Review: Yes, I'll have a serving of football with extra violence. Hold the referees.
Football, we all love it. Now what about football with no rules? We'd love that, and NFL Blitz 2000 brings you the entire experience of a no rules arcade football game. The series of NFL Blitz games originated in the arcade, and immediately became an arcade hit. The popularity of the game in the arcade inspired developer Midway into creating Playstation, Dreamcast, and Nintendo 64 incarnations of the game so it could be enjoyed outside of the arcade. How does the Nintendo 64 version sum up? Read on.
The visuals of the game are great. The players look realistic in motion and they do not look like a bunch of polygons and shapes as they are smoothed out to realism. Dives, passes, catches, and hurdles are all animated perfectly, with nearly no flaw. Possibly the only flaw in the players is that all quarterbacks throw right-handed, though some in real life may be left-handed, like Steve Young. But Midway's attention to detail was not just limited to the players. All stadiums and arenas are taken from a real life perspective. The home teams logo is at center field, the NFL logos are at the 40 yard lines, and the audience always sports the home teams colors mostly, and a bit of the visitors colors. Camera views and angles are excellent for the game, and are always positioned in the right place so they will never annoy you. The FPS (frames per second) may drop when numerous players are rushing, but the slowdown is minimal. The FPS stays healthy at all other points in the game. But of course the best parts of the graphics are the nifty helmet presentations and the beautiful cheerleader pictures.
As for the audio of the game, it's not very far from being perfect. Hilarious comments can be heard on the field from players after tackles, touchdowns, and interceptions. The announcers in the background also comment with sayings such as, "Was that absolutely necessary?" or "Ouch! That must've hurt!" All these bring you more and more into the game, but some can be heard so often that it may get a little bit annoying. The music is the same throughout the game, and is an arcade-style, fast paced tune that I personally love.
The gameplay is magnificent. The player who you are controlling always does exactly what you want it to do. The controls are basic and not at all confusing, which really makes the game more playable and enjoyable. Some of the buttons you may want to use though can sometimes be hard to reach, and this can get a bit frustrating unless you somehow manage to reach them.
The game includes all players and teams from the 2000 season and jerseys are authentic and look as they do in real life. The game includes three modes, arcade, tournament, and season. Arcade is your basic game, and may have 1-4 players participating. From options you may choose the difficulty level, and how long each quarter is. Tournament is an 8 team showdown for the Superbowl, and you can play with up to 8 players here, 1 for each team. And then season is your basic football season, and this mode is for 1 player only.
NFL Blitz 2000 features a superb multiplayer mode. 4 player arcade games will keep you and your friends up all night, and when you want to stop you just say "One more game." But then after that game you'll say it again and again, and unless you are keeping track of time you will probably end up playing for hours straight. When you got a party going, start up a tournament and see who is the best. Tournament mode in Blitz 2000 is probably the best multiplayer you can find for a sports game, ever. Just a regular 2 player arcade game is enough to keep you and your friend playing for a few hours, and you'll just be laughing away when you pick the other player up and throw him to the ground.
To save in the game it is required for you to have a Controller Pak to save to. The game is compatible with the Rumble Pak and puts it to good use. The game though does not take advantage of the Expansion Pak, and if it did I would expect the game to have been a whole lot better.
The replay value of this game is good. The multiplayer mode will keep you coming back as it is extremely fun. But if you don't have a lot of friends or they don't come over a lot, then this game will probably last only a couple of months as it can get a bit monotonous after a while. But if you party and your friends come over a lot, then you will never ever get bored of this game.