If you’re under 20, you’ve most likely never played a game of football like Mutant Football League unless you had a really cool Dad, friend or sibling. Hilarious, insane and fun, Mutant League Football on the Sega Genesis was and still is a cult classic game that holds up today thanks to solid gameplay and pure fun. It’s successor, Mutant Football League, takes the gameplay formula and adds current generation visuals, voice-acting and even more politically-incorrectedness, making it the most fun you’ll have on the gridiron in a long time.
Make no mistake, this isn’t Madden. Although it plays solid and the AI has a complete understanding and appreciation for the concept of football, this is something oh so different.
For those that have played the original, this may seem unnecessary, but you have to understand these concepts to appreciate Mutant Football League. For one, there’d be no NFL Blitz without it. It’s barbaric, but so much more than Blitz ever could be. Players can be killed, referees can be bribed, there are hazards on the field the likes of lava pits, razor wheels and sheets of glass. As a result, you can lose a game of MFL if too many of your players die, even if you have more points.
That may piss some Madden diehards, but this isn’t your game, so go play that.
At its heart, MFL is for the type of gamer who enjoys Monster Movies, NHL fights and the Jerky Boys. It’s off the wall in every way, shape and form and it never apologizes. In the end, it doesn’t have to. After over 25 years, it’s back and better than ever. In a day and age where every game is remastered, even Night Trap, Mutant Football League creator Michael Mendheim and his team got this current generation version of his classic game just right.
Frenetic: The action never stops in the MFL, as player deaths can happen at any time, especially after the whistle. It changes the pace of the game dramatically and always keeps you on your toes.
Hilarious: Announcing and Color Commentary by NBA Jam legend Tim Kitzrow adds another layer of fun to the polished package.
Unbroken Gameplay: With a small team at the helm of this title, it would be too easy to expect a few gameplay bugs. However, after more than a few hours gameplay, none where encountered.
No Create Team/Player Option: It’s a minor gripe, but imagine being able to play with your own team of Mutants? It would be insane.
If you’re looking for an awesome arcade football game to play by yourself or with a friend, it’s hard to go wrong with Mutant Football League. Polished, fun and frenetic, it does the original game justice and then some.
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the author of the upcoming book, “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” from McFarland And Company. Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, NHLPA 93, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.