NFL Blitz Preview
I’m just not into sports simulators anymore (unless you count Gran Turismo). These days, I’m all about having some simple, over-the-top fun, and I distinctly remember NFL Blitz fitting the bill. Well, that awesome arcade version of pigskin will return early next year, and I just might have to take a beefed-up 49ers team to the Super Bowl. Or maybe I’ll just play as a bunch of zombies. ...man, I suddenly miss Mutant League Football. I need a Genesis now.
If you check out this new installment, you’ll see that the general presentation is vintage Blitz. The players do look authentic – you’ll easily recognize your favorite players – but the animation and overarching style push the boundaries of physics and reality. Mid-air collisions are insane, tackles are gonna make you wince, and there’s a super special effect when your team catches fire. As you can see by the screenshots, players will indeed be on fire and their effectiveness drastically increases. Okay, now I’m thinking of NBA Jam.
Playing offense and defense ain’t like Madden. On defense, you’ll just be going for the interception or the sack on most every play and on offense, you can try runs, short-range passes, and deep bombs. It appears that most all teams will have the same playbook, so victory will rely heavily on your own skill…and probably a little on luck, if the arcade-y spirit is fully embraced. When you jump online, you’ll be able to further customize your teams, so there’s incentive to give the multiplayer portion a try. Even I might get involved, and that’s saying something.
As for the controls, you know what to expect. One button basses, others execute various evasive maneuvers, and triggers allow you to sprint. You’ll be able to tweak the controls, too; fans of past entries in the series can select from either Blitz or Arcade setups. For the most part, NFL Blitz should turn out to be a great party game, or something that just lets you kick back and enjoy yourself for a few hours at a time. We have to remind everyone again: gaming doesn’t always need to be so darn serious. ;)
12/12/2011 Ben Dutka