Tecmo Super Bowl - Retro Reflections

We'll consider this the Super Bowl special edition. I was trying to think of what game or games would be most relevant this weekend. What did I come up with? Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES. Before there was Madden, there was Tecmo Bowl, which I played a fair amount of when it came out. But it wasn't until I could play out an entire season, complete with rosters, stat accumulation and the Pro Bowl teams that I first fell in love with the NFL. I was discovering Barry Sanders on my Detroit Lions around the time this game came out, and they really were what developed my interest in sports games.

So how did the game hold up when I put it back under the microscope this weekend? Surprisingly well! There's only 8 plays on offense and defense. It's a guessing game, you call defensive plays and if you guess the same one the offense guesses, you decimate them. Call something similar to what they call, and you have better odds of defending it. Offense is 4 running and 4 passing plays. They vary up a bit by team. I usually used the Lions, the Bills or the 49ers back then.

Calling a run play with Barry Sanders had me grinning ear to ear the first time I 'juked' (that's putting it nicely. I ran at diagonal angles is all) a defender, and when I got a sack with Ball after he tossed the blocker aside like a rag doll, I laughed aloud. It's really a gimmicky offense most of the times: drop back basically forever. Toss the ball really deep. 100 yard passes are not as impossible as they should be. It was still a blast taking control of Chris Spielman at linebacker and drilling the running back with a dive tackle.

In the video I made, I played the Pro Bowl rosters and had one play that epitomized the game for me years ago as I dropped back, immediately identified the bottom wide receiver with no one covering him, threw the ball very badly, but he leapt up, grabbed it, sprinted to the goal line and shed the defender for a touchdown. The cut scenes were fun to see as well - and I got that last sequence in the video I provided.

I don't know if this was the first game to use all NFL teams, have full NFL rosters, or to have full season stat tracking - but it was the first one I ever played and it set me down a path of more than 20 years (and counting) of NFL licensed football games and a lot of good memories playing them. Appropriate for Super Bowl Sunday, wouldn't you say?

Now for the videos... I've got Youtube first, Screencast 2nd

The Screencast one looks better, but it auto-sizes better, doesn't re-encode either. Youtube however doesn't attack my bandwidth the same way an offers the option of other people finding it. I'll probably do some tweaking and do one more comparison next week, but I am leaning toward Youtube at the moment - I just need to get better with the dimensions.


  1. That was an awesome "play of the game"...lol, makes me want to go and play a football game again...

    I can't recall playing Tecmo Bowl, but I know it's considered a classic by many.

    On the videos, Screencast played it well...YouTube is having issues on my end I think, and it will only play a few seconds and stop...like it's trying to "buffer" forever or something.

    Anyway, good post and Retro Reflections.

  2. Glad you liked that. several things really cracked me up when I played it - things you take for granted now. like how hard you push the button affecting throws in Madden but not this game. On quiet a few passes I found myself jamming the button down hard in hopes of tossing a bullet pass (to no avail, mind you).

    Also, I'm so used to announcers in today's games that it was weird not hearing any while playing this game - and interesting to note the various different music bits that played - especially when certain things happened like sacks, interceptions and first downs.

    Odd on the video - figured Youtube would be the less problematic of the two. I have some video lined up for next weekend, both Youtube and Screencast again - we'll see if they play any more reliably next weekend for you

  3. The YouTube video is working fine now, as the "buffering" issue I've had happen before...I think it's a "feature" with YouTube videos(where you never know when they'll function properly)! They work 90% of the time for me without issue though, and the other 10% I don't know if it's on my end, or the other end.

    Oh yea, what video editing software are you using? I just started using Sony Vegas about a month ago, and I'm learning it slowly but surely...but like some of the things it can do like the "zooming" feature where it pans into a certain area.

    I've experimented with a few other effects offline, but not published any videos yet with them.

  4. For the videos I've been using Camtasia Studio. For the image editing, it's been combinations of Snagit and Photoshop. Full disclosure - but I work for a company called TechSmith - they make Camtasia and Snagit, and are also the ones who host the Screencast service. Anyway, I do tech support for them and know my way around the software pretty well if you wind up using it and having questions. :P


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