Review by Psycho Penguin

"Its is not the perfect football game, but it is still a lot of fun!"

I have always been a big fan of the National Football League, whether it be watching the games on television, or actually playing them on one of the numerous consoles which NFL games were released on. There is nothing like watching a game of football on Sunday Afternoon. Well, the only thing that actually compares to watching football is actually playing it, especially on video game format. I have always been a big fan of this. I have definitely played a lot of football games over the years, and I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert of the video game football genre.

Out of all the football games that have been released over the years, none caught my attention quicker than NFL Blitz did. Sure, I know what you are saying, NFL Blitz 2000 is better, why even waste your time with the original Blitz when the superior sequel is out there? Well, at the time, there was no Blitz 2000! So, my friend and I decided to purchase this game together, so we each bought a copy of it. He bought the Nintendo 64 version, and I bought the Sony Playstation version. It seemed like a good decision, so we decided to compare the two versions.

How did the two games compare? Well, I have always been a fan of the football video games, and it is safe to say that this is one of the better football games ever released. Both the Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation versions had problems. The control in the Nintendo 64 version was a little lackluster, while the Sony Playstation version suffered through some long loading times. The control was better in the Sony Playstation version, however. Regardless, I am still a fan of both games, as Blitz has quickly grown into one of my all time favorite video games. Yes, not only is it my second favorite football game of all time, it is also one of favorite video games of all time!

Graphically, this is one of the best football games ever. Now, the first thing you have to realize about the graphics in this game is the fact that Midway is not trying to make the most realistic looking football game of all time. So, this game definitely does not look very realistic. However, the graphics in the game are still pretty good, and I really enjoyed the graphics of the game, as I felt that they could not have been done any better (at the time) then what they ended up looking like. The graphics in the game really were top notch, although Blitz 2000 does look better (as expected).

The player designs in the game are simply awesome, and these player designs are some of the best I have ever seen in a football game, even to this day. They are very well detailed, and I really liked how you can make out every little detail on them. Detail in graphics has always been an important part of the game for some people, and those people will not be disappointed by the graphics in NFL Blitz, as the graphics are very well detailed, especially for a middle generation football game. When I say ''middle generation'', I mean that the game came out in 1998, a year before Blitz 2000 did.

Overall, the graphics in the game are great, and I really thought that these were some of the best graphics to be featured in a video football game, and I still think that, even to this day. One of the most incredible things about the graphics of the game, in my opinion, is the fact that there is barely any animation loss noticeable. With all of this stuff going on during the game, you would think that there is no way that the animation would hold up and stay on par throughout the game. Surprisingly, it did, and I applaud Midway for this, as the frame rate and animation are superb.

There is not much music to be heard in this game, although there is enough music featured to get the job done, so to speak. I really liked all of the music that was featured in the game, as there is background music during the actual game, and background music during the title screen, options screen, etc. Speaking of the music during the actual game, you only hear it in between quarters. Regardless, I still enjoyed this music, and I wish Midway would have included it even more during the game, because it sounded really cool, and is some of the better music I have heard in a football game yet. The rest of the music featured in the game is also great, and overall I am a really big fan of the music in this game.

One of the best things, in my opinion, about NFL Blitz is the wacky announcer. The commentating in this game is awesome, and I really enjoyed the commentating. It was very funny and fit in perfectly with the feeling of the game. Wise cracks like ''Is that legal?'' and ''Can someone get the license plate number of that bus?'' run rampant. The same guy that does the voice commentating in NBA Jam does NFL Blitz, so you know the commentating is top notch. The announcer is not the only person that talks, as the players actually say some pretty funny things during the game too. There is nothing funnier than watching Steve Young walk up to Warren Sapp and say ''I can take you, and you, and you!'' then he drops his gloves and does a fist motion, it is simply awesome!

Overall, I am a really big fan of the music and sound effects in the game, as I feel that the music is some of the best I have ever heard in a football game. I still say this, despite the fact that the music is sadly limited to only between quarters and on the title screen, options screen, etc. I wish there would have been even more music featured in the game, that would have been simply awesome. The sound effects in the game are extremely funny, even if they are just limited to basic voice acting. The commentary is extremely funny, and the players talking trash is even funnier. I really got a kick out of the sound effects in the game, and I felt they were extremely good.

One of the biggest flaws I have to mention in the Nintendo 64 version of NFL Blitz is the severe problem of control. The control in the game, in a word, stinks. It is really difficult to control the players and ball during the actual game, for a few reasons. In order to completely throw the ball to a receiver, you have to run using the analog stick, then throw the ball while using the analog stick to aim for the player to throw the ball to. I got extremely annoyed by this after a while, as I felt that it was almost impossible to aim the ball to a player using only the analog stick. This is one of the biggest flaws I found in this game, and it does make the game somewhat less enjoyable.

NFL Blitz is unlike any football game ever seen before in terms of actual game play. While most other football games make it a point to seem realistic and include realism, this game is just the opposite. In fact, this is the most unrealistic football game ever made up to this point. Well it does have some competition, but the Blitz series is tops when it comes to unrealistic football game play. This game is a lot like NBA Jam in terms of taking the sport and making it into a game that has never been seen before. I do think that this is a better game than NBA Jam, although Blitz runs into a lot of problems that Jam and Hang Time did, too.

The thing that separates this game from all the others is how unrealistic it is. There are no penalties, so you can end up chasing the guy around the field for all you care. To get a first down, you need to go 30 yards, as opposed to 10. No kicking extra points, you automatically get the extra point if you choose it. This is simply very cool, as the rules can be stretched beyond imagination in this game. Multi player mode is definitely more fun than single player mode, however. This is because the computer AI in the single player mode will actually cheat at times. Trust me, it does, because the computer will intercept the ball a lot of times. I remember one game where I threw six interceptions. Also, the computer will seemingly come from behind at the last second, like some sort of miracle. I got frustrated by this aspect of the game rather quickly.

Overall, this is one of the better football games I have ever played, although it does have some serious problems. I really did not like the control in the game much at all, because the control really stunk. I found it very difficult to use the analog stick to aim the ball at a certain receiver, and this is definitely a problem I had with the game. Another problem I had was the fact that the computer tends to cheat (seriously) at times to win, and I had a big problem with that, as it really sucked to go up 20-17 and have the computer intercept the ball then score a touchdown the following play. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this game, and I feel it is the perfect party game.

You will want to replay this game a lot, under certain circumstances. One, you do not really feel like spending more money on Blitz 2000 (which, I admit, is the superior game of the two). In addition to this, you have a friend or two to play with. I really felt that the single player mode was a bit of a letdown, although it does have some surprisingly decent replay value. I ended up playing the single player mode a lot more than I expected, because it is simply one of the best and most fun games ever. The unrealistic factor of the game increases the replay value a lot. The two player mode has even more replay value, simply because it is one of the most fun party games ever. I spent a lot of time playing this game, both on the single player and two player modes, and I am almost certain you will spend a lot of time playing this game.

This game is far from challenging, although I do have to make a very serious comment about this category. I have never been a big fan of video games, which use cheating methods to increase the challenge. And Blitz is one of those games that use cheating methods to increase the challenge. And I was really disappointed to see this. As I have already mentioned, the computer will literally cheat in order to win the game. I wish the computer AI would have been a little more solid, and I wish the game would have been challenging without having to worry about the computer stealing a win at the last second. I really did think that this game could have been challenging for the ''right reasons'', but it was challenging for all the ''wrong reasons'', which is a really big disappointment, in my opinion.

Overall, this is one of the greatest football games I have ever played, to this day, although I will be the first to admit that it has some serious problems. The graphics in the game are solid, and I really liked how there was little animation loss and frame rate graphical breakup. I have never been a big fan of games, which have those problems, so I am glad Blitz does not. The control in the game is weird, but the game is solid enough so you will have fun, if you can forget to worry about the cheating tactics that the computer AI uses to win the game on occasion. I really did have a lot of fun playing this game, although I will admit that I preferred he sequel a lot more. Regardless of that fact, I still love this game, and it is definitely worth a purchase.

Good Points
-This review is not as long and tedious as a King Broccoli review.
-The graphics suffer from little animation and frame rate loss.
-The music and sound effects in the game are awesome.
-This is the type of football game I love to play, as it does not focus on realism, only fun.

Not So Good Points
-The control in the game is absolutely horrible.
-I really hated the cheating tactics of the computer AI.
-The play book is fairly limited, featuring only nine plays on defense and 18 on offense.
-The graphics could have been a little bit better.

I Run Down the Ratings… Da Ladies Man Style!
Storyline – Not Available
Graphics – 9.3/10
Music and Sound Effects – 9.2/10
Gameplay and Control – 8.4/10
Replay Value – A Little Above Average
Challenge – A Little Below Average
Rent or Buy it? – I would rent it first.
Overall – 8.7/10
The Last Line: Sure, it has problems, but this is a GREAT football game, and you do not even have to be a NFL fan to enjoy it!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/04/00, Updated 07/16/01

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