Blitz: The League II
Are you ready for Pain?
Posted 4 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
If you were a sports fan circa 1999, more than likely you played the original Blitz series at your local arcade or bar. The game took the sport and the NFL and gave it a vicious but highly enjoyable spin to it. Games were always high scoring and you rarely played effective defense; you just hoped for a mistake by your opponent. When EA managed to snag the NFL license, it seemed that the Blitz series would not continue. That didn’t stop Midway from releasing Blitz: The League in 2006 to some commercial success. Now with Blitz: The League II, they continue the hard-smashing tackling and arcade gameplay, but how does this edition turn out? Read further to find out.
Nowadays for a sports title to not contain some sort of full fledged franchise or career mode is a great omission. For Blitz II, the single player focus is on their campaign mode. In Campaign you take control of ‘Franchise’, an up and coming football player, and lead him from featured draft pick to a true superstar. While you can’t create Franchise from the ground up, due in part to the game containing various story clips, you do manage to adjust his stats and positions by an interesting Press Conference Mini-game. As you answer questions from the press, depending on how you answer, you change his starting stats and the two positions he’ll play. Also, since Franchise wants to play for his hometown team, you will play the game as any one of the available customized cities in the game; nearly every major North American city is available. You’ll be able to customize your club fairly detailed which will appeal to those who will have wanted some sort of player customization.
As Franchise, you will need to lead his team from the 3rd Division to the Top. Prior to each game, you will have to determine how your team will train, how to deal with injuries and which performance enhancing drugs, both legal and illegal, will be used to gain that upper edge. Since your team is generally weak in the beginning, adjusting these and giving certain players drugs will help you win your games and advance through the story.
The game’s story is fairly engaging. Depending on your performance on the field, both in winning and losing, changes the story. At the beginning of every game, your character will have a game requirement he will have to achieve, usually given by your Agent. If you manage to do this, you will get rewarded. If you are unable to do so, then your character’s development will suffer. Every stat in the game that you accomplish also factors in your character’s growth. It’s similar to an RPG where certain accomplishments are worth a lot more and will level you up much quicker than your basic, ‘get three tackles in a game’.
Those looking for an engaging and long lasting experience will not be disappointed with Campaign. While campaign is fun, it isn’t perfect. The problem with it stems in part with the overall gameplay.
The Blitz series has always been about hard hits and that’s the still same here, but it does suffer from a lot of balance issues. The computer is good, sometimes too good.
Graphics and Sound
The game’s graphics are a mixed bag. While the stadiums are really nice, the players don’t have much variety in them. Characters often look the same and even the team’s staffs are identical. There are also some very noticeable clipping issues where players go straight through each other. Another problem I noticed was during some touchdown celebrations, where player’s legs would disappear in the field. It looked really weird and it’s extremely noticeable. The graphics that appear when a player suffers an injury are cool, but do become repetitive. There are a handful of them, so it won’t take you too long to eventually see them all.
The game’s soundtrack doesn’t exactly stand-out but at least the voice-work in Campaign featuring Jay Mohr and Lawrence Taylor is good. As for the on field sounds, it begs for more. The commenting is very rare and the few times you hear comedian Frank Caliendo do his John Madden impression, will get to you after a while. A game like this begs for it to either have a massive commentary track or none at all. The fact that it offers a limited one seems like a last minute addition. Even the on-field banter between players and coaches becomes quite repetitive really quickly.
The game does have more than just simple Play Now and Campaign. There are a few Bonus Modes which change the way in which you play. You might have a game where every tackle causes a fumble, so you’ll need to avoid getting hit to get a touchdown. In another, for every play you take, your point total will decrease. You might get a touchdown, but if you took long, you’ll only get 2, 3 or maybe 4 points for it.
With the AI issues, you really want to play this game with a friend or online. The game is so much more thrilling when you’re playing against a real person because of all the smack-talk you two will exchange. Another bonus is that you can even take your Campaign team and play them online. I wouldn’t recommend playing this alone other than the Campaign, but if you can have friends over, you can really have some fun hours.
Blitz II: The League is neither fantastic nor is it bad. The multiplayer is fun and the Campaign does offer a lot of value but the AI issues and the disappointing graphics and sound will put off most people. This won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re looking for an alternative to the simulation of the Madden Series, you should give Blitz a try.
+ Fun to play with friends
+ Lots of Hits
+ Plenty of Back-story into the History of the game’s League
- Where is the Player Creation Tool?
- Clipping problems that are really noticeable
- Commentary is weak; Frank Caliendo was funny 4 years ago, not today
- Really Long Load Times
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Release Date : Q4 2008
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Midway Home Entertainment
Developer : Midway Home Entertainment
Category : Sports
ESRB : RP
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10