TECMO SUPER BOWL / Tecmo / Sony Playstation

The Playstation port of the beloved arcadey football series is basically Tecmo Super Bowl 3 beefed up a little in some areas, but also lacking some of its previous options -- mostly those that involved saving data.

Tecmo Super Bowl 2 and 3 represented a pretty big aesthetic change from the previous games, with the Ninja Gaiden cinematics and peppy on-field music being abandoned for a more "realistic" sort of look. If you didn't like that stylistic change, welp ... too bad as it continues here. The one big new thing here is a quasi-3D in the style of the 16-bit Madden games, where you can rotate into a vertical view of the field rather than just the typical horizontal one. During stock gameplay, you're still on the horizontal plane, but the game rotates automatically behind the kicker for field goals and extra points.

One nice new detail here is that the weather can change during games, and there's a new announcer that keeps you apprised of this, but he's not particularly chatty otherwise only occasionally busting in with a "3rd and long ... passing may be probable!" or something of that nature. The first Joe Montana game for Genesis had more advanced commentary tbqh.

The season mode features are actually a step down from the 16-bit games. Create-a-player from TSB 3 is gone, and you can't mess with the rosters at all other than changing starters - no trading players. There's a "free editor" that allows you to change the names, numbers and stats of existing players on the roster, but that's kind of a cheap substitution for a proper season/dynasty mode.

The gameplay is still very solid, with more formations than previous games. However, this means the "steroid swarm of death" when a defense guesses the offensive play call is gone. Not everyone will miss it, but it did add a certain component to competitive play, where you would get to know an opponent and predict what they're going to call in certain situations. Also was fun when you managed to toss a screen pass and get a few yards in spite of a busted play.

The enhanced capabilities of the Playstation offered an opportunity to really bring back the classic elements of the series that the fans loved in a blaze of glory and merge them with more modern functions ... instead Tecmo just kinda went down the path of continuing to homogenize and Maddenize the game more, and this ended up being the end of the series until some halting attempts to revive it on portables ten years later.

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