Review by mongomike03

"Best in the NHL series"

Graphics:

Awesome. Flat out awesome. I love the intros, cut scenes, and ''Game Storys.'' The players faces are recognizable, they have mouths that move, and realistic expressions. For example, if you hit a player, then go to the replay and watch it, you see an expression of anger on the hitter and a expression of pain on the hitte. The game intros are cool, but get old. I like how they have the lights and fireworks (even though indoor pyrotechnics are banned this year, but hey, I'll let it slide) but it seems out of place seeing that night after night when that would only occur during the home opener for a team. The cut scenes also give the game a ''as seen of tv'' feel. Very Nice. The ''Game Storys'' are also along those lines. These highlight certain aspects of the game such as a tremendous save or potential shutout with a commentary and replay of the action. Also this game has a fast and smooth framerate. I've never seen any slowdown. Even when they show about 10 modeled fans in the stands.

9.5/10

Sounds:

Love 'em or hate 'em. The commentary either will make you chuckle or cringe. I personally like them, but some get a little old. Hearing your created players name announced is pretty cool. The game also has arcade-ish sounds for slapshots and hits, but it doesn't bother me. The music is really good in this game. They aren't my personal favorites, but its stuff you would hear at a hockey game. Good Job EA.

9/10

Gameplay:

Fast, responsive, and tight controls. Multiple settings of difficulty and strategies for play make for interesting nail-bitters or laughable blow outs. Learning this game does not take long, maybe 20 minutes and you have it down. The only thing I would like to see different is more control for the goalie. Not much you can do while controlling him. Also, I'd like to see checks that break glass or into the bench. I haven't heard or seen it done, and I don't think its possible. Oh well, those are trivial. Lots of options to create an entire team is a plus, but not as deep as games such as Madden. But don't get me wrong, its still really fun building a team and franchise in this game.

10/10

Replay:

NHL cards and the task list will keep you coming back along with the franchise mode. The multiplayer will also add to this. If you have enough controllers, multi-taps, and friends you can get some crazy 8 player action. I'd love to try this sometime. Sounds insane.

9/10

Final Thoughts:

If you want a hockey sim that is just like watching it on tv but commercial free, then this is the game for you. The series has been at its best since NHL '94. If you like hockey, BUY, if you like sports, BUY.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/01, Updated 10/07/01


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