Kurt Warner's Arena Football Unleashed Review
Midway has been pretty successful with its NFL Blitz franchise. The arcade games ate up quarters constantly, and then later on when console conversions were released cashiers got in on the fun and so did console owners. NFL Blitz was extremely popular, not only did critics such as myself hail the series but it was a huge money maker everywhere. After August, Midway announced an arena football game based on the NFL Blitz engine. The AFL (Arena Football League) would receive their very first officially licensed game, for those who don't know AFL is indoor football that is played in an arena. Instead of 100 yards of length you only have 50 to run and only 6 play on turf. After some development Kurt Warner (former NFL player) endorses the game and so it is released under the name Kurt Warner's Arena Football Unleashed. The game was planned to be released later this Summer but got the green light earlier. So see how the game did, is it a touchdown or a fumble.
Using the same NFL Blitz engine, Arena Football feels old and washed down, a lot like ECW Hardcore Revolution did when Acclaim decided to re-hash the old WWF Warzone engine. The visuals look worse than NFL Blitz (and I'm referring to the '99 version), the clipping is so horrible, the bodies are so unbelievably blocky and besides that the arena is too damn pixely. The graphics have greatly worsened and I don't know why Midway did this. The backgrounds are splotches of paint, there is nothing good about them. The only thing that doesn't look awful are ads on the sides of the course. Overall the visuals are pretty dull, they have gotten worse over the year, and the motions on players is still the same, with the exception of a new move or two added.
It may use the Blitz engine, but this certainly isn't no NFL Blitz that we know and love. This game can be described as its evil twin. The arena is way to short, and to thin for me to do anything on it. The gameplay is just boring, before I played the game I thought that I would be playing a game in the vein of NFL Blitz, what I got was a surprise. I was playing a game that slightly felt like NFL Blitz but brought none of the fun that Blitz gave me. The same modes are included in AFL, Tournament, Arcade, Play Editor, and Season Mode. The game plays are limited. You only have eight to choose from, four from one side four from the other. AFL (the videogame) isn't very deep, what you basically have to do is run get a touchdown and kick or score an extra point or two. The field goal area is much thinner in AFL, and it is much harder to score a forced field goal. Oh and one final note you can not punt the ball. When we previewed the game last year I had my doubts about this turning out a worthy title, my doubts were correct Kurt Warner's Arena Football Unleashed is way below my expectations.
The sound is so toned down, the announcer sounds like he is speaking through a pillow and the sound effects sound like someone is banging on a hollow wall. The speech is understandable but the quality is poor. The sound effects are much more weaker than NFL Blitz's, it is sad to see the same developer do such poor work in an area that they have done so well in.
The control is exactly like NFL Blitz's so I won't go into that at all, because I feel that it is a waste of time. Just believe me when I say that the controls are exact, they are exact. The AFL license doesn't feel like it could be transferred into a game very well. The action may be rougher there than the NFL (on second though half of the NFL has murdered somebody, so it is a tough choice to say which league is rougher), but freedom of movement is way too lacking. Kurt Warner's Arena Football Unleashed is a sad outcome, the game may have been better if Midway only used the AFL teams, and making the length of the field at least 70 yards. This goes down as a rental, if not just a second of eye contact.