STAFF REVIEW of NFL Blitz 20-03 (Xbox)

Sunday, November 24, 2002.

NFL Blitz 20-03 Box art What can I say? This football game combines 2 of the things most guys like: Wrestling and Football. Although this game is in no way a football simulation, it is however guaranteed to spawn several hours of game play and a little trash talkin? with your opponent. There are 4 major game modes in blitz 2002: Exhibition mode, a quick play, a tournament, and a season mode. The exhibition and quick play modes are one in the same. In quick play, you pick a team and an opponent and play. In exhibition mode you do the exact same thing except with a few more options. In the tournament mode, you and a few players can compete in a bracket style configuration to see who is King! If you like to run the ball, think again. One thing you can do is pass and pass well. Try the middle; you'll get stopped for a 6 yd loss. The play book is a little unusual and a little hard to get used to. Oh yea, and another thing. no such thing as 1st and 10. Try 30 yards to get a 1st down. How ?bout them apples!

If you are used to being abused in football by your friend there is some hope for you. Many times I was up 14 or more points going into the 4th Quarter and end up getting stomped. It seems to be more luck than skill at times. Maybe my head is just full of flies and I loose concentration thinking there is no way he will catch up. It seems to me the game goes along fairly well with no glitches that I could find.
Again I have to tell you, don?t try running the ball unless you want to loose 2, 3 or even more yards. I was able to run a few plays but not enough to help me... It was kind of like the Las Vegas odds of coming home with a few million in the bank from the slot machines. It can be done, but how often? Since this game is not really a ?football sim? so to speak, it does have a lot of ?imagination?. Like getting a pass intercepted when the ball is at least 20 foot in the air. I guess for me, I will stick with the more realistic sims out there, The controls, for me, were a little hard to get used to and I still find myself hitting the wrong buttons on just about every play.

The graphics are the way they should be. The helmets have good reflections, jerseys look almost real and the players? massive muscles are larger than life! The graphics in this game are exactly what an arcade football game's graphics should be. The grass looks like it was freshly cut for the game, the turf looks like turf and the stadiums well; they look like the real stadiums. One cool graphic is when a player is doing so well, he lights up like a torch and HE?S ON FIRE! Wow... what a momentum boost you get. You become !&%$@#* near unstoppable.
Let?s say you?re about to stuff the QB about 2 foot into the ground, you leap, WHAMMO! The way the models react to the constant pounding looks very real in most cases. (It?s a wonder some of these guys get up at all)
The game runs smoothly. My guess would be 60 frames per second, but you will see a some choppiness when viewing the replays, but in no way affects how the game looks while playing.

Overwhelming sounds of a bodies being pounded into the ground with body-slams is pretty sweet. When a player gets it, you'll know it. One thing I was very disappointed about is NO DOLBY 5.1 DIGITAL??!!!??!! What is up there? It really bites not to be able to here ?the sounds? we all love with our Digital audio. The commentators are ok but get annoying after a bit. The music is the type that makes you want to turn the music in the control panel off. (Or way down). You were hear the crowds plainly and seem to react to plays nicely. You can almost feel the hits these guys are taking with the sound effects of heads being thumped throughout the game.

Dolby Digital 5.1 for starters. How about some online play? Some of the plays are o little over the top with lack of realizm, but after all, this is Blitz!

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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