Virtual Console Wrap-up – 8/3

Well, after a two week absence, with ridiculous rumors flying as to why, we’re back with a brand new classic game, this time from the VC Arcade! Let’s see if we remember how to do this after that break.

Tecmo Bowl
Publisher: Tecmo
Developer: Tecmo
Original Release Date: 1986
Cost: 600 Wii Points.

D.J. Tatsujin: Japan got a flagship Tecmo arcade release in Ninja Gaiden and this week we get a shitty Tecmo football game. That seems like a fair trade.

Ashe Collins: Woot! Tecmo Bowl! Two weeks we get nothing and then we get….that.

Guess my Wii can sit silent for yet another week. Meh.

Christopher Bowen: Tecmo had a thing going on in the 80s: they would make arcade games, then make completely different versions of said games for the NES. Unlike most other companies that did this, Tecmo’s home ports were *better*. This was the case when they turned Ninja Gaiden from being a standard, everyday beat ’em up into one of the first cinematic video game experiences, it was the case when they turned Rygar from being a platformer with the worst continue system in history (read: they stopped allowing them for the last part of the game; good thing I learned that on MAME instead of in an arcade) into one of the first instances of a game successfully mixing platform and RPG elements, and they did it with Tecmo Bowl as well.

For those unaware of the arcade version: this is *NOT* the NES version, and it’s decidedly inferior. Remember picking teams on the NES version? Not in this! You get the Wildcats or the Bulldogs, and you’ll like it. Remember playing as Bo Jackson? Not in this, as there are no identifiable players in any way, shape or form (though to be fair, the NES version didn’t have that either, due to none of those players being in the NFLPA anymore). Remember picking plays? The game picks plays for you, and you pick your receiver ahead of time; no switching off of that. Oh, and instead of button mashing to shake tackles, you have to waggle the joystick. This is painful and callous-inducing to do on a digital pad, meaning you basically must have the retro controller to prevent blisters, especially with the Wiimote’s crappy D-pad.

The original arcade game was made with one intention: eat quarters. It used to be that you had to put in a quarter for every minute of gameplay; since default settings called for four minute quarters and the only way to gain time was to kick the ball out of the endzone on kickoffs for touchbacks, you can see that the money added up quickly, depending on dipswitch settings. Thankfully, that doesn’t translate to a home conversion, but I will be interested to see how the game’s wide monitor translates over. Tecmo Bowl’s cabinet, like Darius, had an exceptionally long viewing area encompassing two monitors – as shown on this KLOV page, with this being a screenshot (via MAME). I don’t quite remember how the XBox collection pulled this off, and I’m not spending the money on a bad game to find out on the Wii.

In all, Tecmo Bowl is a game that didn’t age well. It’s decidedly worse than the NES version that’s been out for two years. It’s also available on a cheap compilation, Tecmo Classic Arcade, but I can’t even recommend that, as the games on that collection are almost universally terrible.

Nathan Birch: Hey, the Virtual Console is back! Oh, and we’re getting an inferior version of a game we already got? Oh Nintendo, you scamps.

Aileen Coe: Wow. I don’t think they’re even trying anymore. And here I thought the two week absence might’ve been due to them preparing something big to knock our socks off. Man, what a tease.

Mark B.:Okay, so, Tecmo Bowl, in this incarnation, stinks. You can’t pick teams, the football mechanics are inferior to those of the NES version, and the only draw is being able to play with up to four players, assuming you can convince three friends to play it at all.

I am, however, encouraged to see some developers (well, besides Namco, who always seems to feel the need to stick their arcade games EVERYWHERE) making use of the VC to upload their old arcade games. Space Harrier was a good start, and Tecmo Bowl is a continuation of that, and I’d like to see more arcade games pop up on the VC in the coming months and years. I don’t think we need an arcade-perfect release of Ninja Gaiden like the Japanese got, but I’d be fine with, say, an arcade port of Splatterhouse, or Bad Dudes (I liked it, shut up), or Outrun, or Elevator Action, or whatever. So, yeah, I don’t think Tecmo Bowl is a particularly good game, and I don’t think it needed to come out on the VC, but I find its release encouraging.

You probably wouldn’t want to buy it though. Just saying.

Well, that sounds like a “pass”.

OH HO HO HO HO HO ho ho… whatever.

And on the Wii Ware this week, we get Overturn, which looks suspiciously like Virtual On, Sexy Poker, which-

Christopher Bowen: Apparently, the game’s been edited to not show nudity; they instead show lingerie. Seriously, can you not get that on the internet? If you’re going to be working for your nudity, shouldn’t you actually get nudity? It’s going to be a crappy poker game (this was apparently taken off of a cell phone game… I mean, really), and from what little I’ve seen, the girls pictured within are about D-level. Seriously, if you want to work for your nudity, just download some Japanese Mahjong games or something.

… well, pretty much that. Also, DSi Ware gets another Art Style game, and those tend to be good, so hurrah.



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