As a writer, I’m always berating myself for what I feel is “duplicate storytelling.” I don’t mean telling the same story over and over – too easy. I mean writing about comparative stories in reviews to other stories compared in reviews. For example:
“Do you remember when games were fun? Atari 2600 sold thousands upon thousands of games and all of them – at best – the graphics looked like a macaroni art project from a kindergartener left under the bird’s cage in August. Did Golf or Pinball resemble their respected real-life counterparts? Not in the slightest. Did we play the hell out of them? Damn right.”
For some reason I feel as though I’ve said (or written, whatever) those words before. I might have said them to friends online or standing outside work smoking by the parking decks to random strangers who made a mistake and talked to me about a new game, however as I typed the words out to set the mood for the review, I swear I’ve written them before.
I’m going to start over for my sanity since I’m sure my internal editor is the one nagging at me in the first place.
Ahem. /cracks knuckles.
Once upon a time, in a land filled with 8 and 16-bit consoles, game programmers were less afraid to try something new and release a goofy game to the public. Genesis had Mutant League Hockey and Mutant League Football where you played large ogres beating the snot out of each other in a rudimentary game which was more bloody and violent than the latest incarnation of Mortal Kombat, while Super Nintendo had sports games such as Super Baseball 2020 where you played a standard baseball game with robots, androids and bombs to spice up the standard monotony of baseball.
Midway entertainment, the people responsible for the legen- (wait for it) -dary arcade games Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Rampage, sold their game catalog to Electronic Arts due to the liquidation under Delaware’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws. The first game EA decided to re-release on the Xbox Arcade is NFL Blitz. Blitz would have been my first choice too. [/sarcasm]
Some NFL purists will say games like NFL Blitz are too violent and over-the-top while I say, “go back to playing the stupid vibrating football game from the 70’s.” NFL Blitz is a welcome sports title in an otherwise boring and redundant showing from the previous years. Football is once again fun and exciting in short, 15 minute bursts; even if it is constant “Hail-Mary” passes to the end zone every play and half your team is on fire – literally.
NFL Blitz is an accurate remake with excellent upgraded graphics and physics system which bleeds the same energy from the NFL Blitz of old. The online atmosphere adds to the enjoyment of the game as well as the new manager’s game-style of creating your own “super-team” by collecting cards and managing player’s careers. The online Gauntlet mode is another great addition, putting similar users against each other in a race to the best of the ladder. Each 15-minute game is a nice slice of enjoyment for the $15 (compared to the $60 for each new release of current EA Sports games) if nothing else than the sentimental value.
Bottom Line: EA Sports kicks one out of the park with NFL Blitz. From a non-football fan (I’m a Detroiter, can you blame me?), I’ve played more than I care to admit.
Now back to your regularly scheduled review.
Rating System: (0-10 ranking)
|Graphics:||Compared to the NFL Blitz of old, fans of the original games will enjoy how great the new game looks. Gamers who never had the pleasure of playing the original will like the cheerleaders. They’re on about every damn game menu.||9|
|Storyline:||It’s football. Storyline consists of “Throw,” “Catch,” and “Hit.” In essence: every sports game made.||7|
|Controls:||Standard sports movements and actions. I do enjoy the more simplified movements from current Madden: Hike and throw are only two buttons compared to Madden’s 1,292 buttons.||8|
|Replayability:||The point of sports. Practice makes perfect, right?||8|
|Value:||$15 on XBL or PSN. Well worth the cost.||10|
- Chris Tallant