Thursday, February 08, 2007

Victor's Ten Random Thoughts on Tecmo Super Bowl

Recently, for no reason in particular aside from my ongoing personal commitment to avoiding any real work, I've start playing a lot of Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES again. Every few years I seem to get into these brief stretches where I just play through season after season. It's one of the few NES games that I still find endlessly re-playable; an enduring masterpiece. Even now, 16 years later, people are putting up Tecmo fan websites, participating in sad, but lively forum debates, and even playing in competitive leagues, hacking in updated rosters for various historic reenactments. It was even used as a tongue and cheek simulator of the recent Super Bowl (although it was a bit inaccurate). So after this recent spell of intense 8-bit gridiron action and numerous fictional Buffalo Bills World Championships, here are 10 random ruminations on this classic:

  1. LA Raiders RB Bo Jackson's mythic reputation as the most dominant RB in the game is well deserved, however I'd like to put forth a dissenting opinion that KC Chiefs RB Christian Okoye is just as good. The "Nigerian Nightmare" while slightly slower than Jackson, is the undisputed king of breaking tackles. When he's in excellent condition he knocks single tacklers over like rag dolls. It's interesting how both players in real life were only dominant in the brief span before and after the game was made.
  2. There is no reason to do any run plays with the Houston Oilers aside from cruelly taunting your opponent with reckless showboating. Seriously when you have arguably the best QB Warren Moon gunning it to an embarrassment of receiving riches like Drew Hill, Ernest Givens, and Haywood Jefferies, every game ends with around 600 passing and receiving yards. Throw in the fact that RB Lorenzo White is the WORST RB in the game, this is a one dimensional, but still overpoweringly effective offense.
  3. Come on, Jim Kelly, Randall Cunningham, and Bernie Kosar aka QB Bills, QB Eagles, and QB Browns respectively. I don't know what the specific reasons were for your lack of involvement in the player union but it feels like a robot is celebrating an 80 yard TD pass to Andre Reed or a scrambled 50 yard QB Sneak to give Philly the lead. You guys are top tier QBs (and you're pretty good Bernie) so why not revel in your fame.
  4. Gil "The Thrill" Fenerty is in my opinion the best kick returner in the game. I think he's a tad underrated since he's on the boring, starless N.O. Saints, but I've had games where his kick and punt returns were almost the entire offense. Seriously this team has no other exceptional players, just a starting line up of pure mediocrity.
  5. In stark contrast to the current champion Indianapolis Colts, the 91 Tecmo Colts are the worst team in the game. While it's an all round bad team their major weakness stems from a defense that cannot tackle for their lives. Any decent RB can easier run directly at a Colts defender and knock them down like a toddler (see: topic 1). Most often than not the Colts need two or three guys all diving at once to bring a player down. Add this Swiss Cheese defense with a an anemic offense led by the talentless Jeff George and you got yourself the doormats of the league.
  6. It a guarantee that the Browns Eric Metcalf will get injured somewhere during the course of a full season. He's a talented wide receiver and kick returner, but he's obviously made of glass or suffering from a permanent illness; I've never seen his condition go above average. In any case, I've gotten used to the sight of him returning a kick, getting tackled and the cinematic of him hobbling off the field with serious sounding music in the background.
  7. Chargers QB B.J. Tolliver throws like he's pitching in a middle aged women's softball league. He's accurate and all but he can't seem to throw over the lumbering defensive linemen that routinely tip his passes and in some instances actually intercept him. So many times he's had a wide open man down the field only to have the ball be spiked down an inch in front of him. At least he never over throws his target.
  8. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be renamed "Wayne Haddix and Some Other Guys in Orange". He is the Bo Jackson of defensive backs and will intercept any pass thrown remotely near his target WR as this bizarre musical demonstration will show. His speed and interception levels are untouchable. It's a shame he's on such a dead end team. As it turns out Haddix like many other Tecmo stars was in reality only good for one season, which happened the be the 1990 season that all players stats are based off of.
  9. You have to make a concentrated effort to miss an extra point. If only extra point field goals were this easy in reality. The question of distance is a non issue and the left right arrow has such a wide margin of error that to actually kick and miss you would have to focus on getting it just as the arrow is at the most extreme points.
  10. I didn't know this at first but, according to wikipedia the CPU is suppose to become increasingly difficult as the season progresses. I was always wondering why the team I blew out 52 -3 in Week 2 came back to either kick my ass or make it a touchdown to touchdown slug fest where the last scorer wins. This applies even to the bad teams, so even the week 17 Patriots are a force to be reckoned with. Pretty progressive programming, Tecmo.
All the extra clips are courtesy of YouTube and its disturbingly high number of posted Tecmo game footage and reenactments.

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