John Madden Football

John Madden Football SNES
While Madden Football is an easy favorite for many gamers, I would bet many of those fans were never around for the early releases. I hear the Sega Genesis version was pretty sweet, but I wanted to give the SNES version a try first.
John Madden Football SNES
This is also back when EA cared about promoting John Madden in the football video games. I think the newest releases don’t even feature his voice anymore. Sad really…….
John Madden Football SNES
Well anyway, John Madden Football on SNES isn’t totally bad. Compared to the older NES football games, this game is pure gold. It’s got all your favorite teams (well the ones around at the time of course), a big playbook, extra modes, and a lot of stuff the series still uses.
John Madden Football SNES
There is one fatal flaw with the game, and that’s the technical limitations of the SNES. The framer ate does not run smooth which really effects gameplay when you’re in a heated moment. Also when you pass you get a zoomed-in view of the players around you. Doesn’t sound too bad, but it kills your view on defense. It’s a shame really, because it seems like EA put a lot of effort in trying to make this the best football game ever in the early 90’s.

Score: 5 out of 10

Captain Tsubasa 2

Captain Tsubasa 2 - Famicom - Gameplay Screenshot

One of the most incredible games for the Famicom which combines two genres together is none other than Captain Tsubasa 2. I’m sure this game is something you have never seen before, well just think about it, the game combines RPG elements with sports which is something that has been seen in very few games. The story is simple, you are this kid who joins a soccer team and well you are pretty good at playing soccer and you want to win it all! Of course, you start up in a sucky team, in fact you are the only one that can score for the team so everyone is depending on you to score a hat trick in every match. The controls are simple, once you meet an opponent on the field you will have four options which is usually to pass, dribble, team pass, and shoot. The one I use the most is team pass because you can pass it to your team mate and avoid getting tackle. Of course these options are only when you are holding the ball but when the opponent is coming towards you well you have other options. You can tackle and injure that asshole, or you can try to take the ball away from him “cleanly”. You can also just let him pass.

Captain Tsubasa 2 - Famicom - Gameplay Screenshot

The difficulty of the game increases greatly and keeps you coming for more. If you loose a match you will be sent back a game so you will need to replay that match and then the match that you lost. In the end, this helps you out because your team levels up according to their performance in the match so next time you meet that team that kicked your ass, it might have a different result. Moving on, the storyline gets very interesting as the game goes along, too bad I don’t know how to read Japanese or I would probably have had a bigger attachment to the game. The cut scenes are very well made for a Famicom game, at some times you must have felt like if you were watching a movie….yeah they are good… The music is also very very good and keeps you on the edge of your seat or couch or wherever the hell you play your video games.

Captain Tsubasa 2 - Famicom - Gameplay Screenshot

 

Overall, the game is a must have for anyone trying to find something different and retro to play. The game doesn’t go for that much, usually ten dollars on ebay. Be sure not to pick up part one as it’s very inferior to the sequel. You will have a better time playing this one. That’s all for now, till next week.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujKvmEp8k6Q[/youtube]

 

One last thing, the game is packed with super moves each of the characters has but remember not to use them that much as it’ll take a big chunk out of your stamina.

10 Yard Fight

10-yard_fight.cover.front

The 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home video game console was known for, among many other things, some of its quality sports titles. From the quirky violence of Super Dodge Ball to the Bo Jacksonian heroics in Tecmo Bowl, many titles offered fans a playable rendition of their favorite sport. Such high-quality legacy was not always the case, though; in 1985, as one of the 18 original launch titles for the machine’s North American release, included was an early American football simulator named 10 Yard Fight.

Gameplay 

10 Yard Fight - Title Screen

There is a two-player mode, though the second player seems to retain the A.I. cheats. Otherwise, this is a football game (American football, specifically, and not a soccer cartridge) that seeks to emulate the classic pigskin pastime. Two teams of nine players each play two 20-minute halves, with the seconds accelerated in classic console style, in one of five difficulty levels, ranging from High School to Super Bowl.

On defense, the player selects one of the defensive players designated A or B by using the corresponding button. Then the ball is snapped, and the player will try to tackle the eventual receiver or ball carrier, either entangling him directly or diving toward with the A button. On offense, the player has two backs on either side of the quarterback, who is in shotgun position, and a man in motion. This motion player serves as the primary receiver once the ball is snapped, with the A button going to him; otherwise, the ball can be pitched with the B button to one of the flanking backs, who can then either run with the ball or pass to the primary with A. Once a receiver has the ball, the player will try to weave diagonally up the open field to evade would-be tacklers, even shimmying back and forth to possibly shake any playing holding onto the carrier.

That, really, is most of the game. There are very few actual rules intact: Out of bounds applies, as does the four-downs for ten yards system, and crude extra points are “kicked” by pointing toward the goal posts and hitting A after the snap. There are even interceptions, which can potentially occur very frequently, since there does not seem to be any sort of height dimension; if the defender is in line-of-sight of the flight path of the ball, they might just intercept it. Beyond the excitement of such interceptions, play just continues as expected, the winner being whoever has the most points when time expires.

Graphics 

This is definitely, obviously a very early NES title, with its hyper-pixelation dominating simplistic visuals. The field looks bland, the players are pixel people, the text is basic computerized font work, and the overall presentation is not spectacular at all.

Sound 

10 yard fight - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

There is no background music, the sound effects are minimal, and the only flourishes are the quick little melodies when something happens like a first down or interception. When these quick micro-songs do happen, they occur with only a few notes, no depth to speak of, and without sophistication.

Originality 

In a historical context, 10 Yard Fight does have a place: This cartridge was certainly ahead of prior Atari attempts at a console football game, but still looks terrible in comparison to the Tecmo Bowl series, or even other almost-decent titles such as John Elway’s Quarterback. The entire gameplay feels like the programmers were stuck with the assignment of creating an American football game yet knowing that they could not quite pull it off, but had to meet a deadline.

Three examples of the flaws that results: First, the interceptions does not happen as they do in actual football, where the defender can run afterward, but instead stop play and simply revert to the other team having possession at a specified point every time; secondly, the vertical scrolling is off, as the field seems to roll underneath the players running in place, rather than actually simulating movement down field; and, lastly, the NES console would later gain some notoriety for its slowdown and flickering problems when too many sprites were on-screen, yet here are well over a dozen on every play, with the inevitable constant sprite-flickering as a result. Was this a trailblazer for later, better football video games? Sure, but it still deserves a one-star rating out of five.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlNqtY76ho0[/youtube]

Overall Rating: 1/5 Stars

Eric Bailey is a retro gamer on a crazy quest to write  a quality review for every single American-released NES video game over at NintendoLegend.com.

Sensible Soccer: 2006

Sensible Soccer 2006
At last, a chance to toss those silly looking joypads aside and grab what real men were always supposed to grab. Joysticks! Yes, joysticks, even better digital joysticks, for this is a review of Sensible Soccer‘s latest spawn, and Sensible Soccer was meant to be played only in the traditional way. The joystick way. Oh, in case you didn’t know, it also happened to be the best footie ever, on any platform and of every possible universe. Of course not everybody believed this. The unenlightened ones grumbled about the lack of impressive eye-candy, the incompetent ones about the lightning fast gameplay speed, the stuck-in-the-past ones about Sensi not being Kick Off 3 and the really hopeless ones about the lack of realism.
Well, my friends, if you want realism, go out, play football and feel the pain. If, on the other hand, you want the best feel of the beautiful game, the perfect footbaling pace, the anti-goalie aftertouch, and all this without risking a heart attack, then play Sensible Soccer, preferably on the Amiga and if possible with a digital joystick.

What do you mean you don’t have an Amiga? Who says that’s ancient history? Just kill the FIFA fanboy in you, gag your inner PES groupie, and stay with me, as I tell you an almost perfect fairy tale, lovingly named Sensible Soccer 2006, The Rebirth of a Legend, dealing with the second attempt to bring Sensible Soccer in the 3d era and the first one that actually manages it. A story of great successes and minor failures, a story of football wet dreams and ball porn. A story about the best, but unfortunately not without its flaws, contemporary footie on the PC. A story about a game that doesn’t cost a fortune. This is the story of

Sensible Soccer 2006.

Actually, it’s no story. It’s a review. Sorry about that.
Sensible Soccer 2006

Sensi 2006 is played in the traditional 16bit bird’s eye view, just like its revered daddy, only slightly zoomed in, a bit angled and with a quite more dynamic camera. In case you were wondering, that’s totally unlike the FIFA/PES viewpoints and definitely a good thing, as the player can see a much greater part of the field, thus having a chance to get imaginative with his passing, pull through smart long balls, deep crosses, or even score a 40 metre goal. All this was admittedly already there in the original Sensi. What the 2006 version added to the experience are some very stylish 3d cell shaded graphics and excellent replays, a greater variety of stadiums, weather conditions and outfits and quite a few new game mechanic changes.
Every player now has a certain amount of stamina, that has to last him for the whole match. Then -and that’s quite an important bit- 2 more buttons have been added to Sensi‘s original one-button gameplay, the first being for short passes and the second for sprinting. Finally, the (much improved) keeper can instantly be controlled with the press of a button. Oh, and there is a small arrow showing the direction the ball will follow if kicked. Aftertouch has by large remained the same (just flick the joystick right after the ball leaves the player’s foot to the desirable direction), as has the two players mode. Make that the glorious two players mode, that shames the multiplayer capabilities of any MMORPG or FPS. Well, at least in the fun-factor it does…

Sensible Soccer 2006

Unfortunately, though, Sensible Soccer 2006 isn’t perfect. It doesn’t even give you the chance to lead the Dead Rockstars team to victory. There are also slight problems, a mediocre tactics screen, un-funny spin-off names for real players (there’s an editor though), and at times a lack of polish. Nothing that couldn’t get fixed with a patch mind you, but irritating nonetheless. The controls are at (rare) times unexpectedly unresponsive, some offsides spotted by the ref just don’t exist, and graphic glitches haven’t been 100% avoided. Add to this that the original Sensible Soccer was apparently much faster. And better (at least on the Amiga).

Still though. An amazingly fun football game. Codemasters just did it!

That’s an (eight and a half) out of (ten).

Tecmo Bowl

Tecmo Bowl
Tecmo Bowl

Tecmo Bowl

It may not have had the correct team logo’s or jerseys, but at the time Tecmo Bowl was the best football game out there and to this day still attracts fans of the series. It was easy to learn fun to play and even the music got you into it. Just recently Tecmo Bowl throwback was launched for XBL and PS3. There is no doubt this game was a classic.

Tecmo Bowl was released to the arcades in 1987 where it had moderate success, but when it was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System it became a huge hit. While it was not the first football game for a console it was considered to be the best because it used the real rosters from twelve top NFL teams. However, Tecmo Bowl was not able to get NFL consent to use real tram names which is why it uses the home city or state instead.

Tecmo Bowl
Tecmo Bowl

You could play as the following teams, the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami Dolphins, the Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks, the Los Angeles Raiders, the Washington Redskins, the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears, and the Minnesota Vikings. Each team had its specialty for instance Miami was known for passing and so instead of the normal two running, two passing plays they had three passing and one running. If you were unlucky enough to pick Minnesota you would find yourself at a great disadvantage because at the time they did not have the best talent or playbook.

The key to the gameplay was speed. What mattered most was avoiding defenders because while the mechanics to break tackles were there the best thing to do was to avoid them altogether. If you were passing the key was to look for the route that went toward the out of bounds line or the route that would hook back toward you. Doing this allowed you to almost always complete a pass. On the other hand if you tried to “thread the needle” and pass to someone covered nine times out of ten your pass would be intercepted.

Tecmo Bowl box
Tecmo Bowl box

Tecmo Bowl wasn’t perfect and the fact was that if you picked San Francisco or Chicago versus Minnesota you pretty much was guaranteed a win. Also there were many cheap plays you could select that almost never failed. Another funny thing was you could pick a running play, run backwards and bunch together the defense and then run around them for a touchdown. This worked with better players like Walter Payton, but could be done with almost everyone.

I lived in Chicago at the time which was great because they rocked in Tecmo and I was actually good at this game and could best almost anyone. Tecmo Bowl is one of those great games that was designed so well that even in the days of 2K and EA it is still fun to play.

Tecmo Bowl title screen
Tecmo Bowl title screen
Tecmo Bowl screenshot
Tecmo Bowl screenshot

CDW – Tecmo Bowl Throwback

Techmo Bowl cover
Techmo Bowl cover

Quick, what is the best arcade football game in history? If you said Blitz I won’t hate you, but you’d still be wrong. Tecmo Bowl was football in the 80’s and early 90’s and though it didn’t achieve superstardom in the arcades when it was ported to the NES in 1987 it became a mega hit.

What was so great about TB was not only to use of real NFL teams, but the gameplay incredibly was fun. Now I will admit the idea of fading back and getting the whole opposing team to follow you only to run a circle around them for a touchdown was a little cheap, but it was still wildly fun. Now you can experience that again on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Here’s the official rundown:

The legend is back! Tecmo Bowl® Throwback is a remake of the classic Tecmo Super Bowl, with the same rules and fast-paced gameplay as the original, but with the option to play it in brand new high definition 3D graphics. Switch it back to old school in real time with the same graphics and music from back in the day! Tecmo Bowl® Throwback brings back the gameplay you loved, and stays true to the Tecmo Super Bowl legacy!


With updated 3D graphics or the option to use the original 2D classic look and additions like online tournaments you can defiantly relive the past or introduce Tecmo Bowl to a new generation of gamers. Tecmo Bowl Throwback is available now for 800 Microsoft points on XBL. Currently there is no release date for TBT on PSN.