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North America

NFL Blitz 2002

by Daniel Bloodworth - March 6, 2002, 10:47 pm EST


Midway fumbles with the handheld version of its over-the-top football franchise. Read inside for more details.

I’ve had this game for a few weeks now and I’ve been trying hard to find something good to say about it. Unfortunately, I think this is probably one of the worst games I’ve played in a long time.

There are several different play modes, including Exhibition, Season, and Mini-Games. Notice anything missing here? Blitz happens to be one of the rare GBA games missing a multiplayer mode. It’s football! Most people buy football games so they can play with their friends. The omission of a multiplayer mode is simply inexcusable.

The other major gripe I have with this game is that it is seriously hindered by the lack of a save battery. That’s right. If you want to play a whole season, better have a notebook ready because you’ll be writing down passwords every time you finish a game.

Gameplay couldn’t be more straightforward, but that doesn’t make it good. Generally, I can make it to the goal line in three runs or less. Getting a touchdown is as simple as passing to an open player and holding down turbo. Defense is a little more challenging at first, but it wasn’t long before I ended up preventing the opposing team from ever gaining any ground. The main thing that I noticed about the gameplay is that every game feels the same. No matter what plays you choose or what team you play, it feels like the same experience, and it’s just plain dull.

There’s not much to the mini-games. “Rules” simply explains the control scheme. “Playbook” lets you study all of the plays without a time limit. “Practice” allows you to perfect your kicks or plays, and “Trivia” is composed of a series of multiple choice questions followed by a repetitive voice saying “It’s good!” or “No good!”

The graphics engine does use the GBA’s sprite scaling and Mode-7 functions to handle the players and the field, but there are a lot of problems graphically. The players, field, and backgrounds are all very blurry. There are also a number of graphical bugs still in the game such as players disappearing and reappearing quite often and colored bars flashing across the field from time to time.

Sound has its ups and downs. There is a fair amount of voice - grunts when players are tackled, a few taunts, and an announcer that calls out touchdowns and other important events. The voice can be repetitive at times, but since there’s no music during gameplay, it’s better than complete silence. There is music during various menus and at the end of a game, but it’s terribly distorted and painful to listen to.

When it comes down to it, Blitz 20-02 feels like it was thrown together in a weekend. It’s a simple football game that can serve as a brief diversion, but it’s hardly enough to get excited about.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
3 6 7 5 2 4

Mode 7 and sprite scaling effects are present, but that’s all the game has going for it. The game is blurry overall and is full of graphical glitches.


Sound effects and voice samples are decent and give the game an aggressive feel, but the music is absent during gameplay and terrible when it is present.


Once you learn how to identify your players, it’s simple to pass the ball and run all the way to the goal. On defense however, there are times when control feels somewhat stiff, and it also is more difficult to spot which player you’re controlling.


The best that can be said is that it’s mediocre. There’s nothing to really grab you, but if you need a simple football game to pass the time, it’s fair enough.


Once you’ve played one or two games, you know what to expect from the rest. The lack of multiplayer and tedious password save will have you returning the game back or tossing it in a drawer in no time.


The game just doesn’t feel like a finished product. There’s a mild amount of football fun, but it doesn’t deliver. Maybe Midway will have some time to polish next year’s game, but count 20-02 out.


  • Easy to pick up and play.
  • Licensed teams.
  • A host of graphical problems and poor sound.
  • Lack of multiplayer or battery save makes for a very limited experience.
  • Little to no challenge even for those unfamiliar with football.
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Sports
Developer Midway

Worldwide Releases

na: NFL Blitz 2002
Release Sep 17, 2001

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