With Madden NFL 13 launching in a few short weeks, I’ve been playing a few football games that often go under the radar due to a lack of official licensing. Namely, Backbreaker for Xbox 360 and Blitz: The League for the original Xbox have been occupying a ton of my free time, and for good reason; these games are fun.
Both games have flaws as well. Playbooks in both of these football games are somewhat narrow. Backbreaker doesn’t have a ton of features, and the passing game is fairly difficult due to the camera’s limited perspective. Blitz: The League has A.I. issues, as opposing teams often make questionable decisions, and are generally easy to beat with a strong quarterback. Even so, both games deliver big hits in a way that the Madden series could only dream of. Backbreaker‘s on-field camera magnifies the impact of player collision, and also makes juking and spinning around defenders in its Tackle Alley mode all the more satisfying. Blitz: The League‘s gritty bone-breaking action provides a different take on the sport altogether.
Both games highlight the apparent flexibility in creating an unlicensed sports game. While prospective stars sound eager to play for your school in NCAA 13, opposing pass-rush artists leave profanity-laden voicemails for your coach in Blitz: The League. Before EA Sports paid closer attention to the safety of players and the treatment of concussions on the digital field in Madden 12, Midway allowed players to pump their teammates full of banned performance-enhancing drugs. Real football exists somewhere in between the squeaky-clean image the NFL exudes in the Madden series and the cringe-inducing impact these unlicensed games provide.
Much like football games, last week’s webcomics offer something for everyone to enjoy. I encourage you to check them out below, and then vote for your favorite after the break!