Tecmo Super Bowl III: Final Edition


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

Everyone knows Tecmo Bowl. Most everyone loves Tecmo Bowl. The classic arcade style gameplay, impossible long bombs, stunning (for the time) cinematics, and a season mode made the original game an undeniable classic. As the genre matured, so did Tecmo Bowl. Here we have the final 16-bit edition of the game in all it's glory, but a few annoyances keep this one from greatness like it's predecessors.

Technically, everything you've come to expect from video game football has been packed into this cart. Create-a-player (who improves the better you play), full season, playoffs, customized playbooks, multi-player, weather, tons of stat tracking, and the NFL license. The multiple season mode is sorely missing, but is included with the SNES version.

The gameplay has really only been tweaked over the years. The passing game is still relatively unchanged, the running game is still a matter of jamming on the buttons to escape tackles, and field goals are only based upon an arrow. On defense, selecting your opponents play results in an almost guaranteed sack, giving this one a "game of chance" feel.

Money plays are prevalent throughout and tossing a ball end zone to end zone is entirely possible. This is the nature of Tecmo Bowl and usually the reason people either love it or loathe it. Injuries play a very harsh role so don't be surprised if your prized running back is knocked out in the first week. Fumbling the ball is certainly more common in this entry that it ever has been before.

Fans of the cinematics will most likely be disappointed by the game. Using a mix of digitized players and hand drawn ones causes an odd mixture of styles that just doesn't work, especially with the limited palette of the Genesis. The field features numerous lines of parallax scrolling, giving the field a wonderful sense of depth. No flicker is present at anytime, a welcome change from the 2 8-bit entries.

Sadly, all the famous music that was usually featured during the gameplay is gone. Menus and post/mid-game stat screens are the only place you'll hear any. The static sound of the crowd is hardly a substitute for the classic music.

What drags this one down are glitches....lots of 'em. I've seen a ball fumbled that couldn't be recovered, a fumble recovery that only gave the opposing team one play to score before the ball was turned back over to me, a pass that was 10 yards below the receiver who managed to catch it by standing in one spot, and an interception by a defender who magically disappeared once he caught it. This is only a small sampling of the oddities this game produces.

Even with the oddball glitches, you'll still find this one enjoyable if you've enjoyed previous games in the long running series. Though the SNES versions is most the likely the better overall game, this one certainly reigns supreme as far as arcade style football games are concerned on the Genesis. An overall decent package that will most likely not disappoint.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:33 PM