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Outlook Entertainment
GENRE: Sports
PLAYERS:   1-2
August 12, 2002
NFL Blitz

NFL Blitz

Blitz: The League

Blitz: The League II

Blitz: The League II

More in this Series
 Written by Matt Swider  on September 11, 2002

Review: I'm sure that if the announcer even said ?NFL Blitz? when the game started up, it would be muffled and accurately come out NFL Shitz!

When NFL Blitz premiered on the Game Boy Advance last year, we were all greatly disappointed by the terrible outcome and only hoped that 2003 could bring a more apt portable version of Blitz. Obviously, one year just isn't enough. Since Game Boy Color, countless flaws have sacked this Blitz series time and time again and its move to Game Boy Advance didn't offer any vast improvements. Putting Outlook Entertainment in charge as the developer for the second year in a row, Midway hasn't been able to come up with solid conversion of NFL Blitz, which has gotten progressively worse in 20-03.

Sure Blitz 20-03 attempts to imitate its console counterparts with all the NFL teams available and subtle unnecessary roughness between plays, but that's about all the portable version shares with the successful console series. After reviewing the PlayStation 2 edition of Blitz 20-03, I can assure you that I am a fan of the games and this effort just doesn't cut it. The Mode-7 engine is filled with tacky sprites moving along at an incredible choppy rate. The blocky figures that ?represent' players are heavily pixelated and will move around only to cause confusion and chaos. This makes things unbelievably frustrating, even for an average football jock.

In playing my first game of NFL Blitz 20-03, I mistakenly restarted it simply because I thought I had put in the code for distorted players. Another confusing aspect is the shifting camera. The usual motion of the camera is to rotate around when an interception occurs and possibly if a turn over of downs takes place, however Outlook has taken the liberty of doing this following almost every play. This adds to the level of uncertainty already set in by the horrible gameplay. Add in the fact that Outlook ?enhanced' the AI in computer opponents and you have yourself the most unfair and almost unplayable football game to hit the GBA.

After playing several hours of any sports game, even NFL Blitz on the home console, many of the announcer's comment or player's dialogue will repeat. Here, we find that it happen in a single outing. While the voices are clearer than one might expect after seeing the rest of what Blitz has offered thus far, I can't tell you how many times I've hear a tackled offender blurt ?Oh I think it's broken.? The announcer is barely existent and doesn't even supply the customary yell of ?Midway presents NFL BLITZ? at the start of the game. It's probably because they didn't have enough room after including so much great trivia.

Besides that grand old trivia, NFL Blitz 20-03 builds upon multiplayer by offering two-player link play in addition to the established season and exhibition games. However, why would you drag some one else into playing this game besides torture? Plus, considering that fact you'll need to purchase an additional copy of the game to do this, I don't think this mode will be tired out anywhere in the world, unless owners attend some the same ?I got screwed as a consumer' club.

Bottom Line
After spending five years trying to bring its NFL Blitz series to the portable end of the platform spectrum and getting nowhere down the field, Midway needs to do some serious thinking. Judging from the production of NFL Blitz 20-03, Outlook doesn't seem to be making the plays and has gotten sacked by EA's Madden portable both years. And, something tells me it's not going to be third time's a charm for the developer. I think it's already a Turn Over on Downs for Outlook Entertainment, which is something Midway will hopefully see as a result of Blitz 20-03.

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