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Mutant League Football: What Did Critics Say Back in 1993?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on September 01, 2014   |   Episode 89 (Show Archive)  

   

Mutant League Football (Sega Genesis)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Before we dive into the serious NFL games, we wanted to ease our way into pigskin-themed week with Mutant League Football. This ghoulish creation marked a departure for Electronic Arts, who up until that point had been focused on creating realistic sports simulators. Did critics enjoy this nightmarish football game, or did they rip it to shreds? We dig through old issues of Die Hard Game Fan, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Mean Machines Sega and GamePro for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Mutant League Football
[ Company: Electronic Arts | Console: Genesis ]

DIE HARD GAME FAN (May 1993)
88% out of 100%

"EA Sports has new competition from their own backyard. Flying heads, blood, gore, decomposing, undead scoring beasts, you give it such a glow. I don't know if it's football, but I like it! Heads off to Electronic Arts for having the guts to deliver this carcass bashing goo-fest." -Sgt. Gamer

MEAN MACHINES SEGA #7
82% out of 100%

"This is my entry to American Football, so I have to be careful at making comparisons. This certainly looks different to past John Madden's, but see past the cosmetics of the mutant theme, and the similarity of the presentation is striking. Despite some frustrations, there's plenty of game there to explore, and tactics to learn. I don't think the new scenario is good enough to raise it above Madden's.

DIE HARD GAME FAN (May 1993)
81% out of 100%

"It's about time someone put some goo in this game. It's like playing Madden with dead guys. Blood spurts! Heads fly! Go long and fall off the planet. Oh well, he was dead anyway ... neato, EA!" -Skid

GAMEPRO (May 1993)
4 out of 5

"EA's John Madden Football folks must be pullin' their hair out over this cart, but the Mad' Man has gotta like the humor here. There is a great game for players who want a break from real video football. If you're a warped, twisted, demented football fan, the Mutant League wants you!" -Slo Mo

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #46
7 out of 10

"Although I appreciate the premise of this game (I like the way it expands the limits of normal football), the play mechanics are stolen from the Madden games and the program enhancements that build up the alien theme seem to bog it down. The graphics are good, but kinda messed-up. Not bad, but could have been better." -Steve

SEGA FORCE #17
79% out of 100%

"After the extremely average Pigskin Footbrawl, the MD seemed destined to a life of evermore serious footie sims, where the end result would play more like chess than American Football. Then, like a light at the end of the tunnel, EA bring out MLF and inject humour into a very serious and complicated sport. MLF isn't bad. It's good for a laugh and one to come back to on a rainy day." -Paul

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #46
6 out of 10

"What can I say? Mutant League Football has all the things you wish you could see in Madden Football, but know you'd never see. You've got to laugh when your whole team runs over and destroys the referee! Is it wrong? The coach is a sight to see and though the play is a little choppy, the overall fun factor is excellent." -Sushi X
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 76% - Nearly every critic agreed, Mutant League Football was a great idea for a sports game. Unfortunately, many magazines griped about the execution. Electronic Gaming Monthly complained about the "messed-up" graphics and stolen control mechanics. Sushi X noted that the animation was choppy, but it was when "your whole team runs over and destroys the referee!"

Die Hard Game Fan disagreed, praising the game for its ghoulish theme. In fact, none of the Game Fan critics were in love with the idea of Mutant League Football, to the point where they refused to note any problems. Skid's review isn't even 40 words and could fit in a Tweet. His summary makes sense, but makes me wonder if he spent any time playing the game.

With many critics enjoying the concept more than the game, Mutant League Football averages a score of 76%. When it comes down to it, it's hard to disagree with Sushi-X when he says that "Mutant League Football has all the things you wish you could see in Madden Football."

ON MONDAY'S EPISODE: Now that we got the novelty football game out of the way, it's time to get serious about this whole NFL thing. The day before the season kicks off, Review Crew will feature a look at John Madden Football for Sega Genesis. The FIRST John Madden Football. There's not even a number after the title. You won't want to miss that. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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