Friday, January 06, 2012

Game Review (NFL Blitz Arcade - Xbox LIVE Arcade)

I was a huge fan of NFL Blitz 2000 on the N64, and seeing this on XBLA made it an instant-buy for me. In case you're wondering if it stacks up, the answer is yes. NFL Blitz games of old were great because they were high scoring, frantic, fast paced, and had a hefty amount of rubberbanding, which was both beneficial and not-so-very beneficial at times... but that's what made it Blitz.

All that should be said is that this game should be bought if you had any interest at all in past Blitz games. This game is what those games were and more (except for the late hits. Unfortunately, the NFL wouldn't let EA put them in the game. Bummer, right?). Blitz Arcade is a really worthwhile game if you're a fan of games that like to make you shake and nearly give you a heart attack - every game is close from beginning to end, and you'll likely find many of your games going to overtime.

While the subtractions of late hits is disappointing, the new features make up for the absence. There is now a Gauntlet mode, a la Mortal Kombat, that allows you to choose a team and go head-to-head against the A.I. until you get to the top. It's fun because there are boss modes in between real NFL teams that include the likes of cowboys, lions, and many more.

Another new mode, and perhaps my favorite, is what EA has in its most popular sports games now, and that's the whole card thing. You know, where you earn in-game currency (In this case, Blitz Bucks) to buy card packs to improve your team, team logos, banners, and even cheats -- albeit ones that are purely visual.

The graphics are pretty good for an arcade game, the game runs pretty smoothly, the commentary is funny (even if it can get a bit redundant at times), and the game is about as fun as ever. What I think will really make NFL Blitz Arcade worth going back to is its Blitz League mode (The one where you use Blitz Bucks to build a team). The thing I'm really worried about though with Blitz Arcade is that I don't know just how long the game will last.

I say that because the only way to get Blitz Bucks is to play online, and obviously, if no ones online, you won't be getting the currency, and so the Blitz League mode will die, leaving you to play with nobody but the A.I. Even if that does happen, Blitz Arcade is a measly 1200 MSP ($15), and you're more than likely going to get several hours of worth from this game... so do yourself a favor and get it.

+: Best Blitz since NFL Blitz 2000; pretty decent commentary; say good-bye to playing in the same; old generic stadium; new features are awesome.

-: As good as this game is, nothing will beat the original few games; As is a worry with any XBLA game, how long will there be an online community?


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