Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mutant League Football: Bribing The Ref is Okay In This One

Today, Electronic Arts is known primarily for their highly successful line of sports video games, but not long ago they made fun ass games regardless of their genre. One of my favorite games made by EA was a quirky little football title that was equal parts intense and utterly hilarious. That title was Mutant League Football, and contrary to what a lot of fans will tell you, in many ways it was better than a lot of EA's more recent football offerings. The game featured a lot of the stuff you find in similar EA football games in the 16 bit era, but everything feels like a crazy midnight monster movie snuck into Monday Night Football. The field is littered with craters, lava pits, land mines, and other hazards. The players, which consist of skeletons, lizard men, robots, ogres, zombies, and a bunch of other random stuff, perform pretty much like you'd expect them to if placed on the gridiron. plays are standard, except for trick plays that include bribing or killing a referee, self destruct plays on defense, and all manner of craziness. Since the game was using the gameplay engine for Madden 93, a lot of the Mutant League squads mirror actual NFL franchises. For example, the Midway Monster were an obvious spoof of the Chicago Bears, while the Icebay Bashers are a take on the Green Bay Packers. Mutant League Football spawned a spin off of its own in the form of Mutant League Hockey, which was released a year later. Sadly a third game, Mutant League Basketball was never finished by EA. This might have been for the best though, since it probably would have run off the engine for NBA Showdown 94, and that game ran like frozen dog poop(that means it was slow). The Mutant League games were also big in that they were one of the handful of video games released in the 80's and early 90's to get a cartoon based on it. Mutant League Football was given a rebirth of sort on the PSP a few years ago when Electronic Arts released EA Replay, a compilation that would have sold in a major way had it received a home console release. It also got a little love in the Xbox 360 version of Madden 09. If a player creates a character, names it "Bones Jackson", and places him on the Chicago Bears' roster, they will be awarded the "Midway Monster" achievement, and get 50 gamer points. Over the years, both Mutant League games have been extremely popular, so the chances of finding them dirt cheap may be slim, but they are plentiful. Mutant League Football and Hockey are definitely games that EA could make a mint on if they are remade and done properly. This is also true of NBA Jam, but sadly I think EA is about to botch that one.

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