NFL Films is showing a documentary on Tecmo Super Bowl tonight, so here is a post on how it can help us become better Madden NFL 13 players!
Tecmo Super Bowl for NES is the 2nd greatest football game ever made, hands down. It was created back in 1991 and is a tremendously balanced game that is still played today and stands the test of time. For new football players, Tecmo teaches lessons that can be carried over to Madden NFL 13 and help us take our game to the next level.
- The 2nd greatest of all-time!
Tecmo Bowl Throwback is also available on XBL if you can’t get the original!
Lesson 1 – Make everything look the same!
Tecmo had the ability to customize your playbook. Certain plays had motion before the play, which could alert your opponent to what you were calling before the snap. Therefore, there were eight slots for plays and there were eight great plays to fill in. These plays looked very similar and had singleback with three wide receivers and a tight end. This allowed you to have an upscreen run, downscreen run, and two passes that your opponent couldn’t tell the difference between. You also had two shotgun passes and a run and pass play out of two back. If you left in a silly motion play or play action, your opponent could pick up on that tendency and it could cost you in a big moment!
- The almighty play-call screen
In Madden, we like to make our offense look the same to keep the opponent guessing about which play might be coming. This is why we always come in the same play and formation and make changes from there. The defense must be ready for everything!
Lesson 2 – Get in your opponent’s head
To call a play in Tecmo, you had eight options. The defense would choose whatever play the offense called. If the defense selected the same play as the offense, you would get some instant pressure. This created a tremendous guessing game of game theory at the play-call screen. In long-pass situations, you had two shotgun plays you were likely to call.
The defense would likely call one of those two shotgun plays, and right before the snap, if the QB was in gun, you knew you had a 50/50 chance of getting pressure. This dynamic led to people picking whatever play they thought the defense wouldn’t pick, but then the defense would adjust! It was a great system where you had a 1/8 chance of getting great pressure, but the actual percentage was higher because you learned what the offense liked to call.
In Madden, you need to look for certain tendencies or formations. I really like to focus on screen formations as they are a good way for my opponent to beat pressure. If I know my opponents are in a potential screen formation, I really key in on that play because it can quickly throw a wrench into their plans. They probably go to this play quickly, but as soon as you lock it up, they will be hesitant to call it again as they know it can hurt them. Screens often foil my quick-pressure plans, but as soon as you pick one with a contained lineman, all bets are off from an offense standpoint.
Lesson 3 – User Defense
In Tecmo, you are locked into a specific player after the snap. Most people play with a linebacker or a safety. Now, since you can’t change after the snap, you must know your assignment. On pass plays, you must protect the deep assignment. You can’t nibble on the close pass and leave a deep WR open as it can burn you. The better you get, the more you can roam around the field with faster players like Deion Sanders or Ronnie Lott. However, you must have sound defensive principles and learn to read run or pass right after the snap.
In Madden, when you are bringing heat you must know where it makes your defense vulnerable and have user coverage behind it. That is the principle of the blitzing D. If your opponent has two players in an area with one defender, you have to cover the deep man and let the flat be open. You can allow a few flat completions, but one deep pass can kill you.
Lesson 4 – Pick a good user team
Tecmo was created when absolute stars were in the NFL. Montana, Rice, LT, Bo Jackson, Randall Cunningham (QB Eagles), Marino, Elway, Deion Sanders, Haddix, Moon, Derrick Thomas, and Barry Sanders!
Each team has its own style and abilities. The original Mike Vick was Randall Cunnigham. You would run your offense a little differently with the Eagles due to his ability to take off and get big yards with his feet. Instead of rolling back with him, you would take him up to the line of scrimmage and look to run if nothing was open. There’s no doubt he was a game changer, but the Philly D was garbage!
Bo Jackson is the greatest virtual football player of all time, but other than him the Raiders had nothing! You needed to have a solid run plan that included Marcus Allen but not expect to get a stop on defense.
Long liive Bo!
The Giants were a very balanced team that could run with Otis Anderson and pass with Phil Simms. On D they had LT and other great linebackers. For a new player, they had it all.
If you liked to throw the ball, Houston and Warren Moon had the Run N Shoot offense, which gave them no TE and more WRs. Drew Hill was a RB/WR hybrid (think Reggie Bush). They had other weapons, like Haywood Jefferies, Curtis Duncan, Ernest Givins, who could spread out a defense.
There were plenty of ways and styles to play in Tecmo, and perhaps that’s what made the game last so long.
In Madden, you can pound the rock, play sim or tourney style, scramble with a fast QB or hang in the pocket. Remember that you can play whatever style you choose, and I recommend whatever gives you the best chance to win! As mentioned, I love to play with a scrambling QB, but I have the best chance to win with a pocket passer instead.
Lesson 5 – Stats tell the story
In Madden we always suggest getting your online stats emailed to you after the game. You can see that you only converted 1/7 on 3rd down or turned the ball over three times.
In Tecmo the stats appear right after the game and can really help you reflect on the game. If you abandoned the running game, it often caused you to throw some interceptions, which killed your chances. This is a huge way to review your game and see where you need to improve to win.
Lesson 6 – Turnovers happen
FUMBLES! In both games, turnovers are devastating! Now, fumbles may be random, but guys with low Carry ratings certainly make them happen more often. Adrian Peterson is a dynamic back, but his low Carry rating can hurt you in big moments. Same with Dave Megget, who is an expert return man, although his low Carry rating also hurts. Get to the sideline and play smart! In Madden make sure to cover up the ball.
Lesson 7 – It’s about the gameplay
Tecmo 1991: First Down Chain Gang, Full Stats, Season Mode, Custom Playbooks, Substitutions – Check
Madden NFL 13: First Down Chain Gang, Stats, Season Mode, Team Playbooks, Subs – Check
Both games contain many “presentation” factors that look nice, but at the end of the day, people still play Tecmo because it’s fun, not because of a halftime show. Madden added the Chain Gang, but after 10 times it becomes more of a burden than an addition to the game. These items that existed in a 20-year-old game aren’t something we should put on the back of the box to sell a game—we should be selling it because it’s fun to play!
Lesson 8 – Stick skills
Tecmo – Weave! You need to learn how to weave up and down to avoid being tackled! You also need to “button press” to tackle the carrier, which leads to intense battles (like fight for fumble on every tackle). This game was the origination of stick skills, and a smart play or good weave can be the difference between a win and a loss!
Madden – The Wiggle, Zwoop, and user catch. You can increase your chances of having successful runs and catches by becoming good on the sticks. Not knowing when to hit stick or let the CPU tackle can cost you yards! It’s all about becoming a good on the sticks and being smart. The more you play, the better you get!
Lesson 9 – Game management skills
If you cross over the 50-yard line in Tecmo, you have a chance to make the field goal. There are specific ways to run out the clock (air out a deep pass) and manage the end-of-game situations. You need to maximize your gameplay strategies and be aware of the score and situation.
In Madden you must always be aware of the score, timeouts, clock, and field position. These are the types of plays that great players consistently win, where newer players can “choke” and fall apart at the end of a game. In both games, you need to play heads-up football, as many games come down to the last play of the game!
Lesson 10 – Big players make big plays!
ZFarls always defeats SGibs in night games of Tecmo, where SGibs is a better day player. When you have your gameplan set up and are confident, the best player will consistently show up and make the huge play, whether it’s ZFarls blocking SGibs’s FG in Tecmo for the win, or a late TD run. When it matters will you make a play?
In Madden, we can talk routes, plays, and players, but when the clock is ticking down, who will step up and make that one play to decide a game, season, or tournament? Both these games give us a chance to show off our innate competitive nature, which burns like a fire inside of us. Winning a hard-fought game brings joy, while losing brings pain and the need to play again!
Both franchises have captured the hearts of gamers, and the reason is simple: Humans love to compete and play the game of football. We give you the tools, but it’s up to you to apply these lessons and take your game to the next level!
See you in the lab!