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EA to bring back NFL Blitz as a digital download

It seems I'm not the only one missing the post-touchdown sack. Electronic Arts announced today that NFL Blitz, my favorite football game ever alongside Tecmo Bowl on the NES, will be revived in the form of a new Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network title. The new offering will be available in January 2012 for 1200 Microsoft Points (or for $14.99, if you're a Sony user).

"NFL Blitz was one of the great arcade classics of the 90s, and now we're bringing back everything fans loved at a great price, in high-definition and as a digital download," says Cam Weber, general manager of American Football for EA Sports. "The new NFL Blitz will preserve the competitive nature of the original game, while delivering to fans the ultimate rivalry experiences online."

NFL Blitz follows a similar revival of NBA Jam, which released on Wii last year and later saw release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That was a great game, very satisfying and true to the original but with improved visuals and updated characters. Still, it did feel a bit strange as a proper retail release because you got the sense that it could just as easily have worked as a download. Electronic Arts is playing it smart this time around, and the value for players could be terrific.

NFL Blitz debuted in arcades way back in 1997, made its way to the PlayStation in 1998, then saw release on additional platforms such as the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. The last in the series to carry the official NFL branding was released in 2003. Midway released new Blitz titles after that, but they added a lot of stuff that didn't exactly resonate with gamers once the NFL became an exclusive license.

Today's press release promises the Blitz you know (two-minute quarters, no penalties, exciting tackles and players who are "on fire!"), but with HD graphics, ultra-responsive controls, online co-op and more. It's been developed by EA Tiburon, the team responsible for Madden, and the ESRB has already rated it E10+. I'm thinking the game is done but Electronic Arts wants to release it when it will be more likely to be noticed. That's probably a good idea.

Reported by Jason Venter


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