_____This holiday season, out of all the NFL games that are out there, NFL Blitz stands out in a league of its own. Featuring fast-paced in-your-face action paralled by none other, this game is a definite winner and has found a home on my hard drive. From the makers of NBA Jam and NBA Hangtime, what else could you expect from them except the best arcade sporting games?
_____First of all, I'm not going to take away any credit from NFL Gameday 99 or Madden NFL 99 at all, saying they are inferior games. As a matter of fact, NFL Blitz is in a completely different category. Madden NFL 99 (which Gerry gave a very high rating to) leans toward a simulation of how a real game feels. Full 15 minute quarters, substitution, coaching, etc... NFL Blitz, on the other hand, sports an arcade style *BOOM* action that shoves you in the middle of the game immediately. Fans of NBA Jam will be familiar with the fast style that NFL Blitz runs with.
_____What amazed me the most, though, was the smoothness of its 3D renderer. I'm not entirely sure whether or not this game requires a 3D accelerator to play, but I am sure that if you own one, you're more than likely to have a silky gaming experience. Personally, I own a Voodoo Rush 3D accelerator card and a Pentium 100. That is the peasant of all low-class pentiums, yet I was still able to run the game with very minor hiccups and choppiness. Anyways, I digress. Onto more features!
_____When the game is first loaded up, it jumps right into a demo of two teams head to head against each other. Just like in the arcades, press your "start-up" key, in which you can choose all the teams available, including Carolina and Jacksonville. The team you choose have their roster's set already, with 5 on offense and 5 on defense (... I think, don't quote me on that though). You can chose whether or not you wish to keep records (a la NBA Jam) or just play exhibitionally.
_____As the action begins, there are no coin-flips to hamper the game, just a simple rule that the first player person gets to receive first. The camera rotates around while the place-kicker launches the ball into the air. Once you catch the kick, your game-playing instincts take over. You manuever the player by the arrow keys, dodging left and right, stiff-arming the defense, and leaping over diving line-backers. You are always the quarter back... until you either hand off to your running back or pass a bullet to your wide-receiver. Then, you take over as that person who is then carrying the football.
_____One of the funniest things about NFL Blitz are the character animations. The part I love the most are when they go disco dancing in the end zone, or right after the player gets sacked really hard by 3 defenders, he pops right up and gets into a fighting stance. Occationally, the defending team would act the good-sport and offer the sacked quarterback a hand up. Oh, and another part about this game is the "no such thing as excessive violence" rule! That means right after I tackle the receiver, I can get up, and tackle him again, and again! It's hilarious, and the guy will just keep getting pushed around like a rag doll.
_____I think I've rambled long enough. NFL Blitz is not the best-looking football game (I think that honor goes to Madden 99), nor is it fully loaded with Full Motion Video etc... In my opinion, it doesn't have to be... it's just plain fun. I honestly I can play for 3 hours straight, and not get tired of it. The game is very fast paced, each quarter has only 2 minutes (a la NBA Jam) and already prepared playbooks for your use. Of course, the playbook doesn't really matter, since most of the time I'm just scrambling around looking for anybody open. To round out this review, if you're a sports game fan, BUY IT! It'll give you hours of laughs and entertainment, I guarentee you. =)