Remember when the Blitz franchise was at the top of its game and every arcade you went to and every friend’s house had Blitz. The popular arcade football franchise was once a true competitor, one in which offered a much more laid back, easy to play football experience that was just a blast to play. Well when technology continued to improve and football games started to become even deeper, the desire to play a game like one from the Blitz franchise didn’t appeal as much to gamers. Well Midway has done a lot to try and get there arcade football title back on the map with their first try on the next gen consoles the Xbox 360. Can Blitz: The League make the necessary steps to a successful arcade football game? Read our full review to find out!
There was already a version of Blitz found on the Playstation 2, which was one of the first few sports games that included a storyline to go along with the action on the field. In fact, this is really a pretty mature game (with an M rating from the ESRB) and definitely takes a darker look to the sport. The story found on the Xbox 360 is nearly a copy of what we found on the Playstation 2, with not much changed from that. The game doesn’t have a huge amount of depth in terms of a back-story, but it is an interesting try nonetheless. I would recommend keeping the young ones away, as the language and themes of the game are a bit on the rough side.
This is not a game where the idea is to play by the rules, and the whole career mode is indicative of that. The game progresses with you having a whole lot of problems on and off the field, with a lot of emphasis on steroids. One of the interesting characteristics of Blitz: The League is that if a player gets injured on the field, you will have the option to either let them go through the full injury time or you will have the option to give them steroids, which will severely shorten their injury time but obviously puts them at extended risks. This is one of the many darker sides to Blitz and is a bit humorous.
What I thought would be the big change on the Xbox 360 would be the gameplay, but for the most part it to is very similar if not exactly just like the PS2 version. You still have the big hits and unbelievable plays that you had in the Blitz games of yesteryears, with a bit more depth and much deeper playbooks. The gameplay itself does feel a bit dated, as we have been playing this same sort of game for a long time now. With that being said, there is still something about the Blitz formula that still after so many years works very well.
I think the biggest disappointment with Blitz: The League is that a year after the PS2 release you are still playing the same game on the Xbox 360. You would really expect there to be some significant changes and upgrades to the game a year later. However if you have played this game on the PS2, then you know what to expect on the Xbox 360.
The one area where you do see a big change from the PS2 version to the 360 is in the graphics department. Here, although not perfect, you see much better player models containing a good deal of variety and detail. The animation has been smoothed out a bit on the 360 version, however it doesn’t seem like much was added in this department. The entire feel of the game just feels a lot more next-gen, and really helps make a case for this game to have a future on the 360.
Sure a year ago on the PS2 Blitz: The League made a good solid case for itself, which is why we are seeing a 360 version right now. However you would expect that a year later we wouldn’t be playing what appears to my eyes to be a direct port. There is very little different from this game to what we saw on the Playstation 2, besides some minor visual upgrades and maybe a few small gameplay tweaks here and there. Otherwise if you have played the PS2 version, you’re not going to have a whole lot of fun playing it again for the 360.
It’s a shame that Midway did not do more with this Blitz title for the Xbox 360 to really show us where they want to take this franchise. If you have played the Playstation 2 version of this game, there would be no reason to go back and play it again on the Xbox 360, because this is really a good looking port of that game. Fans who haven’t played this game would have a good time renting this game, anything more than that is probably overkill.
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.