This blog began as a series of tweets when former North Carolina basketball player and current hip-hop artist Quentin Thomas (a.k.a GQ) asked via twitter
What was your All-Time favorite Christmas gift u received when you were a kid?—
The Simple Guy (@LifeOfGQ) December 24, 2012
My immediate answer was the Nintendo Gameboy. For those who don’t know or remember, the Gameboy was a hand-held 8-bit video game “device.”
It was released in 1989 which meant that I was 7-years-old at the time of its release. My favorite game from the Gameboy was Bo Jackson’s Hit and Run, a video game that allowed you to play both football and baseball on the same cartridge — the two sports Bo participated in while an athlete.
Quentin’s question gave me a realization. In my 30 years of living, I’ve owned four different gaming consoles: the Sega Master System (released in 1986), the Sega Genesis (1989), the Playstation (1994) and the Playstation 2 (2000). Over that span, I’ve played numerous games, owned most of them, and spent thousands of hours in front of the T.V. screen with a controller in my hand.
You can find my list of my favorite and most memorable video games that I’ve played here but possibly the greatest video game that I’ve ever played: TECMO BOWL.
Because Tecmo Bowl was a game for the Nintendo NES (although there were a few incarnations for the Playstation, nothing like the original) I didn’t own Tecmo Bowl so I couldn’t technically put it on my list. So I have to break it away on it’s own.
With Madden being the No.1 selling football video game franchise and with the complexities of the playbook, defenses, the system’s A.I. and the technological advances in graphics, this generation of gamers would laugh and probably belittle Tecmo Bowl. But Tecmo is the Godfather of football games.
The beauty of Tecmo was its simplicity. Four plays: two runs, two pass, two run defensive plays, two pass defensive plays. If you chose the right one, it was either a TD or a big gain for the offense or a negative play with the entire defense crashing down on your offensive line like a Lawrence Taylor bull rush.
The plays weren’t just I-Formation, Iso. It was essentially PLAYER left or right. It was basically your team’s best offensive weapon versus the opposing team’s best defensive weapon.
Another Nintendo NES game was Blades of Steel, the only hockey video game that I’ve really played to this date. Collide with a player three times and a fist fight ensues.
Maybe Tecmo and Blades weren’t that far off from being realistic after all.
Oh yeah. Nintendo NES did have this one game you may have heard of: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.