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     " It's the brutal football game that allows late hits and lights you on fire when you've crippled enough people. "

      Title: NFL Blitz 2002 by Midway

      Format: Xbox Football

      Reviewing Monkey: Mojo Jojo

      The Hype: Late hit and elbow drop football is back! This time, the nice folks at Midway are pushing it to the newest system gaming has to offer- the Xbox.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: As with most of the games coming out for Xbox right now, judging the graphics on Blitz is an unfairly difficult task. The reason: when you compare it to just about everything that's come before it, it looks fantastic. At the same time, though, you know darn well that they aren't pushing the Box nearly as far as it can go. The character models are pretty but overly blocky, the stadiums and fans are entertaining but bare and pixilated, and the fields are uninspired. That again, however, is comparing Blitz to what we know the Xbox is capable of- not to what it looks like compared to older games of its ilk. 3.5 out of 5

      Sound: Ahh…Will the sound of bones collapsing and men screaming in pain ever get old? I certainly hope not. And, certainly, Blitz hasn't fallen into any of the sophistries that would make it lean that way. Great smacks, killer crunches, and some fun head-vs.-ground noises mean that you'll keep the volume up just to hear the pain. When they're going to get smart and add some serious trash talking, though, I still don't know. 4 out of 5

      Playability: Ever designed to be the "simple" NFL game, Blitz holds heavy to its arcade roots and provides a 5-minutes-to-play control scheme. That's the good news. The bad news is that all of that simplicity comes at the sacrifice of a whole lot of high-end control. Passing is sketchy at best, picks and tackles are definitely button smashing holdovers, and the number of plays available will leave you longing for a bout of Madden.
          Still, when all's said and done this is the one we keep coming back to when we want some quick, dirty smash mouthed football. Its tiny learning curve also means that it's the hands down choice when wannabe monkeys invade our office and need to be schooled. Add to that the ever-present late hits and career ending injury animations and you've got one that's worth keeping around. 3.5 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: As with most sports titles, season and tournament modes are what give the single player game longevity. Neither great nor overly suffering, these modes offer all of the same-old-same-old with absolutely no innovation. Which, sadly, I suppose is to be expected. But also as with most sports games, it's the multiplayer that shines and dines. While there's nothing new or particularly exciting, it's always fun to go head to head or team up with other monkeys. Experience the great joy of dropping an elbow on your buddy after you've knocked him on his ass or listen to him whine when you rack up hit points for stomping his melon into the ground. Lots of fun. 3.5 out of 5

      Story/Dramatics: It's the brutal football game that allows late hits and lights you on fire when you've crippled enough people. Yippee, but not really story oriented. NA

      The Verdict:

       Certainly not ground breaking by any stretch of the imagination, Blitz 2002 isn't a bad Xbox launch for the property. That being said, though, if you've already got a Blitz game for any other system I wouldn't worry about getting this one- there's nothing new here.

      The Good: Reasonably pretty and smash mouth at it's finest.

      The Bad: Nothing new here…Nothing new at all.

      The Overall Ugly: If you don't have a Blitz game and want one, this ain't bad. Otherwise, I'd wait until they actually do something new with it.

      What it's Worth: 25 bucks.

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