In America, watching NFL games on Thanksgiving is becoming as traditional as the turkey dinner itself. Unfortunately, this year's slate of games lacks a marquee match-up; two of the three tilts involve league bottom-feeders like the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders, while the third game is between the Denver Broncos (losers of four straight) and the New York Giants (losers of three of their last four).
If that lineup sounds a little limp, football fans might be happy to have a different kind of NFL game on TV this week, and Microsoft is happy to oblige. This week's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday release is Electronic Arts' Madden NFL Arcade, a five-on-five gridiron game where the emphasis is on heavy hits and big plays rather than realism. To that end, the game includes power-ups, no penalties or field goals, and a shortened 60-yard field that players must traverse in a single set of four downs.
Madden NFL Arcade will sell for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15). A PlayStation 3 edition of the game is also set for release as part of a special holiday-hastened Tuesday update to the PlayStation Network.
For those thankful there are non-sports options to be had, Microsoft is introducing another pair of titles to its Games on Demand catalog. Gamers can now download full versions of 2008 retail hits Saints Row 2 and Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures.
THQ and Volition's open-world action game allowed players to exercise their id in a variety of minigames from streaking to bulldozer racing and was hailed/derided as "crass, immature, and really fun" upon its release. Meanwhile Lego Indiana Jones retells the original movie trilogy in building-block form and was dubbed "the best Lego game yet" at the time of its debut. Saints Row 2 is available for $29.99, while Lego Indiana Jones sells for $19.99.