|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Midway Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Midway Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 13, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
This is where the game is somewhat hit-or-miss. Blitz football is partially defined by its Clash Meter and Unleashed Mode, which, when used correctly, usually determines the winner. As you run successful plays, your Clash Meter fills. Once its full, you have the ability to send the play into slow motion on offense or defense by holding down the left shoulder button.
Its a key element to the game, as it allows more time to make decisions, complete certain plays when needed, and target your tackles better to cause serious damage to cripple your opponent and leave him writhing in pain. But youll need to use your Clash build-up sparingly if you want to reach Unleashed Mode. Filling up six Clash Meters allows you to become Unleashed, similar to an NFL Street Gamebreaker 2, at which point you basically become unstoppable for a single play that will usually lead to a sure touchdown if used on offense or a turnover on defense. The system is a staple in the Blitz franchise that has never added more depth to the arcade, but is better than ever using Precision Aim Tackling.
The new Late Hit Beatdown feature elaborates on the wildly entertaining late hits with a series of cheap shots that allow you to go so far as to slam an opponent then stomp on his helmet after a play or beat him with his own helmet. Randomly mashing buttons pulls off various beatdowns, and the other player is given an equal opportunity to counter the attack after the whistle and return the punishment. Breaking the traditional rules of football is something Blitz has long been famous for, but never has the after-whistle violence been so brutal. While dirty plays such as these may not appeal to the more traditional football purists, they sure rub salt in the wound and allow for some fun trash-talk when playing against an opponent. Braggadocios elements are taken to new levels with player-controlled touchdown celebrations as well, another element Blitz has implemented that distracts from on-field gameplay but adds to the juvenile fun of the game. Choose how you want to celebrate when scoring a TD, with options that are as lewd as expected, including one that involves dropping trou and wiping your butt on the goalpost. While its not all that functional, it does provide a chuckle for the snot-nosed ten year-old inside all of us.
Another highlight of The League II and its predecessor is the attention given to the massive, fictional stadiums that pack people in to witness bone-crushing football. The futuristic architecture of the colossal arenas provides elaborate backdrops like no other football title on the market. Stadiums such as the Nightmare Cathedral and Miami Stadium are completely over-the-top atmospheres, and are especially so when combined with the sound of roaring crowds and loud music to parallel the exaggerated football happening on-field. Overall, there is a dark aesthetic to Blitz that also emphasizes the corrupt undertone of the game.
In all, Blitz: The League II is a fun game that doesnt take itself too seriously. Therefore, players shouldnt take in-game action too seriously either, and if true-to-life football, play-calling, and tactics is your thing, Blitz is definitely not for you. At the most, this is an arcade intended for a good time, though the fun can tend to be short-lived.
CCC Freelance Writer