NFL Blitz 2001 for Dreamcast is a worthy update and a giant step above the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions of the same name.
Just as football fanatics welcome their sport with open arms during the fall, football video game players welcome the latest releases in the NFL Blitz series. Known for its blend of standard football rules and violent gameplay, NFL Blitz is the fan favorite alternative to the standard fare of the Maddens and Gamedays of the world. In keeping with this tradition, last year's Dreamcast release of NFL Blitz 2000 was an unqualified success, but a number of visual and gameplay issues hindered its attempt at immortality. Thankfully, Midway is back this year to set things right, offering up a multitude of adjustments and additions in its latest release, NFL Blitz 2001.
The Dreamcast version of NFL Blitz 2001 is rife with features. As a licensed NFL product, the game contains all 31 NFL teams and current season rosters with more than 200 real-life players. There are also a number of hidden players to unlock, ranging from popular Midway game characters to NFL radio and television personalities. Should these stock warriors not suit your needs, there are create-a-player and create-a-team editors that allow you to alter players' abilities, names, and jerseys. The game's modes - arcade, season, and tournament - offer gaming for any skill level. Arcade mode incorporates CPU assistance and cheat codes, ensuring that games are never too one-sided, while season and tournament modes eschew assistance and power-ups for a more pure football experience. As pure as football can get with zero penalties, two-minute quarters, and 30-yard downs, anyway. You can also challenge human opponents in one-on-one, two-on-two, or one-on-two matchups. Further, the game tracks season progress for multiple players, meaning there's no reason to shut friends out on the road to Super Bowl glory. Unlike its Nintendo 64 and PlayStation brothers, the Dreamcast NFL Blitz 2001 is also adequate in the stats department, recording 17 team and 48 individual-player statistics across six categories, including league leaders.
More important than statistics, the comprehensive playbook editor from last year's game returns in NFL Blitz 2001. The editor gives you the ability to outfit your arsenal with 36 offensive and 18 defensive plays from a stock of 60 predesigned battle plans. Some plays will seem familiar, as many of the more popular ones from last year - such as the cross zip - lay in wait for you to use. Should these default strategies not suffice, you can add extra pages containing nine additional slots for any defensive or offensive plays you've created. As another added Dreamcast perk, the DC NFL Blitz 2001 editor provides a decent amount of player positioning and movement options, in addition to the standard man to man, zone, and rush choices. Thus, you can designate not only general strategy, but precision player movements as well.
A new addition offered by NFL Blitz 2001 is the party games section, which includes such diversions as first-and-goal frenzy, goal-line stand, and QB challenge. The first minigame, first-and-goal frenzy, places you on the ten-yard line in an attempt to score a touchdown in four downs or less. Should you succeed, you'll then try from the 20, then the 30, and so on. The second minigame, goal-line stand, is the exact opposite, as you must prevent your opponent from scoring touchdowns The final minigame, QB challenge, is where true excitement lies. You're hiked three balls and ordered to pass to three receivers, each of which is following his own route down the field. The order in which you must pass to them and the routes they run are chosen by the computer milliseconds before you throw. You get almost no time to think, and since there are multiple attempts, the result is a "Simon says" game as frustrating and addictive as Konami's Beatmania.
- Player Reviews: 3
- Game Universe:
- NFL Blitz 2001 (DC, PS, N64, GBC),
- NFL Blitz 20-02 (GBA, GC, PS2, XBOX),
- NFL Blitz 20-03 (XBOX, PS2, GC, GBA),
- NFL Blitz Pro (PS2, XBOX, GC),
- Blitz: The League (PS2, XBOX, X360, WII, PSP),
- NFL Blitz (PC, N64, PS, ARC, GBC),
- NFL Blitz 2000 (PC, DC, N64, PS, GBC, ARC),
- Blitz: The League II (PS3, X360),
- NFL Blitz (PS3, X360),
- NFL Blitz Special Edition (N64)