The football series that started it all is returning, this time on the DS. We get our hands on an early build.
Chances are that, even if you aren't much of a sports-gaming fan, you probably spent some time playing a few quarters of Tecmo Bowl back in the day. As one of the first big sports-gaming franchises, the name alone is enough to spark a sense of nostalgia among gamers of a certain age. Now, Tecmo is looking to take advantage of that legacy fan base with the upcoming Tecmo Bowl Kickoff for the Nintendo DS. We had a chance to see the game for the first time during a Tecmo press event earlier in the week in San Francisco.
Unlike the more realistic football games that have become the standard over the last few console generations, Tecmo Bowl Kickoff is straight old-school. When you're playing on the field, everything from the play-calling screens (which will let you choose from eight plays on offense or defense) to the player animations look like they're straight out of the original games on the NES and SNES. Among the biggest visual differences are the brief cutscenes that happen during touchdowns, sack celebrations, and field-goal kicks; they're reminiscent of the animation in the old game but obviously don't feature real player likenesses or names.
Easy-to-understand controls are another hallmark of the game; though it does make use of the stylus and touch-screen combination for breaking out of tackles, you can play the game simply with the buttons if you like. The controls still play exactly as you remember them. When running, you can tap the A button to break tackles and, when passing, you cycle through your receivers by pressing one button and then throw the ball by pressing another. Super abilities are another of the switches from the original Tecmo Bowl. Certain players will have access to these special abilities, such as the lightning pass, which we saw during the demo of the game by Tecmo. Some (but not all) special abilities will be user-initiated.
With no NFL or players license, Kickoff will include 32 fictional teams with names like the Baltimore Bulldozers, New England Gunners, Indianapolis Narwhals, the Los Angeles Supercocks, and the Minnesota Yetis. Thanks to some handy, extensive editing tools, there's nothing to keep you from editing those teams into their real-life NFL counterparts. You can edit a bunch of different attributes for teams in the game, including city and name, color scheme for all aspects of your uniform, as well as team logo, playbooks, and individual player names and attributes. Curiously, there's nothing to stop you from taking a custom team and jacking every player's attributes up to the maximum allowable, which we figure everyone will be doing once they start playing against friends.
Though the game will feature a single-player mode with preseason, season, and the All-Star Bowl, the multiplayer features in Kickoff will keep you busy. You'll be able to play against a nearby friend via wireless play or take on a buddy via the Internet with the DS's Wi-Fi capabilities. You can use custom teams when playing in multiplayer, so get ready to start jacking up all of your players' stats now.
Fast-playing and addictive, Tecmo Bowl Kickoff certainly isn't doing much new with the Tecmo Bowl name, but it will definitely have some old-school appeal to people who remember the original from their younger days. The game is scheduled to arrive on the Nintendo DS in September of this year, and Tecmo reps also confirmed yesterday that a Wii version of the game will be coming out in 2009. Whether it will be a modified version of the DS game or an entirely new version of the Tecmo Bowl series remains to be seen. Nonetheless, we'll be keeping our eyes on both of these games throughout the year.
I still wish Tecmo would bring this to the 360 and/or PS3. I bet this game would sell a bundle on XBL Arcade and PSN.
it might be ok. if the animations look like an old NES game though I already know nostalgia isnt enough for me to buy it. i would hope a wii version would not be a 2D version of what they are showing here, unless it was a cheaper downloadable game! i would prefer DS versions of the NES metal gear games, where are they?
As long as they stick with the classic game...Id hate to see the game ruined with todays players...Bring back the players of old...
I'm not really a fan of ''American Football'' or extreme rugby as i'd like to call it but this looks pretty darn good, even better its on the ds.
P.S. Mouthguard - No one is waiting for Madden, except for stupid people who don't realize that Madden sucks. The only reason EA bought the NFL license is because they didn't have the market cornered anymore. They know that idiots like you will buy Madden so they can have the complete NFL rosters. Madden is the worst football game ever made. Who cares if the rosters are accurate, especially when you can edit them? Good gameplay always beats out everything else, which Madden doesn't have. If you want, I can make you a football game and mark down the real players's names. The game will suck, but at least you can be Tom Brady. Apparently, the NFL license is all that's important to you. Oh, wait. I can't make that game anyway, because the everyone who works for EA is an untalented nazi.
The fact that the legendary Tecmo franchise can't have NFL teams brings my hate of the Maddenopoly to new levels!
you can play tecmo super bowl online now! with updated rosters and graphics! http://www.sois.com/tpc/faq.php
monkeytoes61: Would your game experience be that much better if it had Peyton Manning or Tom Brady's name somewhere in it? The players all look the same anyways due to the similar 16 bit graphics. If this is the reason you decide to maybe not buy it, I feel bad for you. I feel bad for you that you can't seperate your blind passion for a brand from fundamental market drivers. This was the first game using real NFL players. For you to say that factor wasn't responsible for the financial success of the game is simply dumb.
I've been waiting for a new TECMO Bowl game for a looong time. This just made my week. Can't wait for its release!
Mouthguard: Wrong! It was the use of real NFL players that made the NES game the legend that it is today. If the gameplay was the only important factor, we would be waiting on Tecmo Bowl 2009 coming out in the fall, and not the Madden product. Would your game experience be that much better if it had Peyton Manning or Tom Brady's name somewhere in it? The players all look the same anyways due to the similar 16 bit graphics. If this is the reason you decide to maybe not buy it, I feel bad for you.
valdarez: Wow, those graphics are B A D! I didn't expect a whole lot graphic wise, but holy cow is that horrible! Honestly, they couldn't do better than that in this day and age? That still looks like the Nintendo 8-bit graphics. I was looking forward to this game, but I'm not paying for that crap. You can't base a game on graphics. That's just ignorant and stupid.
Ok a couple of things... First of all, KICK ASS! I LOVED this game back in the day. We played it non-stop. I can still remember all the sound effects. Secondly, those who are comparing it to Madden are lame. They are 2 different games ENTIRELY, the only thing they have in common is football. Madden is a Sports Sim that uses the licensed teams, players, jerseys, stadiums, etc. This will be a sports arcade title with NO licenses whatsoever. Next on the list are the people who commented on the graphics, duh! The article says it all. They did NOT do much to improve the graphics to add to the sense of nostalgia. Finally, did they just call the Los Angeles team, "Supercocks"? That makes me proud to be from L.A. That?s all.
Wow, those graphics are B A D! I didn't expect a whole lot graphic wise, but holy cow is that horrible! Honestly, they couldn't do better than that in this day and age? That still looks like the Nintendo 8-bit graphics. I was looking forward to this game, but I'm not paying for that crap.
monkeytoes61: Wrong. Who cares if the players aren't real? The point is the best football game ever made is coming to the DS. Wrong! It was the use of real NFL players that made the NES game the legend that it is today. If the gameplay was the only important factor, we would be waiting on Tecmo Bowl 2009 coming out in the fall, and not the Madden product.
O GOD!!!! i can't wait. i remember seeing my uncle's playing this game when i was around 5 years old. and i was hooked on this game at an early age, and now it's back!! i dont' care about the nfl licnese , this game is a classic, madden can't compare the feeeling of playing this game lol!!!!!!!!!
I'm pumped! I used to play Tecmo Bowl with my buddies all the time back in the day! The Bears with Sweetness were unstoppable! And who cares if they don't have the real teams when the editor is going to let you change each name and each team and any stats you want to match the real players?!?! This game is going to rock! And don't compare it to Madden when this game isn't even trying to be Madden. It's just trying to bring back a classic football game that is still one of the most fun sports games ever!
I know this is a long shot but I would love for them to add a basic franchise mode so you can get free agents and rookies (none of the business management junk).
DONT COMPARE THIS TO MADDEN ... this game is plain win all over. Madden is great in what it does but this game just rocks all on its own for plain simplicity. Man i cant wait to play this retro game !!!!
mouthguard: No license to use real NFL players? LAME LAME LAME Wrong. Who cares if the players aren't real? The point is the best football game ever made is coming to the DS.
"Curiously, there's nothing to stop you from taking a custom team and jacking every player's attributes up to the maximum allowable, which we figure everyone will be doing once they start playing against friends." I've gotta say that little bit has me worried, and makes me think of Smackdown vs. Raw online: where it seems like the only people you can face are poorly created CAW's with a 99 rating. Arcade football it may be, but Tecmo still required some strategy; what's the point if every player has the potential to be exactly the same?
The four words in this preview that should convince everyone to buy this game: "The Los Angeles Supercocks"
Woah, a new Tecmo Bowl. Looks like it'll be a lot of fun. I guess this gives me a reason to buy a new DS/
Why wouldn't they leave the gameplay the same but INCREASE the frames of animation ? The choppiness is what stunk about the old games. They played great. These developers are not too bright eh ?
"...but it will definitely have some old-school appeal to people who remember the original from their younger days." That's me right there!
Cool. Ive recently become a bit of an NFL Fan, used to hate football but its actually a very interesting game once you start to understand the underlying intricacies and tactics... It just takes forever to actually start to get pro football though...
- Release Date: Canceled (US)
- Release Date: Nov 18, 2008 (US)