CGRundertow NFL BLITZ for PlayStation 3 Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 23.01.2012

I didn’t even have to dust off my N64 for this one. Didn’t have to dig out my Kordell-Stewart-emblazoned
copy of the original. Didn’t have to figure out which of three ways to hold the controller.
Nope, just downloaded it for the PS3 (though XBLA is also an option) and proceeded to pick
up right where I left off, with ultra-violent, penalty-free, arcade football action. I could
call this game NBA Jam on grass, and I will, because that’s exactly what it is. It’s
from the same tap that gave us not only the original - and most recently rebooted - arcade-style
sports franchise, but also the utterly forgettable NHL Hitz (with a z) and MLB Slugfest (with
no z).
NFL Blitz is all about over-the-top football, bad announcer banter, and high-scoring, action-packed
games. Take your Madden-style statistical analyses and sabermetrics elsewhere, friend;
here the word of the day is “Obscene.” Basically, you can play like James Harrison,
every down, without fear of retribution. Hit a guy out of bounds? Who cares! German suplex
a runner who gave you the wrong juke? Hey, make Steve Blackman proud. Chokeslam a wide-out
on the one-yard line? It’s Blitz, baby. Rules are meant to be laughed at while you
cold-cock defenseless receivers. But since the field is more open, and it’s only a
seven-on-seven game, the definition of “a good play” needs to be expanded. Since it’s
so extreme, you’re expected to get 30 yards on each set of downs. The point after a touchdown
is literally a given - just click on the box and you’re awarded the chip-in - unless
you want to go for two. The field is your burrito.
All the NFL teams are represented here, plus some special hidden teams comprised of pirates,
Zombies (woo Mutant League Football!) and even... a team of bipedal horses. I kid you
not. Look at these guys, putting the “brony” back in “jabroni.” You can unlock them
by beating them in the Mortal-Kombat-style Blitz Gauntlet mode, and activate said cheat
using a three-symbol code system much like... well, like Mortal Kombat III. Or if equestrian
events don’t particularly suit your fancy, you can instead assemble your own team of
superstars. This requires the accumulation of points earned by playing online head-to-head
games, so that you can buy packs of cards representing each player. But don’t grow
complacent; each “card” also has a green health bar labelled “Contract” that limits
its use. Fortunately, both sides in an online game can potentially earn points, so there’s
something to be gained by not ragequitting. Thank Lombardi. The last thing we need is
a progression and collection system based on the premise that people on the internet
aren’t jerks.
It’s Blitz, baby. There’s a lot that can be forgiven. Sure, the announcers can be horrifyingly
- even comically - inane. Sure, the mechanics feel much dicier than in a polished, retail
release. Sure, it’s full of horses. But put those aside. This is a game about absurdity
and football, two of my favorite things in the world. As the real game gets more and
more protective - despite Colt McCoy not knowing where he was that one time - the kind of visceral
thrill that comes from watching a runner get JACKED. UP. goes by the wayside. Sure, I can
understand the position of trying to protect the players’ health. Enter these digital
surrogates, who can take a licking and keep on ticking. This is the football you want
to see, but can’t see anywhere else. This is football as it was meant to be: a barely-disguised
all-out brawl.