NES – #30 – Tecmo Super Bowl

Well I mean, who didn’t know about Tecmo Super Bowl? Even back then I knew it was the go to football game for the 8-bit generation. That said, I didn’t come to appreciate the sport until years later, and so was never interested in it as a kid.

It looks fun, I think, I really can’t tell. I want it to be fun. I don’t expect a whole lot of depth from this one, but I’m hoping it’ll be a fun one-nighter.

Night 1:

I know it’s an old game, but seeing the AFC and NFC breakdown still made me laugh!


I picked the Raiders… for a friend… and pitted them against the 49ers, because California. Winning the flip, I choose to return the ball. I don’t know why, but I was actually surprised when the game greeted me with a play selection. I guess I was expecting something a bit more crude…


I chose a running play because god damnit Seahawks!


It took a few plays before I really started to appreciate how well the game handled. If you performed the play properly, and the defense didn’t choose the perfect counter-play, there was this fantastic sense of satisfaction. It wasn’t long at all until Bo Jackson earned me my first touchdown.


After that I got my extra point and turned the ball over to San Francisco.

Defense wasn’t quite as fun, and maybe I just wasn’t “getting it”. Same as offense, my success rate of stopping their yardage increased dramatically if I picked the proper defensive play, but my team just felt completely incompetent when it came to tackles. Still, I was able to enjoy some sacks, blocks and even an interception, all with slick and non-invasive cutscenes.

Half time!


It’s not dancing sharks, but it’ll do.

The game ended in favor, but not without a few close calls!

wpid-20150228_003619.jpgIt’s worth noting I did try a single passing play, but couldn’t quite figure out the passing mechanics. I’d try it again in the future only to get immediately sacked. I think I’ll just stick to running the ball…

Not wanting to call it one and done, I tried the Pro Bowl mode, pitting the NFC against the AFC. This was immediately more difficult than the preseason game I played earlier. Their defense was tighter, offense ran harder, and more than a few times I considered just giving up the game as the CPU put me so far behind.

Somehow, in the second half, I managed to crawl ahead. With 40 seconds left in the 4th quarter, the NFC was on offense, only two points behind. Somehow, I managed to keep them scoring one last time, and the game was mine!


Pretty much everything! This game surprised me completely. Production values were high, the game was fun and simple and extremely gratifying. I was swearing at my TV just as much as I jumping out of my seat celebrating plays. Somehow, this 8-bit 24 year old game managed to generate a ton of excitement. I can really see why people still play this game, though it’s made me really look forward to trying the SNES version to see how it was improved.

Like other NES sports titles, the mechanics weren’t very well communicated, which is to say at all. I don’t have the instruction booklet so I had to figure everything out on my own. I didn’t realize that I could change active players on defense, pre-snap, with the A button until halfway through the Pro Bowl game. Defense wasn’t much fun in general actually, and was the most frustrating part of the game.

NES-Tecmo Super Bowl

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