NFL Blitz Review – Xbox 360

NFL Blitz Review:

Remember NFL Blitz? The freewheeling arcade version of football that featured thirty yard first downs, players with giant heads, flaming footballs, and spine-crushing post play hits that would cause the league to fold in about 12 minutes as a result of too many lawsuits? Well, it’s back, and EA Sports are rebooting the franchise with this downloadable title available on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Home. 

Back to the Future

The look of the game is pretty much what you’ve come to expect, with an industrial facade that makes it look like the game is being smelted in an overblown iron works somewhere, and that the result is an arena league football game featuring your favorite stars of the NFL. It’s nice to see the game updated to bring those stars to bear, but, really, it doesn’t matter much beyond the name on the back of the jersey, since no player is better than another. 

4th down and They’re going For it…I love This

If you’ve never actually played Blitz, what you’ll notice right off the bat is that it bears very little resemblance to actual football. The way to take receivers out of the play, for example, is just to cream them at the line of scrimmage and take them out of the play. no interference and no rules. That ethic used to extend to post-play frustration, which allowed you to keep hitting people after the fact over and over again until the next play ran, letting you blow off steam. For some strange reason, this part of the game has been removed, which is not only a head-scratcher, but also noticeably reduces the amount of fun in the game.

Luckily, the commentary remains just as crisp and funny as it’s always been, featuring mr. NBA Jam himself, Tim Kitzrow, now joined by sort of empty-headed sidekick Brian Haley. They are seriously one of the big highlights of the game, and the commentary is often funny enough to make you forget what you were trying to do in the game.

Tackled Just a Little Short

The gameplay itself is kind of dodgy. It’s fluid enough, and it looks a little better than it used to, but you can literally run the same play over and over again for the entire game and win. I know, because I did this. Also, no attention has been paid to detail as pertains to actual people in the game. For example, in real life, Michael Vick is left-handed, but in the game, he’s right handed. I know it doesn’t matter much in an arcade game, but then why bother to license the NFL players to begin with?

Game modes include standard arcade play, online play with leaderboards and stats, and the Gauntlet, which makes you play as a single team through tiered competition in the NFL to try and unlock special characters along the way. Just like NBA Jam, there are lots of special characters and extra elements, with different sized players, balls, and looks to be either unlocked or input through a code system at the startup screen, just the way the original coin-op game presented it.

You Can put it On the Board!

In the final analysis, NFL Blitz 2012 isn’t going to re-invent the way you look at football, or, in fact, the way you look at Blitz. There’s not a whole lot there, and it really doesn’t make any sense that they took out the fun extracurricular violence, but, in the end, it’s a game you’ll play every now and again and smile while you’re doing it. That has to be worth $15, doesn’t it? 

NFL Blitz Review – Xbox 360

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