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The Everlasting Appeal of Tecmo Super Bowl

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Although the original Tecmo Super Bowl video game is nearly 30 years old, it has maintained a large following throughout the decades. Here is a look at the game’s everlasting appeal.  

The First Football Video Game to Feature Real Teams and Real Players

The Super Bowl is always one of the most highly anticipated events in US sports, and you do not have to wait that long to discover who will win the Super Bowl LV, as all will be revealed on February 7 2021. In the meanwhile, you can place your bets. If you do not know where to start, check out this fantastic guide to Super Bowl betting. You can also get ready for the upcoming Super Bowl by having fun playing related video games, like Tecmo Super Bowl.

The American football video game, developed by Tecmo, was first released for the NES in December 1991. It was notable for being the first sports video game officially licensed by the National Football League Players Association and the National Football League. Therefore, the game contains the names and attributes of real NFL players and teams. The game is based on the 1990-1991 NFL season.

An Overview of the Game

Tecmo Super Bowl is a sequel to the 1989 NES game Tecmo Bowl, which began life as an arcade game in 1987. Up to four players could compete in a match between two fictitious teams. The sequel took things much further. In addition to featuring real teams and players, Tecmo Super Bowl features expanded rosters, statistics tracking, expanded playbooks, and many other new elements like coin tosses, timeouts, five-minute quarters, and fumbles. Each roster has thirty different players, and each team has seventeen offensive players and eleven defensive players, including eleven starters and six substitutes, meaning eleven players are always on the field, as with a real game of football. Tecmo Super Bowl even contains the health conditions and injuries of players.

Game Modes

Tecmo Super Bowl has multiple modes, including Pro Bowl, Regular Season, and Preseason. In all modes, you can edit the team before you begin playing, or you can leave the default settings as they are. You can also choose from three styles of play in all modes. They are:

  •   MAN, in which you call and run plays.
  •   COA, in which you coach the team by only calling plays, with the computer running them.
  •   COM, in which the computer deals with all elements of the game, and you just sit back and watch.

The Everlasting Appeal of the Game

With such an abundance of features and accurate portrayal of the season, it is no wonder Tecmo Super Bowl has attracted a cult following. Today, numerous tournaments are held, including the annual world championship in Madison, Wisconsin. Its modern-day popularity is partially thanks to the internet. The livestream of Tecmo Madison XIII in 2016 had 161,076 viewers and it even received coverage by ESPN. The game is also one of the most hacked and modified NES games ever, which has contributed to Tecmo Super Bowl’s everlasting appeal.

Tecmo Super Bowl in Popular Culture

If you still do not believe just how popular an old 1990s game can be, you should know that Tecmo Super Bowl has also made several appearances in popular culture. The game was the central theme for two Kia Sorento commercials, starring Bo Jackson, in 2016, and it even featured in an episode of Family Guy.

There have been several sequels, spin-offs, and updated versions over the years, such as Tecmo Super Bowl II: Special Edition, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff, and Tecmo Bowl Throwback. But none can quite capture the everlasting appeal of the original Tecmo Super Bowl game.

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