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Quiet Feet
Dec 14, 2009

THE HELL IS WITH THIS ASS!?





Are you ready for some footballll!? Video game football that is!

Since there have been video games, there have been football video games. From early stuff like this.



To more recent developments like, I dunno, ever heard of John Madden Football?



So do you play football on your console of choice? I do, though I'm stuck in the past and these days my go-to games are either the original Tecmo Super Bowl or Madden 2005. Sports games are an unceasing cash cow for many software companies Electronic Arts and have been for years. I have more than 20 games for a ton of systems and it's crazy how much of the game's complexity can now be rendered in software. After all, take a look at something like the very first football game on the NES, 10-Yard Fight



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLqcwq5stPM

This is the absolute best 1985 could do at home. Only 9 players per team, at most, on screen at once. During a kick return you use your blockers more like a force field; they move at the same rate and keep the same distance from your ball carrier until they encounter an opponent, at which point the two get locked up. It's fun for maybe ten minutes. Don't like it? Tough poo poo, there wouldn't be another football game on the NES until 1989!

And the worst part is, both games released that year sucked. Titled simply National Football League, it was published (but perhaps not developed, more on that later) by LJN, a toy company that bought up the rights to make quick cash-ins on licensed material. The long and short of it is that the graphics are alright, the sound is passable with a short tune between plays and a little ambient noise during game action. It plays atrociously though and your tiny football men move as if they're plodding through a foot of mud. With the visual polish it feels like it's meant to be more of an arcade style experience but it fails pretty hard at that.

NFL looks like loving Blitz compared to the next game on my list though. For all of the sins John Elway has committed, none is as bad as John Elway's Quarterback. Ported from an arcade game simply called "Quarterback", they slapped Elway's stupid face on the cover and, well, that was the extent of his involvement. National Football League the game didn't have named players but it at least had the proper names of the teams at the time. In Elway's you can select a city (among only 15!) in the locker room screen but it's completely meaningless. The game will always consist of a red team vs a blue team. There is no music past the city select screen and only a short tune on the title screen. Game noise is like sitting in the lower bowl of a Pats preseason home game, dead and listless, like the crowd knows this is bad. The big difference is that every five seconds or so in this game, there is a shrill bugle noise. There are no differences between the "teams" and, like 10-Yard Fight, each team only has 9 slow players on the field at a time. It fails as an arcade-style action sports game. It fails as a more simulation like title. It just loving sucks. You had four years to improve on football and you blew it. gently caress you John Elway. I have two copies of this game.

It was dire. Things would get a little better in 1990 with the original Tecmo Bowl on the NES and apparently the first ever iteration of John Madden Football on the Genesis, which people like for some reason. But those two series deserve their own effort posts and I'd like to mention a few notables here before moving on.

Play Action Football saw releases on the NES an Super NES. To my knowledge it's the only 4-player football game on either system. Fun-ish but suffers from what a lot of games did at the time with slow players, no real teams/players and overly complicated gameplay.

Touchdown Fever came out, again on the NES, in 1991 and... okay look, you know how people say that if Shakespeare hadn't been around then probably we would be gushing over Christopher Marlowe all the time instead? Well, that's what we have here. A sort of Salieri to Tecmo Super Bowl's brilliance, Touchdown Fever is a fun, fast-paced game with a good soundtrack and colorful graphics that is just missing a bunch of stuff that Tecmo had. It onyl has twelve teams, marked by their city, and that brings us to the next point. No real players, no team names. In an alternate dimension where people are remembering this fondly, but still probably not as fondly as Tecmo.

Joe Montana's Sports Talk Football Hit the Genesis with something no other game at the time had: commentary. It's a neat trick, but a bit repetitive and the game offers nothing major over Madden.

Jerry Glanville's Pigskin Footbrawl

"Hey Jerry, you want to make twenty bucks?"
"Yeah sure."
"Okay, we're gonna put your name on the cover of this game."
"Is it about football."
"Kinda!"

Barely football related, JG's PF is about teams of five...vikings? Knights? Picking up a rock on a field littered with debris and trying to run it into the end zone. Was called Pigskin 621 AD in arcades and seems to have more in common with rugby afaict. Not bad but also not really football. I bet Jerry bought himself a nice car with the money he got from slapping his name on this.

Anyway, let's talk about TECMO SUPER BOWL!



As mentioned above, Tecmo Bowl got its start in 1990. But the game almost everyone thinks of when they hear "Tecmo" is, of course, Tecmo Super Bowl. The original had a nice soundtrack, great graphics for the time and quick, intuitive gameplay. Like many others, it lacked a license and you're stuck with city names, but the uniforms colors are all correct.

And then boom, hitting the 1991 scene like a motherfucking freight train was the behemoth itself. TSB improved on its original by including all 28 NFL teams at the time with thirty real players per team. Backups for offensive line and defensive positions are not included on rosters, and even some deep bench spots on offense were ignored. This was still a hugely impressive feat as most games of the time were at best just using player numbers. It's a hell of a lot more of a rush for you to score a TD with Thurman Thomas than with just #34. But it didn't just have their names, it had stats! Any game could just slap a name on a weeble that controls like all the other weebles in the game, but you know that playing against Bo Jackson or QB Eagles or Barry Sanders means you're gonna have your hands a hell of a lot more full than if you see Steve Grogan, Barry Word or Louis Lipps. They packed a ton in here and it just hadn't been done before. Full seasons with stat tracking was just not something happening anywhere else.

It is a joy to listen to. The music gets you going and the sound effects are exactly what is needed. Crowd noise is minimal and only around in major moments like when a TD is scored. IT does have a couple of minor issues though such as tackling. Your computer controlled teammates refuse to tackle ball carriers from the front and will instead let them go by to try and chase and take them down from behind. Difficulty scaling is handled in a kind of bullshit way as well, with games getting harder the further you get into a season. That team you cremated in week 2 is not going to be the same beast if you meet them in the divisional round. Opposing defenders automatically move into position to counter whatever play it is you just picked. It's frustrating, and I'm sure more experienced players can work around it, but I personally couldn't win a playoff game with the terrible 9-7 New England Patriots squad that TSB has on offer.

Tecmo Super Bowl was further ported to the SNES and Genesis, where it was based on subsequent NFL seasons (the NES one was based on 1990, of course), and also given two sequels on those systems, simply called Tecmo Super Bowl II and Tecmo Super Bowl III. I have minimal experience with the second one but the third installment changed some things; some for the better and some for the worse. In TSB III you can trade players and even make your own superstars, a welcome addition and really cool to see for sure. The graphics get a big upgrade, but the sound takes a hit with the lack of any music during games. I still played the hell out of it a long time ago, but these days if I want a Tecmo fix I pop in the original. Tecmo's final installation came on the PS1. Haven't played it and don't know anything about it. Do you? These days there's a spiritual successor in the mobile game Retro Bowl, but we'll get into that later.

Apropos of nothing, gently caress the Cowboys.

But you don't like action-y arcade-style gameplay do you? Fine! Have a dull simulation with the John Madden Football series.



Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins wanted to make a football game, so who did he call? That's right, Joe Montana! Montana was already working with another company on a football game and refused. So naturally Trip called up his second choice. That's right, former Minnesota Vikings QB Joe Kapp! Who also refused. The project was shelved for a couple of years until Trip managed to rope in John Madden who was apparently interested in using it as a way to teach people about football. Boom! In 1988, the first edition of Madden hit home PCs on DOS. The project almost didn't exist and what is now a massive cash cow for EA was for a time known internally as "Trip's folly." The game found its way onto 16-bit systems in 1990 and then once again every year until, well, now!

Unlike Tecmo Madden is played vertically. I have nothing else to say about the 16-bit editions. Everything about them seems calculated to put you to sleep and it is nowhere near as intuitive as something like TSB. Well, it survived long enough to get good. I have not touched the early 3D versions for the PS1/N64/Saturn era.

But I'll say this: I lost interest in football in the late 90s and didn't come back to it until 2007. On a whim I grabbed a copy of Madden 2003 for the PS2 and it sure looks like John Madden got his wish. Included is a feature that allows you to select certain plays to train on, with commentary from the man himself as to how a specific play is supposed to work, where players have to be to make it work and so forth. It's simple, straightforward and clear and while I honestly feel like a schlub in terms of football knowledge, I will still say that I learned a lot from it. Seeing a play develop a piece at a time really gives you a sense of how cerebral football is. I've since moved on to Madden 2005 on the Gamecube and it's franchise mode, and barely ever play an actual game now. There's an amazing amount of depth in management; everything from roster decisions to coaching changes to draft scouting and picks is there. While I also have a copy of it on the PS2 I've found the Gamecube version better simply because of much shorter load times.

Madden has hosed around with it's formula in bits and pieces from year to year. 2006 introduced the QB vision cone, a poorly received feature which had you aiming a Metal Gear Solid-esque sight beam on the portion of the field where you wanted to throw the ball. 2008 (and possibly 2007 but I've yet to play it) reworked the rookie scouting portion of franchise mode to require a prospective scout to play a minigame to determine a rookie's ability scores. This takes too much time, the games are boring and overall it loving sucks and ruins what is the most rewarding part of that mode. Rookies are kind of like the loot you get at the end of a season. Having to play the same games and wait through the same load screens over and over again sucks the fun out of it.



And if there's one thing I learned between Madden 2003 and 2010, the PS2 version is the last Madden game I ever bought in 2013, it's that the franchise doesn't really change much. Oh sure, there's new modes every now and again or minor tweaks but it's basically a roster update. Anyone who's more up on the more recent editions should absolutely chime in.

For that matter, I'll leave it up to others to fill in the blanks on where football games are these days. For a quick, easy to get into experience that actually even has a little bit of depth, Retro Bowl is a fun time. Clearly taking it's cues from Tecmo Super Bowl, Retro Bowl serves up a dish of quick, intuitive gameplay with a small side of team management. It's pixelated fun!



There's way, waaaaaay too many games and series to get into and we've barely scratched the surface with the above. Not just popular and semi-dormant series like NFL Blitz but also odds and ends like the Master System's Great Football, and football-adjacent games like the wonder that is Blood Bowl. Have at it! I've been informed by Oberst that there is a Goon Madden League for those of you with consoles that were released more recently than 20 years ago.

Football! Now it's even for fat people who rarely leave the couch!

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R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004




Tecmo Super Bowl is the greatest Nintendo game on the entire system.

ShakeZula
Jun 17, 2003

Nobody move and nobody gets hurt.



I was a late arrival to the Madden party (I think the first one I ever played was 15 or 16 - hard to say because they all kind of blur together), and the comment about them being mostly a roster update these days is pretty much dead-on.

As someone who exclusively plays the offline franchise mode, the Madden series has been in a real slump the past few years. New features aren't added anymore, and some that used to be in the game were actively removed. The studio's focus shifted to the Ultimate Team card game, and more recently to a pseudo-Story Mode called Face of the Franchise which doesn't quite work. This past year the whole thing kind of came to a head when EA released their "new franchise features" for Madden 21 and it read like patch notes for Madden 20. The result was an online revolt, spurred on by both fans and professional Madden content creators demanding that EA devote more resources to beefing up what everyone admits is the most popular game mode. EA was forced to respond, but despite patching in some minor updates they mostly kicked the can down the road and promised that Madden 22 would be the start of a renaissance for franchise mode. We'll see.

All that being said, I did still ultimately purchase Madden 21, but I take pride in the fact that this year I had the moral strength to wait until it was only like $20. Progress!

forkboy84
Jun 13, 2012

I thought the redtext someone dumped on you was in bad taste and a bit much so here's a corgi instead.

The draft has gotten me back to NCAA 14, the last EA Sports game I've bought, specifically with the College Football Revamped mod.

It's a really quite dated game with plenty flaws but Dynasty mode & doing recruiting & almost convincing the #1 recruit in the country to come to Akron because he happens to mainly care about getting instant playing time & staying close to home rules.

I feel strongly that people really need to stop engaging with Ultimate Team games because they seem like a ridiculous rip-off & detract from modes of the game I'd actually play.

Paint Crop Pro
Mar 22, 2007

Find someone who values you like Rick Spielman values 7th round picks.





forkboy84 posted:


I feel strongly that people really need to stop engaging with Ultimate Team games because they seem like a ridiculous rip-off & detract from modes of the game I'd actually play.

1000% This.

Unfortunately publishers have realized they are a way to print money after the initial sale so they will never stop.

ShakeZula posted:

As someone who exclusively plays the offline franchise mode,

This is me as well.

Just let me play my dreams as GM and draft and develop with some interesting franchise features. And I dont mean just being able to relocate my franchise!

Big Ol Marsh Pussy
Jan 7, 2007



I'm the Cowboys

fast cars loose anus
Mar 2, 2007

Your 2017 World Series MVP





Pillbug

If you never won the Heisman with a cornerback or accidentally cost your QB the Heisman by always hitting the same WR in the endzone did you really ever play NCAA?

I once tanked a RB's Heisman season by accidentally rushing for too many yards in a game where it rolled over to a very large number of negative yards as well and didn't notice til it was too late.

Can't wait for it to come back

Blowjob Overtime
Apr 6, 2008

Steeeeriiiiiiiiike twooooooo!



One of my roommates freshman year played NCAA 2004 (eventually 2005) constantly, which was my first time watching any kind of football. It's what got me into enjoying watching the non Video James version!

Either 2004 or 2005 was the first year you could put in custom signs. Me and my other roommate made one that said "[Roommate's name] SUCKS", and the first time the game used it was when he biffed some critical play and lost the game. He was just silent, and it might be the most owned I've ever seen someone be by a game.

Impossibly Perfect Sphere
Nov 6, 2002


Hilariously the only football video game I've played of any kind is the original Madden on PC. My cousin gave me his copy and I found out quickly why, it was boring as poo poo.

Quiet Feet
Dec 14, 2009

THE HELL IS WITH THIS ASS!?





ShakeZula posted:



As someone who exclusively plays the offline franchise mode,


Paint Crop Pro posted:



This is me as well.

Just let me play my dreams as GM and draft and develop with some interesting franchise features. And I dont mean just being able to relocate my franchise!

Same. I don't often play out the actual games at this point and am personally a mediocre player anyway. It's way more fun trying to build a perennial Superbowl team.

Mentioned above but I tried Madden 2010 years ago and noped back to 2005 in part because of the draft changes but also because the load times on menus are loving ridiculous. It's all moot anyway since after several years of fake players most of the league is pretend regardless.

2005's franchise mode isn't perfect. There are some issues that crop up, particularly the longer it goes. The generates players will almost never be as good as the existing ones, so in 10-15 years you have teams starting 65-70 OVR players at a bunch of positions, most notably on the offensive line. O linemen develop very poorly on computer controlled teams. 10 years into franchise mode and the top players at the position are all real guys in their mid-late 30s. After that, offseason free agency only contains a handful of 80-ish players and maybe one or two 90+ OVR guys I booted from my team because I couldn't afford them anymore.

It's also easy to cheat by taking a linebacker with high strength and acceleration scores and switching them to DE. It's almost always a guaranteed 10-15 point jump in their OVR.

Big Dick Cheney
Mar 30, 2007


I like Pro Strategy Football 2021. Of course I know nothing about coaching or playing football really so maybe it's not a good sim.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

Fair Warning: I may fire up the emulator and effort post on some of the later Tecmo Super Bowl editions when I get home from work.

Quiet Feet posted:

but I personally couldn't win a playoff game with the terrible 9-7 New England Patriots squad that TSB has on offer.

That’s generous, they’re actually based on a 1-15 team.

That said, lol if you haven’t played the game so much that you’ve won a Super Bowl or gone nearly undefeated as every team. Tecmo owns.

Amy Pole Her
Jun 17, 2002


Y'all ever see seven INTs in a single game?

Thanks to Madden, you can! Regularly!

Ches Neckbeard
Dec 3, 2005



No mention of Front Office Football? The ultimate franchise experience with absolutely no frills what so drat ever.

Impossibly Perfect Sphere
Nov 6, 2002


Also overlooking the greatest football game ever, which you can still play.

https://www.sbnation.com/2015/3/31/7979801/bill-belichick-offseason-simulator

Silly Burrito
Nov 26, 2007

Thank you, Drew.


Great writeup, Quiet Feet!

I know they sort of updated NFL Blitz a while back but they took a lot out. We need a new Blitz that's just as fun as the 1999 versions.

Blitz has a place in a lot of gamers' hearts. Just think about how many times you've heard a variation of "Just run DA BOMB all day!"

Silly Burrito
Nov 26, 2007

Thank you, Drew.


Also for you Xbox goons with Game Pass Ultimate, all versions of Madden are now available free. I think the latest one with Lamar was added a month or two after the season.

Quiet Feet
Dec 14, 2009

THE HELL IS WITH THIS ASS!?





fartknocker posted:

Fair Warning: I may fire up the emulator and effort post on some of the later Tecmo Super Bowl editions when I get home from work.

Please do! There's so.mich more I wanted to add but I realized if I held.off any longer I'd probably never post the thread.


quote:

That’s generous, they’re actually based on a 1-15 team.

That said, lol if you haven’t played the game so much that you’ve won a Super Bowl or gone nearly undefeated as every team. Tecmo owns.

I meant to say that I took the team to a 9-7 record. 1-15 doesn't surprise me that squad is a trash fire. And the worst of it is at QB. The only team in the game where the backup is arguably better than the starter, and they're both putrid.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

Quiet Feet posted:


I meant to say that I took the team to a 9-7 record. 1-15 doesn't surprise me that squad is a trash fire. And the worst of it is at QB. The only team in the game where the backup is arguably better than the starter, and they're both putrid.

The Pats, Colts, and Bears backup QBs are definitely better than their starters.

For a quick reference why, check out this awesome site:

https://tecmogeek.com/players/qb/

The short version is they all have putrid combinations of ratings that make Grogan, Harbaugh, and George incapable of running almost any good passing offense. I’d personally say Harbaugh is worse than Grogan, mainly because Grogan’s horrid 19 pass strength means his huge arc can sometimes go over linebackers and defenders. Harbaugh’s 44 rating there means his passes are at a flatter trajectory that linebackers can snag a lot easier in my experience.

Hot Diggity!
Apr 3, 2010

MEAN MUGGIN'




Amy Pole Her posted:

Y'all ever see seven INTs in a single game?

Thanks to Madden, you can! Regularly!

Personal favorites:

WR with great catching skills across the board gets sneezed on while trying to make the catch, DB teleports to ball and has hands made of glue

WR does not stop jumping at balls that do not need to be jumped at, so they get hit trying to make the catch and the ball lands in the safety's lap

lovely slow LB in zone with back turned gains telepathy over the middle fo the field and picks off any crossing route in their general direction

I really hate Madden games.

Quiet Feet
Dec 14, 2009

THE HELL IS WITH THIS ASS!?





My favorite ever pick was a CB way downfield from a WR who stopped on a curl route. Ball is about to hit the receiver right on the numbers. It is intercepted when the corner does a last second Superman dive from behind, punching his hands straight through the receiver's chest and pulling the ball back through him.

General Dog
Apr 26, 2008

New Year, New Me!

Retro Bowl is a lot of fun, but it's too easy even on the hardest setting and I wish the roster management aspect of it was a just a little bit deeper.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

If we’re doing favorite horrible Madden interceptions, this is mine.

I was several years in a franchise, probably Madden 12 or so, with a WR named Andre Bender who was basically a peak Randy Moss/Larry Fitzgerald type. 6’5”, all his catch and jump ratings in the high 90s, great speed and size, all that poo poo. This was back when Madden still let you audible into any offensive formation, regardless of the personnel you had on the field, so you could go from say, a 5 WR shotgun set into goal line (Normally 2 back/3 TE) and the get all sorts of insane mismatches because the AI thinks a fat slob TE or FB should be in that spot and it’s okay to cover them with a lineman.

The mismatch in this case was this freakish receiver was now covered by a defensive tackle, and not even a good one. I’m talking like 60~ OVR, jump and catch ratings in the 20s, all the pass defense ratings are as minimal as possible (Like 15 or something in those days?) slow speed, all that stuff, and he was short too (I think below 6’).

So Bender is running a go route, gets a clean release and a few steps, and whatever QB I had unleashes a bomb. Somehow, this blob of a DT makes up the distance, and it turns into a jump ball situation. The DT plays the ball in the air, using Madden telepathy since he didn’t turn until the last possible microsecond, and plays it perfectly to box out my receiver for a leaping one-handed interception. Think the OBJ catch before they made that a common animation. And this is over a guy with a 60+ point advantage in every skill category and a half foot taller.

I don’t know how my controller didn’t end up embedded in my wall.

Quiet Feet
Dec 14, 2009

THE HELL IS WITH THIS ASS!?





General Dog posted:

Retro Bowl is a lot of fun, but it's too easy even on the hardest setting and I wish the roster management aspect of it was a just a little bit deeper.

IME the hard setting is too easy but the dynamic is kinda bullshit after a certain point. The granularity is right there and I wish I could just set it myself.

seiferguy
Jun 9, 2005

FLAWED
INTUITION





Toilet Rascal

Everyone knows that Madden is mainly for the top systems at the time, but they released it for mobile devices, usually with a 3rd tier developer behind it. I remember picking up Madden 2006 for Nintendo DS for cheap once, and found out that if you just did a pitch play to right, AI defenses had no idea how to defend it and it was just an easy 80/90 yards for a TD.

Also, the injuries were so weirdly tuned that almost any tackle meant a player got injured. So combined with the above info, I was setting NFL rushing records with my 3rd string RB. I probably played it like 3 times before realizing how stupidly broken the game was.

MrLogan
Feb 4, 2004



I just want Front Office Football with a good UI. Since FoF is now dead, is there a replacement or something similar that anyone recommends?

General Dog
Apr 26, 2008

New Year, New Me!

Quiet Feet posted:

IME the hard setting is too easy but the dynamic is kinda bullshit after a certain point. The granularity is right there and I wish I could just set it myself.

Is the hardest dynamic difficulty level actually harder than "hard"? I thought I saw an FAQ from the devs that said otherwise.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

General Dog posted:

Is the hardest dynamic difficulty level actually harder than "hard"? I thought I saw an FAQ from the devs that said otherwise.

No, the max level on dynamic, which I think is 16, is equivalent to Hard.

The actual highest difficulty in the game, Extreme, turns every team into 5-Star rated offense and defense. That makes it more difficult than Hard/Dynamic 16, but it makes all your opponents feel incredibly the same from game to game, as there’s a difference between playing a team with a 5-Star rated offense and a 1-Star defense, or vice versa.

General Dog
Apr 26, 2008

New Year, New Me!

fartknocker posted:

Yes. The max level on dynamic, which I think is 16, is equivalent to Hard.

The highest difficulty in the game, Extreme, turns every team into 5-Star offense and defense. That makes it more difficult than Hard/Dynamic 16, but it makes all your opponents feel incredibly the same from game to game, as there’s a difference between playing a team with a 5-Star rated offense and a 1-Star defense, or vice versa.

Yeah, seems like that would be very monotonous and you'd still win >95% of the time once your team is maxed out (which doesn't take long).

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

Yeah, it basically turns every game into a 56-49 shootout.

Keep in mind, the coordinators on your team also make a huge difference in Retro Bowl. A 5-Star coordinator can swing the overall of their unit by a star or so easily, particularly compared to ones with poo poo ratings, and that can really exacerbate the difficulty or make it easier.

Quiet Feet
Dec 14, 2009

THE HELL IS WITH THIS ASS!?





fartknocker posted:

No, the max level on dynamic, which I think is 16, is equivalent to Hard.



Really? I'm not saying you're wrong but I always felt like hard was easier for me than dynamic 16 and now I'm trying to figure out why that would be.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

Quiet Feet posted:

Really? I'm not saying you're wrong but I always felt like hard was easier for me than dynamic 16 and now I'm trying to figure out why that would be.

Yes. They actually said Hard is supposed to be slightly more difficult than Dynamic 16, but for me they feel the same.

sweet thursday
Sep 16, 2012



A winner take all game against my cocky housemate where I needed, and got, a kick return for a touchdown with 00:00 remaining

Blowjob Overtime
Apr 6, 2008

Steeeeriiiiiiiiike twooooooo!



Tecmo Bowl rules (I haven't played Tecmo Super Bowl), and my favorite part is how the intro song starts blasting the millisecond the cart gets power (assuming it starts right). It gets me hyped, and was my cell phone ringtone for a while.

e: My only other experience with football games was trying NCAA 05 or 06, losing my first game as the Gophers to the Akron Zips, and saying gently caress this forever.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

So, Tecmo Super Bowl on NES is legendary, and for good reasons. The game would spawn a handful of sequels and later ports, which are generally pretty solid, but don't get nearly the same attention as the original game.

The first of these was the 1993 SNES port of the original game, also titled Tecmo Super Bowl.


A quick and dirty screenshot, Giants vs Cowboys.

This version of the game used updated rosters for the 1993 season. Aside from updated graphics and rosters, every team also got a semi-hidden short yardage dive play. They added the ability to use secondary players as return men, adding a couple of back ups for those positions in case they got hurt, and a 3-year mode that let you play through the 1991, 1992, and 1993 schedules. Statistical milestones in games such as 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, or 150 receiving yards would now be acknowledged by a pop up. You could also edit the playbooks midgame, which was a nice addition. It also added weather effects, and stuff like snow/rain could cause players to slip and fall. This was also the first game to have distinct home colored and away white uniforms in the game, compared to the original NES game where teams had two, sometimes odd uniforms.

In 2010, this version of the game would be ported to Xbox Live as Tecmo Bowl Throwback, although since they no longer had the license for the NFL or NFLPA, all the team names/colors were changed, as were the player names. It had the option to switch between the original graphics and newish ones, which were... eh.

The next game was Tecmo Super Bowl II: Special Edition, released in 1994. This game saw the graphics take a big change, but it still had hallmarks of the previous ones. You still have music during gameplay, and while it looks similar to the later Tecmo III, it has different fonts, animations for touchdowns and whatnot. It also is the only game in the franchise where tipped passes can be intercepted, which is pretty cool. It also added the 2-point conversion to the game, although oddly it used a weird goal line formation that wasn't available anywhere else and wasn't retained in the next game.


The odd 2-point formation, 1994 Giants against 1994 Eagles.

The most interesting aspects of Tecmo II is that it wasn't just the 1994 rosters. It still had the option for a 3-year mode like the previous game, covering the 1992, 1993, and 1994 seasons, but it included full, unique rosters for each season. If you wanted to have the 1992 Oilers play against the 1994 Vikings, with Warren Moon at QB for both teams, you can do that in the single game mode. You could do a single season as any of the teams, or a three year mode that cycled through those rosters. This game also added another 3-year mode, where you started with the 1994 roster, but had 3 rounds of trades before each season to allow rosters to update, adding a good amount to the replay value. Every trade was one for one, so if you wanted to get say, Steve Young from the 49ers, you'd trade a QB of your own. The game basically accepted these at random, so it's easy to trade crappy backups for super stars.

This game also expanded the rosters. You still had the same number on offense as earlier games (2 QB, 4 RB, 4 WR, 2 TE, and 5 OL), but added back ups on defense (7 DL, 5 or 6 LB, 7 DB). The latter was important as the game added different defensive formations, and the game would automatically substitute the correct personnel package in. If you go into goal line defense, it'll be a 5-3-3 look, while nickel and dime would have the correct number of DBs for each. Note that neither this game nor Tecmo III did this for the offense, those substitutions had to be made manually. However, both offense and defense could audible. On offense, they could swap between a pass play and it's mirror running play (For example, if you called the pass play in the up arrow spot, you'd audible into the run in the up arrow spot from the same playbook), or fake an audible, while the defense could switch formations. The latter is particularly interested, as going from say dime to goal line defense suddenly had corners or safeties playing linebacker, and this can be very, very interesting...

I'd also like to note one of my favorite little things in the game, the Pro Bowl, actually showed players with the right uniforms. They'd all have the AFC or NFC jerseys, but their own team helmets. This small graphical element is something Madden sometimes couldn't do in the 21st century lol

1995 brought about Tecmo Super Bowl III, which further tweaked the look and feel of the game. In addition to the pop ups seen in previous games, you'd now get them throughout the game at semi-random when players were doing well, and in some cases, included pictures of the players as well.


This took a ton of quick outs to finally pop up, from agame some seasons into the game, hence Rob Moore on the Giants vs the Chargers.

Like its predecessor, Tecmo III had multiple season modes. You could play just the 1995 season with the default, unchanged rosters, or you could do a mode that had unlimited seasons which started with trades, and before that, the brand new free agency mode. In addition to the now 30 teams in the NFL, there was a full roster of free agent players. Trades worked the same as before (One for one), but free agents had a point value. Deion Sanders was the biggest name available as a free agent, but cost 290 points, and the only way to fit him in was to release players of your own to build those up. In theory, better players cost more points (I think Steve Young, the best QB in the game, was like 540 for example), but there were definitely some where their point value was higher than their production or skills, which made them fun trade bait solely to cut for free agents.

The free agency system was a bit wonky, as it went in a specific order through the game (AFC to NFC, East to Central to West divisions, so Buffalo always went first, San Francisco always last, the same order you'd cycle through teams on the selection screens), but it really added a lot of value to the game. CPU teams would make trades and sign free agents, with sometimes hilarious results, but since you could keep playing seasons forever, it did a solid job simulating roster churn. Over the years, I've sometimes liked to take control of every team during the off season to control the trades and free agency moves, to help build up some teams.

There's also a hidden roster of legends players that you unlock as super expensive free agents if you win 3 consecutive Super Bowls. None are named, but "QB Niners 16", "RB Raiders 34", or "LB Giants 56" make it clear who most of them are.

Finally, there's also a PlayStation version of the game from 1996 that further expanded rosters and added deeper playbooks and stuff. I didn't play it very much, but IIRC it was a fairly solid game, but was by that time overshadowed by the explosion of Madden and other games.

Anyway, the original NES game from 1991 remains the most well remembered and most popular version of the game. Why? Well, for years, it was unquestionably the best football video game around, and the exploits of QB Eagles, Bo Jackson, or the Run and Shoot Oilers lived on in 16-bit glory because of that. The other big factor is the ROM hacking community. For whatever reason, it's the game that was easiest to hack, and as such, has had the most work put into it. People have expanded the rosters from 28 to 32 teams, added elements from other games, such as the ability to change playbooks midgame, new defensive formations and coverage logic, and even created entirely new plays and formations for the game. There's a dedicated group of people who put out a handful of ROMs each year with updated rosters, with some even catering to specific gameplay styles. Want one purely for coach mode? One with current players but the original plays? A 'juiced' version where the CPU difficulty treats every game as if your team is 16-0? gently caress yeah, those are out there and more, and they can be easily found via Google, and play a big role in why the game continues to be fondly remembered and still widely played.

Beyond Tecmo... how am I the first person in this thread to mention the 2K series? In the early 2000's, it was by far superior to Madden and ESPN NFL 2K5 was arguably the best football video game out there for a while. I can't say I played them all as much, although I did sink a fair bit of time into 2K5 and All-Pro 2K8. 2K5 in particular was great, but started showing some age by 2010 or so. It also remains very, very popular.

I could probably go into hyper-detail on some of the issues with Madden, and some of the things it has actually done well over the past decade or so, but I'll save that for later.

fartknocker fucked around with this message at 22:44 on May 5, 2021

General Dog
Apr 26, 2008

New Year, New Me!

Not to step on future articles, but I’ve tried to start ultimate team on a couple of versions of Madden in the past 5 years and been completely lost on how it’s supposed to work. For a feature that they build the entire game around and seems to be a huge cash cow, you’d think they’d make it a little more beginner-friendly.

JPrime
Jul 4, 2007

tales of derring-do, bad and good luck tales!


College Slice

Amy Pole Her posted:

Y'all ever see seven INTs in a single game?

Thanks to Madden, you can! Regularly!

amateur!

Silly Burrito
Nov 26, 2007

Thank you, Drew.


fartknocker posted:


Beyond Tecmo... how am I the first person in this thread to mention the 2K series? In the early 2000's, it was by far superior to Madden and ESPN NFL 2K5 was arguably the best football video game out there for a while. I can't say I played them all as much, although I did sink a fair bit of time into 2K5 and All-Pro 2K8. 2K5 in particular was great, but started showing some age by 2010 or so. It also remains very, very popular.

Honestly, it was one of the coolest things about the Dreamcast. I remember the Playstation 1 Maddens being all chunky, but the player models were better, announcing was great, and it was overall a much better game IMO.

2K5 screwed themselves by releasing it at 19.99. It was the right move in a way, but it freaked out the NFL and EA. I wonder if they had kept the normal pricing if the NFL wouldn't have given EA perpetual exclusive rights.

The one thing that I remember reading a while back is that EA won't have exclusive rights now, or some sort of variation of this? I agree that Madden badly needs real competition.

MakaVillian
Aug 15, 2003

Well, in Whoville they say - that his tiny hands grew three sizes that day.


Paint Crop Pro posted:

1000% This.

Unfortunately publishers have realized they are a way to print money after the initial sale so they will never stop.


quote:


Another page of the presentation refers to "content teasers" that will "drive excitement & funnel players towards FUT from other modes" under a bullet point labelled "All roads lead to FUT."


https://www.cbc.ca/news/gopublic/fifa21-loot-boxes-electronic-arts-1.5996912

This is for Fifa but I have no doubt it's the same for Madden.

I used to play the poo poo out of franchise mode in Madden in the early 00s on PC. One year me and a buddy co-ran a team for a few seasons.

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Eifert Posting
Mar 31, 2007

Sweet, pointless victory.


Grimey Drawer

General Dog posted:

Not to step on future articles, but I’ve tried to start ultimate team on a couple of versions of Madden in the past 5 years and been completely lost on how it’s supposed to work. For a feature that they build the entire game around and seems to be a huge cash cow, you’d think they’d make it a little more beginner-friendly.

I got really into MUT one year and it was fun but I spent a couple hundred bucks on it and have no desire to ever do so again. It was the year of the Pats/Hawks Superbowl. I had Anthony Munoz as my right and left tackle.

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