Blitz - The League

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 4


Slapping NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski on the cover, Midway re-releases their updated Blitz franchise with somewhat deceptive packaging onto the Xbox 360. This is the same game released well over a year ago with hardly any improvements or additions. It's still a wildly fun year old game of arcade football, but charging $40 for this when the original on the Playstation 2 and Xbox can be found for under $10 is definitely a factor holding this version back.

blitzleague360.jpg (14453 bytes)Originally based off cancelled and controversial ESPN TV series Playmakers, this over-the-top spin on pro football forces countless references and makes every attempt to offend. Losing the license actually afforded the company the chance to take things even further, with a constant stream of language, steroids, sex, drugs and hookers. It's everything the NFL is bumped up to a level so absurd, it's beyond comprehension.

The key mode of play is the career. Here you'll take on all the teams in the League in a three-tiered setup with your own custom team. It's an interesting way around a basic franchise mode, allowing gambling on games, the opportunity to improve players without the use of physical equipment and specific tasks that need to be met on a weekly basis.

Those familiar with the story from the games other incarnations will be looking for the skip button. Not only is this the same storyline, it also features the same set of cinematics. That means the graphics haven't been touched in the slightest, and they clash harshly with the somewhat updated in-game engine. Dialogue from the single announcer and players has also been brought over.

On the field, this is a relentlessly paced game of football. Two-minute quarters are enough to create what would be considered realistic stats in the NFL or college game. First downs require 30-yeards, and on defense you're encouraged to go for the injury hit every time. Receivers can be brutally hit before the ball reaches their hands without penalty.

The clash meter ends up being the game's lifeblood. By making big plays, you'll fill this section in the upper corners of the screen. When you have some available, you can pull off unstoppable slow motion jukes and make perfect passes. On defense, a fumble is nearly a guarantee. This makes the game more about who fills their meter first than who has any actual skill.

Online play is included as it was previously. Unfortunately for Midway, there is no one waiting for a game in the lobbies, even during peak hours. Getting a game is impossible, rendering some of the newly added achievements useless. Some brief mini-games and an excellent create-a-player mode bring some slight replay value.

Even on the previous consoles, Blitz - The League was a fun departure for the first few hours. Once the repetitive and completely flagrant attempts at earning the "M" rating become a problem, so does the game. There's little here to warrant the upgrade and the additional cost. You'll receive the same level of enjoyment from the cheaper editions.


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Last updated: Sunday, December 31, 2006 07:48 PM