Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff Review
Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Tecmo 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Tecmo 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 18, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

On the presentation front, the funny sounds and charming visuals are true to their retro roots. The main musical theme is straight out of the late 80s, and the on-field effects are perfectly crude. The pixelated sprites, simple animations, and cheesy stop-animation-like, special action scenes are not going to wow you in any way but they fit the bill nicely, nonetheless.

Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot

Controls also follow the retro line. For the most part, players will only have to use the A and B buttons along with the directional pad for movement. This simple setup works like it should and captures the flavor of the title. However, they do feel decidedly archaic. The DS has four face and two shoulder buttons and they probably could have all been used to greater effect. Yet, the dev team at Tecmo did include touch screen controls. The touch-sensitive controls work a lot better than I thought they would. I especially liked their implementation during passing plays and while selecting defensive players, as it's just a matter of a simple tap rather than cycling through them. However, during running plays it's a different story. I found myself to be far more successful at breaking tackles and employing the sideways rushing exploit with the traditional control setup. As a result, using a hybrid of standard and touch screen controls seems to be the best way to play. Thankfully, players can use either as they see fit without having to constantly change it in the options menu.

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If you dig retro titles, don't hesitate to pick this game up. One could easily wring 30+ hours out of this game before getting bored with it. However, don't expect an experience like that of EA's Madden NFL 09; you'll be sorely disappointed. All in all, Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff is a nicely polished version of a franchise that's steeped in history, but it certainly won't be ideal for everyone.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
The retro look is spot on. As such, visuals are pixilated and crude but still delightful.
3.4
Control
The standard controls are quite dated yet functional. I enjoyed the ability to switch to a touch screen scheme on the fly.
3.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The remixed midis and repetitive on-field effects get the job done but little more.
3.7

Play Value
There is good bit of fun to be had in this title if you're into retro titles. The inclusion of multiplayer features via local wireless and the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection are great additions to the series!

3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Super Abilities: Tactically use over-the-top plays to take over a game.
  • Wi-Fi and Wireless Multiplayer: Play against friends across the country or across the room.
  • Stylus Control: Feel the action by using the stylus to control your player.
  • Variety of Teams: Choose from 32 different teams.
  • Cut-Scenes: All-new cut-scenes showing off the dramatic presentation of various plays.
  • Customizable Playbook: Prepare for gridiron greatness by customizing your playbook.
  • Music and Sound Effects: Turn up the heat on your opponent as you play the game to rock 'n' roll remixes of the most memorable tunes in football gaming history.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff screenshot - click to enlarge

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