NFL Blitz Pro
|a game by||Midway|
|Platforms:||XBox, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 2 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||NFL Games|
The NFL Blitz series has always had a unique look at football that rung true with many fans. The hard hitting, rule-bending style of football had become arguably one of the best multiplayer experiences for sports games. With the fast pace and extreme nature of the game hours could be spent without ever becoming bored. Unfortunately, the single player modes didn't have near the longevity and although still entertaining, the lasting power was missing especially when compared to the more simulation based football games. In an attempt to offer a better balanced game that appeals to single and multiplayer interests, Midway has revamped the series by moving further toward the simulation style of football.
In order to do this certain aspects of the series have been altered. Basically the majority of the NFL rules are now enforced, as you would expect in a simulation based football game. There aren't near as many big plays, first downs are 10 yards, and 11 players are on the field. They did however still leave in more arcade football features like the unnecessary hits and allow the blatant pass interference that many of us have come to expect from the Blitz series. Surprisingly, this approach actually works well especially by improving the single player experience as the extreme nature of the game is still there, but more focus is now given to strategy.
The graphics look similar to years past with some improvements mainly with the player models. They are definitely not at the level of Madden but aren't going to be disappointing. The audio on the other hand has had some changes mainly surrounding the on field bantering between players, which is no longer included. The commentary is still fairly lively however and keeps the game interesting.
Basically, NFL Blitz Pro delivers exactly what they set out to do. Even as a huge fan of the old Blitz series, the single player modes didn't get much playtime. NFL Blitz Pro's blend of a more realistic style of gameplay and hard hitting action definitely improves the single player experience without overly sacrificing the multiplayer gameplay. It would have been nice to have options to further reduce the rules but overall Midway achieved a decent balance. The main problem is the competition for simulation style football games is rather intense with a number of highly polished games already well ahead of NFL Blitz Pro.
Download NFL Blitz Pro
Over the past several years, there have been a wide variety of football simulations for sports gamers to choose from. And while some gamers may prefer the more reality-based sim qualities of Madden to the more arcade-like action of NFL Fever, they all had one thing in common ' their goal was to provide gamers with real NFL style football. But when it comes to helmet-banging, smash-mouth, arcade football, where reality is an afterthought, Midway's NFL Blitz series has always been in a league of its own. But this year's title has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts. Now with eleven players on a side and a greater emphasis on the running game, NFL Blitz Pro attempts to be more sim-like, while still maintaining its over-the-top style of play. I'm afraid the end result is game play that just feels sloppy and out of place.
This year's game has more plays to choose from than ever. The running game especially has been revamped ' although picking up yardage still remains very difficult ' and you'll also find a greater level of input in the kicking game. When you take to the field, however, you'll immediately notice a full complement of eleven players on both sides of the ball. A new ten-yard rule for first downs has also been instated (why?). At the point when you're ready to take the snap, players will be in motion and you'll survey the field as if you were playing a full-fledge football sim. But once the ball is hiked, all hell breaks loose with the usual stomping and clubbing that we're all accustom to. It's kind of bizarre actually. What we have here is game play that starts off like Madden and ends up like, well, Blitz. What we're left with is a game that seems to having an identity crisis. Quite frankly, this reviewer would rather dust off his PS One version and have some real fun.
The graphics in the game are decent, but in the end they're still somewhat disappointing. That's because not much has changed from last year's version, and I know my XBox is capable of far better. Player models and stadiums look identical, and the field textures seem to be the game's best visual feature, which should give you a better idea of what I'm talking about. I'm afraid the same thing can be said for the game's audio package, which has that 'been there, done that' kind of feel to it. As one would expect, the commentary is raucous and even quite humorous at times. But it gets old real quick.
When I first heard that Midway was planning a more sim-like experience for their new Blitz title, I thought, uh-oh, this news has disaster written all over it. Well, after playing the game for the better part of four days, I'm afraid my initial instincts were almost correct. While I wouldn't exactly classify NFL Blitz Pro as a complete disaster, no question, it has taken a turn for the worse. Buy it only if you have to have every Blitz game ever made.
Snapshots and Media
Playstation 2 Screenshots
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