Blitz: The League by DiscGolfDiver
Published by: DiscGolfDiver on 2006-02-23
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Blitz:The League almost hits it''s mark. To fully understand this game, you must be aware of the fact that EA Sports owns exclusive rights to NCAA, NBA, Nascar, Fifa and NFL. No company outside of EA Sports may use any NFL team names, logos, etc., because of EA Sports hold on the market there was really only one direction football could go... dirty. This game is fun if you don''t expect a serious game. If some how you could mix the hard hitting action of Blitz with the 2k series, they''d really be on to something.
First you start off creating team (well, pick it''s location and name, uniform style for home and away games and a stadium-style) and attempt to bring it up from the toilet-league in a 30-game season. The owner is a slime, working with the mayor to fund a new team to win the championship in a brutal league, wrought with players with rap-sheets longer than the entire Raven''s roster! These players put Jamal Lewis to shame! He''s a baby-candy thief compared to some of these criminals!
The "Campaign" mode is where you are tasked with getting this team to the championship. Along the way, cut-scenes occur, giving you an insider''s view of what goes on at the sidelines and in the locker room. The story is not that fleshed out, but it''s fun to watch and brings in another level of immersion that Madden doesn''t have. Again, this is fictional and that''s what makes the over-the-top play all the more fun and not a detractor from the overall gameplay.
I first thought that using fictional, non-NFL teams would detract from the game. In all honesty, it''s one of the things that makes this game excellent. Creating your own team, choosing the city, the name, the uniform and the stadium has made me actually feel like this is more my team, than picking up the GM responsbilities in Madden for an already established team. True, you don''t have control over who starts and such, but to me, those are not important. You can choose how you wish your medical team to make decisions and offer "medicinal" fixes. You can choose the safe route and use "legal" substances and training, or you can go the experimental route and try the new black market stuff that up front appears to give your team the "juice" it needs to win the big one. As you win, you gain more money to buy "upgrades" to beef up your team. This includes new training regimes, massage therapists, training equipment, uniform upgrades, and new "substances" to "enhance" your team. You can even wager bets on whether your team covers the spread or not. No fear of going "Pete Rose" here, but if you do choose to use questionable substances, you might get caught and fined and lose some serious cash you earned.
Game play and the immersion factor are what count, and creating the team from scratch makes me feel more like a part of the team. You''re more in the coach/player role, but you receive messages from rival players trying to get your goat, as well as from the owner, demanding better play from your team. As you get e-mails from rivals players, coaches and your owner, they might have a challenge with them. Meet the challenge and you unlock other extras to help your team win along the way as well as other extras, including behind-the-scene movies of how the game was created, cheerleaders and other cool extras.
Graphics - 7/10
The graphics are much better than the original Blitz but not nearly as good as NCAA 06.
Sounds - 8/10
As I stated earlier, the sounds of the game are awesome. The jawing going on between the players is hilarious. Parents, there is a reason this game is rated M - F-bombs, sexual references and drug use. The drugs are meds to help "amp" up the players during injuries or to help increase their abilities. Still the sound is excellent in this game. You have an "announcer", but rather than being irritating, he only talks after the play, and it''s pretty funny. It''s about the same as the guy in the original NFL Blitz.
Not quite there. It''s simple to learn. You have a limited number of men on the field (eight in total) along with a limited play book. You can put a man in motion, audible at the line, including flipping the play, but that''s it. You can''t alter receiver routes, call for a block, etc. You have evade moves and such, but that''s the extent of it. But, the point of this game is not how much "fluff" it can throw at you, but rather how much hurt can you inflict on the other team? The game controls never quite flow like on NCAA or Madden.
On Offense, if you continually advance your team forward, you build up your unleash meter. As long as you have this built up, you can make some excellent breaking plays to demoralise the defense. Get enough and you go into unleash mode. Use this to unleash a major QB throw or RB run and you become almost unstoppable.
On Defense, each sack you get or INT builds up your unleash meter. Get it into unleash mode and time it right, you can sack the QB or hit the RB or WR and cause a fumble when you need it most. Keep that unleash meter filled so you can do dirty hits. Dirty hits reduce the effectiveness of the players you hit, so don''t stop dishing out the pain!
The only problem with the unleash mode is once you learn it, it can make it almost impossible to lose. It''s not a game stopper, but it could use some tweaking, but it''s not something that spoils the game.
Also, catchup logic is present and there''s no way to turn it off. If you start to win big time, you''ll notice in the 4th quarter your players begin to fumble or throw INTs a lot, while the CPU will break off 90+ runs using its unleash mode to make it impossible to tackle, even if you have a full unleash meter and lay a dirty hit. But, I haven''t had a game where I''ve had a large lead become a loss because of it. However, I have had a game where it was tied 14-14 in the 4th, and I threw a crucial INT. This never happened before, but at that time, my team was 7-0 in the campaign mode, so the CPU decided it was time to make me lose and I could NOT bring him down, even with a full unleash meter going. But, even NFL Blitz was like this.
Pros- It''s just like the old blitz only now you can take cheap shots and cheating to another level. It is fun to bet on the games, purchase workout equipment, etc.
Cons- The controls are easy to figure out, but it never flows like NCAA 2006 does. There are only a few plays you need to do.
This game is not for kids. The game is full of drug use, sexual references including cheerleaders with G strings on the field and numerous F-bombs, but loads of fun!
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