Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Money Wasted on this Horrible Game #1: 10-Yard-Fight

Ed. Note: over the years I have amassed a great deal of games from yard sales, eBay, used game stores, and just threw them in boxes and never got around to playing them so will be creating a series of posts such as this.

Webster's defines waste as to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander: to waste money; to waste words.  I would have to say that the $.99 I spent for 10-Yard-Fight from eBay would fall under that definition.  As would the last hour of my life that I spent playing it.

Now, I know what you may be thinking, "oh, come on, it isn't that bad.  It was a launch title.  You are just being a whiny, little sissy."  You would be correct on two points, it was a launch title and I am a whiny, little sissy, but the game is that bad.

The best way I can explain this title for someone who has never played it is to ask you to close your eyes and imagine a group of Japanese men, who have never watched more than five minutes of football, design a game about it. 

Now, I spend my football-watching Sunday mornings with two-fifths of Jack Daniels so my judgment of the rules of football may be hazy at best, but let me try.  Football has eleven players on each side of the ball during the game.  But 10-Yard-Fight only has nine.  Japanese understanding of football fail #1.  On kickoffs, the kicking team only has eight players while the returning team has nine and they all run in the same direction. Japanese understanding of football fail #2.  The offensive side of the ball basically runs the wildcat each play with a quarterback, who has the same speed as all the other players, two running backs, and one wide receiver.  The quarterback has three options, run, throw to a running back, or throw to a wide receiver.  That is it.  That is the entire offensive side of the ball.  Japanese understanding of football fail #3.

There isn't a playbook.  Just the same play over and over again until you unplug your NES controller, take it to the bathroom, throw it over the shower curtain rod, and swing. 

Defense isn't much better.  The computer just puts up a formation, no real rhyme or reason, just a formation and you get to pick one of two worthless players.  Basically, whoever is closest to the other larger portion of the field since you know that the AI will go that way and run and tackle the ball carrier.  It is so simplistic in its design that Ms. Pac-Man looks at it and just shouts, in her best Chris Tucker voice, "daaamn!"

However the two biggest beefs I have with this game are on offense.  1.) The wide receiver goes in motion on every play and he does this so slowly you literally can watch the clock tick down 30 seconds.  And, the computer makes the wide receiver do the full run EVERY damn time.  The human player has the ability to snap the ball and stop this from happening.  2.) Some sick, twisted, heartless asshole built the field on a mountain.  That can be the only explanation as to why you run so slow when you have the ball.  Who would build a football stadium on a mountain?  Sadists.

When you get to the end zone, you are treated to a star and some emblem of American culture like a bird or a cowboy and do a little jump (I'm thinking the one game that the Japanese game developers saw was the Falcons vs. the Cowboys).

So, let's talk strategy.  The game is idiotic in design.  I played the high school team first and scored every time on offense so I cranked up the difficulty to the super bowl team and scored every time on them (why did they make the super bowl team wear pink jerseys, did our Japanese friends know about breast cancer awareness 25 years ago).  Line up on one side of the field, snap the ball, run and throw to the running back.  Use the larger portion of the field and go about twenty-five yards or more before being tackled.  Repeat going the other side of the field.  Rinse, repeat, strangle yourself, drink mass amounts of alcohol, be happy you were not that poor child who got an NES for Christmas with this game as the only option.

I did play this when I was a kid and do remember thinking that it was shit even back then.  In its defense, it did come out four years before Tecmo Bowl, nope, can't do it...there is no defense for this game.  I looked up this game on Wikipedia and noticed reviewers gave this game high marks as raising the bar for football games.  That made me come to the realization that this game and the crack epidemic both happened in the mid-80's which explains the high marks.

Final analysis.  Graphics: suck.  Audio: sucks.  Playability: none.  Controls: mind-numbingly slow.  Realism: none.  Flicker: way too much even though both teams would get flagged for not enough players on the field each and every play.  Interpretation from the arcade version: sucks but so does the arcade version.  Worth $.99: not as long as they make Snickers for under a buck.        

Don't believe me...see for yourself.

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