Now that our yearly football options seem to be dwindling to fewer and fewer titles, seemingly, we've had to live with the single NCAA and NFL games that are updated each year. That is precisely why titles like Blitz: The League II become so much more important.
If you've played a Blitz game in the last 10 years, you might think that you've seen all that they have to offer, but I would suggest that you really take a look at this game. Midway has added quite a few new wrinkles into the game that make it a great deal more interesting and more challenging for the casual fan. For example, the ability to aim where you will attempt a cringe-worthy injury at your opponent adds quite a bit to the gameplay. Rather than just getting a sack to end a drive, you can punish the other teams quarterback, receivers, or running backs and cause an injury that can force them out of a game for a few plays, a few weeks, or even the entire season.
One of the most important aspects of the game, and surprisingly so, is the ability to deliver late hits to the other team. In previous versions of Blitz, you could just hit the other player after the whistle for a laugh...but it didn't really serve any purpose. This time around, it becomes imperative that whenever you tackle someone, you try to trigger a late hit. The primary reason for that is that with each successful late hit, you get 2 'pips' for your clash meter. Once you have a full clash meter, you can enter unleashed mode. In that mode, the game slows down for your player, allowing you to make impressive catches, injure players, or simply run right by everyone on the other team.
You can add pips to your clash meter in other ways, but the late hit seems to be the most efficient way to do so. In one of those "rubber-band" games where the CPU is really putting up points, the late hit is a great equalizer.
The unleashed mode, isn't only a benefit for you though, it becomes something that you really need to pay attention to while watching your opponents meter. When they have it, you really need to protect your players, paying special attention to the focus of the story mode, Kid Franchise. Without ruining the story, there are certain games where you really have to take special care with Franchise, because if he suffers an injury in them...the game will end and you will have to start all over again.
To this point, I haven't mentioned the story for the game, and the primary reason for that is because it's extremely underdeveloped. When I hard that this version of Blitz would be employing Frank Caliendo, Jay Mohr, and Lawrence Taylor as voice talent for the game, I had hoped that this would mean a better story for the game. Sadly, that is not the case. The story for the game is lackluster at best, portraying a corrupt commissioner and how, your character, Franchise will work to take him down. Sometimes, the story appears as though it is going to take an interesting turn, but you really have no control over it, other than to try an achieve a certain objective in your next game, whether it is hurting another player, or gaining more yardage than another player. A great deal more work could have been done on the story in an attempt to make the game more interesting, but in the end it devolves into playing single player games of Blitz, with an occasional cut scene.
My experience with online play for the game was a great deal of fun. The only time I ever saw a hint of lag was during the kicking sections of the game, and never during actual gameplay. There is something incredibly satisfying about running down an opponent, especially if they are a friend, and delivering a hit that sends their player out of the game. Also, the late hits add a lot of fun to the online component, for the simple fact that it's fun to take off the helmet of your opponent and beat them with it.
When it was all said and done, I did enjoy my time with Blitz. The single player component, while repetitive at times, can be fun to play in 2 or 3 game spells and the online component is incredibly entertaining.