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Game Review: NFL Blitz

For: Playstation 3 (via Playstation Network) and Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade)

From: EA Sports

ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ (comic mischief, mild language, mild suggestive themes, mild violence)

Price: $15

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Though Midway's "Blitz: The League" games were head-and-shoulders deeper than "NFL Blitz" ever was, the one thing it couldn't provide - the NFL license - was the one players wanted the most.

With both the franchise and license now in EA Sports' hands, that no longer poses a problem. And while this "Blitz" lacks some elements - roster management, injuries, story-driven seasons and giggle-inducing illegal late hits - of those other games, the arcade-y spirit of those original "NFL Blitz" games returns in immaculate condition.

The old rules (seven on seven, 30-yard first downs, two-minute quarters and no penalties) still apply, and a game of "Blitz" plays so fast and loose with football conventions that you need not even like football to get a kick out of this. Also per usual, it's a game best enjoyed with others (four players, online or offline). In addition to basic pick-up games, the new "Blitz" includes some clever and surprisingly deep modes for collecting star players, assembling dream teams and pitting those teams against other players' rosters.

For solo players, "Blitz's" A.I. offers a good (if not always situationally sharp) challenge. And while it isn't as robust as the multiplayer modes, the Gauntlet Mode - a ladder-style season complete with "boss fights" against teams of fantastical characters - is fun in its own right (especially when you beat those mascots and recruit them to your team)

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