Console

[Review] NFL Blitz

I remember the arcades in the nineties. The loud Dance Dance Revolution machines, the House of the Dead light gun games and then… there were the Blitz cabinets. Blitz was the king of the arcade extreme sports games in the late nineties to the early two-thousand. However, the Blitz franchise has been in a slump sadly in the past few installments. Can EA get a winning formula by going back to the roots while adding a few new online features?

[What’s New]
The smashing plays and quick arcade like games make a return for this iteration of the series. However, they didn’t just port an HD version of the old classic. One new difference you might notice is the disappearance of late hits. Apparently the NFL didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of this feature. While that is a bummer, there are still some amazing tackles and stiff arms that would make you cringe. This version of Blitz contains a few new modes for online and offline play. The new offline mode offering is named Blitz Gauntlet. The gauntlet is a ladder in which you fight through multiple teams. An interesting aspect of this however is the ability to build your dream team. You can mix and match different players from a plethora of teams. Personally though, I stuck with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Every fourth match up the leader brings you to a boss fight. These boss fights consist of playing against gladiators, zombies and giant hot dogs. These boss fights also litter power ups across the field, leading to some interesting effects. One of them effects the speed of your opposing team while another causes an earthquake. Once you defeat the boss team, you unlock the code to use them for yourself. These boss fights lend a nice break between playing against normal players. That, and I wanna unlock a Buccaneers zombie team.
What would be a current day football game without online modes? Well, Blitz has you covered with Blitz Battles and Elite League. Blitz Battles is an online mode that features a unique leader board function. At first, you compete to topple a random set of twenty-five people. Once you defeat that leader board, you move onto regional. Once you top that, you move onto the national leader board. This process can take a little bit but it’s fun to compete while you are competing. Elite League on the other hand plays like a card collecting game. Yes, you heard me, a card collecting game in a football game. You start off with a handful of cards that have players on them. Out of those few cards, you create your team and start playing online with them. Okay… now this is where the process of this card game starts to get tedious. Once you get enough Blitz Bucks from playing online matches, you can purchase booster packs. These booster packs contain player or power cards that you can use on your team. If you get every player on that team, you can trade them in to unlock a pro player. Once you have all four teams from a division, you unlock an ultimate player. This long process just seems more of a hassle than it should be. I imagine most people would rather dive into the Blitz Battles to avoid all of that mess. I will also note that the online hiccuped when I did play from time to time but it wasn’t enough to ruin the game.
[What’s New Breakdown]
[+ Boss Battles] [+ Team Customization] [+ Fun Leader Board Game] [*Tedious Card Collecting] [- Some Hiccups While Playing Online]
[Value]

Is this package of nostalgia worth the $15 (1,200 MSP) admission? You’re damn right it is. On top of the new modes, the classic Blitz is still there. They brought in some new talent to make some new cringe worthy one liners and some funny jokes. They even take a jab at Madden. The return of the quick and intense 5 vs 5 teams, the fumbles and interceptions that make you curse loudly into the night keep you coming back for more. With the returning addition of 2 vs 2 player option, this makes couch co-op/competing a great event. I have had a blast playing this and making some of the most ridiculous plays to turn my game around. With easy to pick up and play controls, even someone that doesn’t enjoy sports may enjoy this.

[Value Breakdown]
[+ Couch Co-Op/Competing] [+ Same Old Gameplay] [+ Accessible To A Wider Audience] 
[*Cringe Worthy Commentators] 

[Reviewer Impression]

Most of the time, sports bore me. I never willingly watch any sports or play any realistic sports games. Blitz however just has a certain charm to it. Rather than trying to be like everyone else, it breaks the rules and the mold. For that alone, I love Blitz. I have played this game for only a short amount of time and I have already played memorable games. The last game I played was tied up and the opponent had the ball. It was the fourth quarter with ten seconds on the clock. He hikes the ball and quickly throws it to one of his men but I knock it out of his hands. The following few seconds led to a pulse pounding triple fumble. I picked up the last fumble and ran to score the winning touchdown. With moments like those, I can see myself coming back to Blitz for more and more.
[Final Breakdown]
[+ Boss Battles] [+ Team Customization] [+ Fun Leader Board Game] [+ Couch Co-Op/Competing] [+ Same Old Gameplay] [+ Accessible To A Wider Audience] [*Tedious Card Collecting] [*Cringe Worthy Commentators] [- Some Hiccups While Playing Online]


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