I love my older brother for no bigger reason than he gave me his copy of Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES when he went to college. I was 8 years old in 2001, playing a game that came out in 1991-and loving it. An 8-bit console game had me hooked worse than Tyrone Biggums on The Chapelle Show. Hooked so bad, I have shoes with Bo Jackson’s Tecmo likeness on them. But the best part about this game when it came out was that it included real players and real NFL teams, the first video game to do so.
The best players in the game back in 1991 are well represented in this game. Bo Jackson is actually unstoppable, Christian Okoye really is the Nigerian Nightmare, Lawrence Taylor is a bad Mo-Fo, and Deion Sanders picks off everything thrown his way. The game built my historical knowledge of football by itself. Who is David Fulcher you might ask? A ballhawking safety that dominated the NFL in the early ’90’s. Tecmo taught me that. Through Tecmo, I know that the Seahawks were still terrible even in 1991.
Playing the game is magically simple. Four run plays and four pass plays per team to pick on offense, and defensive play calls were simply trying to pick whatever play the opposing offense called. No three dimmensional players, 25 different offensive formations, absolutely zero connection to reality. And that is what made Tecmo amazing. Take a gander.
Yes, he just ran from his own one yard line, to the opposing team’s one, back to his own endzone, and then all the way back for a touchdown. All with a dope music track going on in the background. Big whoop, wanna fight about it? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that in the context of this game. Nothing wrong with me having Christian Okoye running for 4,000 yards and 80 TD’s in a season. God no. Nothing wrong with Lawrence Taylor getting 100 sacks in a season. Cocaine is a hell of a drug. I would play this game so hard I got what is known as “Tecmo Thumb”. A disease caused from 3+ hours of consecutive Tecmo where your thumb nail turns a sort of cherry red color. Outstanding.