Football season if finally upon us and so are the football games. For some this means hours spent in front of the TV, controller in hand, meticulously crafting plays and strategies to get their team to the Super Bowl. There are others that could care less about the whole sport. And there are others still who love football but just can't seem to see or control everything that is happening on the field in a football video game. The 3rd group will be happy to know that Midway has ported their arcade smash Blitz especially for you.
This game takes the fine sport of football and simplifies it to the point where it plays like a fast and furious arcade game instead of a complicated sports simulation. Each NFL team is made up of 7 players: a 3 man line, 2 receivers, a running back, and a quarterback. On defense you have the line, 2 cornerbacks, 2 line backers, and a safety. The controls are simplified as well reducing a whole configuration down to 3 buttons, turbo, pass/tackle, and jump. The first downs are every 30 yards no matter where you start, and each goal is clearly marked. All this makes the learning curve incredibly small so anyone can learn how to play immediately.
As if that was not simple enough, the game comes without refs or rules. If is just hardcore destruction football. If you want to knock a receiver down before he gets the ball, go ahead. Fell like dropping a leg on the QB after a sack, you are more than welcome. Sure this becomes frustrating when all of the players cannot catch any passes because they are all down on the ground, but it forces the player to change the strategy and find plays that split the defense and only throw to the open man. There are a lot of big plays in a game like this, but at the same time it forces you to drive 10 yards at a time as well. Add to this all of the taunts, celebrations, and touchdown dances, and you have got one rockin' game.
If you have an N64 then this game will be a dream come true especially since there are no other football games out yet this season. The color palate is bright and clear and the play is so clean and fast you will think that you are in the arcade. There is no loading time and each game can be breezes through making a entire season able to be accomplished in one afternoon (maybe two). Even with the speed of gameplay, however, the game is incredibly addictive especially if you are playing with two players. You will want to keep challenging them over and over again trying to make up for that one or two point loss.
Probably the best feature of the N64 version of this is the ability to create plays and use them in the arcade in Blitz '99. Imagine having a custom playbook and using that against any and all challengers. Also what this does is it allows players to customize the game to their liking instead of trying to do what the programmers feel is best. The play editor is very easy to use and allows for pretty much any kind of play that one can dream up. So now all of those plays that you crafted on the palm of your hand playing in the backyard with your friends, can be run by Young, Elway, Stewart, or any other of your favorites.
NFL Blitz is a game that anyone who ever watched football and enjoyed it should have. Forget about the fact that you are not really good at sports games, or they are hard to control. This is a game for the enthusiast. It reminds me of playing backyard football, but with far more destruction and mayhem. I can't say I every jumped on anybody after they play was over though. (Okay a couple of times, but they really deserved it.)
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