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  • Chad Myers

Game Review #351: Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Digital Dreams

Publisher: Digital Dreams Entertainment LLC.

Category: Sports, Arcade, Multiplayer

Release Date: 10.30.2018

Price (at time of review): $29.99 (digital) | $22.99 (physical)

Buy Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition from Amazon here.

Football Needs A Little Love On Switch

What do soccer—or football, as everyone in the world knows it besides us in America—baseball, basketball, motocross, and even cricket all have in common? They all have representation on the Switch to show the real teams and players, and American Football has, for some reason, been left out in the cold. Madden not bringing the franchise to Switch is a little odd, with FIFA doing well, including the NBA 2K series.

Well, it looks like American Football is getting some love from developer and publisher Digital Dreams Entertainment, who’s created Mutant Football League—which may feel like a nostalgic money grab, but I think this is the fun we just might need until it can be represented in its full form like with Madden. Mutant Football League was an idea that Digital Dreams wanted to bring to the masses, but they needed some help from the fans, so they took to crowdfunding through Kickstarter. They smashed the asking goal of $60K by more than double, with 3,137 backers giving $138,092 to help bring this game to life.

Blitz to Hit a Mutant for the Sack

Mutant Football League is a violent, over-the-top interpretation of the game of American football. It draws inspiration from the original Mutant League Football (1993), as well as other games in the genre, such as NFL Blitz (1997). It’s a twist on the game of football, with nasty mutants, ferocious monsters, deadly chainsaws, and lots of gory player deaths, along with some edgy, satirical humor that parodies America's favorite sport.

The controls are simple enough—if you’ve played football games on console before—and a little toned down from something like Madden football. Simply pushing B and letting it go will set off your kick to the other team, and from there, your defense jumps into play; but you can switch players and try to tackle the kick returner. From here, you’re on defense, where you can pick plays—and everything in here is pretty standard, as far as defense plays and special teams go. You can force a fumble with a tackle or a dive tackle, smack down the ball or force an interception, after which you can attempt to run the ball back for a touchdown.

Once you get the ball, you’ll be on offense; and from here, again, the plays are standard, with screen passes and such. You can hand the ball off, or in a pass, it’ll show the available receivers with the button letters above them. Once a running back or receiver gets the ball, you can stiff arm, spin, jump, dive, and most importantly, speed-burst with the right trigger—this is one of the most important moves on either offense or defense.

Where the game truly becomes more than a Blitz sequel is by embracing the wackiness of the mutant league. In-between plays, you can attack players and even kill them. It wasn’t uncommon for a couple players to get injured and die on a punt return. Also, on both offense and defense, you have the option to call “Dirty Tricks”. Here, you can choose from a handful of trick plays and more, some that are special for that team; for example, when I was playing the Mile High Chronic—a play off the Denver Broncos and the Mile High stadium—I went for a play, and as soon as I snapped the ball, it was like I swallowed a hallucinogenic mushroom, as my screen went Willy-Wonka-on-shrooms and I couldn’t complete the pass, since the other team had sabotaged me.

You could choose a running play where the running back would get a shotgun and blast anyone that came close. You could also bribe the referee or attack the referee, beating him to a bloody pulp. Some may complain and say this makes the game feel cheap... Boo Hoo! That’s what this game is. It’s not a simple football game, but a parody, so you take the dirty tricks and learn how to still pull out a win—and the tricks are on both sides of the field, so it’s fair game.

Speaking of the fields, they all look very different, and each comes with its own complications. Some may have monsters hiding underneath, or buzzsaws, spikes, and lava, so be cautious, or you’ll fumble hit right by a sand worm while heading for a TD. My own Dallas Cowboys are in as the Malice Hellboys, and even the star players we know and love are parodied—and they’re pretty damn funny; for example: running back Ezekiel Elliot instead being the skeleton freak, Shriekial Helliot. To see all the parody teams, players, stadiums, and even the announcers who work for the evil sports station ELVSN (ESPN) is hilarious, and the gameplay is a lot of fun!

MFL’s Got Modes & More for Friends

The first major mode added here is the DLC franchise mode, called Dynasty. If you've ever played any franchise mode in a sports game, it'll feel mostly familiar here. You can trade players, pick up free agents, play through multiple seasons—it's all here in more or less working order. Individual players have season goals in order to gain experience and level up, and you, as a manager, have the same. Also, when you start, all the opposing teams have rankings in the mid-60s to low-90s, but in franchise mode, you start out very low, as in the low 40’s. So, most the time, you’re getting stomped up and down the field until you can find a way to out-maneuver teams that are far better than you.

Other game modes include training camp, practice, season, playoffs, and online mode—which, by the way, it constantly tells you on the top left of the screen if someone is looking for a match, which they always are, so even when I wasn’t playing online, it seems to have a healthy community. Of course, most people will just pick up a quick exhibition match, which is here, front and center. You also have achievements you can acquire through playing the game and making astounding plays, as well as by completing other tasks.

Audio & Visuals

The soundtrack is well done, with the music sounding as professionally done as you’d expect from a triple A title. When a player dies, the organs kick in; and it’s hilarious, just like a lot of the other things that fall in with this horror parody. The original NBA Jam and NFL Blitz commentator, Tim Kitzrow, provides play-by-play in his usual fashion, which was so great to hear, personally.

The visuals, in my opinion, were very weak, as I couldn’t get over how the game looked to be about three generations old at best. Maybe this is just for the Switch, but I’m not sure, as the only crystal-clear shots I saw were from the developer’s own site. But, in saying that, the game ran buttery-smooth with no hiccups in both handheld and docked mode.

It’s A Wrap!!!

Mutant Football League is a game we needed, even if we didn’t know we did. It scratches that itch left by games like NFL Blitz, and shows just how badly we need an American Football game on Switch. The game isn’t without its faults and mishaps, but it’s a game that, if you take it for what it is at face value, you should have a hell of a lot of fun, as I did with my friends locally and with online matches. This is a fun one that I recommend for sports fans or horror parody fans to try out, and there’s a physical copy as well as the digital for your collection.

Score: 7.5/10

Buy Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition from Amazon here.

Follow Digital Dreams Entertainment LLC.





*Review Code Provided by Digital Dreams Entertainment

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