Mutant Football League review for Xbox One, PS4

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Digital Dreams Entertainment
Developer: Digital Dreams Entertainment
Medium: Digital
Players: Multi
Online: Yes

What a time to be alive as a football fan, I?m not talking about the Patriots and Eagles being in the Super Bowl, I?m talking about kicking off 2018 with some big returns. Not only did we kick off 2018 with the announcement that the XFL will be returning in 2020 (hopefully 2K uses the old NFL 2K engine to make a game for it since they’re already in bed with the WWE), but we also have the release of Mutant Football League. MFL is the spiritual successor to the old Mutant League Football series from back in the Sega Genesis era. For those that weren?t born in that era or just don?t remember it, the mutant league series (they also made hockey) featured over-the-top sports action featured all sorts of creatures, aliens, robots and more. So, like all the other reboots and remasters it was time to resurrect Mutant Football (with a small name change, which I?m sure is due to some licensing).

Mutant Football League started to make its come back like many other games lately, with a crowd sourcing campaign. Personally, I tend to steer clear of these crowd funded games since you aren?t guaranteed that the game will come out when they expect it to, or even at all. I do give developers and publishers credit though, as these crowd sourced games do a great job gauging if the audience is really hungry for whatever they’re attempting to make. Also, it can at times be a great success for an exceptional game (Yooka-Laylee, Friday the 13th) or a cash grab with lackluster development (it?s better than nothing; Mighty No. 9). So where does Mutant Football League fall?

MFL is exactly what I expected and then some. It?s an over-the-top football game that blends the old Mutant League Football with a good amount of NFL Blitz and a sprinkle of Madden. The gameplay is far from perfect, but for a first release with a new game and engine it hits most of the check boxes for me. Digital Dreams also promises to continue updating the game, and with the next few months already planned out, MFL?s future looks promising to me. The action features your standard football plays as well as; dirty plays, special powers, field hazards, and more. Your players as well as your opponents players have health gauges and can even be killed! Don?t worry, you can resurrect players if you have that option turned on. If you like to live a bit more dangerously and have resurrection turned off, if a given position is completely in the grave (example: all you’re running backs have died), you forfeit the game. So, this option does add some strategy to the game and can help you pull out a victory in a game that looks to be a forgone conclusion.

Beyond the gameplay, we have the commentary, which I immediately thought would be cheesy and repetitive, and it is but it?s also pretty awesome. We have Tim Kitzrow (who is the voice of NBA Jam, NFL Blitz and much more) and we have some mutant side kicks. Tim brings his usual enthusiasm and gravitas, while the side kicks try corny and mostly flat jokes. Having said all that, I still laughed at some jokes and they work for me. Again, for a first year product it?s not perfect but it works just enough (especially better than some sports titles that come out every year and still can?t make it work? I?m looking at you, WWE 2K series). Some of the jokes are very vulgar and certainly not family-friendly so I would turn down the volume if you plan on playing around some children.

For fans of the NFL, the extra effort was put in to match up their wacky teams to real rosters and cities. You see, almost all of the included teams are parodies of their real life NFL counterpart. That parody doesn?t just stop with team names and stadiums; it also includes the roster of each team, and I mean the full roster. I did not expect to find back up running backs and quarterbacks with the same level of mockery as the top players in the league but the effort was certainly put in. It?s not all sunshine and chainsaws though, the game is fairly barebones when it comes to modes. There?s your standard exhibition, practice, and a very vanilla season mode. Digital Dreams has announced a Dynasty mode which will be added in a future update, so lets hope that?s just the start. Either way, for a $20 release Mutant Football League delivers where many other sports games do not.

Mutant Football League really impressed me if you couldn?t tell. You know if you’ve read some of my previous reviews that I?m a big football fan, so I?m sure that plays a big role in this. I do think non-fans would have fun as well, just as arcade goers did in the late 90?s with NFL Blitz. Maybe it?s been too long since we have had anything other than Madden to please football fans, or maybe MFL is really just that good, either way I really like it and find myself going back to it over and over despite its vanilla modes at this point. Mutant Football League has character that I haven?t seen in a parody game in many years and look forward to what Digital Dreams has to come for the franchise.

Grade: B