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Arcade1Up NFL Blitz Legends Review - A Timeless Classic Reborn

Arcade1Up NFL Blitz Legends Review – A Timeless Classic Reborn

Arcade1Up has a reputation for bringing beloved games and franchises back from the dead with solid home arcade machines. His latest nostalgia-fueled cabinet is arguably his most exciting yet. Arcade1Up NFL Blitz Legends reintroduces the football classic to players after more than a decade since its last installment. It’s classic Blitz, compiling the top three (and best) entries in one place. It has some tweaks when it comes to some of the over-the-top violence, but the core gameplay that fans remember remains intact. NFL Blitz Legends is an awesome throwback with a solid construction that would be a nice addition to any game room.

Similar to Arcade1Up’s NBA Jam cabinets, NFL Blitz Legends supports up to four players locally. It has a wider control bridge that extends well beyond the width of the cabinet itself. That means it takes up more space than the average Arcade1Up cabinet, despite having similar cabinet dimensions to the manufacturer’s other three-quarter scale machines, including the familiar 17-inch screen. That said, you’ll need to squeeze really close to your buddies if four people are playing. It’s more comfortable as a two-player machine, and it’s also more fun having full control over your team instead of sharing it with someone else. Still, the option for four is there, which is a nice bonus so more people can play at the same time.

Each player has three action buttons: jump/tackle, pass/switch defending player and turbo, as well as a start button. If you have experience with other Arcade1Up cabinets, these buttons will be familiar to you. They do the job and feel pretty good, especially considering the price.

The joystick design is where the cabinet excels compared to previous Arcade1Up cabinets. It’s featured as a 49-way joystick, giving it essentially the same range of motion and precision as an analog stick on modern controllers. It makes sense that Arcade1Up took this route. Football relies heavily on precise movement, and these games would likely feel clunky with a traditional four- or eight-way joystick. These worked well in NBA Jam, but that game doesn’t feature the same all-direction movement as Blitz.

NFL Blitz Legends supports up to four players

In addition to allowing realistic and precise movement in any particular direction, your player’s speed directly correlates to how much you move the joystick. For example, when you move the joystick farther forward, your drive accelerates to higher running speeds, much like a gas pedal.

Another similarity it shares with NBA Jam cabinets is the physical design of the joysticks. It uses bat-tops rather than the traditional ball-tops found on many Arcade1Up cabinets. This design mirrors the original NFL Blitz arcade machine.

As for the actual look of the cabinet, the overall design is excellent. With NFL legends like Jerry Rice, Dan Marino and Terrell Davis on the sides, it definitely feels like a fitting ode to that era of football. Unfortunately, Brett Favre is also there, but you don’t have to look at him as long as you place that side of the cabinet near a wall or another cabinet that doesn’t feature the most overrated QB of them all. time who also happens to be a horrible person.

Brett Favre’s inclusion aside, this is one of my favorite Arcade1Up cabinets from a looks standpoint. It has two decorative molded panels for the coin slots on the front, a nice matching riser with graphic logos and a colorful control panel.

The lighted marquee is the only design disappointment here. It looks a little washed out. This may be related to the lights being too close to the front of the marquee. Some cabinets feature lights mounted on the back of the cabinet, while the lights and acrylic front panel are one piece here. Other Arcade1Up cabinets have had disappointing light marquees as well, so this issue isn’t exclusive to Blitz. Either way, it stands out against the rest of the build.

Of course, the biggest concern for most fans is the changes. It’s important to point out that these games came to market at a totally different time than the NFL, before player safety and the reality of the long-term risks – like CTE – that football poses to the brain were widely known. publicized. The NFL sidestepped these critical topics until mountains of research and media attention compelled the organization to make player safety a focal point.

So, as an officially licensed product of the NFL, NFL Blitz Legends ditches late hits. Anyone who’s played a Blitz match probably has fond memories of your opponent’s bulldozer and belly flop after the whistle. The original versions of these games intentionally gave players a few seconds to beat your opponent before the playbook appeared. With NFL Blitz Legends, all three games go straight from whistle to playbook. There are no late hits to speak of, and the cheat code specifically for late hits has been removed (other codes that I tried worked).

NFL Blitz Legends look great with or without the included riser.
NFL Blitz Legends look great with or without the included riser.

Removing late hits does not compromise gameplay integrity. The quirks of Blitz that really contribute to the outcome of the game are still there. It’s still the silly arcade football game you remember, with tackles that launch players five yards like ragdolls and the ability to tackle receivers before the ball hits their hands. There are no penalties to speak of, just how NFL Blitz should be.

Even though the omission of some over-the-top features doesn’t harm the game in the least, it does feel a bit comical. After all, NFL Blitz isn’t remotely realistic to begin with. Attaching it to the really serious topic of chronic brain damage is, well, weird. It was obviously a requirement to board the NFL; thus, the firm would almost certainly not exist without the suppression of late hits. Yet when you consider how long the NFL has waited to take player safety and the long-term health of retired players seriously, the whole situation seems hypocritical. NFL Blitz is a borderline satirization of football; nobody thinks that reflects the actual game, and nobody would think the NFL glorifies reckless behavior on the field by allowing polygonal, disproportionate avatars to drop elbows on your buddies for a laugh.

All three games feature the vast majority of real players who were active in the NFL at the time of release. Stadiums and original playbooks are also included. NFL Blitz, Blitz ’99, and Blitz 2000 all have the same overall feel and gameplay experience, but I imagine most players will spend most of their time with Blitz 2000, just because of its minor improvements and technical advances that make it the pinnacle of the franchise.

You get three games here, but this cabinet is similar to NBA Jam in terms of variety. As you’d expect, the games included are very similar, meaning this three-game compilation is essentially a one-game cabinet. That’s not a bad thing for those who love NFL Blitz, but keep that in mind when comparing it to other cabinets. Arcade1Up. Also, just to clarify, you get the “Gold Edition” of Blitz 2000. This is the version that originally appeared in arcades and closely resembles the gameplay of the console versions.

NFL Blitz Legends captures the pick-and-play mentality well. Games take no longer than fifteen minutes, so it’s great for quick sessions. It helps that the core gameplay has held up remarkably well. NFL Blitz is still as fast, fun and unpredictable as I remember. I’ve played a ton of games already and the loop is still exciting.

Multiplayer with friends is where NFL Blitz gets its legs, and Blitz Legends includes both local and online multiplayer as well as leaderboards. Although the cabinet has been in the wild for months, online servers have just recently come online in beta testing. Although it looks like some users were able to play matches without issue, I can’t find a match, so I haven’t been able to rate the performance online. Since the online mode is in beta testing, it’s obvious that this is a work in progress. Hopefully it starts working properly soon.

The bottom line

Arcade1Up’s NFL Blitz Legends cabinet does for football fans what the NBA Jam cabinets did for basketball fans. It’s a nostalgic trip back to why these games were so popular in the first place. With the help of a wonderfully designed joystick, NFL Blitz is still remarkably fun two decades later. Although four player multiplayer probably won’t be very comfortable for many people due to its compact size, this is an ideal cabinet for those looking for a quick and easy to learn arcade game to play with. their family and friends. The online mode is still in its infancy and unreliable at the moment, so you might want to wait if you’re particularly interested in network play. Like other recent Arcade1Up cabinets, the retail price is a hefty $600 – although the the cabinet has already been reduced by $100 at Best Buy – and team-branded stools are sold separately for $100. This is one of those Arcade1Up cabinets that will appeal to a very specific group of people. If you liked NFL Blitz back in the day, you probably won’t be disappointed.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.

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