games / Reviews

Tecmo Bowl Throwback Review (Xbox 360)

May 6, 2010 | Posted by Todd Vote

Game: Tecmo Bowl Throwback
Genre: Sports
Players: 1-2 with online and local support
Developer: Southend Interactive
Publisher: Tecmo
Rated E for Everyone

Ready? Set! Hut. Hut. Hut. Hut… Do you remember continually changing your controlled player so that the other guy couldn’t start his play? Do you remember the flea flicker? If so you may have been playing Tecmo Bowl Throwback. Throwback takes the Super Tecmo Bowl formula, juices it up with some 3D graphics, amped up the sound and brought it all to you via Xbox Live.

Before we get things rolling, I should point out that the game offers both the classic Temo Bowl graphics, as well as updated HD 3D graphics, and updated sounds. The game gives you the option to switch back and forth between the two styles by simply pressing the right bumper. You can do this mid-play too. I find myself constantly pushing this button. It’s a neat little trick that I find to be really cool.

Now for the new and updated look of Tecmo Bowl Throwback. All of the sounds and mini cut scene celebrations have been recreated in glorious HD for you eye candy junkies out there. The new celebrations now contain full animations and top heavy near gorilla like characters acting out the celebrations. The new graphics also spread the field out quite a bit from the old school look, and I felt almost made it easier to maneuver downfield.

In addition to the update graphics, Tecmo also offered a new take on the classic music, opting to redo all the music with a decidedly rock flare. Hearing that old Tecmo song being backed with some electric guitar is a bit weird at first, but it really grew on me the more I played in this mode of the game.

When you play the game with the true old school graphics; that is when the nostalgia really starts to take hold of you. The game is a near flawless recreation of the old Super Tecmo Bowl game, aside from the obvious lack of NFL license of course. Man I love me some 16 bit graphics. Now if I could just figure out which of these teams has the “Bo Jackson” all will be right with the world of virtual football.

The game controls the exact same way as it did back in the day, using the a & b buttons respectively to call your plays, while the x button will bring up your pause menu, and the y button will initiate a dive. From what I remember of the game everything is really spot on, even my favorite play from Tecmo bowl is here, the flea flicker. Fear the flea flicker…

The classic sounds have also been recreated near flawlessly, and while not as iconic as say the Punch Out music, or Super Mario’s theme, if you played this game, you will once again find yourself humming along in appreciation on every first down.

The 411:
While the game has certainly lost a step over the years, the mere fact that we can once again enjoy Tecmo Bowl, and this time with friends all over the world is a great feeling. The nostalgia will almost certainly wear off eventually, and you will be left with a decent arcade game for 800 MS Points.

+ It’s frickin Tecmo Bowl, arguably one of the most addictive football games of all time

+ The nostalgia factor runs high

+ I liked the ability to switch between HD 3D graphics and the classic graphics on the fly anytime I wanted to.

– I had some trouble getting into an online multiplayer game. I tried for about 5 minutes to get into a ranked match, with no luck. I tried to get into a quick match and as soon as I found a room the host booted me out…

– After running smooth on the initial purchase, I ran into some slowdown and almost laggy gameplay, and in the single player to boot. I’m not sure if this was confined to my or if others experienced the same thing. It was almost as if the game was running at half speed.

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Todd Vote
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