Tecmo Superbowl for NES is the greatest football game ever made hands down. It was created back in 1991 and is a tremendously balanced game which is STILL played today and stands the test of time. For new football players, tecmo teaches us lessons that can be carried over to Madden 10 and help us take our game to the next level.
- The Greatest of All-Time!
Tecmo Bowl Throwback – Will be coming to the XBL marketplace soon and can hopefully deliver the same action that has made tecmo a smash hit over the years.
Lesson 1 – Make everything look the same!
Tecmo had the ability to customize your playbook. Certain plays had motion before the play which could alert your opponent to what you were calling before the snap. Therefore, there were 8 slots for plays and there were 8 great plays to fill in. These playsÂ looked very similar and had singleback with 3wr and a te. This allowed you to have an upscreen run, down screen run and 2 passes which your opponent couldn’t tell the difference between. You also had 2 shotgun passes and a run and pass play out of 2 back. If you left in a silly motion play or play action, your opponent could pick up on that tendency and it could cost you in a big moment!
- Almighty Play Call Screen
In Madden, we like to make our offense look the same to keep the opponent guessing to which play might be coming. This is why we always come in the same play and formation and make changes from there. They defense must be ready for EVERYTHING!
Lesson 2- Get in your opponents head
To call a play in tecmo, you had 8 options. The defense would choose whatever play the offense called. If the defense selected the same play as the offense, you would get some instant pressure. This created a tremendous guessing game of game theory at the play call screen. In long pass situations, you had 2 shotgun plays which you were likely to call.
The defense would likely call one of those 2 shotgun plays, and right before the snap if the QB was in gun, you knew you had a 50/50 chance of getting pressure.Â This dynamic led to people picking whatever play they thought the defense wouldn’t pick, but then the defense would adjust! It was a great system where you had a 1/8 chance of getting great pressure, but the actual percentage was higher because you learned what the offense liked to call.
In Madden – you need to look for certain tendencies or formations. I really like to focus on screen formations as they are a good way for my opponent to beat pressure. If I know he is in a potential screen formation, I really key in on that play because it can quickly throw a wrench into his plans. He probably goes to this play quick, but as soon as you lock it up, he will be hesitant to call it again as he knows it can hurt him.Â Screens often foil my quick pressure plans, but as soon as you pick one with a contained lineman, all bets are off from an offense standpoint.
Lesson 3- User Defense
In Tecmo, you are locked into a specific player after the snap. Most people play with a LB or a safety. Now, since you can’t change AFTER the snap, you must know your assignment. On pass plays, you must protect the deep assignment. You can’t nibble on the close pass and leave a deep WR open as it can burn you. The better you get, you can roam around the field with faster players like Deion Sanders or Ronnie Lott. However, you must have sound defensive principles and learn to read run or pass right after the snap.
In Madden – When you are bringing heat – you must know where it makes your defense vulnerable and have user coverage behind it. That is the principle of the GL D. If you opponent has two players in an area with one defender, you have to cover the deep man and let the flat be open. You can allow a few flat completions, but one deep pass can KILL you.
Lesson 4- Pick a good user team
Tecmo was created when absolute STARS were in the NFL. Montana, Rice, LT, Bo Jackson, Randall Cunningham (Qb Eagles), Marino, Elway, Sanders, Haddix, Moon, Derrick Thomas and Barry Sanders!
Each team has its own style and abilities. The original Mike Vick was Randall Cunnigham, you would run your offense a little different with the eagles due to his ability to take off and get big yards with his feet. Instead of rolling back with him, you would take him up to the LOS and look to run if nothing was open.Â No doubt a game changer, but the philly D was garbage!
Bo Jackson IS the greatest virtual football player of all time, but besides him the raiders had NOTHING! You needed to have a solid run plan which included Marcus Allen but not expect to get a stop on defense.
The Giants were a very balanced team who could run with Otis Anderson and Pass with Phil Simms. On D they had LT and other GREAT linebackers. For a new player, the had it all.
If you liked to throw the ball, Houston and Warren Moon had the Run N Shoot offense which gave them no TE and more WR’s. Drew Hill was a RB/WR Hybrid (think Reggie Bush) They had other weapons like Haywood Jefferies, Curtis Duncan, Ernest Givins who could spread out a defense
There were plenty of ways and styles to play in Tecmo and perhaps thats what made they game last so long.
In Madden – you can pound the rock, play sim or tourney style, scramble with a fast qb or hang in the pocket.Â Remember that you can play whatever style you choose and I recommend whatever gives you the best to win! As mentioned, I love to play with a scrambling QB, but I have the best chance to win with a pocket passer instead.
Lesson 5-Â Stats tell the story
In Madden we always suggest getting your online stats emailed to you after the game. You can see that you only converted 1/7 on 3rd downs or turned the ball over 3 times.
In Tecmo – The stats appear right after the game and can really help you reflect on the game. If you abandoned the running game, it will often cause you to throw some interceptions which will kill your chances. This is a huge way to review your game and see where you need to improve to win.
Lesson 6 – Turnovers happen
FUMBLES! In Both Games, turnovers are Devastating! Now, fumbles may be random, but guys with low carry certainly make them happen more often. Adrian Peterson is a dynamic back, but his low carry can hurt you in big moments. Same with Dave Megget who is an expert return man, although his low carry also hurts. Get to the sideline and play SMART! In Madden make sure to cover up the ball.
Lesson 7 – Its about the gameplay
Tecmo 1991- Haltime Show, First Down Chain Gang, Full Stats, Season Mode, Pro Bowl, Custom Playbooks, Substitutions – Check
Madden 2010- Halftime Show, First Down, Stats, Season Mode, Team Playbooks, Subs – Check
Both games contain many “presentation” factors which look nice, but at the end of the day, people still play tecmo because its FUN, not because of a half time show. Madden added the Chain Gang, but after 10 times it becomes more of a burden than an addition to the game. These items that existed in a 20 year old game aren’t something we should put on the back of the box to sell a game, we should be selling it because its FUN TO PLAY!
Lesson 8- Stick Skills
Tecmo – WEAVE! You need to learn how to weave up and down to avoid being tackled! You also need to “button press” to tackle the carrier which leads to intense battles (like fight for fumble on every tackle) This game was the origination of stick skills and a smart play or good weave can be the difference between a win and a loss!
Madden – The Wiggle and RC. You can increase your chances of having succesful runs and catches by becoming good on the sticks. Knowing when to hit stick or let the CPU tackle can cost you yards! Its all about becoming a good on the sticks and being smart. The more you play, the better you get!
Lesson 9 – Game Managment Skills
If you cross over the 50 yard line in Tecmo, you have a chance to make the FG. There are specific ways to run out the clock (Air out a deep pass) and manage the end of game situations. You need to maximize your game play strategies and be aware of the score and situation.
In Madden you must always be aware of the score, timeouts, clock and field position. These are the types of plays that GREAT players consistently win where newer players can “choke” and fall apart at the end of a game. In both games, you need to play heads up football as many games come down to the last play of the game!
Lesson 10 – Big Players Make Big Plays!
ZFarls ALWAYS defeats Sgibs in night games of Tecmo where Sgibs is a better day player. When you have your gamplan set up and are confident, the BEST player will consistently show up and make the huge play. Whether is ZFarls BLOCKING Sgibs FG in tecmo for the win, or a late TD run, when it matters will YOU make a play?
In Madden – we can talk routes, plays and players. BUT when the clock is ticking down, who will step up and make that one play to decide a game, season or tournament? Both these games give us a chance to show off our innate competitive nature that burns like a fire inside of us. Winning a hard fought game brings joy, while losing bring pain and the NEED to play again!
Both Franchise have captured the hearts of gamers and the reason is simple, humans love to compete and play the game of football, now we give you the tools, but its up for you to apply these lessons and take YOUR game to the next level!
See you in the lab!
About the Author: ZFarls is a 23 Year Old Madden Baller from Boston, MA. Along with Sgibs, he owns Madden Bible and looks to give players advanced strategies and tactics to win more madden games. He preaches confidence in what you are running and knowing the situation you are in. Everything else will come naturally!