Football is back and I am more pumped than listening to Jock Jams on repeat. Football season means a few things to me. Drinking the optimistic kool-aid of your favorite team, fantasy football, annual Cleveland Browns road trips, Sunday Funday, and Monday being the worst day in the history of man at work. No question the best time of year.
The start of the season is also a time to break out the 8 bit Nintendo console, blow in the system, and pop in Tecmo Super Bowl. Rewind to a time where the only worry you had was which friend’s house would host the Friday night Tecmo sleepover and which Starter jacket to rock.
Tecmo Super Bowl is the absolute gold standard of football video games that spits more fire than Delonte West at 2am waiting for KFC. End of debate. The fact that we still play this game 20+years later on a system older than Grant Hill that features gunslinger extraordinaire Jeff George tells you all you need to know.
Let’s take a look at some reasons this game is the best.
In a video game Jackson is simply the best there is, the best there was, and the best there will ever be. Ask someone the first thing they think of when they hear Tecmo and you will hear Bo Jackson. 99 yard TD’s, outrushing blitzes for TD’s and racking up 500+yards rushing in any game are standard operating procedure. Jackson stands alone as the best individual sports player in video game history.
QB Eagles, QB Browns, QB Bills
Since Randal Cunningham, Bernie Kosar, and Jim Kelly were left out of the NFLPA license agreement, they were likened as these characters for their respective teams. QB Eagles is legendary for both his skill and his government. A jersey donning one of these names would vault you to the top of the jersey pantheon faster than Rob Cressy‘s 40 time.
Zigzagging, throwing a football 100 yards, 90 yard punts
More impossible to do in real life then Ashlee Simpson actually singing at a concert, these were all staples of Tecmo Super Bowl. Breakaway speed was zigzagging and angling away from the defense, John Elway 100 yard bombs to Vance “I Beat my Wife” Johnson was a mainstay, and backing your opponent to its goal line only to field the punt on your own 10 yard line was all too real.
Certainly the players were average and even good in real life, but with the help of the folks at Tecmo and some creative ingenuity from the user, these good players turned into game changers. Use WR Drew Hill (not the R/B artist) at running back for the Houston Oilers and you have just entered a dimension not even Von Miller could reach while on Ecstasy.
David Fulcher of the Bengals is the most dominant defensive player you don’t think of. No need to grapple to tackle, just run into the ball carrier and automatic tackle. Hover over the receiver on a pass and 50% of the time it is a pick. Gil Fenerty of the Saints is a straight freak on the return game. More electric than Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, Fenerty was a threat to score every time he touched a kick return.
Along with the players and game play, the graphics played just as important of a role. No question your blood pressure spiked when Derrick Thomas flexed after knifing through the offense like Ray Lewis to get a sack. The thrill of Dan Marino arms in the air and coming at your screen after hitting Mark Duper on a huge TD pass was enough to make you pump your fist like Pauly D. How quick your heart was to sink when your indispensable stud got hurt and carried off the field (you are obviously humming the tune in your head), but then it turned to jubilation when he ran out of the hospital when recovered.
All these reasons are great, but the sheer camaraderie and time spent with friends defined your youth. Coming home from school to skip the Nickelodeon reruns to grab a box of Cheez-Its and hit the game room to continue your season. Calling friends to come over and have Tecmo wars. Planning Friday night sleep overs with a group of friends and ordering pizza to stay up half the night pounding the A and B buttons like they were freshman girls at a frat party. Heck, even getting your dad to play a game or two of Tecmo to help pad your stats and feel better about your game. These are what really made Tecmo Super Bowl that much better than any other video football game.
So let us hear what you think Bacon Nation. What were your favorite things about Super Tecmo Bowl? Who were your favorite, most underrated and overrated players? It is your forum, REACT! Holla in the comments or at me on Twitter @THamm09.
PS. Stayed tuned for my Tecmo Bowl Big Board/Fantasy Tecmo draft article to come.
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