Throwback Thursday - Tecmo Super Bowl III (SNES or Genesis)
With the NFL preseason underway and the promise of another crappy Madden game that is only slightly different than last year’s on the horizon let’s look backwards to Tecmo the makers of some of the finest football games ever to be released. Yes, Tecmo Football loses a lot of the nuance and specifics of football like how every defense has to play the 4-3 even if they don’t in real life, and substitutions only happen with injury but the gameplay still holds up and for a video game that matters more. While the NES Tecmo games are legends unto themselves, I thought that the third “Super” game was the best as we got to add create-a-player options to the game so instead of just marveling at the magic that is Bo Jackson, a towering Dean McCarthy could be created at QB and win the super bowl. The third game also added some statistics and record keeping that I really enjoyed, like it would notify you when you broke an NFL record and kept track of league leaders throughout the season. My goal was to try to hold on to a few of those top spots as well as winning the big game. This Tecmo game also included trades and free agency which was an exciting addition and could be manipulated to get your favorite players on any squad. If you win the Super Bowl a few times you may see some “Legends” show up as free agents to mix up your league a little bit.
Calling plays is much the same as on the NES, but now 8 running and passing plays are available for a little more variety and to decrease the chance of the defense guessing and destroying your play call. While this game is a little more subdued than the previous versions where you could more often break off wild long plays or run the length of the field back and forth juking between opponents, you can still break open big plays and dominate an opponent with some skilled controller work. I always had to turn the injuries off on this game though because they were too random, like having a Defensive lineman get hurt sacking the QB. Very few QBs in the history of the sport can put a hurting on a lineman, especially while being sacked in the backfield. Plus, those injuries would ruin my run for the league leader in whatever stat that position favored. The game may have benefited from a few more cut-scenes or animations especially around big events, but like Barry Sanders quietly handing the ball to the ref after scoring a touchdown you don’t always need the pomp and circumstance to know when you are the best.