Review by Funk
Reviewed: 02/06/03 | Updated: 02/08/03
I nearly took his head off.
NFL Blitz is a fun game. I might as well come out and admit it at first chance, because that's all I'm going to be describing about in this review; how good and fun this game actually is.
Before you actually start reading, I'd like to point out that if you appreciate games like Madden, NFL2K3, and whatever else there is, go away. You won't like this game. At all. So just stop wasting your time. Thanks.
Okay, now with that settled, I'll tell you how good this game is. Well, like I've mentioned earlier, the game is not your average football simulation game. You won't have the terrible Madden/Summerall puns, or the hilarious passing game in a few of the previous NFL QB Club games. In fact, the only thing that you're really going to have is your controller and a large amount of patience for late hits.
The game itself is quite simply one of the easiest games to play out there. You have a selection of about 18 plays on offense, and only 9 plays on defense. From that astounding number of plays, you're going to have to grind your way down the field against 7 people. Yeah, that's not alot at all, so that may seem quite easy at first. But another problem arises; the first downs are thirty yards, and you only have seven players, too. Who'd a thought.
The game also has a strange passing game for you to play with-you generally only have three receivers at your generous disposal, and to pass to them, you either press Left, Right, or Up on the control stick, depending on where each receiver is. For example, if one is in the middle, you have to press Up in order for you to throw it to him, you can't press Middle, seemingly because there is no middle button on a control stick.. Quite easy, but a few problems have crossed my path occasionally: The ball goes to the Right when I press Middle occasionally, and vice versa. That might be my lack of hand/eye coordination, but I'll have to blame it on the game for self-esteem's sake.
I also enjoy sprinting back and forth between sidelines, using all my turbo, and then throwing it to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage. Not only is it terribly frustrating for your opponent, but you can throw it with your receiver, because he is behind the line of scrimmage. This is great to use if you're bored, got a lot of time on the clock, and you have an opponent with an IQ of -7.
NFL Blitz is really more of a pass-oriented game, simply because the first downs are ridiculously far apart. A run isn't what you'd expect in this game, because you only have three linemen actually protecting your backfield the whole time, running up the middle is a ludicrous idea. Strangely enough, I've had some decent experiences running the ball outside, but I can't say there were ''many'' occasions in where I tore it up in the running game. This part of the offense is a game of chances in NFL Blitz - Sometimes you get lucky, and the Comp/Human player plays a defense as to where they're not going to stop your running player until he's thirty yards downfield, or they play a defense where they all line up at the line of scrimmage, and blitz like hell. At this point, you're royally screwed, and might as well run into them for sheer laughs as your player gets knocked to Venus and back.
Of course, like any ''new age'' football game, you can hurdle, spin, stiff arm, and turbo. All of these are fun to use, because the opponent usually has no clue what you're going to do while you're actually running the ball downfield. If you hurdle, your player will seemingly jump seven feet in the air, and attempt to avoid any contact with the opposing players. Usually doesn't work, but everyone loves seeing people get buried mid-air.
However, the ''Spin'' and ''Stiff Arm'' moves are an entirely different ordeal. The Spin move adds an entirely different attitude to your running game, because you can go around two different players with one single use of this, and still keep running at the same speed. The Stiff Arm is pretty much the complete opposite, seeing as you just shove your hunk of meat (Read: Arm) into the opponent's body/face. This usually equals into a great amount of force, and they are sent away from your body. But, as we all know, great things aren't perfect, and using both of these in a great amount can equal into a fumble. The turbo is your basic turbo, and you need to use it for the Spin move to work. When you press turbo, your player speeds up, and can possibly knock over a few opposing players. Pretty nice. The Spin Move and Stiff Arm own everything else, though.
Of course, we can't forget the defensive side of the ball, where they say games are won and lost. I can't say I agree with that - I mean, if you don't score points, you don't win. But anyways...
Like I've said, you only get nine plays on defense. Yeah, you heard me. Nine. No strategic pass defenses, no crazy defense that will stop the run and the pass, nothing. Just your simple pass defenses, the occasional blitzes, and your all out blitz that will usually score the opponent team a touchdown.
You won't get called Offsides on the defensive or offensive end, simply because, if you attempt to actually run across the line of scrimmage before the play, you'll player will miraculously run in place, and sprint there until the play actually starts, finally, he'll sprint across into the back field.
When I'm playing defense, I usually find myself saying ''Self, I'll just blitz every play with my MLB, and hope the quarterback does absolutely nothing''. Of course, due to Murphy's Law, the quarterback will simply hurdle my diving Middle Line Backer, and fire it perfectly into his wide open receiver's hands. Strangely enough, the defense seems a lot faster than the offense when there is a mad footrace downfield, and I'll end up catching him. The passing game is hard to stop when you're on defense, whether you're actually trying hard to cover the receivers or not.
The kicking game is hard. Extremely hard. Throw-your-controller-at-your-mother hard. You most likely aren't going to make a field goal behind the thirty yard line, unless you have no life and practice all day. You don't have to adjust any sort of power meter, the only thing you have to do is line up the kicking meter so you kick it in that direction. The problem is, you're forced to kick a field goal on fourth down past the opponent's 50 yard line, unless you're running a normal play. You usually won't make a field goal; even fifteen yarders pose an honorable challenge. If anything, I sugget you take a risk and go for it on fourth down instead of getting nothing. The punting game is another story. You just snap it and you're done. Nothing else.
One thing that takes this game above all other games like this, which isn't very many, but whatever, is the fact that you can late hit about four times after every player. There's about seven seconds between each selection of plays, and you get to knock around the opposing team to your liking. But, we all know, there are downsides. Only defense can have fun with this incredibly joyous option.
The game looks decent, when I look at it from the whole picture. The players are blocky, but you can't expect much from a game that came out Late 1997. Come to think of it, the players' body parts are quite smooth. Nice, but the view of the game is quite far from the action, so you really won't see the veins popping out of the quarterback's neck as he gets rocked by four people. The ball is a huge oval shaped thing. I mean, it's huge. About the size of a torso in this game. Aside from the oversizing of the football, other sizes are in moderation.
There aren't many other things besides the actual players that are eye catching. The stadium is the same every game, and the only thing that changes from time to time is the time of day it's played. Either night or day, so you're going to become quite familiar to the backgrounds of this game. In between quarters, a pixelized cheerleader pops up, and tells you a little hint. Sure, she's hot, but only if you're 27, haven't had a girlfriend, and you have pimples running up the back of your legs. Oh, that's not me.
Now, cover your ears, because what I'm about to say may shock you. The Announcer is somewhat witty! No way in hell, dude! But yeah, the announcer can shove a few laughs out of you, as can the players' reactions to being rocked, or after decking another player, or whatever. In fact, if you'd carefully look at the Sypnosis of this game, and read it, I'd tell you that I got it from the announcer.
Aside from the wisecracks from the announcer, there is music in game. It's just a few little ditties that Midway decided to throw in at the end, but you'll enjoy them over the players screaming, for the most part. The game randomly switches tunes, and it surprises me, because I have no clue what's happening when the music switches and I'm sitting in the middle of the field. The sound effects in this game have to be real, because the players smack into eachother at full force nearly every play, and you're most likely going to smash into players after every play, and everyone wants those to sound realistic.
In conclusion, NFL Blitz is fun. It can turn fun Frat Parties into deathmatches, and can turn the calmest tea party into World War III. The running game and passing game are sure to please your gaming tastes, that is, if you actually read the disclaimer at the beginning of this review. The fact that the runner can pull four different moves in the span of four seconds, will pleasure you to the point of you laughing uncontrollably as they flail around hoping to throw you to the ground.
The graphics of this game, well, I can't really find words to describe them. They're sharp in some areas, but clunky and blocky in some other areas. The major downside of the graphics is the fact that there is no variety of stadiums to choose from. The sounds of this game are a plus, because the announcer is funny, and so are the players. The hits are extremely realistic, for a game so far from other football games in terms of play style. The music changes randomly, and that frankly bugs the crap out of me occasionally, but it happens.
Broken Down -
...Tons of fun decking players
...Tons of fun watching your players get decked
...The Passing Game is extremely simple
...The Running Game is simple
...Punting game simplicity
...Cheerleader Pics wut wut
...I suck at the Running Game
...Defense has nine plays - Offense has 18
...Kicking game is ridiculously hard
...Music Randomly Changes
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