You see, it was a simpler time. A time when graphics didn't matter and having eight plays from which to choose seemed overwhelming. A time when having the real names of NFL teams, much less the real names of the players, was something that was unheard of. And so it was with Tecmo Super Bowl. You know, if I have any regrets from college it's that I didn't play enough of this game.
For those of you like me, in their 30s with fond memories of late night tournaments in their dorm room, it's fun to go down memory lane, or in this case, through the memory tunnel under the stands.
There are many aspects to the game that I remember fondly. One of course was the ability for the nose tackle to dive past the center on any given play thus blowing up most runs and perhaps getting a quick sack on the QB. Knowing your opponent was key to knowing when he'd strike. It was the sort of all or nothing gamble that sometimes had to be taken on defense, and if the offense knew it was coming, would burn you with a quick dodge and a long pass.
Another fond memory is, of course, the ability to break tackles and/or tackle, depening if you were on offense or defense. This revolutionary feature of the game which tasked players with rapidly tapping the "A" button to break a tackle, or the defender to bring a player down, ended up in some of the best one-on-one action of any game ever. Sometimes, you and your opponent would end up in a stand still, the will of your thumb muscle all that separated you from glory. While I remember some of these mini-battle lasting many seconds, there were usually over in just a few, especially if you had a super back.
The super player, those players that had an inordinate amount of skill built into the game, is something that made this game special. Playing as Barry Sanders, you could pretty much count on defensive players bouncing off of you, no matter how fast they were tapping that "A" button. Of course, if you saw that your opponent had selected the Lions, then you probably went for the Giants, so that you could control Lawrence Taylor, one of the few players in the game who could stand up to the likes of Barry Sanders.
Being the huge Bills fan that I am, I always had to deal with the fact that my hero, Jim Kelly, was not part of the NFL Players League, and therefore, didn't have his name in the game. Instead, my man at the helm of the K-Gun offense was none other than "Bills QB". Ouch.
Nonetheless, my Thurman Thomas, Bills QB, Andre Reed, and James Lofton (and okay, Don Beebee who was one of the fastest players in the game although he didn't have the huge helmet) always matched up well against my roommate's favorite team, the Miami Dolphins. Yes, this classic battle in the AFC East left many a tired thumb and more than a few beer cans laying around.
There is some much more to this fantastic game like the ability to easily throw a 90 yard pass, the fact that there were no punt returns, and of course, the touchdown animations.
So, if the Super Bowl bores you, but Tecmo Super Bowl sounds like a fun thing to do this weekend, then dust off that SNES or go to your local game store and pick one up because I can almost guarantee you'll have a better time playing it than watching pre-game coverage.
Have a happy Super Bowl!!!