GT enter the fray with an over-the-top violence-packed American footie game!
Depending on how you feel about the sport, American football games are either excellent simulations where you can assume control of your favourite team and lead them to victory... or they're baffling statistic-ridden mazes where you get three seconds of action followed by half an hour wading through acres of menu screens.
Up until now there really hasn't been anything to change this. Far from getting easier to understand for the American football virgin, the various licences (notably Madden 64 and Quarterback Club have been getting more and more complex to the delight of die-hard fans, the befuddlement of everybody else and the detriment in sales of the games (resulting in EA's recent decision to cancel the release of the latest in the Madden series over here).
However, all this may be about to change with the release of GT Interactive's NFL Blitz. Forget layer upon layer of front-end screens. Forget more controls than it takes to pilot the space shuttle. Forget the numerous play selection screens (most of them anyway). The emphasis in NFL Blitz is firmly on pace, action, gameplay and fun.
What GT - or rather Midway, since they developed the game - has done is to reduce all the rules and statistics to a bare minimum, while using the memory this freed up to add extra animations, sound effects and nice graphical touches. And random violence.
A typical game involves choosing a team, looking briefly at a controls screen (there are three buttons to remember, so the more goldfish-like amongst you might require a pencil and paper) and then the game begins! As with other American football games, you need to choose 'plays' in order to let your players know what to do. However, forget offensive and defensive formations, forget wading through hundreds of tactics screens. NFL Blitz gives you nine plays to choose from and ten seconds in which to choose. While this ensures that you're not staring at a stats screen for too long, it does mean that if you haven't much idea about the different plays and what they signify -like if you don't know much about the sport - then you don't really have a lot of time to study them. You soon find that you start to pick up what each play means fairly rapidly, however, and the neat thing about NFL Blitz is that you can pit an American football expert against a total rookie and get a fairly balanced game out of it. Since the game is based on an arcade machine, the emphasis is firmly on speed and bashing the other players to the ground in the rush for the goal line.
Best Of Both Worlds?
Whether or not NFL Blitz will take the world by storm is unlikely. The problem is that American footie fans are not going to like the simplified facilities and lack of detailed statistics pages, yet gamers who don't like American football are going to realise that ultimately this is still American football. That said, though, it's a great way for anyone vaguely interested in the sport to get some idea of what's involved without first taking a degree in American sports studies, and it's particularly good fun in two-player. Who knows, perhaps it'll bring the American footie fans and the non-fans just that little bit closer together!
Play With Your Plays!
NFL Blitz offers an incredibly simple-to-use play creation facility. For those not in the know, plays are the instructions that the American football players get to tell them where to run, when to throw and catch and who to hit (not like real football players, they run about all on their own and they know exactly who to hit!) Through a very simple menu system you can design all sorts of weird-assed plays which demonstrate exactly what you know about American footie tactics and will have anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the sport laughing themselves to death. Which might be a tactic to consider! Simply choose your formation then position your quarterback and receivers and tell them where to run. To really confound the enemy you can make your receivers jump, fake and put on a burst of speed. Easy as one, two, three - today NFL Blitz, tomorrow the Superbowl!
2nd rating opinion
NFL Blitz is a good game, although the rules seem to have changed slightly since I last played American football! The action is fast and easy to control, but there are limited choices of plays. Overall an enjoyable game, but not as good as Madden.
Download NFL Blitz
The Blitz is on for the PlayStation! Midway's helmet-smashing hit heads home to 32-bit gamers with all its coinop features intact.
Taking a Hike
Arcade fans already know what to expect from NFL Blitz: fast-paced football with an accent on action. The PlayStation version features all 30 NFL teams with real players, such as John Elway, Brett Favre, and, of course, Kordell Stewart. A streamlined interface, simple but flexible plays, and a hurry-up offense keep the pace moving. Best of all, Dual Shock owners will be able to feel the force of every spine-splintering hit.
Of all the additions, the one we hope will be merely an option is penalties--what fun would Blitz be if you're called for pass interference and late hits? After all. Blitz is less about finesse and more about hardcore, in-your-face, grass-in-the-mask football. We'll find the answer to these questions and more when Blitz debuts this September.
An eight-team Tournament mode and a Full Season mode will be new to the PlayStation version, letting you run your favorite team all the way to the Super Bowl. More codes mecm more secret elements, plus there's ah additional stadium and different fields for varying weather conditions.
Midway's NFL Blitz is the hottest arcade sports title since the original NBA Jam: Its smash, bash, and thrash formula has injected more adrenaline into football than anything since anabolic steroids. But converting Blitz's blitzkrieg into a console title that must offer depth and replayability is like stretching a music video into a full-length feature film--there ain't enough beef.
Tacks on the Extra Point
The standard arcade Blitz allows you to track your stats across single or head-to-head games, and this PlayStation edition adds an eight-team tournament and full-season modes. It's a valiant attempt to lend the game some depth, but it Tails: With very light stat-tracking, a meager playbook. no create-a-play feature (which helped the N64 version shine), a lackluster opponent A.I., and virtually no variety, Blitz's solo game can't compare to its main competitor, NFL Xtreme, which combines the depth of Game Day with (allx'il toned down) Blitz-like gamepluy.
Luckily, Blitz betters Xtreme in graphics and sound. With far more camera movement, smoother animation, and quicker action. Blitz eclipses Xtremc's excellent visuals. Although owners of Blitz N64 may find this version's lack of anti-aliasing a bil jagged, PlayStation owners won't be disappointed by the fluid player movement: It's like buttah. Ditto for Blitz's sound, which combines a throttling soundtrack with blistering effects and crisp, hysterical commentary (which gets repetitive in synch with the rest of the game).
He Could Go All the...
Unfortunately, Blitz hits yet another deadly linebacker in its conversion to the consoles: Icon passing--or its serious lack of. Blitz forces you to use the controller to point to your desired receiver, making across-the-body throws awfully dicey when you're being pursued. Sure, this design flaw just perpetuates the arcade version's problem, but why not offer an option to convert to the tried-and-true interface that football gainers everywhere have embraced?
Otherwise, Blitz's pinpoint analog control lets you turn on a pixel. The responsive three-button interface is extremely easy to learn, and the surprisingly subtle Dual Shock support will have you quaking in your cleats.
He Really Nails Him!
Ultimately. Blitz was designed as a multiplayer arcade football game: and in that regard, this near-perfect conversion has no equal. Many gamers may be content with that in this PlayStation version (though if you have an N64. too, that version's definitely the one to buy).
Punishing the game for not as pil ing to more than its arcade progenitor may seem harsh, but this is the big leagues, and it takes more depth to challenge the home console veterans. Blitz offers exactly what its name implies: A fearsome strike that ends very quickly.
- The spin move will help you deke one or two defenders, but using it in a crowd is just asking for a fumble.
- Don't call many blitz plays--they're too risky. Stick to zone or safe defense, and bring your safety to the line of scrimmage to rush the quarterback.
- Go to Deep Zone for long third downs or potential fake punts, and keep control of your safety.
- Stick to short passes and runs unless you're desperate--a good player will crush your receiver's skull before he can catch a long pass.
Fresh from the arcades, NFL Blitz is getting ready to knock down your front door and crush your television with all the bone-breaking, out-of-control football action you can handle.
You've probably seen it in every bowling alley and arcade across the land, and you've probably dumped a million quarters into its slots. If for some reason you haven't seen it by now. Blitz takes on the NFL like Open Ice and Jam took on the NHL and NBA, respectively. In Blitz, the players on the field are limited to seven-on-seven (instead of eleven-on-eleven as in the real NFL), and you have only a set number of plays to run on both sides of the ball. Also unlike the NFL, you have to go thirty yards for a first down and there are no penalties. Better yet. the action is nonstop and full of WWF-style mayhem, while the pace is lightning fast.
In Your Face!
While it still hasn't been decided what features (like PlayStation or N64-only modes and teams) will go into the console versions, it's a goal bet that Blitz's gatneplay will mirror its arcade counterpart. thus including all the NFL franchises; top playcrs like Rice, Sanders, and Favre: bodyslam and clothesline tackles: and smack-talk galore.
As these screens show, the N64 version is coming along quite nicely, exhibiting highly detailed players and fields. Now the only question that remains is: How well will Blitz play? Check out GamePro in the coming months for more details.
I had serious doubts that a good version of Blitz would be possible on the PlayStation, but I happily stand corrected. The developers have done an amazing job of retaining the speed and look of Blitz while sacrificing as little as possible. Sure the polygon models have been cut back considerably and the resolution is nowhere near the clarity of the arcade, but what this version does boast is exactly what the arcade version boasts...it's FUN! The PlayStation version lets you choose from the familiar Arcade Mode, as well as brand-new Tournament and Season Modes. The overall speed of this version is close to the arcade, though there are moments of slowdown and other instances where the action seems unnaturally fast. Luckily, the timing problems don't detract much from the game. The loading times are a bit annoying (especially if you're used to the lightning-fast arcade game), but on the whole it's not too bad, and there are options that allow you to slightly decrease it by removing certain screens (like halftime stats, for example). I hate to waste space talking about other games, but I have to say--Blitz makes NFL Xtreme look like complete garbage. Usually imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in this case it was just a big waste of time. Blitz is the ONLY game in its class.
Blitz turned out to be surprisingly good on the PS. The large and detailed players look great, making competitor NFL Xtreme took ancient. The FMV and extra voices are a nice addition, but I would've preferred a play editor. Although the player animation is nice, the overall frame-rate is chunky--but this is only noticeable because the arcade game is so perfect in these regards (it's a tough act to follow). It's a great two-player game, too.
NFL Blitz is hands-down my favorite football game (I'm not too keen on the more realistic sports titles), and it's one of my favorite two-player games, too. This port is much better than I expected. Sure, the players are a bit small and receivers can get lost in the clutter when they dash too far down field, but the winning gameplay is still solidly intact. Keep CPU assistance on and you're always guaranteed an insanely exciting game.
I didn't expect the PlayStation version of Blitz to be this good! The graphics are a little on the weak side (especially if you've seen the N64 version), but the gameplay is spot-on. If you felt bad about wasting your money on NFL Xtreme (the overhyped pile of crap from 989), then now's your chance to redeem yourself. A Play Editor would've been nice, but it's no huge loss. If you like hard-hitting arcade-style play. Blitz is for you.
NFL Blitz isn't just the coolest football game it's one of the most fun snorts games ever created! Here are the hottest moves, codes, and coaching tips to help you win your next big game.
The most consistent way to frustrate your opponent is to throw short passes to your halfback. After catching the ball (lateral or forward pass), you can then throw another pass downfield as long as you haven't crossed the line of scrimmage. By throwing short passes, your opponent can't tell if your initial receiver is going to run with the ball or pull up and pass it downfield again. The best short pass plays are the Criss Cross, Dawg Leg, and Turmoil. Pass the ball to the receiver flaring off to the sideline. If there's room to run, bolt down-field. If not, step back and look for an open receiver and pass again.
When dropping back to pass, roll out of the pocket with your quarterback to look for the open receiver. If no one is open right away and the defense is back in coverage, press Turbo to run for big yards.
Play after play, continue to roll out of the pocket on pass plays, both to the left and to the right. By running just a few times with your quarterback, the defense won't know whether to pull off of the man they're covering to stop the run or stay with the receiver in case of a pass. Mix up QB runs and passes out of the same for mation to best burn your opponent's defense.
Throwing deep passes is reminiscent of the "old school" tecmo Bowl games. Drop straight back in the pocket and watch your receivers run downfield. The farther you drop back, the farther they run downfield, but remember: No quarterback in Blitz can throw a pass over 60 yards.
For such a frantically paced game, patience is still necessary to pass successfully. Don't just pass to the same guy all game long: drop back and look for the open man instead. If you know a blitz is coming, throw short. Remember, a short pass behind the line of scrimmage can be thrown downfield again.
Running to the right and throwing offscreen to the left (and vice versa) can fool the defense and enable you to gain big yardage. But beware--you don't know where you're throwing, so blind passes are gamble. The ball can just as easily be headed toward a defensive back.
Might As Well Jump
If you're about to be tack- S led from behind, press (Turbo Blue) to jump. Now when you're tack- p led, you'll be knocked forward for additional yards. On fourth-down pass plays, if your pass is a bit short, use a jump catch to snag the ball and attempt to fly toward the first, down. But whenever you're running with the ball down the sidelines, whatever you do, don't jump. All you'll accomplish is leaping out of bounds, and that's no way to win.
Flip the Script
If you've found a couple of plays you love but the defense has caught on to your game, flip the play by tapping Blue at the Play Select screen. This will help make your old play look like something new again by reversing it to its mirror image.
Suicide Equals Death
The Suicide Blitz will give you more headaches than sacks. Avoid it like Nate Newton avoids diets.
Alternate between the 2 Man Blitz and the 1 Man Blitz to best pressure the QB. Use Turbo to bring your defensive back from the corner of the offensive line and dive at the QB before he has time to react. These plays work especially well against QBs trying to roll out of the pocket. The Near Zone enables you to blitz up the middle with your safety. When the ball is hiked, tap (Turbo Blue) to dive through the line and disrupt the play. The Safe Cover is a great all-around play. Instead of blitzing one of your DBs. switch to one of the defensive linemen during the play to pressure the QB. Never Blitz with a player who isn't supposed to blitz. You'll only leave a man open behind you and give up a big pjay.
On pass coverage, knock down , the receiver before he even has a chance to catch the ball. NFL Blitz has no penalties, so the nastier, the better. If the receiver does get to the ball before you tackle him, dive into nim just as he catches it to jar fhe ball loose.
Insult to Injury
Always taunt your opponent after the play is over by jumping on the tackled ball carrier.
I'd have to rank NFL Blitz as one of my top-20 arcade games of all time. But how good can this fast paced, smoothly animated, perfectly designed game be on a home system? Pretty damn good. This impressive translation has captured the look and feel of the wildly successful arcade game. In the graphics department, the only thing the game is missing is the higher resolution. But when you see how quickly and smoothly everything runs, you won't even care. All the animations are in, from the high hurdles to the painful, greatly exaggerated tackles and late hits (remember, this game is all about necessary roughness). The gameplay is right on as well. With a couple of exceptions, N64 Blitz plays just like its arcade brother. So what are these exceptions? First, the game unexpectedly and inconsistently speeds up and slows down. One minute the game's going through some major polygon slowdown, the next minute the game's zipping along, faster than the arcade edition even. Second, wide-open running backs will often miss turbo flare passes. Otherwise, the game is fantastic. The game looks great and plays well. What more could you want? Oh yeah, the excellent play editor is icing on the cake. It's user-friendly yet detailed, and you'll be able to take your plays to the arcade to use in Blitz '99!
The N64 version of Blitz is awesome. Aside from the lower resolution, it's practically arcade-perfect. The gameplay rocks (think NBA Jam on the gridiron), and the graphics and animation are sweet. The new Season Mode is OK, but Blitz is really about 2P action. The Play Editor is great--being able to make your own plays and take them to the arcade is brilliant. Not an answer to Madden or QB Club, but rather a great alternative.
NFL Blitz is the greatest console football game for folks who aren't necessarily into console football games. (Oh, and it's one of the best two-player games, too.) Its ultra-fun formula--simple gameplay mixed with over-the-top athletics-is fully intact on the N64. Despite the rare choppiness, the game still looks phenomenal, with all the animation of the coln-op. And I can't wait to try my homemade plays on Blitz '99.
N64 Blitz looks exactly like the arcade with the exception of the high-resolution graphics. As you'd expect, this version has no load times to hamper the Blitz fever. N64 Blitz plays and sounds just like its coin-op cousin, but suffers some slight timing problems. not unlike the PS version. There also seems to be a lot of overthrown passes which weren't as frequent in the arcades. Still, an excellent port of an excellent game.
Here I am again, faced with the dilemma of reviewing the same game on two different systems. Normally I get the PSX version before the Nintendo version, so I review it first. In the case of NFL Blitz both were released at the same time so I decided to review the Nintendo version first. When I started playing the PSX version I decided that it may have been a bad idea to play the N64 version first. Read on and I will explain.
Once again I have decided that instead of re-writing and rehashing the same thing over again I will use this space to point out the differences in the PSX version. When you finish reading this, come on back and read about what makes these games different from each other.
This is going to be tough. Why? Because these games are nearly identical in most areas. When it comes to the actual gameplay, they are identical. I did not notice much of a difference in the actual play itself. Both games played incredibly fast and had all the same moves. Even though the differences are few and far between, I will do my best to point them out.
I will get to the biggest difference when I get to the graphics section, but the biggest non-graphical difference is the extra mode that you will find in the game. The PSX version has a tournament mode, which allows up to eight people play in a four round single elimination tournament. This was a great addition if you have a bunch of buddies over, but you can't play a tournament unless you have at least three players. It would have been much better if the computer would fill in the extra player slots so you could play a tournament on your own if you so desired. It would be cool if you had a party or something, because the players are always switching off because the games go fast. This means that one person will not be playing the game the entire time.
The next difference is the amount of commentary you will get from the announcer. He talks on almost every play. In the N64 version, he was much less active. This all comes back to the fact that the PSX uses CDs (big... good) and the N64 uses cartridges (little... bad). Voices take up a huge amount of storage, so the N64 is always going to be at a disadvantage.
The last thing that is different is something that I always complain about. The Nintendo controller just bites the big one on games that require more than three actions. The PSX controller is just more comfortable to use and the buttons are much more accessible. I think that Nintendo did a crappy job designing their controller. I know it is not the fault of the game, but it really does affect your overall gaming experience, so it bears mentioning. I wish somebody would find a way to make a N64 controller that was shaped and had the same feeling as the PSX controller. I know it would never really work, but it was worth a shot.
I guess there is one more difference that I forgot to mention. This game actually has competition on the PSX with NFL Xtreme. These games are different, but they are similar enough in style and concept that they can be called competing products. The N64 has smooth sailing because it is the only game of its type out there, so if this type of game sounds interesting to you and all you have is the N64, your options are Blitz or Blitz.
This is where the biggest difference comes in. The graphics are far superior on the N64. With that being said, the graphics are not bad on the PSX version but they just do not match up with those of the N64. The reason that I said it may have been a mistake to play the N64 version before the PSX version is because it really made the graphics stand out in a negative way. You will really notice a difference in the two. Like I said, I don't mean to make them sound terrible, but they really do not stand up the those of the N64.
Both of these games are a blast to play. The more I played the PSX version, the more I got used to the graphics. Even though the graphics were of lesser quality, the controller was much better suited for this type of game so it was easier for me to play. You do get a few little extra modes with the PSX version, mostly due to the extra storage capacity. In the end, I would definitely recommend the N64 version just because it looks better, but if you only have a PSX you should also be satisfied with the game.
A few months ago, EGM exclusively broke the first information and screenshots of the N64 version of NFL Blitz. Afterward, it was finally shown to the rest of the press and public at E3--and what was there pleasantly surprised us. The game has advanced nicely in a very short span of time, so it seemed only appropriate that we update you on the progress of this excellent action football game.
Midway seems to be making great strides, especially graphically. It's now known that the game won't be nearly as high-res as the 3DFX-powered arcade machine, but that decision was made to ensure the game looked and played as fast as the original. Since we last saw it, Midway has retextured all of the player models, and has made the animation much smoother. At present there are still some rough spots, but Midway assures us that they will be ironed out before the game is finished.
At this rate, it seems certain that NFL Blitz on the N64 will look just like the original, save a few minor cosmetic touches. What's more important though is that the seemless and intuitive gameplay makes the transition. Although early, things definitely appear to be moving in the right direction. Watch for more details soon.
- MANUFACTURER - Midway
- THEME - Sports
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
If there's one thing that Midway can do better than any other game company, it's making action-sports games. While NBA Jam was revolutionary, others such as NBA Hang Time and the first Wayne Gretzky Hockey were addictive and fun when they arrived. But the best (and most recent) of the bunch is NFL Blitz, the football game that took arcades and the EGM offices by storm.
Since NFL Blitz is run on a PC 3Dfx card that is roughly as powerful as a Nintendo 64, we've been heavily anticipating just how good the conversion would turn out. And finally, that moment has arrived, kind of. EGM was treated to the first hands-on playable version of the game, but right now, the N64 version of Blitz is still in its extremely early stages--and we do stress early.
But before we get into the nuts and bolts of how the N64 adaption is coming along, it would be a good idea to describe NFL Blitz in gener-Bal (for those gamers who have been shacked up in a basement for the last six months), Basically, NFL Blitz is an action , sports game that appeals to sports and non-sports gamers. Why? Well it takes the most compelling elements of NFL football--passing, running, hitting and scoring--and distills them into an intense, over-the-top game that anyone can enjoy. Although Blitz resembles football, few of the rules are the same. For example, instead of 11 players on each side there are only seven, it takes 30 yards to get a first down, and pass interference is not only legal, but encouraged. There is no daunting play-book, excruciating strategy, or dull moments in the game--just about anyone can jump in and at least score a few touchdowns. Even if they aren't winning, players can extract some measure of enjoyment from watching the humorous tackling animations, end-zone celebrations and punishing late-hits.
NFL Blitz is as beautiful as it is fun to play, and therein lies the biggest obstacle for Midway in its quest to make the N64 version do the arcade game justice, judging from this early look, the prognosis is good. Although the graphics aren't high-resolution like the arcade, they do appear to be medium-res. Whether it stays at that resolution or not depends (it could become higher or lower) on how fast Midway can get the 3D graphics to move. Speed is one of the most important facets of Blitz, and although Midway would like to have spiffy hi-res graphics, they may prove too taxing. Otherwise, everything is looking pretty good. The player models are almost as detailed as those in the arcade, although they are missing textures and don't look quite as sharp. Most of the animations are also in, but move sluggishly and need to be tweaked. And, as you can tell from the screen shots, there are no end zones or stadiums put in yet. All of this is sure to be massively improved and polished.
Making up for any possible aesthetic deficiencies in the end product could be accomplished by the additional depth that Midway is injecting into the N64 version. A full 1998 NFL season can be played in the game's Season Mode, in addition to the Arcade Mode where you must beat all 30 teams. Weather conditions (wind, snow, rain) and time of day will be optional, and Midway is looking to work in an instant-replay feature (it wasn't implemented in the version we tried) that would undoubtedly be used frequently.
While it's premature to make any sort of solid judgement of how NFL Blitz on the N64 will inevitably turn out, we are encouraged by what we see at this very early sneak peek. NFL Blitz is an excellent arcade game, and we can only hope Midway is able to deliver the same experience to N64 players. Rest assured, we'll keep a watchful eye on this one as it develops.
- MANUFACTURER - Midway
- THEME - Sports
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Arcade-style American Football - and all the better for it. Quick, unbroken play with plenty of scraps and a customisable Play Editor.
Arcade take on American football. Fast-paced and fun.
It's American football but without the tedious stop-startery of most American football sims. If you can put up with the computer cheating in the last quarter (to make the final score as tight as possible), even non-fans will enjoy themselves.
If you had any fear that Midway could bring the raucous arcade hit NFL Blitz to the Nintendo 64 intact, think again! The 64-bit home version of Blitz features all the speed and chaos of the arcade version, plus some home-only tweaks that will have chair quarterbacks doing end-zone dances around the sofa.
NFL Blitz's gameplay goal is clear: Screw the rules--just grab the ball and go, whether it be with fancy juke moves on the ground or immaculate 60-yard receptions. All 30 NFL teams are selectable for seven-on-seven matchups that value speed and viciousness (look out for those late hits!) over realism and strategy. The Arcade mode re-creates the coin-op's quest to defeat every single pro team, while the new Season mode offers not only a more traditional weekly race to the Super Bowl, but it also does a fine job of tracking each team's stats (but not individual player stats), from passing yardage to sacks to completions.
Graphically, Midway sports smooth textures, speedy receivers, end-zone logos, and more--this Blitz lives up to the coin-op's standards. You'll see a little slowdown when the field gets crowded, but usually not during gameplay. Amazingly, all the heroic music, bone-crunching sounds, and announcer patter have made the transition from the arcade perfectly intact.
Blitz also inherited the coin-op's sole control flaw: It's often difficult to select a receiver and scramble the QB simultaneously, because both are controlled with the joystick. As for the controller itself, however, each button is easily customizable, a la NBA Hang Time. Plus, you've got your choice of using either the directional pad or the analog controller.
The Strongest Yard
Midway included an excellent, intuitive play editor that lets would-be Aikmans create their own gridiron plays and save them to a Controller Pak (and load them into the Blitz '99 arcade machines!). Plus, the home version of Blitz plays faster and seems more difficult than its arcade counterpart.
Great graphics, pumped sounds, custom controls, killer replay value...NFL Blitz has everything pigskin pros could want. Arcade fans, save your quarters--the N64 Blitz is on!
- Two taps with the Turbo button will make you spin. It's the best evasive move in the game, but never do it more than twice in a row, or you'll probably fumble.
- If you're being chased while trying to get a first-down, hit the jump button a few yards before you reach the marker; sometimes, the defense will grab you in mid-air and push you over the line.
- When your opponent calls a field goal, quickly move a man to the right side of your formation. With the right timing, you can tackle the placeholder before the kicker reaches the ball.
- To make the football really big, press B five times and press the stick to the Right at the Matchup screen.
I know I have said this before, but I need to say it again. I DO NOT PLAY ARCADE GAMES! I may take a passing glance at whatever the latest and greatest game is at the movie theater or something, but I can't remember the last time I actually went to a video arcade. I think that this is a credit to the game developers, because most of the games being developed strictly for the consoles are just as good, if not better. So where am I going with all of this, you ask? NFL Blitz, that's where. This is the newest football game to hit the N64 and PSX, and it is a direct port from the arcade game. But since I never play arcade games, I just have to take their word that this is true. From everything I have heard about the game they did a great job of porting it over, but since I have never played the arcade game I will have to judge it on its merits as a console game, not an arcade port.
For those of you who are like me and don't play arcade games, let me give you the stat sheet on this game so you will have a better idea of some of the key features. First off, this is a fast-playing, hard-hitting, in-your-face mutation of NFL football. You will find all the NFL teams, simple controls, a season mode and a play editor at your disposal. This game has reached legendary status in the arcade, so I have been dying to see what all the hype is about.
Blitz is a game that is loosely based on the NFL. You do have all of the teams, but you only have seven players on offense and seven players on defense. Only four of the players on offense are eligible to touch the ball, and before the snap you can only control four players on defense. After the snap, it is a whole different story, but we will get into that a bit later.
The object of Blitz is the same as in real football: score a touchdown. The difference is in the rules. First off, you have to go 30 yards to make a first down; it does not matter where you start your drive (unless it is inside the opponent's 30), you will always start 1st and 30. The second difference is that the clock stops between plays, regardless of whether it is a running play, completed pass or incomplete pass. The third difference is that there is no pass interference; you are fully encouraged to do whatever it takes to stop the receiver from catching the ball. And lastly, the developers forgot to add refs into the game so there are no rules at all. The game will not allow you to go offsides or to try to throw a forward pass after you have crossed the line of scrimmage, so in a way, the game is the ref and it will not let you break the rules that don't exist. Get it?
Since there are no rules and no refs, do you think the players are going to act civilized and play nice? Hell no. The thing that makes this game so fun is the fact that there is nothing civil about it. There is plenty of slamming, bashing, thrashing and banging going on, and that is after the play is already over. There is nothing cooler than slamming your opponent to the ground and then jumping up into the air and landing on him with all of your weight. You really have to see it to get the full effect, but let me tell you that it just looks painful. This move is best performed when playing against a human opponent so you can throw in a few of your favorite verbal lashings to go along with it.
This game was so full of moves and off-the-wall taunts that I actually did not mind when the other team scored, because I wanted to see what kind of celebration or taunt they would come up with. There are some of the coolest tackles and hits I have ever seen. One of my favorites is the helicopter spin, where the defender will grab the offensive player by the arm, spin him around two or three times, and let him go. Hits that knock the player 10 yards were common yet not overused.
Another thing that makes this game so good is the ease with which your players are executed. Passing is as simple as pointing the analog stick in the direction of the receive and hitting the pass button. You have a turbo button, a pass button and a jump button on offense and a turbo button, player switch button and a tackle button on defense. That's it. Everything you do is a combination of these three buttons. For example, pressing turbo twice will make your player pull off a spin move. Pressing turbo and jump will make your player high hurdle. The point is that the controls are very simple and it will take a newcomer only a short time to get the hang of it.
I was a little disappointed with the lack of default plays that were in the game. You only have 20 or so offensive plays and 10 or so defensive plays. Sure, you can use the play editor to create your own custom plays, but I usually don't have time for all that. It would have been nice to have around double the number of plays, because it still would have kept things simple yet given a few more options.
The only other complaint I really had with the game was that there was too much passing and it was hard to get a good running game. Since you have to go 30 yards to get a first down, it is nearly impossible to run the ball more than one time per series. Now I know that the object of this game was to make it fast, furious and high scoring, but it still would have been cool to break off long runs. I think a long run is more exciting than a long pass. I know that the developers really pushed the passing, because out of the 20 or so default plays, only two are running plays. That should tell you something.
I was pleasantly surprised with the graphics in this game. Sure, it is a N64 game so you expect the graphics to be good, but that has not been the case with a lot of N64 games. Midway did a great job of creating a bone-crushing atmosphere and they did not overuse the player animations. A minor complaint was that the view seemed to be zoomed too far from the action most of the time. I know that this was done primarily to help you see more of the playing field, but it left me with the impression that the players were a little small.
This is one of the funnest games I have played in a long time. Once you get used to the feel of the game, you will be slamming players down in no time. The plays were a bit too sparse for my liking, but if it really bothered me that much I could always make my own plays in the play editor. I think that this game will bring smiles to the faces of many console owners across the land.
Who needs finesse when you have brute force? NFL Blitz for the N64 doesn't ask for anything fancy, such as refs or ambulances--all it really needs is 100 yards of grass and room to smear the opposition. Get ready for insane gridiron action that cranks the Fun Factor for football way up.
Blitz Hits the Fans
NFL Blitz on the N64 plays as smoothly as the arcade version does, if not a little faster (although occasionally there's a minor amount of slowdown during touchdowns). The graphics are a perfect port, and though the developers need to work out some collision issues, the plays are as rock-solid as they were in the arcades. The many Easter eggs add to all the chest-thumping fun: Codes for big heads, brains-for-heads, and even Raiden from Mortal Kombat up the replayability. NFL Blitz takes football to a more simplified, brutal level that non-sports gamers will love, and that traditional sports gamers will enjoy as a breather from all those rules.
Captains of Crunch
How simple is NFL Blitz? The first downs are 30 yards long, there is no pass interference, and completing a play means running a gauntlet of head-ripping, bonecrunching, bloodthirsty, tackling terrors that make Attila's Huns look like Chippendale's dancers. And even though the play-book may seem sparse, you'll find that making a first down will take a combination of all the plays, along with quick thinking, fast fingers, and patience.
The Grass Is Always Meaner
Have you ever I played a legitimate football game with complicated plays, time-outs, stats for everyone including the water boy, and, worst of all, pass-interference calls? Have you ever just wanted to tear onto the field and stomp some people into intensive care? With Nfl Blitz, you'll be able to do just that--and more. This is what happens when the talented creators of NBA Jam and WWF Arcade get together to play some football.