NFL Blitz is another one of those action oriented Midway sports games akin to NBA Jam and NHL Hitz. Today I take a look at the 2003 version with Michael Strahan on the cover. It’s all about the action, celebration, and money plays.
NFL Blitz hasn’t changed much from what I remember. I’ve played a few versions off and on over the past years and they added little things here and there to try and spice the game up. You do get the expansion Houston Texans in the game so the roster of teams is complete. Create-a-player pops up here so you can insert yourself into the game if you wish.
If you never played NFL Blitz then the general synopsis is that there are eight people on either side rather than the normal eleven. A first down is made when you move the ball thirty yards. It sounds like a lot, but given the nature of NFL Blitz, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Over the top offense and defense is the name of the game here.
Because of the quick nature of the game, you don’t have much time to mull over what play to run. Until you play a few games of Blitz, you’ll just be scrambling at calling any play. There are a few running plays but NFL Blitz is not really known for that. Still it’s nice to see some in there that do work occasionally instead of having the QB scramble which is what accounted for 99% of my running plays in earlier versions.
You’ll witness numerous diving and one handed catches. Throwing into double and triple coverage is ok because you’ll come up with the ball most of the time. Passing will still be the bulk of your plays and isn’t the long pass into a diving receiver one of the better highlights on Sportscenter?
On defense, your players will be slamming the opponents in a variety of ways. You won’t just get a simple tackle to the ground. You’ll see action not unlike the WWE but without the bad story lines and bad acting. Players will pick the ball carrier up and deliver a slam to the ground or he’ll swing the opposition around before giving them a big hard-hitting jack to the grass. Even after the play is dead you can still have some fun by delivering body splashes or leg drops to the person on the ground. It’s this violent action that makes Blitz one of the better stress relievers out there.
Blitz’s look hasn’t changed that much from the past years in my opinion. Most of the players have that perfect body builder look while some of the massive players are just huge rock like bodies on the field. The game excels in the animation department. Each of the post play celebration or defensive violence is done so well that Terrell Owens would be proud. There’s great satisfaction in having your offensive player point at the opposing team after a nice touchdown grab. The flexing of the defensive player after a nice tackle is also fun to watch. As with previous versions, the animations of NFL Blitz are top notch and give an exciting visual to the game.
With Midway sports, you know the computer will try and keep the game as close as possible until the final seconds. No matter how big of a lead at half time, the team that’s up will start to fumble the ball at the most inopportune time or that one corner will come up with a nearly impossible interception that turns the game around. That’s one of the good and bad things about games like Blitz. You know that you’ll usually be in it until the very end but it can be frustrating if you are outplaying the opposition only to see the lead dissipate in a blink of an eye. If you’re playing Blitz, you have to keep the mindset that it’s never over until it’s over even if it looks like it’s over before it’s over.
NFL Blitz is one of the best party games out there. Get a few people together, multi-tap this baby, and have a hell of a time. The Blitz series has always been about good arcade fun and this game does deliver in that area. Football purists should definitely stay far away as there’s nothing close to simulating a real game here. It doesn’t offer that much over last year’s version so those with last year’s game might want to hold off on this one. Also the load times on the PS2 is really slow, but it’s fine after the initial load. It’s still the only really good action football game out there and if you’re into that then Blitz is definitely for you.
The Blitz series continues with a few new additions and the same great action as before. Itâ€™s not much of a change from the previous year though. Great animation and high scoring games are what youâ€™ll see here.