Tag Archive: lawrence taylor


Originally Published: January 18, 2011, on youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Blitz: The League II for the Xbox 360 from the now defunct Midway Games.

Originally Published: October 22, 2008, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

Brutal. Plain and simple. You wanted to look away, but it was like a car accident. You couldn’t do it. Joe Theisman’s leg was bent at a 45 degree angle in a place where the leg is not supposed to bend. Lawrence Taylor, the man who revolutionized the linebacker position, snapped Joe Theisman’s leg in two for all the world to see.

This play was a microcosm of the intensity and ruthlessness that this man, this defensive god, played the game with. Every play, every game, the original L.T. dominated the game like no other before him had.

L.T. had to retire at some point though, like all football greats. As time passed, the NFL became the “No Fun League” as hard hits and flashy moves have almost all been banned with threats of fines and suspensions from men in suits who have no idea about the smell of freshly cut grass on a Sunday afternoon or the sound of pads clashing as these modern-day warriors battle for the entertainment of millions.

L.T., like many, did not like the direction the NFL had been going. Some have come out and criticized the league in statements. Some players simply ignore the fines and suspensions and play the game the way it is supposed to be played. L.T. took a more creative approach.

Along with the arcade style genii at Midway Games, I present to you Blitz: The League 2.

Okay, so that was a little overly dramatic. Basically, Lawrence Taylor and Midway Games have put out a sequel to the original Blitz: The League. This game is everything you love about football with none of the restrictions. I am talking about smash-mouthed, hard-edged, no holds barred football where you are breaking people, like L.T. broke Joe Theisman, on every other play. Unsportsmanlike conduct is encouraged. In fact, it is all but necessary if you want to win and, by all means, dance as much as you want in the end zone.

This is one of the most fun gaming experiences I have had in a long time. Unlike the sports simulation games, this incorporates the one thing that is always missing: a story. Blitz 2 offers an in-depth story mode that plays out across three seasons that makes you care not only about the franchise like in sports sims, but your players as well. Every player and franchise has a unique history that makes you feel as if you’re rooting for a real team and this is a league that would blow the “No Fun League” out of the water.

Aside from the story mode, there is a great online mode with few people backing out because unlike in the NFL, this game can swing back and forth with each snap of the ball. Also, if you have some friends over for beers or what not, there are some great vs. modes aside from standard exhibition game. One mode has every tackle force a fumble. Another gives you bonus points for injuring opposing players. These bonus modes bring the level of competition to all new heights.

Overall, this game has it all. Great gameplay, engrossing plot, superb voice acting; you can’t go wrong with this game if you like football. I wish they could come out with a Blitz: The League every year so I wouldn’t have to get my football fix from the tired Madden franchise when there isn’t a Blitz option. If you don’t get this game, L.T. will have to make sure you end up like Joe Theisman.

Ratings are based on a system of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

Graphics: 10.0: I don’t give 10s a lot for sports games in terms of visuals. Usually graphics are sacrificed to fit in all the playbooks, rosters, stadiums, etc. This game, though, is one of the most beautiful games I’ve seen in a long time. The weather effects are AMAZING. You look forward to playing in cold weather stadiums just to see how real the snow is. Add in how realistic the players look and I can’t give anything less.

Audio: 9.5: Voice acting is crucial in games and this game delivers in almost every aspect. Jay Mohr nails the greasy, sleazy agent and Frank Caliendo is hysterical as a Madden-esqe color commentator. Add in Lawrence Taylor re-voicing hard hitting linebacker Quentin Sands and almost all the voice acting was spectacular. The only thing I took away from was that I felt the play by play commentator became tiring and little too quickly and so I had to dock it from the game’s score. Aside from that minor critique, music, SFX, and voice acting are all top notch.

Plot/Plot Development: 9.0: Usually, this is N/A, but this game actually has a story mode and it is phenomenal. The biggest critique for it is that it only lasts through three seasons. I would love to see a more expansive story mode that is a little more open ended, but considering it is the first major sports franchise to even think of incorporating story lines, it is forgivable.

Gameplay: 9.5: Smooth all around. No lag or glitches to speak of. I did notice a couple of minor things with the guys being carted off the field with injuries, but aside from that, there is nothing. This game plays beautifully and considering all the things going on with it, that is an amazing accomplishment.

Replay Value: 8.5: Online mode kicks butt and the bonus modes are great for when you have your boys over to chill. I have to dock points because there really isn’t a lot to bring you back to replay the story mode and it is a little shorter than I like. Still though, lots of fun and lots of bonus modes will keep this disc warm in your machine.

Overall (not an average): 9.5: This was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in a while. I did not want to put the controller down on more than one occasion. The only major knock I have is that it is relatively short and I want to break more people like L.T. broke Joe Theisman. There is nothing holding you back now from smashing people’s faces in as Blitz: The League 2 is currently out for XBOX 360 and PS3.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally published: September 5, 2008, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

Midway Games is known for making some of the best arcade style games ever. I recently had the opportunity to sit down at the Arena Nightclub on W. 41st St. between 6thAve. and Broadway in NYC and try out the next installments in two of their powerhouse franchises, Blitz the League II and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.

I can’t give a full review on these games, since I only had the chance to play unfinished demos, but I will rate what I saw.

THESE GAMES ROCKED!

Blitz the League II brings back all the smash mouth, in your face action from the first, and adds some replay value by giving you a three season franchise mode. Along with strippers, steroids, and a few new crushing injuries that would make even the toughest dude squirm, this game delivers all the goods. I gave it an initial 9 out of 10. I’ll give a full review when it comes out October 13, 2008.
The Blitz franchise also brought back our favorite fictional football character based on a real badass dude, Quentin Sands played by NFL Hall of Famer and defensive legend, Lawrence Taylor.

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Aside from Lawrence Taylor, I also caught up with Jacob Beucler, the Senior Associate Producer of Blitz the League II to get a few more details about the game that we couldn’t get through an exhibition demo. Here is what he had to say.

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Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is one of the most anticipated games of the upcoming holiday season. Rumors have been swirling around the internet since this game was announced in terms of story, characters, and everything else you could think to make stuff up about. Although it had a few glitches, it still has a few more months of development before it’s released with that final polish we expect from a Mortal Kombat game.
This game will dominate though and my early review is another 9 out of 10. It looked beautiful and for the most part it played beautifully. I can’t wait to see the full story mode though to see exactly how these two very different franchises meet head to head. I had a chance to get some of the story from Brian LeBaron, the Lead Designer on Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Here is what he had to say.

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Although I gave both quick reviews, expect the full breakdown of these games when they are released this fall.