Review by Psycho Penguin

"This fight is like a fight with Mike Tyson: Only do it for 10 million dollars."

There are some games out there that just make me wonder what the hell the developer was smoking when they decided to make it. 10 Yard Fight, an early attempt at a football game, is a perfect example of this. If you can look past the lack of game modes, bad graphics, and fact that it's really hard to do anything positive in the game, you will still end up looking at the worst football game ever made. I'd like to apologize to NCAA Gamebreaker 2004 right now, because at least that was somewhat of an attempt. This game, on the other hand, represents nothing except for how far sports games have come.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, I'm sure. A football arcade game. You score points based on what you do. Every yard you run earns you 100 points, and you can complete passes for an additional amount of points. This was a very novel concept (and one that has yet to be repeated at all since then), and pretty much the only thing done right in this game. It's very interesting to figure out how to score points, but it kind of takes away from the true meaning of football, which is actually scoring touchdowns and stuff.

Regardless, it was still a pretty cool idea that sadly got trapped in such a horrible game engine. 10 Yard Fight is the worst sports game I have ever played, simply put. You start off by being able to select a one player or two player mode. I usually select one, since I'd like to keep the relatively few friends I have. After that, you are thrust right into what is called a ''high school' football game. That's right, you don't get to select your teams, or the type of game you want, or any of that unimportant stuff! Call me spoiled, but I'd at least like to choose between Team A and Team B dammit.

That's just the tip of this sinking iceberg, however. The gameplay mechanics are so awful, it's astounding. I am literally amazed that Nintendo was able to sell any copies of this mess. The other team kicks off the ball, and then your player (nicely designed in a green jersey so you don't get him confused with the circle of players around you) gets to run the ball. Slowly. I'm talking Play Action Football levels of slowness here. And if that's not bad enough, the players all seem to just run in a circle, if you run left, they run left too, which is one of the oddest things I have ever seen. It's also impossible to score a touchdown because of this.

Once you mercifully get tackled in this kickoff return, it's time to go to work. It is my knowledge that you are an all-time quarterback. I don't know why, but needless to say you won't have to worry about playing defense at all. This also explains to me why, after I threw an interception, the ''opposing'' quarterback kept running out of bounds. I was about ready to type up this big rant about how stupid and cheap the AI is, and then it turns out that was just me. Whoops.

So, yes, you basically control an all-time quarterback who's job is simply to score as many points possible in the time allotted. And as you may be aware with these NES games, the clock is very erratic. It moves way too quickly and quarters end before you know it. I still don't know exactly how that works. When you get to actually pass the ball, be prepared for one of the worst experiences of your entire video game life. Players will casually ''run'' down the field at the speed and velocity of a zombie in a Resident Evil game. Only the players happen to be slower and uglier.

You can then throw the football, but good luck aiming it to anyone in particular. The controls are really horrendous. Players will move seemingly in unison with each other. If one player goes right, the other will probably go right, too. And the players all end up in a big jumble in the middle of the field, so unless you wait half an hour, you'll have to throw the ball. Usually it ends up in the big jumble, and usually it results in an interception because you can't accurately aim the ball in any particular direction due to the shoddy controls.

And it's not like the game looks good, either, because it doesn't. However, I will be nice and say that it is a VERY early game, so the developers tried the best they could. You get a bar on the right hand side, with a crude rendition of the field, showing you exactly where you are. Too bad you can easily tell by LOOKING ON THE FIELD, which kind of negates the sidebar. Oh well. The player models are ugly and too small, and the field is green, which is the nicest I can say about it. The overhead view also happens to be annoying and flat. You'll always be pointing north, and the view definitely leaves a lot to be desired.

There's not really much music to speak of here, just a little opening song that is the typical MIDI crap being produced back in those days. It's nothing really awe inspiring, but it won't get on your nerves. Mostly because you'll only hear it for two seconds, but I digress. The sound effects are not that good, though. And you'll have to hear those more than once, which is not a good thing at all. Fortunately, they don't seem to activate very often, which means you get to be saved from the torture most of the time.

The challenging part of this game is figuring out how to aim the ball and then completing passes. I actually managed to complete two passes in a row once, somehow, and getting into a 3rd and 2 before throwing my usual interception. I don't think I've ever actually gotten a first down in the game. Maybe once or twice, but the name of the game is definitely suitable for this game. You'll definitely have to work hard to get those 10 yards. Hell, it will take something of a miracle to get 10 yards. Touchdowns are such an inconceivable thing to me that my head would explode if I ever considered such a concept.

There is absolutely no replay value whatsoever to speak of with 10 Yard Fight. There's no game modes, just a straight up game with the same boring teams every time. That would be okay if the game was fun, but it isn't. This is actually the least fun sports game I have ever played. Aiming the ball is an exercise in frustration, and you will not have a good time playing through this mess. The concept of the points system is a novel idea, but it can only keep the game afloat for so long. It needed a good game engine to back it up, and it sadly got the worst football game I've ever seen, played, or heard.

That's the sad thing about 10 Yard Fight. It was such a cool concept, and it got wasted. That's the only thing that keeps the game from getting a low score of 1/10, it's actually somewhat innovative and the points system is a definitely novel idea that I wouldn't mind seeing pop up again. Too bad it got stuck in such a hellhole of a game. I found absolutely no fun in this game. The controls are awful, the gameplay concept is absurd, and it plays like a football game about as much as Mega Man does.

Hell, I've seen better looking football coming out of Soldier Field.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 10/31/03


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