I'll cut straight to the chase here - this is one of the worst football games ever made.

Yeah it's so bad it looks more like the beta concept version of a game that snuck out of the lab somehow, rather than a commercial release ... and the fact that NINTENDO was responsible for it is all the more befuddling.

You have eight teams (pictured in the screenshot) that aren't actual NFL teams, but the Player's Association did actually give them their license so the teams actually have the names (and poorly drawn faces) of the guys that were on their rosters in 1989 or so.

So first off, don't expect a season mode - just single games, two-player or a "playoff" mode where you play a couple random teams to win the Power Bowl.

The gameplay has so many problems I don't even know where to start. Everyone shuffles around all slowly and stiffly, the graphics are barely above Atari 2600 caliber and the players handle like tanks when you are running.

Calling the AI "garbage" would be tactful and restrained. Tackling and blocking often just don't happen - you see guys either run right by the opposing player, or suddenly remember they have a pressing engagement elsewhere and turn in the opposite direction at random.

Each team gets like four plays on offense and defense, one of which is the punt. On pass plays you are forced to throw to a particular reciever or run for it - there's no cycling through targets like there is in every other football game ever.

Also, on defense, you are stuck with one arbitrary player (usually the free safety) and can't switch around before or during the play either.

Oh, and they were obviously trying to rip off Tecmo Super Bowl's cinematics ... didn't really come out all that well though. I do love how the defender cold cocks the quarterback in the chin every time you get a sack, though.

Nintendo really didn't do well with sports games in the 8-bit era, did they?

Anyway, the one bright spot about seeing this game ... is that it gives me hope that Tecmo can at least get the rights to the old NFL player names and maybe give us some kind of version of Tecmo Super Bowl at some point ...

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