10 Yard Fight for NES
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Follow Publisher: Irem, Nintendo
Released Date: 1985
Genre: Sports
Platform: MSX, NES

10 Yard Fight for NES

Good: this ain't no madden
Bad: This ain't no madden
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10 Yard Fight game review for nes doesn’t really deserve a game review, but here it is.

10-Yard Fight is a step up for its time. Unlike the Atari 2600 Football, the game more closely resembles actual football, and even plays a little more complexly than the aforementioned game. Unlike later games, this isn’t a matter of selecting your favorite team or players, running through a playbook, or setting up a season mode. The game is very basic to the core of American football. Think of it as the Sam’s Choice of football games.

What’s somewhat troubling about this game is the lack of creativity or thought that went into it. You play as a nameless team with nameless players against another nameless team with nameless players. You’d think they would at least give you the opportunity to name your team, or maybe make up some team names. They did it for Pro Wrestling (NES).

The game starts after you’ve chosen your difficulty, and you’re treated to a the blandest football field and players you can imagine. It works, but that’s about all it does. Players look very tiny and only barely resemble humans. Rather, they look like multicolored blobs that sometimes sprout arms. The opposing team kicks off, you get the ball, and….. your team doesn’t quite run up the field as much as make ticky motions up the field. All the while a very bland, basic tune that sounds like sticks being rubbed together plays. Seriously, this tune will drive you nuts before long because it’s one of the only bits of music you hear apart from little fanfares that play during certain events (first down, etc.). Before you can say, “Oops, I crapped my pants,” the opposing team comes actually running at you and takes you down. On higher difficulties, it happens sooner.

From here, you’re expected to use option offense to run the ball to yonder endzone. This means either passing the ball to the one receiver you have, or handing it off for a running play. You could try the old QB sneak, but that’s not recommended. It’s from playing the same rhythm over and over again that you learn just how exploitable the game’s AI is. Before hiking the ball, your receiver inches across the field. All the while, the clock is running, and it makes it that much easier to run the clock down. It becomes aggravating waiting for that guy to cross the field after a while, even with the clock running advantage it gives you. This is especially so with the computer, as it has a tendency to run the clock down even when it’s losing.

The computer’s methods of offense and defense are questionable and even sometimes predictable. Opposing team members sometimes run towards your quarterback, and then run in the other direction. You were wide open for a tackle. Did the guy just lose heart? Unlike many other football games, running the ball seems to be the easiest method to get ahead. If you wait for a bit, maybe even run toward the side that has the biggest gap and do a running play, the computer seems ill prepared for it. Once you have passed a certain point, the computer’s players will break way from the throng and head for your runner. Even with all the times you get tackled, it isn’t hard to achieve first down at all.

That’s one of the biggest drawbacks to this game. Never mind that it’s a bare bones football game. That’s to be expected, even if it is a bummer. The game is way too easy. On my first time playing, I played Super Bowl, the hardest difficulty, and won 20-7. Keep in mind, I haven’t played very many football games since the early 90’s, and generally suck at them. It’s easy to tromp the game both in offense and defense.

Defense is slightly different. You can choose one of two players who have either a flashing A or B next to them. From there, it’s not at all hard to A) block the receiver, B) rush in for a QB sack, or C) rush it and tackle one of the two that the quarterback laterals to. Fourth down comes with ease. The game does little to thwart your coming, save for maybe trying to throw the ball to the receiver. That only happens if you are somehow unable to get to the quarterback. Even then, that doesn’t stop the game from allowing you to intercept a pass, which also isn’t hard to do.

You play, you trounce the opposing team, you play the next difficulty up. Eventually, you reach Super Bowl and you play an endless chain of teams under the hardest setting. You keep playing until you either get tired of the game, or you lose. In most cases, the former will happen first.

Irem should have invested a little more into thought and creativity when making this game. Having special modes wasn’t necessary for the time. However, finer details would have helped sell the lie better. Team names, player names, something, however small. Those small things can help to show the care that developers put into their games. When one churns out a basic, bare bones game, many fans feel that they’re just out to make a quick buck. THQ, LJN, Ocean, and Infogrames/Atari/Infotari have probably heard this criticism a lot.

TYF doesn’t feel like a quick dollar game. It felt like it was there to test the waters of the NES, and to fill in a gap for a much needed football game. However, Irem could have been braver when testing those waters. As they say, nothing risked, nothing ventured.

TYF is overlooked for a reason. Better and more advanced games came along; ones with better details that didn’t feel like the barest minimum required to make a football game. This seems to stem from a lack of ambition on Irem’s part that led to a game with bland graphics, sound, and gameplay. TYF isn’t an awful game by any stretch. It plays, and quite well actually, but that’s about all it does. It’s generic to the core, and the only thing about it that ironically isn’t generic is the title. Usually, when a game is of the generic variety, it comes with a name to suit. Instead of calling this game “Football,” Irem chose “10-Yard Fight.” TYF will stay in the shadow of Tecmo Super Bowl, unappreciated and unloved. It is there that it shall plot its revenge on the humanity that cast it aside. It doesn’t get the attention Tecmo’s game does as being a classic, but neither does it get the recognition that games like Pit Fighter and Color a Dinosaur receive as being an anti-classic. It falls in the dead center of the spectrum, where no one ever looks. 10-yard-fight-screenshot

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10 Yard Fight for NES, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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I created this site to share my love for classic retro videogames. I love gaming, screenwriting and graphic design. I live in Los Angeles with my girlfriend and our cat Aiko.