Last wee I started playing Mutant Football League again. It had been a while since I played the game. I have the PS4 version and the Nintendo Switch version. It brought me back to when I was a kid, and when I was streaming video games on Twitch. Back in the 90s EA, before the turned evil, released Mutant League Football and Mutant League Hockey. Then a few years ago we got this game, Mutant Football League.
All three games are arcade sports games. This type of game tosses out the rule books and just goes for speed and fun. These are closer to Tecmo Bowl and the Blitz series than they are to the same EA sports games we get each year. This was a version of the sports game genre I just never followed. What makes a lot of these games stand out is how much fun they can be. You don’t need to deal with all the rules, things don’t have to make sense, and in the case of Mutant League you can win by killing off the other team.
All three of the Mutant League games are ultra-violent sports games set in a ridiculous timeline where everything that could go wrong did. The dead rise from the grave, people are mutated, creatures like orcs and werewolves become real, demons and aliens invade earth, and finally we build giant robots. At least I think regular humans built the robots. I’m doing this based on memory of the series lore so I might be off on something. The cartoon had regular humans in it from what I remember. So, we have all of these things happen at roughly the same time and the world descends into chaos. However, instead of just falling into an endless war, they decided to play sports. Which is great because it’s really entertaining.
The first two games were awesome! At least that is what I thought at the time, and I still do even though I can see some of the problems with them. In Mutant League Football specifically, I don’t like how they slow the offense down and I really hate the passing in the game. It can be a hard game to get into especially if you were more used to the Tecmo Bowl games. You have a bunch of teams which are parodies of NFL teams, for the most part. There are a few original teams as well.
Each team is given a skull rating, which probably means how good they are, but I never felt like it mattered. Each team has some differences though. Mostly in appearance, but they do have different plays and dirty tricks as well. This is where my favorite part of both football games is. While the dirty tricks aren’t as good on the Sega Genesis, because they just couldn’t be, they still make the game a ton of fun!
Mutant League Hockey was the game I remember playing first. These were both games I played at my friend’s houses growing up. They rented a lot of sports games over the years, but none of them were as memorable as these two. Just like Mutant League Football, Mutant League Hockey used parody names of real hockey teams and let you win the game by killing the other team. The thing I remember most is how the crowd would toss weapons onto the ice. The chainsaw was the one I think was the best thing. I remember one time when the goalie stopped a shot, and one of us killed the goalie with a chainsaw and scored. I wish we had it recorded, but back then it just wasn’t possible for us. We also didn’t think about that sort of thing at the time.
I think we played Mutant League Hockey more than Mutant League Football. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the TV show. This was still at a time when I didn’t understand how TV schedules worked, because I didn’t really care how they worked. After that I largely forgot about the series for a few years until I started collecting games. This was when I started hearing about games in the Mutant League series which never existed.
In the mid-2000s I was in the Navy. I remember talking with people about older video games, which I didn’t call retro games at the time, and the Mutant League games came up. I would mention how I had both of them and wished there were more than two games. Just about every time I would say this, the other person would bring up either a basketball game or a soccer game. Neither of which existed, but they were planned at some point. It was one of those strange rumors I would hear until, I guess it was either abandoned, forgotten, or proven to be false.
Finally, after years of being gone, the franchise was brought back! This is the game I decided to start streaming when I was giving that a try. The game improved on the over all game play while maintaining everything the original was known for. The dirty trick plays are better and there are a lot more of them. It feels like they play a bigger role in the game. It’s still an arcade football game. You aren’t going to get the same type of experience as you would with Madden. Mutant Football League is a much faster game, or it at least feels like it is much faster.
Since the game was released, a lot has been added to it. The single player campaign, or dynasty mode, was added. More teams were added as well, and they have updated the roster as players move and get drafted. I find it very interesting how they are able to update the rosters while EA releases new games in order to update the rosters.
I’m not sure if Digital Eclipse, the company behind Mutant Football League, will remake Mutant League Hockey or create any other games in the series. I hope they can do so at some point, once they have made all the changes possible to Mutant Football League. They have added all of the teams to it, and they seem willing to come up with new character names for drafted players as well as updating the rosters each year.
This is a really great game! I’m glad it was remade so other people can either relive the memories they had from the 90s, and create new ones with an amazing game!