XBLIG Review: Avatar Football – Tecmo Bowl 2.0

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Week 4 is hours away as San Francisco attempts to reverse a two game slid against the Rams. Three weeks of the NFL and five weeks of college ball and people are enjoying every minute of it.

This is football season.

Avatar Football by Barkers Crest Studio gives another avenue for virtual football using Xbox avatars and rudimentary plays similar to Tecmo Bowl. The game produces a great football experience outside of the more realistic Madden football simulators and the ever-cherished, yet outdated, NFL 2K5.

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While EA’s football title has become the benchmark of the football video game world, Avatar Football is no Madden, not even close. Barkers Crest did not buy the NFL licensing, nor did it create a game with life-like graphics with amazing in-game physics and multi-year season mode. But Avatar Football is not trying to be Madden anyway. The graphics resemble similar avatar XBLIG games, like Ultimate Dodgeball.

Avatar Football is more a Tecmo Bowl clone with the ability to use Xbox Avatars than an Xbox Avatar game focused on football. In fact, Avatar Football does not even require you to use Xbox Avatars, as the game has built-in football player sprites. So, if you hate playing with Xbox Avatars and want a more realistic look, you have the option. And the game is all the better for it.

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The breadth of customization options in the title is staggering to say the least. Not only can you edit rosters, team names and conferences, but you can also draw up offensive and defensive plays. While you can not edit every minute detail, the ability to run your own designed plays is something fun not available is other such titles.

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As for rosters, Avatar Football uses the same sly trick EA uses for its college games by not using real names. However, the game does use an altered version of the same rosters NFL teams had last year with the corresponding NFL cities’ teams being renamed. For instance the Chicago Bears are now the Chicago Bruins. The game also lets you edit, rename and download rosters, so you could actually have current teams, if you wanted.

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The controls are very intuitive and will be familiar to anyone who has played a previous football title. In offensive plays, you are the quarterback prior to the snap and the ball handler after. On defense, you can play as any of the 11 men on the field to attack the opposing team. And on special teams, you are the kicker or the returner. Pretty standard stuff.

The gameplay is nothing innovative, but instead buids on the Tecmo Bowl experience. Although, both defenses do seem to give up big plays a lot, but the same things happens to me whenever I play any football game, so that may just be on me. The only other hiccup I had while playing was once when I hit 80+ points, the game errorred, so that is problamatic. Other than those issues, Avatar Football is an excellent game both in single and multi-player modes.

So, if you are not watching football and need a fix, Avatar Football is a neat game, especially if you have yet to pick-up Madden 25 and are bored of Madden 13, or 12.

 

Final Rating: 8/10

 

CBR Break Down:

Console Played On: XBLIG

Time to completion: About 20 minutes per game.

Gamer Score Earned: N/A

Price Bought at: 80 Microsft Points ($1), yep I bought it before the conversion

Current Price: $1

Why you should buy it: If you love love football and need a break from Madden, your Fantasy Football team is 0-3 or you drafted Stevan Ridley and David Wilson.

Why you shouldn’t buy it: If you hate football, Tecmo Bowl or if you are in the middle of Grand Theft Auto V.

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About Steve Lesniewski

Steve lives in Chicago and recently graduated from the University of Illinois. He has been fascinated with video games since his ninth birthday when he received a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Blue. He loves following sports and cheers win or lose for the Bears, Bulls and the Fighting Illini, who include the 2012 men’s gymnastic national champs as well as the 2011 women’s volleyball national runner-up.