Are you ready for some Football? We are too. The
full review of NFL Blitz 2002 inside.
NFL Blitz 2002 comes from the long line of arcade style
sports games from Midway. The series is based on the notion that the
current popular sports are for sissies and could use a serious revamping.
NFL Blitz steps to the plate. NBA Jam, and NHL Hitz are examples of other
games in the same vein as Midway's most recent entry, NFL Blitz 2002.
The best aspect of NFL Blitz 2002 is that, gamers who have no interest
in the actual sport of football can play and enjoy this game just as
easily as the die hard foot ball fans. NFL Blitz 2002 was first released
in the arcades and was met with a very receptive response from gamers.
In past outings, the NFL Blitz franchise has faltered somewhat due to
a lack of focus on what makes arcade style games so fun and easy to pick
up. Will the trend continue, read on for the answer.
Like in past Blitz titles, Midway decided to do away
with all of the penalties that are currently slowing down the current
game a football to a crawl, this feature makes the game extremely fast
paced and in some cases down right brutal. Forget about pass interference,
that's okay and in fact it's encouraged. Instead of the typical ten yards
for a first down, players must gain 30 yards to get a new set of downs.
Another aspect in the game that differs from real life NFL is that NFL
Blitz 2002 features less players on the field then the real deal. Rather
than loading the field with eleven players per side, you'll have the
ability to control eight players, which is actually one more then in
previous editions of the NFL Blitz franchise. The extra player, called
the "Impact player" can be controlled to perform several different actions
or tasks. For example, on defense the impact player can execute a rush
or work man to man defense. On offense you can set your impact player
to go deep for the long bomb or cover. I liked the idea of the impact
player and it gives a game a extra layer of strategy to go along with
the arcade style gameplay.
The game does feature a wealth of plays, and to be honest
with you I didn't use 75 percent of them. I concentrated on the big yard
plays and found myself doing very well to gain the victory. Add to the
fact that each play can be flipped so you do have a impressive arsenal
to use against your opponents. The A button is used to hike the ball
as well as to hurdle over an approaching player. Behind the line of scrimmage
on offense, players use a double pull of the right trigger to perform
a spin move. A double tap provides a quick boost of turbo to speed through
the defensive line or to leave the other players in the dust while scrambling
for some serious yardage on offense. To perform a jump and pass, players
press the A button + B button together at the same time. The quarterback
hook slide is done by double tapping the A button or Y button. A fast
pass is performed by pressing the right trigger along with the B button
or X button. Over the line of scrimmage players can perform a lateral
back by pressing the B button along with the directional pad toward a
nearby receiver. The high hurdle is performed by pressing the A button
with the right trigger. To dive forward for the last ditch effort of
obtaining more yards players double tap the A button along with the right
trigger. To stiff-arm the approaching defensive players, you press the
X button or B button along with the right trigger. While behind the line
of scrimmage, players can pull and hold the left trigger to view a icon
above the head of the receivers, players can press the appropriate button
to pass to that receiver. The basic moves of defense are performed by
pressing the A button and the direction pad towards the oncoming offensive
ball handler. To intercept and to swat the ball you press the Y button.
And to push the opponent you press both the B button as well as the right
trigger. It sounds complicated but it becomes second nature after only
a short time playing the game. The players and the controls are very
responsive and it never feels like the controls are lagging behind the
button input on the controller.
NFL Blitz 2002 is all about the arcade game play but
there are a variety of different modes that will keep even the most jaded
football fans in pigskin heaven. In the quick play players get a chance
to pick up and play without all of the muss or fuss of fiddling with
the options. In the exhibition mode, 1 to 4 players can enter a name
and pin number and challenge 31 NFL teams with complete stat tracking
and full gameplay customization. In the season mode, players can compete
and play a full NFL season. In the tournament mode you and three of your
friends can play a tournament with four to eight teams.
The graphics in the game are very nice and NFL Blitz
2002 certainly wins the award for the best looking football game on the
Xbox. The framerate stays at a rock solid 30 to 60 frames per second
and the animation is also top notch. Some of the big hits will make you
cringe in your lazy boy as your player learns the meaning of pain. The
arenas are all faithfully redone as well.
Presentation wise, Midway games have always shined above
the rest and NFL Blitz 2002 is no exception. The music fits the frantic
pace of the game play and the menus and player taunts, grunts, and hits
are all done very well.
Huh huh huh, I said ball handler.
NFL Blitz 2002: The Scores
NFL Blitz 2002 is one of the best Football titles on
the Xbox and if you were disappointed with NFL Fever
and John Madden you might want to pick this title up.
The frantic pace of the arcade style game play will keep
most players happy till the start of the next season.