PS2 News: E3 2003: NFL Blitz Pro & NHL Hitz Pro Details - PS2 News

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E3 2003: NFL Blitz Pro & NHL Hitz Pro Details

   Midway today unveiled more information about their upcoming NFL Blitz Pro and NHL Hitz Pro releases, which have moved away from strictly over-the-top arcade action to take on a better sense of authenticity and realism.

   NFL Blitz Pro has bumped up to eleven players per side, as in actual NFL football games. The game will have a heavy online component which allows players to download current stadium weather conditions and team rosters. Blitz Pro also promises online play, complete with leaderboards, tournaments, and a Blitz Challenge mode. Blitz Pro's Franchise Mode allows up to 32 players to run and play their teams through up to 10 seasons. Money can be earned for big victories and can be used towards signing top free agents. Midway has said that their infamous "catch-up logic" has gone by the boards, and game outcomes will be determined by the players, and not the AI.

   As for NHL Hitz Pro, teams have been bumped up to five per side and penalties and ice violations will be called. Like other hockey sims, player fatigue will have to be monitored and shrewd line changes will have to be made to yield consistent performance from your team. As with last year's game, Hitz Pro's Franchise Mode will center around building a franchise from scratch and playing your way into the ranks of the NHL as a new team. There are a host of other new features, including online play, an improved and deeper Hockey School mode, improved AI for both goalies and position players, licensed hockey equipment, and more.

   Initial screens for both games have looked good, but the big question surrounding these games is whether they'll lose their fun factor as a result of backing away from their arcade-style roots. Look for more on Midway's new-look sports lineup soon.

5/14/2003 Peter J. Skerritt, Jr.

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