An American Football game made by Tennis/Soccer fans??

User Rating: 6.5 | Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff DS
Let me preface this review by stating that I am a HUGE Tecmo Super Bowl Fan.

I honestly don't know how to feel about this game, hence I rated it a 6.5. While it feels like picking up and playing with an old friend, it just doesn't seem to have that old Tecmo Super Bowl magic. I almost want to describe this game as "could've been great, but ended up being a disappointment..."

What I liked about the game:
Classic Tecmo Super Bowl play style - This, in my opinion, is what defines the Tecmo line of football games. (Except for the gawd-awful PSX version.)

Familiar "in-game" interface. - Again, just like playing with an old friend.

Classic SNES era Tecmo Super Bowl graphics - Yes, I consider this a plus. The graphics are NOT those crappy pseudo-3D graphics from TSB 2 and TSB 3!

Cut Scenes - Some will disagree here, but I like them!

Complete Stat Tracking - Hey! Tecmo was the first Football game to do it!

Player rewards - Singaling out players during a game for certain accomplishments is something I'm glad they carried over from previous Tecmo football games.

What I did NOT like about the game:
Poorly laid out menus. - The menus from the original Tecmo Football games were simple and intuitive. These menus just seem out of place.

Stylus is totally useless. - This isn't a big deal for me, but it really just gets in the way in this game.

Too small! - Okay, I realize the DS screen isn't big to begin with, but they cram so much of the field onto the screen that it actually makes it somewhat more difficult, particularly when trying to juke.

Soccer? - The game was seriously programmed/translated by Soccer fans. It had to be... The game itself refers to games as "matches" and when the game is over it actually says "Match Set". You'll see other little things (particularly on Stats screens) that show the game was NOT programmed or translated by someone who knows much about American Football. (Punt Kick? You seriously didn't learn from NES Tecmo Super Bowl??)

No NFL or NFLPA license - Not Tecmo's fault. EA has exclusive rights, however, it does take away from the game.

Poor player/team editor. - This one blows my mind. One of the things that really could have put this game over the edge is extremely underpowered. You really have very little wiggle room for editing player's abilities, you can't make your own logos, you can't change league, division or conference names, you can't make your own plays, and you can't move players around with ease to keep it up to date... Just a real disappointment when it comes to what should have been one of the best features.

"Special Abilities" - I see what Tecmo was trying to do here, but I really look at this as an unneeded addition. Just an excuse to add more 3D cutscenes? Maybe. The special abilities really aren't all that special anyway.

In closing:
All in all, not a BAD attempt at reviving the franchise. However, is it worth shelling cash out for? Probably not. Fans of the series will enjoy it, as I have, but, if you're like me, you'll find that you wanted more and just didn't get it with this package. Still, as far as the series is concerned, I would rate this the 4th or 5th best game in the series.