Friday, May 22, 2020

A true homage

A millennial's quest to beat Tecmo Bowl:
In my Tecmo Bowl universe, Pickel was a combination of Reggie White, Joe Greene and Dick Butkus. He became integral to my new defensive strategy, which was to always select a running play since they’re so much harder to stop, then drop either of my linebackers (Matt Millen and Jerry Robinson) into coverage and follow one of the wide receivers in hopes of picking off a pass. Against teams that regularly featured the run (Bears, Cowboys, Browns) the AI-controlled Pickel was a fixture in the backfield, burying Payton, Kevin Mack and Herschel Walker. There’s a good chance he would have broken Pro Football Focus’ grading metrics with an estimated 400 tackles for loss.

Throughout the process, I wondered how frustrating this would be to read for legions of 40-somethings who had honed this strategy over long hours wrapping sore, calloused hands around the hard plastic rectangle controller. The real grinders who knew and loved Pickel long before I did. My hope is that they view this as an homage, and not another dangerously offensive action from a millennial out to destroy everything they love.
Fear not. This is the sort of thing of which Gen X gamers absolutely approve.

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Blogger BalancedTryteOperators May 22, 2020 6:39 PM  


Blogger ZhukovG May 22, 2020 7:04 PM  

That was great.

Blogger JD Curtis May 22, 2020 7:09 PM  

I would play CB Frank Minnifield on defense to take Cleveland to the championship.
RB Leroy Hoard still lives in SoFLA, I think

Blogger The World War II Fanatic May 22, 2020 7:45 PM  

What is going on in Britain?


And now a young girl who was raped by muslims is being CHARGED by the police for "perverting" justice by daring not to keep quiet whilst they "investigate the cause"

Blogger ar10308 May 22, 2020 7:53 PM  

Bo knows Tecmo.

Blogger Nihil Dicit May 22, 2020 7:56 PM  

And this sort of gameplay carries on: some dude just won the Madden Bowl without throwing a single pass during the entire tournament.

Blogger Billy May 22, 2020 9:05 PM  

Ive sent countless hours in my late teens playing tecmo bowl, man what memories. I nevered played the computertor always played with friends, things for the bloq post.

Blogger carnaby May 22, 2020 9:27 PM  

Few things in life are this absolute.

Blogger RedJack May 22, 2020 9:36 PM  

Singletary was my go to defense guy. None of my friends could stop me as the Bears.

But my Dad beat me like a rented mule any time he wanted to play. He was not a gamer, but man he knew football. Took me to every home Nebraska game through the 80's till 94 when I graduated high school. I miss that game, those times, and my Dad.

I am glad the sportswriter spent some time in old school Nintendo.

Blogger Steffen May 22, 2020 10:59 PM  

Now do RBI Baseball.

Blogger cyrus83 May 22, 2020 11:24 PM  

Tecmo was very popular in college in the early aughts. Never was very good at it myself, but it was certainly fun watching the better skilled guys play.

I'm more a fan of the Legend of Zelda NES experience, it has been quite fun during lockdown to play several fan-made NES-style quests on Zelda Classic.

Blogger Emmett Fitz-Hume May 22, 2020 11:34 PM  

Tecmo Bowl and Blades of Steel were my favorites. Great games. I remember the first time I realized there was a game within the game on Blades of Steel.

I liked Madden Football for Genesis but I think I had more fun with Tecmo.

Blogger Lazarus May 22, 2020 11:50 PM  

"the AI-controlled Pickel was a fixture in the backfield, burying Payton, Kevin Mack and Herschel Walker."

Inevitably, teh wetware identified an exploit, and Pickel was never the same.

Blogger ScottC May 22, 2020 11:55 PM  

More of a Madden guy but I love me some Tecmo Bowl.

Blogger Warren C. Bennett May 23, 2020 3:46 AM  

Hail Marys with the Bears. Of course, I had no real idea about the rules of football, just that throwing those tended to win many games for me. I was more of a Nintendo Ice Hockey guy...

Blogger sammibandit May 23, 2020 6:48 AM  

My hope is that they view this as an homage, and not another dangerously offensive action from a millennial out to destroy everything they love.

Bears repeating.

Blogger Section 8A May 23, 2020 9:00 AM  

We had a Tecmo Bowl tournament in the dorm, and I went far with my hometown Giants, because no one could stop LT. I took control and sent him in every play.

But the real fun was with Bo - TD risk every time. I know there weren't many passes, but you could throw to Christiansen and get away with it. A lot.

Blogger Phelps May 23, 2020 10:17 AM  

Yeah, we 40 somethings already knew the game was broken. I remember my brother winning entire seasons with one play. "Let's see, let's see, so many plays to chose from, maybe well go with... shuttle right. For the 60hth time in a row."

Blogger DJ | AMDG May 23, 2020 11:18 AM  

So true, Phelps. I think it was Madden Football ‘92 that was the same. Buffalo running a FB Slant-In > B to Don Bebe, maybe? Unstoppable play even when you knew it was coming. I seem to recall you could do something similar with the Lions and Herman Moore (Perriman? I can’t remember). But on D with the Lions I think, if you rushed outside-in with Ray Crockett? Or Chris Spielman maybe, you stuffed just about any play.

But that Buffalo team with Thurman Thomas. Unreal. Even Madden’s darlings the 84 Bears couldn’t stop the Buffs.

Blogger Manuel May 23, 2020 12:17 PM  

Ah yes Tecmo Bowl and Blades of Steel. I would follow the NHL if Blades of Steel rules were used, loser of a fight gets 2 minute penalty.

Blogger JonM May 23, 2020 12:22 PM  

A lot of this talk sounds like SUPER Tecmo Bowl, not the earlier iteration of the game featured in the report in the OP. That was Tecmo Bowl, in which Bo Jackson was good, but not quite the beast of the sequel.

Blogger Retrenched May 23, 2020 2:27 PM  

The Raiders had the top rated defense on Tecmo Bowl, for the plain and simple reason that they were the only team that never had to play against Bo Jackson.

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