Developed by: Point of View
Published by: Midway
Reviewed by: Zachary Rounds
Football meets the WWF
When I first saw NFL Blitz in the arcade, my first thought was "Um, something's wrong here. The linebacker just did a leg drop on the receiver. Ok.", followed by a driving urge to pump quarters into the machine. This is the football game for people who feel that football isn't violent enough. Sporting a whole 40 offensive plays (and that's including the flipped versions of the plays) and a glorious 11 defensive plays (how many do you really need, anyway?), NFL Blitz is for the gamer who just wants to whip out a gamepad and start playing.
NFL Blitz is a quick, simple version of football that is simple enough for anyone to learn. Instead of the usual 11 players on the field, there are only 7. Almost all the plays are passing plays, with running being accomplished by having your quarterback cross the line of scrimmage. Passing is merely the simple task of pressing left, right, or up and hitting the pass button, sending the ball to the respective receiver. Instead of the usual ten yards for a first down, the number has been upped to a whopping 30 yards. Don't worry, you can get thirty yards in two plays pretty easily. Once the ball has been passed, three buttons control all the moves you need. One button is for spinning and trying to push people out of the way. One button is for jumping. One button is for turbo. "Turbo?", you ask. Yep. Located at the bottom of the screen is a meter that registers your turbo power. While pushed, turbo allows whoever you are controlling to move faster, slowly depleting until you let go of the button and the meter starts to recharge. I never noticed this during normal TV football games, so I'll assume that in real life the coaches stand on the sideline and hit the turbo button via remote control.
The graphics look good, assuming you have the power to handle them (see the requirements). The player models look decent. They might not be as good as the models in a more serious sports game like Madden '99 or NHL '99, but since quick action and wrestling moves are more important the lack of extreme detail in the models isn't a problem. The players also have their slew of wrestling moves and takedowns, none of which would be legal in real life. This is part of what make Blitz so much fun. Nothing beats tackling the receiver and then running up to do a leg drop on his prone body. Upset that the other team just scored a touchdown? Send one of your guys over and have him throw the now dancing receiver to the ground. The only part where I thought the graphics needed work was the menu screens. Even though I ran the game in 800x600, the menu screens still appeared very blocky. Also of note is the incredibly pixelly cheerleader that is shown between each quarter. Not only is the picture already fairly ugly (and a bit inappropriate), but the pixellation makes for a rather unpleasant visual.
The sound is something of a mixed bag. On one hand, I really liked the color commentary made by the announcer. It wasn't overly important, but adds a lot of entertainment to the game (my personal favorite: "That was uncalled for, but a lot of fun to watch!"). On the other hand, the things that the players yell out are poor at best. Not only is the content poor, but it sounds like they're yelling from inside a box (in reality, they are) instead of from the field. The music is handled with some midi tracks that neither add nor detract from the overall package. They're just... there. I wound up never noticing them.
Overall, NFL Blitz is a fun game that will appeal to the average Joe. I know a few people that are hardcore football maniacs, and they look at this game with disdain, preferring the more realistic Madden '99. But for someone like me who only watches the Super Bowl in January (and even then, only for the commercials), Blitz should be right up your alleyOur rating out of 10: 8.7
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