STAFF REVIEW of Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition (Xbox One)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
by Adam Dileva

Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition Box art I’m not one for traditional sports games. Sure, I dabble in a few here and there, but for the most part I simply don’t enjoy or play them all that much, save for a very select few. One of these sports games that I’ve actually spent countless hours playing is actually an old Genesis title that I still own a copy of to this day, and that game is Mutant League Football.

Originally released in 1993, I’ve spent countless hours with this unique take on Football over the years, so when it was announced that it was going to finally receive a spiritual successor with Mutant Football League (MFL), I was more than excited. For the unaware, what makes MFL so unique is that it is not licensed by the NFL at all, and instead it is more of a parody, where your players are monsters, skeletons, ogres, robots, werewolves and more.

Simply re-skinning players as monsters is only the beginning, this is the MFL after all. Obviously you want to outscore your opponents, but what makes the MFL stand out among other Football titles is that you can also dismember, and even kill, your opponents. Not happy how things are playing out? Bribe the ref. Want to cause massive carnage, equip some chainsaws and slice through the opposing team. Carnage is what MFL is all about, and it’s a blast, even after more than two decades.

Mutant Football League actually released just over a year ago, but now the Dynasty Edition is upon us. While yes, this is essentially a Game of the Year edition, with all of the released DLC included, the new additions are actually quite plentiful, adding much more varied gameplay to the overall experience.

The biggest addition is the inclusion of the brand new Dynasty Mode (hence the title). This is essentially your season/career mode where you take a fledgling team of nobody’s and work towards making them MFL champions. You’ll play many games throughout the season, but you also get to be the GM and Coach of the team, making decisions on who to cut, trade and sign on, in hopes of creating that championship team.

It’s not so simple though, as just like real life teams, you’ll have salary caps, injuries, free agents and more. Do you invest a big chunk of your budget to sign on a legendary player in hopes he’ll bring glory to the team, or spread out your resources evenly? You’re also even able to edit your playbook to suit your preferred play style and cater to your strengths and weaknesses.

There’s also two main add-on DLC’s included with the Dynasty Edition. At first I thought it was simply two themed teams that were added, but there’s actually a little more to it than that. The first is the Demonic Legion Pack. This includes a new monster type, winged demons, that help them make higher leaps, perfectly suited for receivers. Two new teams are also added: The Full Metal Mayhem and Cracksumskull Juglars, both of which are awesome to play as with their insanely high skill rating, and both of which also come with their own home arena for some new scenery. Also included are two new Dirty Tricks, both of which are really interesting and unique, but more on what those are shortly.

The second included DLC is the Werewolf Rampage Pack. I’m sure you can guess what species these include. The Karcass City Creeps and New Gorleans Zombies are the two teams added, along with their own respective arenas as well. This DLC pack also adds two new Dirty Tricks as well. So, while these may seem like small DLC additions of simple teams, they do add some varied gameplay, scenery and strategy.

MFL is a 7-on-7 Football game with blood, gore, swearing, puns and awesomeness. While it’s a true spiritual successor to the original Genesis title, its over the top gameplay also resembles the classic NFL Blitz from back in the day. While you could play MFL as a traditional Football title, there are much better, and entertaining, ways to win games, namely, destroying and killing off enough of the enemy team so that they cannot compete.

Dirty Tricks are special plays where you can pull of unique, sometimes only usable once, actions that will decimate the other team. You can electrify yourself, use the ball as a bomb, equip weapons, rewind time and more. These plays are like crazy audibles, meant to mangle and kill the other team, and are a blast to use. You can even bribe the ref if you want a play to go your way and skirt the rules a bit. This is what makes MFL so unique and entertaining, and you can also attack players after the whistle is blown; just be careful though, as excessive attacking won’t always be tolerated.

Another aspect you’ll need to be very weary of is the arenas and playfield itself. Each arena is themed after its own team, but the playfield will be littered with mines, lava pits, monsters and many more deadly obstacles. This is another element you’ll have to factor into your strategies and each series of downs you make.

Hands down though, the best feature about MFL is that developers, Digital Dreams Entertainment, chose the absolute best commentator available, of all time: Tim Kitzrow. You may not know the name, but I guarantee you know his famous lines from NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, like “Boomshakalaka” and “He’s on fire!”. I simply wanted to play more games to hear his hilarious commentary and play by play announcements. There’s no better in the business and MFL is a better game for including him so prominently.

Humor is also a huge part of the MFL charm. Not only just the commentary, but the players will also have small quips and sayings after big plays, usually taunting the other team or grabbing in some off-color fashion that is absolutely hilarious. And if you’re an NFL fan, you’ll most likely appreciate the parody on specific team and player names as well, as there are some interesting takes on using monster themes for each NFL team that is parodied.

Mutant League Football is honestly one of my favorite classic childhood games, and seeing its spiritual successor on a current generation console is a real treat for fans like myself that don’t usually play traditional sports titles. It’s not going to be for everyone obviously, but for someone looking for a much less serious and self-aware approach to a Football, Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition is a great diversion, full of blood, broken bones, violence and hilarity. Now, I’m hoping that the follow-up to their original Mutant League Hockey game is next on the list, as that’s what us Canadians really care about.

**This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game, which we were provided with. Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition is available at North American retail in addition to digital**

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.5 / 10
Sound: 9.5 / 10


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