Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Box Art Battle: 10 Yard Fight vs. Tecmo Super Bowl

What better time than the middle of baseball season to dedicate a post to the two best Football games on the Famicom?

10 Yard Fight and Tecmo Super Bowl are probably the two best American football games for the Famicom (and the NES for that matter). I never played 10 Yard Fight back in the day, but I do remember playing Tecmo Super Bowl a lot with friends back in high school. It was the only game that had the actual teams and actual players from the NFL.

I always got my ass kicked at it because I sucked at strategy and I was always playing it at my friend Mike's house. He owned the game and I didn't, so he probably practiced a lot on his own. Wasn't that always the worst thing about playing Nintendo games back in the day? Facing someone who owned a game that you didn't. So unfair.

Anyway. In turns of game play, I would say that Super Tecmo Bowl has aged much better, though both are fun. In terms of Famicom box art though? 10 Yard Fight dominates the gridiron on that count. God, what an awful use of the word "gridiron", I do apologize.

Take a look at that box though:
This is a really great box. Colorful, action packed, beautiful. The art itself is done in a kind of retro 50s way, with the cheerleaders and ref looking like old-school cartoon characters. The players are more realistically done in a heroic looking action scene. The game title is great too, in bold yellow and red characters.

All of these early Famicom Irem games, like Sqoon and Spelunker, have similar box designs. They kind of mimic the look of the cart with the LED light in roughly the same position on the box as it is on the cart.

The back of the box is pretty cool too, basically just continuing the design on the front:
One peculiarity of these is that the plastic insert which holds the cart is orange rather than the standard clear plastic most Famicom games used:The instruction manual is also pretty cool:
Super Tecmo Bowl, on the other hand, doesn't have anywhere near as inspiring a box. Its a great game, but look at this dud:
No color. No action. Just some dirty guy looking at you through his helmet.

I've always wondered who this guy is. Phil Simms? I couldn't remember what Phil Simms looks like, but a Google image search convinced me that this is not Phil Simms. Lawrence Taylor? Don't need an image search to convince me that this isn't Lawrence Taylor.

Who else played for the Giants in the early 90s? Jeff Hostetler? No.....anybody know who this guy is?

Anyway, the back of the box is also pretty boring:
And the manual....oh crap its that guy again:
What is his name? Argh.

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  1. Oh, I definitely agree with you on this one. I really like 10 Yard Fight's art style, too. That said, it's kind of funny that they wasted so much space on the inclusion of an LED on the cart :) As for the Tecmo Super Bowl box art -- I've definitely seen worse but, like you said, it's hardly inspired.

  2. I had a feeling you would agree with me on 10 Yard Fight!

    I already had the game, but when I saw the boxed version I just had to get it. The colors are fantastic. I want to get all the Irem carts from this series in their boxes.

    About the LED, I kind of like it. Unfortunately it interferes with the picture on the cart, but its a unique feature.

  3. What does the LED do, though, Sean? I don't get what the use would be. Or is it simply superficial?

  4. It turns on when the Famicom is on. And off when the Famicom is off. Its very useful for those situations where your primary means of ascertaining whether or not your Famicom is on (ie just looking at the switch) are somehow inaccessible and you really need that information. Happens all the time I'm sure.

  5. Ha ha! I'm guessing it was just supposed to be cool. "Hey, kids, there's a little LED light on the cart that turns on when the game is on. How COOL is that?!?!" :)

  6. Wow, I've actually played one of these! Tecmo Super Bowl is great fun :) It does have the inferior cover though I have to agree. The ref on the 10 Yard Fight box is great :P

  7. Cool, is American Football much of a sport in the UK?

  8. Bryan - yeah, it must have blown every kid`s mind away back in the day!!

  9. No, not really. It was popular in the late 80's and I think they're trying to increase its popularity again at the moment - there have been regular season NFL games in London a few times in recent years. I've liked the sport for many years but none of my friends do. I'm a Niners fan. I wish they would stop sucking :(

  10. I love the Famicom version of 10 Yard Fight. The North American/European release was certainly more realistic, but much easier and much more boring.

  11. I like th Famicom version too, though I`ve never actually played the NES version and didn`t know that they were different! Very interesting.