Before Madden was king, the Tecmo Bowl series, which was largely popular on the NES and SNES, was easily one the most popular football franchises of its time. The games still have quite a respectable following to this day, so it’s no surprise that when Tecmo Bowl Throwback was announced, fans rejoiced in excitement at the thought of a revamped Tecmo Bowl. The game itself is a complete remake of the original Tecmo Super Bowl, but does the ‘throwback’ live up to the lofty expectations that many fans have for the game, or should they stick to the classics that were released so long ago?
There is one huge difference between this title and the original Tecmo Super Bowl. When the original came out, Madden didn’t have the NFL License back in 1993, which allowed Super Tecmo Bowl to have NFL teams and rosters. Seeing as how Madden acquired this license in 2004, both NFL players and teams had to be removed from this version of the game. This is the only real difference, besides the updated visuals, that has been changed from the original release.
There are a total of 30 teams to play with, 2 of which are all star teams. For those that are bothered by the names of teams and players, both are customizable through the menu options. Simply go in and change them accordingly to get the teams that you want. You could even recreate the entire NFL roster if you so chose, by just simply renaming players. There are a total of five playable modes, Pre-Season, Season, Tecmo All Stars, Local Multiplayer, and Online Multiplayer. The two modes I found myself playing and getting the most enjoyment out of would definitely be the Season and Multiplayer modes. It brought a great nostalgic feeling over me as I tackled friends in the multiplayer modes, I felt like I was back in 1993 again.
The game’s controls have not changed at all. So for those looking for a complicated control scheme or a completely realistic game definitely need to look elsewhere. Besides the analog stick used for controlling the player, only two buttons are used in the game. One optional feature is the ability to easily switch between the old-school, original graphics and the new graphics with the simple push of a button, which can be done at any time without the need for pausing. A very interesting touch.
The revamped graphics look great, giving the title a brand new look and feel. Occasionally cutscenes will pop up when something big is happening within the game – which can be anything from a interception to a huge pass play to your wide receiver. Another time when this will occur is if one of your players reaches a certain milestone within an individual game, such as your runningback gaining a total of 100 yards rushing for the game.
Tecmo Bowl Throwback manages to achieve what it set out to do, delivering a nostalgic trip down memory lane, while adding a fresh lick of paint and an online multiplayer. While this will scare off some gamers that never got to experience the original, it will attract fans of the series who remember playing for hours on end against a friend or CPU, making it a must have title for those that enjoyed the series when they were younger.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
The game recaptures all the memories of old for fans of the series
Ability to switch to classic mode at any moment allows is an unique twist
Multiplayer delivers hours of enjoyment both online and offline