Review By: Nick Arvites
|# Of Players:||1-2|
|Accessories:||Xbox Live (online play, leaderboards)|
Like many that grew up playing the NES, playing Tecmo Bowl is my first sports gaming memory. The original, which features players but not team names, and its follow-up Tecmo Super Bowl, which was fully licensed, provided countless hours of multiplayer fun. Obviously we had house rules, such as no Raiders or no Nose Tackle glitching. Violators were punched in the arm, but we rarely had problems. It never really got old or boring, even if the rosters were dated or the game lacked features like penalties, stadiums, offseason modes, deep playbooks, complex formations, or any of the other things present in modern games. There is just something inherently fun about dropping back to your own endzone and bombing the ball to the other side of the field for a TD, or making someone look stupid with Thurman Thomas.
These memories are almost 20 years old, which makes me feel ancient. Even today, I’ll occasionally play Tecmo Super Bowl against a few friends to relive the memories. I guess that makes people like me the target market that Tecmo is aiming for with their release of Tecmo Bowl Throwback on Xbox Live Arcade. Nostalgia is great, but sometimes it isn’t enough.
Tecmo Bowl Throwback is a standard nostalgia title released to Xbox Live Arcade (and eventually the PSN). It takes a fondly remembered title, adds in an updated 3D mode, and gives you more of the same gameplay that you loved decades ago. In this case, Tecmo Bowl Throwback builds upon the 1993 version of Tecmo Super Bowl. This gives weather options, manual touchback, an automatic dive play, changeable playbooks, and the 1993 versions of the in-play and post-play cut-scenes. The biggest change since 1993 is the loss of the NFL license. Tecmo Bowl Throwback does not feature NFL teams or players. However, the teams are labeled by city, and the conferences and divisions match their NFL counterparts. In other words, we have a league with two conference made up of three divisions with two teams in Los Angeles and no teams in Carolina, Jacksonville, Baltimore, St. Louis, Oakland, or Tennessee.
The team rosters are identical to the 1993 Tecmo Super Bowl rosters. The players have fake names, but are rated the same as their real world counterparts were in 1993. Thanks to an editing feature, you can rename the teams to their proper NFL counterparts and change the fake named players to their real world counterparts. I found this to be worth the effort, mainly so I know who I’m running with or throwing to and who’s burning me. It also gives the game a more authentic feel. Unfortunately, the team colors and logos cannot be edited, so you’re stuck with inaccurate colors and logos. Player ratings are also not editable. This prevents a community-created modern NFL (well, minus the Ravens, Texans, Panthers, and Jaguars) and may turn off people that are either too young to remember the 1993 NFL or don’t care about the 1993 NFL.
Posted: 2011-02-24 18:45:13 PST