When I had received my copy of Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff for review, I was ecstatic. You see, I spent quite a bit of time with Tecmo Bowl and Super Tecmo Bowl when I was growing up, so I wanted to see how this revival held up. After putting it through its pace, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff is kind of, well ... kind of a mixed bag. It does some things very well, but hasn't corrected all of the problems that plagued the first two games.
Well, the game is good if you're nostalgic for that old Tecmo Bowl experience. Here, it doesn't disappoint, as everything from the presentation to the gameplay mimics that old school feel excellently. But, where it succeeds, it also fails.
See, if you played as much Tecmo Bowl as I have, then you know there are some things that were a big pain in the butt. The rubber band defense catches up to you each and every time you connect with a pass where your receiver has some separation, as in the past. Also, you still have to scroll through receivers with the A button, which can cause a lot of sacks and bad throws as football games have evolved over the years since the olden days of Tecmo Bowl.
That's not to say there isn't anything new to the series here in Kickoff. First of all, there's a really cool play editor, which can allow you to be as creative as you can be with your team. Also, thanks to stylus controls, you can play the game in a new way. This can help you with the whole passing situation but feels a bit odd at first. Oh, and there's Wi-Fi play, which is a limitless well of replay value for the game. And then there are Super Skills.
When playing the game, you'll earn points that allow you to purchase unique skill traits. Some of these are invaluable (Sack Evasion, for one, which allows your QB to avoid surefire sacks) and some are not so much (Tug Boat, which lets you lean for extra yards when tackled). It adds another dimension to your players and allows you to invest more into your team, providing you with even more creative freedom to build the team you want.
In the end, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff is a game for the fans of the old titles. If you've never played them, then you probably won't get what's good here. But, if, like me, you did play and love those old-school games, then Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff is like what Mega Man fans felt when Mega Man 9 was announced.
Final score: 7.5/10