Taking away the NFL license from companies that aren’t named EA to me left the door open for creative football games. Now a lot of you may disagree with me but I have always been up for a story based football experience. We have seen movies like Remember the Titans, Rudy, and The Express all as engaging as watching an NFL game, but with a deeper meaning to each play. Today’s game, Blitz: The League II won’t ever be mentioned by any of those movies again, but at the very least it tries to mix up story and gameplay. Does it work? Read our full review to find out.
Maybe I should get back on track, Blitz: The League II has no real resemblance to any of those movies listed before, outside of the fact that it has a story and football. With that being said, this game, like its predecessor looks at the more negative side of life in football and things like money, sex, drugs, and good old football agents. One of the big press blurbs during the development of Blitz: The League II was the inclusion of Frank Caliendo from Frank TV and Jay Mohr from Gary Unmarried who lend their voices to the game.
I am a big fan of both gentleman and to see them lend their voices to a video game was a treat. Jay Mohr does the voice of your agent and although the dialogue isn’t riveting his execution is solid. Frank Caliendo reprises his role as John Madden and his is less then impressive. The dialogue they gave him was not funny nor interesting. Not to mention that there are only a few lines and they are replayed over and over again. They probably would have been better off letting Frank get in the booth and just call a few games as Madden, but whatever the case the two do bring a nice level of voice acting to the game.
Let’s jump into the campaign mode where you take a Superstar through the trials and tribulations of professional football. You start out in division three and pick both an offensive and defensive position and make your way through the ranks. The story is as over the top as the original but more fleshed out and a lot more interesting. I love the idea of playing with somewhat of a purpose in mind and although I don’t think Midway nailed the idea they did a solid job of it. The story takes some weird twists, and some more interesting ones, but needless to say I thought the story aspect to the game worked. It was a bit short when it was all said and done but what do you expect from an arcade football title.
The gameplay hasn’t been changed all that much from the good old Blitz formula from years and years ago. It still works, the Blitz formula has always amounted to an outline of football and then over the top action along with it. This is the case in Blitz: The League II where you have the fundamental football game wrapped up in a bunch of over the top action and mind blowing hits. The gameplay works, although it is obviously a very offensive focused game which is typical for arcade football titles.
There is of course online play which works well, and you can get in some great games. I did experience more then normal lag in several games that I played in online, and although many ran smooth, the rate of lag was a little to much for my taste. Offline playing against a friend has always been a staple of the Blitz franchise and continues to be a great experience here. With the new end-zone celebrations and over the top bone crunching hits (literally) it all comes together as a solid experience.
Visually I like the style that Midway was trying to go with, with Blitz: The League II but I wasn’t so hip on the games execution. For me the grainy saturated look that comes with Blitz: The League II has the right mindset but there are a few issues. Often times when you get to the sidelines you see faceless teammates, and the crowds tend to look pretty bad as well. There are very repetitive bone breaking animations that happen any time you land a big hit, which don’t add all that much to the experience. They are interesting/relevant for the first few games but they are a little over the top and don’t feel well executed in my book.
The game has style, that is for sure, and its style really does drive the rest of the experience. The quality of the visuals is a bit down the middle but its good enough to really accomplish all that it needed to.
Blitz titles have always been about fun more then anything and not much has changed since the beginning to now. Blitz felt refreshing this time around, the over the top action felt like a nice change from all of the Madden titles. I am not saying that Blitz has anything over Madden, it was just nice to let loose a bit in Blitz: The League II. I was surprised by the campaign in this game, I truly wasn’t expecting much and it came through in a big way. The whole experience is over the top and for me was fun from start to finish.
I am shocked to be giving Blitz: The League II as strong of a score as I am. When Blitz: The League came out on the Xbox 360 it fell a bit flat for me. However everything seems to have been improved for this year’s game, and to me if your looking for a fun light hearted football experience you really cannot beat picking up Blitz: The League II. I think it makes more sense to rent the game given the shorter campaign, but for true Blitz fans the game may warrant a purchase.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.