Easy difficulty and a few bugs make this redone classic a work in progress.

User Rating: 7 | Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff DS
Like a lot of you out there I consider myself a first (maybe second) generation gamer. The Atari introduced me to the potential of electronic football and I loved every 4bit min of it. When the NES game out and Tecmo created Tecmo Bowl in 1989 I was in heaven! So reguardless of the reviews I picked it up! So far I've run through 2 Tecmo seasons and edited all the teams back to their 1989 glory including team names and colors as well as the 1989 rosters to the best of the game's ability.

The team editor is pretty robust allowing you to recreate the teams anyway you like. I decided on the 1989 NFL season for sentimental reasons. But my friend decided to turn all the teams into the 4A and 5A high schools he had in his state with the current high school rosters. So you can do pretty much whatever you like. My only gripe about the editor is the lack of descent icons to pick for the team logos. A logo creator would have been a great addition! So if you wanted a chicago bears logo you could draw one in yourself rather than choose from a shark...a guitar....or a unicorn icon.

The game plays exactly like the original did back in the day. However they added special powers to the star players. This is good and bad. Sometimes its adds a little drama and excitement to the games. Other times it just glitches out and nothing happens. I sort of wish they skipped this feature and spent more time adding useful features such as being able to call time out on the field, and adding an icon on the top screen to show you where your team was on the field. Sometimes I'd end up punting on a 4th and 8 when I was on the opponent's 20 yard line because I didnt know where I was on the field when I selected my play. So in a nutshell they could have worked on making Tecmo a more solid football game instead of adding some flashing animations for over the top moves that may or may not work right.

I was really happy with the stylus controls they are a million times faster than the button controls. You will notice a huge difference in response time during multiplayer mode. The person that uses the stylus usually has a huge advantage. My friends and I all agreed to only use the button controls when playing against each other.

The graphics are the same as the original but the sound is new but if you prefer you can swap it back to classic sound mode after you win the Tecmo Bowl for the first time. I love the old school animations...but I miss some of the old school moves that were replaced by the new special power animations. For instance I loved watching Christian Okoye trample men in front of him while dragging another one behind him for 5 yards. Or watching Marcus Allen on the raiders spin over and over again to avoid tackles. Instead of that you get a pretty consistant play style from all players unless the star happens to trigger his special power and animation.

Pre-season mode wasnt really needed in my opinion. I feel like they could have spent that time making the regular season a little better. When you start a regular season you have to watch every score box for every game played for the entire week while waiting for your team's game to come up on the schedule. This gets old really fast. It would have been nice to have the game just flash the score boxes up one after the other automatically until your game arrives. Instead it becomes rather tedious to select out of every game. When you win the Tecmo Bowl you get more points to improve all your league's teams. That gives you plenty of incentive to play through more than one season.

Online modes were really nice in that after I put in all the hard work to edit all my teams to their 1989 glory, I could then share those teams and their rosters with all my lazy friends that didnt want to put in the effort. The multiplayer is possible when you and a friend both own a copy of the game. For the most part it's pretty smooth. But every 3 or 4 games it locks up and gets out of sync making you restart. The online mode is anything but smooth. There is a lot of lag and glitches. For instance the "A" button didn't work in my last game preventing me from kicking field goals or selecting a new reciever. There is often a lot of lag and slow down as well. Ive attempted to play online about 10 times and Ive actually only finished a game once.

As far as the difficulty it's simply way to easy. Tecmo has always been about building up huge stats for your players on your teams. But they didnt even try to find you a worthy opponent. You'll have to look to multi-player or online mode to find any semblence of a challenge. Having said that an online league mode would have been nice.

So in conclusion for you fans of the original Tecmo Series I think it's worth picking up. It's still a fun and easy game to pick up and play on the go. But for the younger generations that never knew Tecmo and grew up in the Madden era then this probably wont satisfy you much. There are to many bugs and missing features to call it a solid football game. My hope is that enough games will sell so they come out with a better sequal down the road. There is still a huge demand for a fun fast arcade style football game. Tecmo has the perfect recipe for it they just need to care about it as much as us old school players do.