Blitz: The League II Review
Being a fan of the Blitz series back in the late 90s through the Blitz 20-02 and 20-03 games, I'm surprised that it took me 3 years after the release of Blitz: The League II to actually get around to playing it. I completely ignored the first title in The League series but it seems that it's not a huge deal going into The League II.
So far the only thing I see transferring over from Blitz: The League I to Blitz: The League II is 15 teams and some key players as well as some story elements explained in loading screens in The League II.
Blitz: The League II has several key features that add up to make it one entertaining arcade sports game. Per usual Blitz fashion there are no penalties, late hits, crazy moves, and now with injuries, clash and unleashed moves and a story driven campaign mode.
One major new change to Blitz: The League II is the clash meter. When you do special things during games you build up clash icons and when you reach a set amount you gain an unleashed move. Clash icons are gained by doing things such as juking the rusher, stiff arming, clash catching a pass, sacking, TD celebration and so on. To even do certain clash moves and dirty hits you need to build up your clash meter. Every yard you gain, field goal made, etc builds it up and you can use L2 to activate clash. Clash can help you catch a difficult pass, cause 3 man tackles or even injure a player.
Once an unleashed move is gained you can pretty guarantee a major injury when you tackle a player, or a fumble or major stamina loss at the least. Unleashed can also be use to guarantee a catch or evade defenders as the QB. There are 31 total injuries in the game. All of which are cringing and gruesome. Depending on the injury the player can be out for 1 play to a whole season. So injuring key players can help secure a win.
In the campaign mode of Blitz: The League II you play a new collegiate recruit nicknamed Franchise. The owner of the LA Riots has you in his sights to join his superstar team that he's drafted to make a championship team. Franchise declines and says he'll only sign if he plays for his home town team. Thus, you create a team and choose Franchise's stats through a press conference question/answer session.
The campaign is series of cut scenes spread out across games the player plays to rank up in each 3 divisions eventually making it to the Division Championship. During the campaign players can train their team to up their stats to players as well as upgrade certain team skills and even customize your roster. I found the campaign to be fun and a nice addition to a sports game.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this title, but I do have a few negatives. Franchise came off as an obnoxious, boastful, stereotype of a bad movie football star. While the cut scenes were well done, every time Franchise spoke I just wanted to punch him in his wide jaw. Towards the end of the campaign he seems to get a little, but not completely better. Like most sports games, there's music during the menus. Blitz: The League II has some, mostly obscure, rap and hip-hop songs and a few rock songs, but not enough. The same song will cycle a lot and people will grow tired of them quickly. My final major complaint is it seems like during the final Division games and the Championship game, Midway enhanced the player's rival in the games to be almost cheap. I'm not sure if it was done to make you hate them more and them to be difficult but it was just me. The team I played seem to intercept my passes almost 95% of the time even when not near my receivers. When they tackled my players a fumble or injury was almost certain. After redoing the final game several times I finally won and felt so satisfied.
In the end those negatives aren't enough to keep me from loving this gem. I tend to play this several times a day without growing tired. I love the team creating in the game and it keeps me coming back to think up new teams to create. Blitz: The League II might not be loved by all but if you have any interest in football or just some interesting, wacky sports game that's not hard to pick up and learn- I say give this game a shot. It's worth it.