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NFL Blitz 2002






Out Now

Are you ready for some Football? We are too. The full review of NFL Blitz 2002 inside.

NFL Blitz 2002 comes from the long line of arcade style sports games from Midway. The series is based on the notion that the current popular sports are for sissies and could use a serious revamping. NFL Blitz steps to the plate. NBA Jam, and NHL Hitz are examples of other games in the same vein as Midway's most recent entry, NFL Blitz 2002. The best aspect of NFL Blitz 2002 is that, gamers who have no interest in the actual sport of football can play and enjoy this game just as easily as the die hard foot ball fans. NFL Blitz 2002 was first released in the arcades and was met with a very receptive response from gamers. In past outings, the NFL Blitz franchise has faltered somewhat due to a lack of focus on what makes arcade style games so fun and easy to pick up. Will the trend continue, read on for the answer.

Like in past Blitz titles, Midway decided to do away with all of the penalties that are currently slowing down the current game a football to a crawl, this feature makes the game extremely fast paced and in some cases down right brutal. Forget about pass interference, that's okay and in fact it's encouraged. Instead of the typical ten yards for a first down, players must gain 30 yards to get a new set of downs. Another aspect in the game that differs from real life NFL is that NFL Blitz 2002 features less players on the field then the real deal. Rather than loading the field with eleven players per side, you'll have the ability to control eight players, which is actually one more then in previous editions of the NFL Blitz franchise. The extra player, called the "Impact player" can be controlled to perform several different actions or tasks. For example, on defense the impact player can execute a rush or work man to man defense. On offense you can set your impact player to go deep for the long bomb or cover. I liked the idea of the impact player and it gives a game a extra layer of strategy to go along with the arcade style gameplay.

The game does feature a wealth of plays, and to be honest with you I didn't use 75 percent of them. I concentrated on the big yard plays and found myself doing very well to gain the victory. Add to the fact that each play can be flipped so you do have a impressive arsenal to use against your opponents. The A button is used to hike the ball as well as to hurdle over an approaching player. Behind the line of scrimmage on offense, players use a double pull of the right trigger to perform a spin move. A double tap provides a quick boost of turbo to speed through the defensive line or to leave the other players in the dust while scrambling for some serious yardage on offense. To perform a jump and pass, players press the A button + B button together at the same time. The quarterback hook slide is done by double tapping the A button or Y button. A fast pass is performed by pressing the right trigger along with the B button or X button. Over the line of scrimmage players can perform a lateral back by pressing the B button along with the directional pad toward a nearby receiver. The high hurdle is performed by pressing the A button with the right trigger. To dive forward for the last ditch effort of obtaining more yards players double tap the A button along with the right trigger. To stiff-arm the approaching defensive players, you press the X button or B button along with the right trigger. While behind the line of scrimmage, players can pull and hold the left trigger to view a icon above the head of the receivers, players can press the appropriate button to pass to that receiver. The basic moves of defense are performed by pressing the A button and the direction pad towards the oncoming offensive ball handler. To intercept and to swat the ball you press the Y button. And to push the opponent you press both the B button as well as the right trigger. It sounds complicated but it becomes second nature after only a short time playing the game. The players and the controls are very responsive and it never feels like the controls are lagging behind the button input on the controller.

NFL Blitz 2002 is all about the arcade game play but there are a variety of different modes that will keep even the most jaded football fans in pigskin heaven. In the quick play players get a chance to pick up and play without all of the muss or fuss of fiddling with the options. In the exhibition mode, 1 to 4 players can enter a name and pin number and challenge 31 NFL teams with complete stat tracking and full gameplay customization. In the season mode, players can compete and play a full NFL season. In the tournament mode you and three of your friends can play a tournament with four to eight teams.

The graphics in the game are very nice and NFL Blitz 2002 certainly wins the award for the best looking football game on the Xbox. The framerate stays at a rock solid 30 to 60 frames per second and the animation is also top notch. Some of the big hits will make you cringe in your lazy boy as your player learns the meaning of pain. The arenas are all faithfully redone as well.

Presentation wise, Midway games have always shined above the rest and NFL Blitz 2002 is no exception. The music fits the frantic pace of the game play and the menus and player taunts, grunts, and hits are all done very well.

Mike Regan
Huh huh huh, I said ball handler.

NFL Blitz 2002: The Scores













The Final Word:  NFL Blitz 2002 is one of the best Football titles on the Xbox and if you were disappointed with NFL Fever and John Madden you might want to pick this title up. The frantic pace of the arcade style game play will keep most players happy till the start of the next season.

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