Tuesday, June 14, 2011

10 Yard Fight (NES Game)

10-Yard Fight should have been called, "Soy-Based Football Product" or "I Can't Believe It's Not Football." With roughly a dozen other football titles to choose from if you want pigskin on your NES, 10-Yard Fight will always be 13th banana. I think the only reason 10-Yard Fight gets dumped on as much as it does is that it hardly resembles American football as we have all grown to know and love it. Other than that, this is actually a semi-charming little game.

To begin the game you select your degree of difficulty, ranging from high school to the Super Bowl. Immediately after making your selection, the computer will kickoff to you, and your team will form a perfect box around you, protecting you from would-be tacklers (you know, like how they do it in real life). As you hit the defense, your box breaks down and eventually you get tackled somewhere near the 50 yard line (you know, like most kickoffs go in real football). Then you start with the ball on offense. You will have your lone receiver in motion before the ball is snapped. When you snap the ball the receiver will run forward from wherever he was when the ball was snapped. If you try and throw the ball to the receiver when so much as a single defender is anywhere near the ball, your pass will be intercepted each and every time (you know, like it is in real football). At first it would seem that your only option is to run quarterback keepers all game or risk interceptions on every down. If you stick with it you'll figure out how to pitch to either of your two running backs. This opens up the game to a whole 'nother level.

When you figure out how to pitch to a running back, you have given yourself valuable options you haven't used before. First of all, your running backs are faster than your quarterback (though every player in the game is unbearably slow, except the computer's defenders when they are running you down after you break a big play) so you can really break away and run at a turtle's pace instead of a snail's pace (turtles are quicker than snails, right?). Your other option after pitching to a back is the flea flicker. This is how I won the Super Bowl. Whichever side has fewer defenders, pitch to that side and throw to your receiver when he's cleared the defensive line. It's basically a can't-miss play.

There are many things about this game that are nothing like regular football. First of all, you play two 30 minute halves instead of 4 quarters. You can tell the game was probably written by a foreigner because when the ball is intercepted the screen will say, "Pass Intercept." Also, if you fail to convert on a 4th down (Punting is basically pointless, just like real football) it will say, "Not 10 Yards" instead of "Turnover on Downs" or something of the like. It's really a wonky little game, but if you can get it into your head that you aren't playing real football, you might actually enjoy it. I actually had fun. I started out on the high school level and played my way to the Super Bowl.

Here's a spoiler nobody will care about: if you win the Super Bowl, nothing happens. After each game you win it will tell you, "You're on the Road to the Super Bowl!" After winning the Super Bowl this same screen will show up again and the Super Bowl will just restart as if you hadn't just accomplished something awesome. Because I was robbed of any sort of post Super Bowl glow-basking, I'm afraid I can't give this game more than...

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