Blitz: The League II Review
October 20, 2008 by Jereme Puik
It’s surprising how far the Blitz series has come in the last few years. It was kind of hard to see the famed football franchise lose its NFL license. That didn’t seem to stop Midway though, as they moved on and created their own original league. With Blitz: The League they opened the door for a complete flipside to the rich and fame that comes with being a pro football superstar. Blitz: The League II continues off its predecessor bringing new gameplay elements and an all new story mode. If you’re looking for an alternative to the watered-down licensed competition, is Blitz: The League what you need to get your bone-crushing fill?
You’re in our league now
What makes Blitz: The League II interesting is that it doesn’t stay grounded in the professional mark up that the Madden franchise has. You’re not going up the professional ladder the “right way”. In this league, late hits are encouraged and the beating up of other players is approved and adds pluses to your stats. Before you head into the league gunning to be that star player, you are greeted with your main character, Lawrence Taylor…err, Franchise as the game calls him.
With that, Blitz: The League II continues on from its predecessor with its own Hollywood style script. In this world, steroids are legal and juicing is encouraged by the team trainers. Injuries are a bound in this game. The over-the-top nature of the game is one of its high points as it has always been with the Blitz license. With Clash and Unleashed mode, moves have been expanded from the previous game to offer more variety and with the help of button combinations, can help you target specific areas of the body to inflict pain on. Once your player is injured and heads to the bench with the trainer, a mini-game of sorts helps players target with the shot or twisting of the bones to get your star player back on the field.
Late Hits make a return but in a different fashion. Instead of pulling off all sorts of tackles after the play has ended, you are given a handful of set positions depending on how the player is taken down so you can begin wailing on your opponent. This automatically turns Blitz: The League into one of the most violent football games on the market.
Now while the Clash and Unleashed mode are nice additions to the gameplay, even the injury mini-games are fun to work with, but Late Hits can get old pretty fast. Most of the time you’ll end up forgetting that you have this ability considering you have to stay near the player in order to see the button prompt appear to pull it off. The Late Hits are a way to take stamina away from your opponents by “mashing A as fast as possible” to get the most out of the beat down. But, more then likely players will end up forgetting about it as the dynasty moves on, unless you’re hell bent on beating the crap out of players every time you get the chance.
Off the field though is where most of the background action takes place. This is where you’ll find a lot of the “legal” things to do list. Besides making a name for yourself on the field, you have to associate yourself with the right people off the field. You’ll receive calls on your cell phone from your agent and other friends giving you tasks to complete for each game. Some of them, however, might be impossible to get while others are easy, so it really is a mixed bag.
This is where the AI falls into place. The AI makes it almost impossible to try and catch them on a running play due to the “rubberness” of their players. Almost every other play gives them an opportunity to score a touchdown which makes the overall game a little more on the annoying side then challenging.
It’s hard to look at Blitz: The League II and say it’s quite the accomplishment for the football genre when it’s not that at all. It doesn’t help when players look like plastic and a little too shiny for anyone’s good. With that in mind though, the cinematics in-between games do offer a nice gritty look into the Blitz story and moves things along. Although for some it might be hard to adjust to the downgrade in graphics once you move to the on-field play. Graphics are really a mixed bag here as well in terms of quality, and jump throughout the scale. Seeing the inside of the human body during injuries is a nice touch to give it that extra boost in the violent nature of the game.
Frank Caliendo offers you Madden-like commentary during the games. His script seems a bit lacking, though ,considering after a few plays you might hear a couple of repeating lines from him. Jay Mohr and Lawrence Taylor offer good back up in their respective roles and bring some reality to the game. It’s also always nice to hear some breaking bones during a major tackle. It’s a shame that the soundtrack itself is lacking in some originality. The rap scene is fine for the nature of the game, but gets a bit too stale at times.
Blitz: The League has always been about the over-the-top violence and illegal nature of the league. Perhaps this is what Blitz: The League II greatest strength is. Being violent as possible and inflicting the greatest amount of pain on your opponent while avoiding that same pain from the opposing team. It is always nice to see the inside of the human body and the pain that is being inflicted. The Clash and Unleashed modes offer the greatest form of variety despite everything else that may be lacking in the game.
Blitz: The League II provides only fans of the over-the-top violent football fun that is worth sticking around. Not even the online modes or extra modes really offer much variety out of your standard football game. Tournament mode might give you a good chuckle for a few matches considering the different options you have inside. So, what else is there to say about Blitz: The League II? It’s more or less just an updated version of its predecessor offering very little to call it a true sequel. The updated gameplay modes give it more variety but leave it out in the cold once you step outside the main story campaign.