I have always been a fan of arcade style sports games with titles such as NFL Blitz, NHL Hitz, MLB Slugfest and NBA Jam. Recently I got the chance to play an updated HD version of the classic NFL Blitz. The original game was developed by Midway and became a huge success on the arcades and would eventually be released on home consoles with a few missteps along the way. EA Tiburon would develop an updated HD version of the successful franchise for the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. Does this latest iteration score a TD or does it fumble on its way towards the endzone? Read the review to find out!
NFL Blitz is the same game that you know and love minus a few key elements. The hits are big. Gameplay is fast and over the top. Instead of 10 yards for a first down you need 30 yards. There are no penalties or offsides. Players still catch fire. Each team has 7 players on the field. Having official NFL teams in the game makes NFL Blitz more fun to play but it seems like a Lite version when compared to the original in terms of gameplay. You cannot perform late hits. The original game was based on over the top hits that were vicious and absurd. That has been omitted from this latest version because it seems that the NFL doesn’t want its sport presented in such a way. You can’t change the quarter length. Those are two notable omissions but the game is still fun to play nonetheless.
Graphics wise the game looks really good. Player models look good and are well detailed. Stadiums look good and are detailed as well. Lighting is well done. It’s always awesome when you see a player catch fire. The game features a slick menu that is easy to navigate. Player animations are as solid as ever. For a downloadable title NFL Blitz doesn’t trim on the graphics because it’s a better looking game than the original that maintains its old school presentation.
The commentary is still hilarious just as you remembered though it is toned down a bit. Tim Kitzrow from NBA Jam joins Brian Haley and they make a pretty good team. They do a good job of bringing back the over top commentary that people loved. I wished Tim Kitztrow brought back the same energetic and over the top commentary that he did for NBA Jam that was released 2 years ago. The script could have used a little more enthusiasm. The audio is pretty good regardless.
NFL Blitz wouldn’t be complete without game modes which is an area where the game really shines. You have the option to play a quick game with “Play Now”. There is also a “Blitz Gauntlet” which is an offline mode. You face off against several teams before going up against a boss battle. You have to go through the gauntlet six times in order to unlock bosses and special teams that are made up of cheese heads, lions, horses, robots, zombies, etc. It is fun but also a little daunting since they can be purchased from the Blitz store. The game features a mode called “Elite League” which gives you the ability to create a fantasy team. You have a “Blitz Battle” ranking board which separates players into rankings. The game features a big head mode. There is also a co-op mode where you can play with a friend.
NFL Blitz is a great game that brought back fond memories when I played the original at the arcades. Gameplay is fast and over the top. The game is still devoid of penalties which is fun. It never gets old when you watch a player catch fire. I was disappointed with the omission of late hits. I wished I could change the quarter length. The game looks really good and features a slick menu. The commentary is funny although a bit toned down. The various game modes kept wanting to play some more although it is daunting that I have to go through the gauntlet six times just to unlock the bosses and special teams. The game is available on Xbox Live and Playstation Network. Despite the few missteps NFL Blitz is a great game that offers a lot of fun.