For anyone not familiar with the series, it's important to know where Tecmo Bowl Throwback
is coming from before diving in. Rather than attempting to recreate a game of football the way Madden
does, it aims for a basic, no-frills style of play. It's arcade football at its purest form. This translates into 80-yard drop-back strikes, running backs with the ability to toss defenders 5 yards back and games that sometimes reach triple digits.
Since EA has the NFL license sewn up, Tecmo Bowl Throwback resorts to made-up teams. You're not playing with the New Orleans Saints, but rather the New Orleans Owls. You have the option to dip into rosters and change names, though I didn't see the need. Still, the option is great. Other than renaming players, Tecmo Bowl Throwback is light on choices. You choose a team, run a handful of simple plays and that's about it. No midseason trades, play audibles or franchise management options. It's football at its most basic.
Even play modes are kept simple. Pre-season is an exhibition mode where you play though a single game. Season takes you through an entire season, while All-Star lets you play what is essentially the Pro-Bowl. Any of the single-player modes are available in two-player variants. Online multiplayer is also available, though my experience wasn't the best.
Aside from a bit of lag between hitting a button and its corresponding action, the current player base nearly ruins the online mode. Players will quit or try to force you to quit by not picking a play if they're losing. I know this isn't Tecmo's fault, but some sort of safeguard against this sort of crap should be implemented. I tend to defend online multiplayer when friends complain about it, but this sort of thing makes my job harder. It's just a game people; if you lose, you lose.