Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

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Retro STrife
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Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Retro STrife » December 5th, 2017, 9:55 am

I have a vague memory as a young kid in the early 90s, inside KB Toys, begging my dad to buy me a game with a cool looking NY Giants player on the front cover. I was just getting interested in football and there was something about the cover of that box that made me really really want it. My family didn't have much money, so this sort of begging never worked, not even on a 50 cent candy bar, let alone a new video game. Yet, somehow I walked out with a brand new copy of Tecmo Super Bowl (while he got yelled at back at home for wasting the money on it). It was the only time I can remember getting something pricey bought on a whim like that as a kid. It paid off though -- 25 years later it's still among my top 2 or 3 all-time favorite games. And it's the only NES game that I still pull out regularly to play.

If Tecmo Super Bowl has one glaring flaw, it's always been that the CPU is way too easy to dominate and there is no adjustable difficulty. It gets tiring to beat the computer 56-3 game after game. But against a competitive human opponent, everything changes. I haven't played against someone else in like 15 years. Then I learned that there are TSB tournaments all over the country, including a huge tourney in Madison, Wisconsin, that has even been featured a few times on ESPN. I played in my first local tournament this past weekend - turns out that there is one just 45 minutes from me. Over 50 people played in it, so it seems TSB is still going strong after all these years! I was glad to find out that I can hold my own against most players, but I was grossly outmatched by the top players (who practice online and play around the country), so I finished about middle of the pack.

If you haven't played this game, definitely try it, even if you're only a casual sports fan. I still feel it's the best sports game ever made, and the NES version is best. Anyone else a TSB fan? Anyone here play in any of the tournaments?
Last edited by Retro STrife on December 5th, 2017, 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Retro STrife » December 5th, 2017, 12:45 pm

I have to say, for a sports game from 1991, it amazes me how incredibly deep this game is for head-to-head play. In preparing for the tourney, I found FAQs over a hundred pages long on strategies for TSB. There are hundreds of different forums, Youtube videos, etc., all discussing how best to play offense/defense, use certain players, best plays and how to use them, etc. Even during the games, there is a lot of strategy about matchups and which players to use based on their stats (sometimes even subbing in backup players that have better skills, or due to one of your players being in "bad" condition). The tournaments almost all use the same structure too, and it's great.

Also amazing to me is that some of the players in TSB continue to live on as video game characters, just as much as they do as football players.. long forgotten players like David Fulcher and Christian Okoye still live on as TSB legends, not to mention the guys that remain famous as players in and out of TSB, like Lawrence Taylor and Bo Jackson.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Gentlegamer » December 5th, 2017, 2:35 pm

Check out www.tecmobowl.org for ROM hacks that update the rosters ever year.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Retro STrife » December 6th, 2017, 11:48 pm

Gentlegamer wrote:Check out http://www.tecmobowl.org for ROM hacks that update the rosters ever year.


Thanks. I really need to start getting involved on that website. I read a lot of the info there to learn how to play competitively head-to-head for the tournament (since it's obviously a much different strategy than playing the CPU), and it helped a lot. Hopefully I'll get involved in playing online before next year. The updated rosters is very cool, although I think I'll always prefer the original TSB players. Like I mentioned, they are sort of like video game characters to me at this point, so I feel like updating the rosters would change the game's "characters" and give it a completely different feel. How do you feel about it? I hope that most online games use the original players.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Gentlegamer » December 7th, 2017, 11:46 am

Using the original rosters locks the competitive teams to the few handful that were good in the early 90s. Fans of other teams enjoy playing with updated rosters, especially since modern NFL games are held captive by EA and the Madden series, and Super Tecmo Bowl is just plain more fun than modern sports games. It comes from a time when they were made to be good games instead of over produced sports sims, so the opportunity to play with updated rosters is awesome.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Retro STrife » December 7th, 2017, 12:18 pm

Gentlegamer wrote:Using the original rosters locks the competitive teams to the few handful that were good in the early 90s. Fans of other teams enjoy playing with updated rosters, especially since modern NFL games are held captive by EA and the Madden series, and Super Tecmo Bowl is just plain more fun than modern sports games. It comes from a time when they were made to be good games instead of over produced sports sims, so the opportunity to play with updated rosters is awesome.


Good point.. I hadn't thought of it from a league-play standpoint. If you play in an online league with several players, I guess you would need updated rosters in order to equalize the balance (rather than an advantage to whoever picks the 49ers, Bills, etc.) Plus it probably gets monotonous to use the same teams for 25 years straight.

Fortunately, it seems like you can avoid that in tournament play and online head-to-head, since one player picks the match-up and the second player picks which team they want, which forces the first player to pick an even match up. I'm glad tournaments are still using the original rosters, and that the tournament structure forces you to use all the teams and know all of them well.

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Re: Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Herschie » December 7th, 2017, 12:50 pm

Gentlegamer wrote:Check out http://www.tecmobowl.org for ROM hacks that update the rosters ever year.


Another reason why I love my flashcart. And believe me, it's a lot more fun using Tom Brady instead of Steve Grown.

Not so much the case with the Bears.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) & TSB tournaments

Postby Gentlegamer » December 7th, 2017, 5:01 pm

The hacked ROMs also add and update expansion teams, all 32 are represented.


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