The long-in-the-works high-definition revival of NFL Blitz has finally arrived, less than three months after EA officially announced it last fall. It’s an idea that gamers of all stripes could get behind; after all, you didn’t need to be a football fan to enjoy the original Blitz at the turn of the millennium.
NFL Blitz (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed])
In fact, there’s not a whole lot of player differentiation to speak of. EA didn’t even account for left-handed quarterbacks, so Michael Vick and Tim Tebow are both righties as far as Blitz is concerned. And while teams’ home and away jerseys exist, users have no control over them, so games will sometimes feature both teams in their home colors or road whites. Players do actually have ratings in four areas, but the only place you can view them is within the Elite League mode. And I didn’t have more trouble defeating supposedly better teams, or less against worse teams. I’m guessing that’s a function of the designers’ desire to ensure that games ultimately come down to the skill of the players holding the controllers, not the ones on the virtual gridiron. Balance always had paramount importance in Midway’s arcade classics, and this game is no different.
NFL Blitz’s online co-op offerings are similarly robust. You can simply jump into a co-op game with up to three different friends, including a guest on the couch with you. For those who want a deeper experience, there’s the Blitz Teams mode, in which you create a team -- with a custom name, logo, and banner -- and invite a buddy, whether local guest or online friend, to be the co-owner. Then it’s up to the two of you to take your Blitz Team to the top of local, regional, and national leaderboards. None of the games I played were lag-free, but the latency wasn’t so bad as to be a hindrance. EA has gone the extra yard online, with a feature set that rivals full retail games.
THE VERDICT - NFL Blitz
Reviewed by Samit Sarkar
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