NFL Blitz 20-02
System: Playstation 2
Publisher & Developer: Midway
Genre: Sports (Football)
Capabilities: Dual Shock 2 Analog & Feedback Compatible, Memory Card Compatible, Multi-Tap compatible for up to 4 players
Review Written: March 30, 2002
NFL Blitz is hardcore action football. It has the NFL Team and Players licenses, but it doesnt play like any of the other simulations out their like Madden or the 2K series. The latest addition in the Blitz line up boasts enhanced player models for the next generation of gaming consoles, and a couple of new added features to the game engine.
Nearly all the graphics have been redone for the latest Blitz. If you remember the previous Blitz games, you remember the big, chunky, polygonal player models. Those memories will be forgotten now, with all the player models having a realistic tone to them. Now even though all the players look a lot more realistic, they arent close to the same level of detail as found in the players in Madden and 2K. Additionally, the players have the same set up as in the old Blitz games, with heavy set linemen, and everyone else having a thin, muscular, look. Blitz did add a couple of neat things like instant replays, and loads of new tackle animations. Another item making its debut in the Blitz series is the inclusion of real life modeled arenas and stadiums. Youll definitely notice them on the set up screen, but in the heat of action, the camera mostly focuses on the field.
All the hard hitting tackles are motion captured, as indicated in a great behind-the-scenes documentary included in the game. The FMVs in the game are also well done, getting you hyped up enough to play the game. The games main menus have the same presentation as old Blitz games, with added individual player stats represented at halftime and at the end of games. Play selection screens have a new look, with plays on the bottom half of the screen, and the top half displaying the players in a team huddle, much like in Madden. The only major gripe I have with the graphics in the game is that the loading times are significantly longer than the previous Blitz games. But Midway eased that problem by displaying several game hints while the game loads.
The sound effects are the same as youve heard in previous Blitz games. All the old heavy hits, and trash talk you remember stays in tact with lots of new sound effects added in as well. You occasionally hear the PA man announce what play it is, but the main commentary is provided by the two man crew simply known as Tim and Bill. Tim returns calling all the plays down the line, and throws in his own witty comments here and there. But making his debut in the Blitz series is Bill, who provides commentary at random moments in the game. Most of the time he doesnt say anything. Whenever he does, he just says simple phrases like That was an awful pass! And after a while you will find yourself getting annoyed by him.
Blitz doesnt go for the simulation feel like in most other football games on the market. Instead they opt for a more arcade feel. In real NFL games, each team has eleven players on their side, but in Blitz games it was changed to seven. With Blitz 20-02, they upped it one player to make it eight guys on each side. Most penalties have been thrown out of the rule book. You can do as much pass interference as you want, and the game makes it impossible to go offsides. You can still be on fire after making two straight sacks, or three consecutive first downs. When youre on fire all your stats are nearly doubled, making you nearly invincible. One big drawback is the games small play book. You only have six defense plays and about 30 offense plays. Even though the game is going for a more arcade feel, I believe they couldve added at least a couple dozen more plays.
NFL Blitz 20-02 has several modes of play to choose from. The first is exhibition, which is obviously designed for multi player parties with up to four people playing at once. It can also be used as a training experience, with you practicing a few games by yourself to get the controls down. Even though the game does a great job at providing tip boxes on how to play the game. Tournament mode is designed for anywhere from one to eight players, alternating. In it, up to eight teams can compete in an branched elimination tournament. Its much like how the playoffs are played. The Final mode is Season, where you go through an authentic NFL schedule to achieve everyones dreams of making it all the way to the Super Bowl.
This is a big party game, and youll be playing forever with your friends. If youre not much of party gamer, than season and tournament modes should keep you busy for a while. The game has user profiles, so you can keep track of all your win-loss records, stats, and high scores. As an added bonus, after each game the Blitz Trivia Challenge is available for you to play where a random question is displayed for you to answer. Just like the previous ones, this edition of Blitz is loaded with countless codes for hidden characters, arenas, and power ups. They can be entered on the match up screen or profile entry screen. There is a movie section in the game where you can view the opening movie, or a documentary on the making of the game. There is also movies for exhibition, tournament, and season modes that need to be unlocked. Blitz 2001 featured additional mini games to play, but those mini game are no where to be found in the 20-02 edition. I feel like theyre being purposely left out so the developers can say they have something big to add in next years game.
+: Improved graphics, one of the best multi player sports games out their, countless codes
-: Long loading times, small play book, mini games from the 2001 game are not here
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.7
Replay Value: 8.4
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
NFL Blitz 20-02 is the same hard hitting action as before, but with better graphics. Even though it has several drawbacks, its still a great package all together. If youre a fan of the simulation games like Madden, then give this game a rent before adjusting styles. But if youre a fan of the previous games, and dont own a copy for the next generation of consoles yet, go out and get yourself this game now.
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