NFL Blitz 20-02,NFL Blitz 2002 Review

NFL Blitz 20-02,NFL Blitz 2002 Info


  • Sports


  • N/A


  • Midway


  • Midway

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • GameCube
  • PS2


Stop, Drop, and Roll, Blitz, Roll…

In 1993, arcades across the United States witnessed the birth of a new genre of

video games. I remember quite clearly the first time it hit me: “Good God, that

point guard is on fire! Literally!” The game was, of course, Midway’s NBA Jam,

and the crazy flames leaping off John Stockton’s back were a sight for sore gamer



to 2002. Midway has made a fortune breaking all the rules, and has already found

some arcade success on the Playstation 2 with the solid NHL

Hitz 2002
. Now its most popular series has made its way to the next-generation,

and though NFL Blitz 2002 isn’t fully on fire, it’s still pretty hot.

For those new to the “arcade football” experience, here’s a crash course. This game has absolutely no rules. It doesn’t bother you with silly things like kickoffs or 10-yard first downs (you need 30), and late hits are not only encouraged, they’re one of the most satisfying elements of the game.

Start the game up and you’ll find all the usual play modes: Exhibition, Season,

Quick Start, and a Tournament feature that lets you create your own playoff

tree. The theme here is nothing fancy. Every little bit of Blitz is focused

on getting you directly to the bloody meat of the game: the hits.

And in this case, the hits are about as good as they can get. Bodies are constantly

screaming across the screen in every direction. Hit a guy with good momentum

going and he’ll be thrown back 10 yards. Not only that, but Midway’s actually

found a way to make this stuff look, dare I say, graceful? That may be stretching

it a bit, but the Blitz team has really stepped it up in the animation

department. You’ll see new motions constantly, and for the most part, everything

looks natural.

Graphically, NFL Blitz 2002 is right up there with the best next generation

football games. The turf looks like real grass and the players look pretty good.

They even added details missing in past installments – check out a replay close-up

of your tight end’s forearm as he reaches for a overthrown pass and you’ll see


But realistic, it ain’t. These guys are all superheroes with massive shoulders

and perfect abs. Heck, the primary Blitz motion capture model wasn’t

even a football player. It was John Batar, the guy who’s chiseled body was used

to create Scorpion in Mortal Kombat. But that’s all part of the fun.

You’re not playing this game for its realistic player models, you’re playing

it so that you can beat the living crap out of your buddy.

Though improvements are obvious in the looks, the controls leave a bit to

be desired. I’ve been playing video games for 15 years and after some serious

hours playing Blitz 2002, I’m still baffled by its control scheme. Say

you’re on a big run with Terry Jackson. You’re coming up on the goal line, but

some pesky Packer safeties are on your heels. Dive man, dive! You instinctively

go for Triangle or Square or some comparably painless button, but no such luck.

To dive in NFL Blitz 2002, you’ve got to hold R2 while you double

tap the X button
. No kidding. Double tap. By the way, you’re playing one

of the fastest-paced football games ever made, so you must be lightning quick

with that double tap.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter so much which buttons you press because the game is a button masher. If you know how to hike and throw to an open guy, you can play. If you happen to squeeze extra yards out of a run because you know how to stiff arm, then you’ll be better than most.


for the new ‘Impact Player’ feature. Before each play, you can program a designated

player to do one of several actions (blitz, cover, go deep, etc.). While it

sounds like an interesting proposition, after the hike, all bets are off and

the button mashing takes over.

Another slight beef I have is that it’s impossible to break away. You’ll blister your fingers trying every button combination to break tackles while sprinting for the end zone, but it just won’t happen. This travesty wreaks havoc on the play-by-play; it’s quite possible that you’ll never hear the end of “he could go all the w–!”

Interrupted sentences aside, the sound in Blitz 2002 is top notch.

The hits are loud and brutal, trash talking is almost constant, and the play-by-play

is appropriately tongue-in-cheek. New this year is a color commentator whose

sole purpose, it seems, is to point out the obvious: “You know Vince, if he

gets a touchdown here they’ll put some points on the board!” Hmmm.

Rounding out this already full package is a feature that I’d love to see in

every next-gen console game: DVD extras. Game designers now have a whopping

4.7 gigs at their geeky fingertips, and I for one am happy that they’re not

letting it go to waste. In Blitz 2002, the extras come in the form of

several behind-the-scenes videos. True, you’ve got to love this game to enjoy

the extras, but for those that do, they’re a nice bonus.

And true to Midway form, you should know that in this gritty, manly football game, you can be a clown. Or a horse. Even a deer if you’d like. Enough said.

NFL Blitz 2002 is not going to change the world, and you certainly

aren’t going to learn much about planning out a well-balanced drive. But you

will get to pulverize your best friend, and in my book, that’s priceless.


It's pretty
Hits are huge
DVD extras
Confusing controls
Too hard to break away