Composer: Ichiro Takagi
Drop your socks and grab your jocks! Wait, is that right? Never mind, it’s time to hit the gridiron in 10-Yard Fight!
I’ll *ahem* kick off the review with the title screen, which is nothing special and even lacks music, but does present the option for one or two players. I only tried the one-player version because I’m a loser who has no friends. 😦
The lack of music stated is a recurring theme throughout the game; there’s mostly ticking noises to denote player movement and the classic static-y crowd noise of most early sports games.
There are five difficulty levels: high school, college, professional, playoffs, and Super Bowl. I lost the first high school game I played because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but after that it was smooth sailing until the Super Bowl. After a game ends you automatically progress to the next level if you win.
On offense you are limited to screen passes to the left or right, or hitting a receiver who actually goes in motion behind the line of scrimmage before you snap the ball. Another neat feature is that you can perform a good ol’ halfback pass if you pitch the ball to one of your RBs first. It seems like once a player with the ball crosses the line of scrimmage you can’t throw forward, which makes sense, but it also appears there’s a time limit before you just automatically become a runner.
Once you commit to running, you can cut back and forth to avoid diving tackles, and wiggle the d-pad left and right to “shake off” would-be tacklers. Again, this is a pretty cool feature for such and early football game. It’s pretty hard not to pick up 5 yards a pop just screen passing though, and my INT to completion ratio when passing to the WR was abysmal.
On defense you get to choose between two players before the snap, with the computer usually taking FOREVER to hike the ball. You can’t switch defenders during the play which is a bummer, but the one you control has good recovery, and I found my AI teammates were usually up to the challenge of making rudimentary tackles. All my interceptions on defense over 5 games played were actually performed by the computer. Making a tackle usually requires diving at the man with the ball, otherwise you run right through him most times.
As for special teams, each half begins with a kickoff, as well as post scoring plays. It’s hard not to start near midfield, or have the computer start there, after a kick. The computer punted a few times on fourth down, and kicked a couple of field goals. Punts are sadly not returnable; you just get the ball where it lands. Any time I had a fourth down it immediately went into the normal formation; maybe I’m missing on how to select kicking instead of going for the first down.
Overall I was impressed with 10-Yard Fight. I didn’t go in expecting much, but for such an old game I genuinely had fun with it. Running is a bit too easy and passing a bit too hard, and I wish you could switch players on D. The special teams play is lacking, but that’s not a dealbreaker. If you’re looking for a quick and easy football video game, 10-Yard Fight fits the bill.
Check out my playthrough on twitch!