10-Yard Fight (NES)

10-Yard Fight Box Art

10-Yard Fight

System: NES

Release Date: October 1985

Developer: Irem

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Sports

I started with the Japanese version of 10-Yard Fight by mistake. It seems to be very close to its arcade counterpart. You only play offense, the clock is absurd in the way it runs, and your goal is to get a touchdown before the timer counts all the way down. The more time left on the clock, the more points get added to your score. Then you advance to the next half or next difficulty level. I got to the Super Bowl difficulty level on my second try.

Every play starts with a snap. Prior to the snap, the WR takes his sweet time moving from the right side of the formation to the left. To either side of the QB are HBs that you can lateral to, or a WR that runs down the field. Throwing it down the field will result in an interception, more often than not. In the Japanese version, this results in a 20-yard penalty, which makes getting that touchdown a little more difficult. Every first down adds a little bit of time back to the clock.

On offense before the snap.

That’s when I realized that the American version had to be different, because the manual I looked at had controls for both offense and defense. After finding that I did, indeed, make a mistake and had played the wrong version, I rectified the problem. This was more familiar. There were football scores for both teams. The clock actually counted down like a normal clock, albeit faster. You could play both offense and defense. This was better.

The first thing you notice is how much faster the defense is than the slow, plodding offense. That isn’t to say that the defense is overpowered, far from it. You just have to outmaneuver the defense.

Getting tackled after shaking a bunch.

Pro-tip: If they’re coming at you from the bottom, try to make them dive from the side or diagonal, they’re easier to shake that way.

It was when I played on defense that I noticed that the computer would lateral and then throw down the field. You see, I had just been throwing a lateral and gunning it… err… moseying it down the field. This gave me another weapon in my arsenal for steamrolling the computer. And that is what I did, steamroll the computer. The only threat is the diving tackle, as if they run into you, you can wiggle the D-pad to break free.

One final touchdown to win the Super Bowl difficulty.

In the end, I’d say that 10-Yard Fight is a good launch title for the system. It’s not a great football simulation by any means, but it’s a neat little distraction.

Graphics: 2.0

I can certainly tell what everything is. Flickering gets really bad at the line of scrimmage. The graphics do their job.

Sound: 1.5

Below average. Blips and bleeps during tackles and first down calls. Crowd noise. A little ditty at kickoff.

Gameplay: 2.0

Controls are simple to learn on both offense and defense. This is a pick up and play game for sure.

Difficulty: 1.0

Not hard at all. I made it to the Super Bowl difficulty team very quickly and beat them.

Fun Factor: 2.5

The game is fun in short bursts. I wouldn’t pick it over other football titles we’ll get to later, though.

Overall Grade: 1.8

A C- to start off the NES library. It’s what I expected. I’m looking forward to more!

10-Yard Fight Video Review on YouTube
Long Play of 10-Yard Fight on YouTube

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