Originally created 04/21/00

Arena League now a video game



As video games go, there are the traditional baseball, football and basketball titles.

Come May 30, you'll be able to add one more sport to your collection.

Midway Home Entertainment, which has developed video games such as Pac-Man, Centipede, Mortal Kombat and NFL Blitz, has designed an arena football video game available for the Sony PlayStation.

"It's a great game," said Andrew Hoolan, gaming communication director of Midway Home Entertainment. "Anyone who picks it up and plays it is truly going to be very happy.

"We just really wanted to create a good game. The Arena League, we want to benefit it and be a good copy of it."

Arena League is similar to the NFL Blitz arcade and home video game. However, the indoor game has more to offer with walls and end zone nets. Also, the game can be played by four people and features audibles and a kick meter.

"If you know anything about arena football and look at Blitz, it's almost a sim of the sport," Hoolan said. "We were able to use the different rules. It's a little bit more aggressive than football with the walls and everything. It's almost like hockey."

While the game looks like NFL Blitz, Hoolan said it plays a lot differently.

"We really brought into play the walls," he said. "Usually in Blitz when you complete a pass it's fairly easy to streak all the way downfield. In the arena game, because of the smaller field and people being closer to you, it's very hard to get the yardage after the play.

"On the field goals, if you miss, it's a live ball. The offense can still jump on the ball and get a touchdown."

The fast-paced video game includes all 17 current Arena League teams, but none of the arenafootball2 teams. Midway has signed a four-year contract with the Arena League and eventually will add expansion teams Detroit, Raleigh-Durham (N.C.) and Los Angeles.

With the addition of the Arena League game to the market, Augusta Stallions coach Mike Neu says the sport will benefit.

"It can do nothing but help the league," he said. "It brings more attention and gets our name out there more.

"I know that even though older guys play those games, kids play those games," he said. "And you start peaking the interest of younger kids in arena football."