boss who had a hidden weakness. The game had jamming music you truly didn’t hear normally in 8-bit games. I spent countless hours in front of this game. It quickly became a favorite of mine.

A lot of new gamers always ask “What makes Mega Man 2 stand out from the other five,” and the answer is simple — EVERYTHING. The first Mega Man game had very stiff controls. The great music was there. Just below average controls. Part three also had a decent soundtrack. Lag, lag and more lag destroys that game. Four is great. Just average music and they went crazy on the difficulty level of game play. Five sort of suffers from the lag that three had, just not as bad. Six is awesome, my second favorite behind two. Only problem was the game simply seemed like a copy of the other five by this time.

Mega Man 2 got everything right. The controls are spot on. Think the game is too hard like one? Play and the learn the normal mode before trying the difficult mode. The music is my third favorite music of any 8-bit game, only behind that of The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania.

Finding the game online in original form can be pricey these days. I recommend if you own a PS4 or X-Box to buy the Mega Man Legacy. I caught mine during a sale and got the original six for $14.99. I believe it’s normally $19.99, still cheaper than the scammers trying to sell two alone for $35 on E-bay. If you are starting a NES collection or getting into retro gaming, Mega Man 2 is a must have.

Graphics 4.5 out of 5 – The game has great graphics. I will say this is where three through six does improve over two. Some of the graphics can be a little fuzzy during certain levels. Like one, there are some odd glitches in the graphics.

Controls 5 out of 5 – Very simple controls that respond perfectly. No stiff jumping, and very accurate like in Super Mario games. If you miss a jump, it’s 99.9% of the time your fault.

Music 5 out of 5 – To me, third best 8-bit music of all-time. Each level has different music, the boss areas has its own music and classic item music once you beat a stage keeps you fist pumping like a geek. 

Gameplay 5 out of 5 – The game has eight boss stages, four levels of Dr. Wiley to defeat, a repeat of the robot masters and the final Wiley fight. The challenge is there. Once you master the normal mode, crank it up to the difficult mode. Since you can pick any robot masters’ level, try different combinations to add challenge to the gameplay. 

Overall score 19.5 out of 20 (97.5%). Legendary game.