I’m not much of a sports game guy, maybe because I was never a fan of sports growing up. I mean I love the Mario sports games, and sports games with gimmicks. Unconventional sports games are fun. I want to be able to hit a home run while shooting fireballs from my bat. When looking at Mutant League Football: Dynasty Edition, I was curious to see if this would scratch my unconventional sports game itch on the Switch.
Mutant League Football: Dynasty Edition is a 3D football game developed by Digital Dreams Entertainment. The main focus of the game is taking one of the teams compromised of different mutants to play some non-traditional football.
Mutant League Football has a plethora of different game modes. The dynasty version included on the Switch is one of the main focuses of the game. First I’ll talk about the other available game modes.
It’s important to know there’s a training camp, and practice mode, to help you familiarize yourself with the game. I thought the training camp did an alright job as a tutorial, but it could have been more in-depth. It felt like the effort to help the player understand the game just wasn’t quite there.
The first mode is Quick Match. This works like any other sports game. You pick a pre-created team, and start playing. You can customize the settings of the game as well, such as the length.
The next mode is the Playoffs Mode. Playoffs are essentially a small tournament of 3 games to win the “Mayhem Bowl”. It’s a way to have a smaller tournament style game, and you can pick up where you left of, if you don’t have the time to play it all at once.
The third game mode is the Season Mode, which I’m assuming was probably the games biggest draw, until dynasty mode was added. This game mode will let you play through a 13 game season. If you do well, you will get a shot to enter the playoffs. The season mode essentially extends the play-through a bit, by giving you games to play before the playoffs. You better do well too, if not, you may not get a chance to be part of the playoffs.
Each of these modes are competent enough, though if you’re buying Mutant league Football at full price, these would not be enough to warrant it. Luckily we still have the main draw of the game to talk about, Dynasty Mode.
The Dynasty In Dynasty Edition
Dynasty mode let’s you take control of a team, and basically start from scratch. Maybe I shouldn’t go that far, you get to take a team of complete rookies, and take them through multiple seasons. You hold the decisions over your team.
You start with a specific budget, and a goal that you must complete, or you will suffer some financial consequences. With the funds allotted to you, you can sign new players with better stats for your team. Be careful how you spend your money though, because you only get money if you win a game. And winning in dynasty mode may not be something you will do a lot of for awhile.
You see, dynasty mode starts your team with a pathetic total, overall. Your players, overall, will have stats in the 40’s while most other teams are starting in the mid 70’s to high 80’s. I get that they want you to have to build your team up, but shouldn’t the other teams have to as well? It really makes the game unbalanced to have the AI have such a huge advantage over you. it makes playing dynasty mode on any of the higher difficulties, just ridiculously unfair.
As your players complete goals, and perform actions such as complete passes, or score a touchdown, they will get experience. You can level up the rank of your player by completing goals, and experience is used for leveling up their individual stats.
There are quite a few options for what stats to upgrade; such as catching, toughness, and intelligence. Intelligent players are necessary because they unlock new plays for the playbook.
The Dynasty in Dynasty Edition Pt.2
The problems with Dynasty mode don’t just end at the lack of your team’s skills. One of the new ways Mutant League Football decides to differentiate itself from other football games, is with the ability to be able to murder other players. Yes, that’s right, I did say murder. Players have health bars and, once they drop to zero, they take a dirt nap (literally & figuratively).
Fear not because your poor players can come back to you, for a price…. You have to pay to resurrect your monstrous players. So, you have low overall players, that aren’t very tough and can die pretty easily. Now, because you’re a lower level, it makes it harder to win games until your players improve. Here’s the twist, you keep losing so you’re not getting money, and your players are dying so you have to pay money to resurrect them. Eventually you’re bankrupt, and you get the boot!
It’s frustrating enough to start out with such a low overall team, but I can understand they want you to build your team up. But having to pay, to resurrect your dead players, just amplifies the already flawed system.
With that being said, the dynasty mode is pretty underwhelming. With it’s design flaws, and no ability to customize whether you want a budget or not, it feels like they could have done so much better with it. It really just feels like a more frustrating season mode.
I mean it’s probably enough for those craving a football sim on the go, but it’s not going to give you much more satisfaction then that.
Crack Some Skulls Open
In a lot of ways, Mutant League Football plays just like any other football game. You have your playbook to choose what type of play you want, you swap between players, it doesn’t differentiate too much at the core.
The fields each have different crazy obstacles, like a pool of piranhas, fire pits, and land mines. These were an alright addition, but i didn’t feel like they added anything significant o the gameplay.
It’s biggest difference would be the addition of its dirty tricks option. I mean what would a game about monsters playing football be without the ability to throw a spinning ball of doom to your teammate?
Dirty options are crazy abilities you can use to get an advantage on your opponent. There are a few options for whether you’re playing on offense or defense. For example, the defense could use the ability to make the ball stick to the opposing player so they can’t throw it. An offensive player can use an ability that makes them invincible from being taken down for a short time.
These are a cool addition and all, but they kind of come out to be more of an annoyance, than anything else. They shake up the traditional gameplay, but also take away some of the skill of a sports game. Oh!, I’m close to getting a touch down! i’ll just hurl a spinning blade, and now I pretty much automatically got it.
I felt like the dirty tricks were necessary to use to get anywhere in dynasty mode. However, for the other game modes, I would have rather they had not been there. Luckily, you can turn them off in the other game modes. I appreciate this option, but once you do take away the dirty tricks, you realize you’re left with nothing more than an “okay” football game.
Mutant League Football does offer some extras in the form of unlockable teams, and achievements. When in team select on any of the screens, you can select any of the locked teams to learn how to unlock them. The achievements are a nice addition, as well, to award you for completing certain challenges.
I can happily say that the game also offers an online mode. While it’s not always easy to find a game, the online mode works pretty well. I was worried it wold be riddled with connection errors, and other problems, but that isn’t the case.
There’s even a feature, that when people are searching for online games, it notifies other players who are playing. This let’s you be able to play whichever mode you want, and wait for someone online to request a match.
A Dirty Play
Visually, Mutant League Football is pretty average. Textures and stadiums, look and fit well with the games aesthetics. However, the textures aren’t fantastic, especially when in handheld mode. The graphics, in general, are kind of muddy looking as well.
Player designs are okay. They’re presented well, but not really that diverse. When the characters are interacting, the models look funny, and not quite right.
The soundtrack is kind of what you would expect from a football game with monsters. Take that as you will, you may like it or may be not, it’s all up to personal preference.
Mutant League Football didn’t give me too much trouble, from a technical standpoint. While the resolution was just alright, I rarely had any substantial frame rate drops. Most of the troubles I had were in handheld mode, with respect to the resolution.
Control wise, the game controls pretty well. I did find that controls could have a been a bit more responsive. I found, sometimes I would hit a button, and it wouldn’t perform the action quick enough. There was a slight, noticeable, delay in response time.
For all that it’s worth, Mutant League Football is competent in what it sets out to do. It’s a football simulator that diverges from traditional football in a strange way. While what it accomplishes is nothing special, it does it well enough.
If you’ve been craving a football game on the go, and you’re okay with some weird caveats to the gameplay, Mutant League Football should work for you.
The mediocre implementation of the dynasty mode, and the dirty trick system, is unfortunately enough for me to not recommend this to just any player.
Mutant League Football is not terrible or anything. However, if you’re thinking of picking it up, I would recommend doing so on a sale. What it offers is just not implemented well enough to warrant buying it at full price. The game is currently available for $29.99 on the NA eShop.
6/10 Average Football Game
- Plays Pretty Well in Handheld & Docked Mode
- Decent Ability to Upgrade Players
- Fitting Environments
- Achievements & Unlockables
- Well Implemented Online Capabilities
- Game Modes Are Underwhelming Especially Dynasty Mode
- No Option to Remove Budget Constraints Is An Annoyance
- Paying To Revive Dead Players Is A Poorly Implemented Mechanic
- Player Models Lack Variety
- Graphics in Handheld Mode Are Pretty Muddy
- Dirty Trick System Lacks Polish