Review by danza86
Living in the UK, NHL is not a particularly big thing over here, so you'd think that this type of game would only appeal to a specific brand of people. But ice hockey games always have something about them that a lot of other games lack - fun. Ice hockey is fast, furious and exciting - so is NHL 2001.
The first thing you wil notice about this game compared to other NHL games is the graphical quality. This is quite simply one of the best looking games you can buy on any console. Granted the crowd people are 2D, but the player motions, facial representations and stadia look amazing. You needn't use the player names available - you really will recognise who you are. As for the reply mode, it is one of the best I have ever seen. You can stop play, and move the camera ANYWHERE you want - you can even zoom right into their faces.......all of this without a hint of slowdown!
As for sound, NHL does it's job fine. Ice hockey isn't known for it's sound erm....sounds, but NHL does the business. All the usual grunts and groans are included, and there is a nifty soundtrack to accompany the game. Even better, there's a taunt function to tease your opponents when you score. The commentary is second to none, and the trusty PS2 does an excellent job in keeping the commentary up to speed with the frantic gameplay. For what it can do in sound, it does.
Gameplay is where NHL 2001 really shines. A true NHL fan? Turn all the rules on and play sophisticated, stylish ice hockey to show off your knowledge of the game and superior skil.....enjoy an arcade experience? Turn the rules off, put fighting levels up to high (yep, fightings back), and thwack your way to success. You can change every, and I mean every aspect of the gameplay - puck speed, puck elacticity, checking aggression - everything. You can tailor it to your needs perfectly. NHL 2001 is fast, and you need pretty quick reflexes to thoroughly enjoy this game. Yeah you'll find easy ways to get repetitive goals, but if you want to ruin it for yourself by doing so then go ahead.
But I have only one moan about NHL 2001 - I get the feeling that the game kinda relies on team stats. Play the New Jersey Devils (about 88) against the Nashville Predators (about 64), and no matter how high up the boost meter Nashvilel is the Devils will still whoop ass. As for players, pick a strong player who is also fast and you'll go far. Here's a quick hint of my best player - Jason Arnott...
You'll like this game, I can guarantee it*. It'll last you years - you can make your own teams, players and twiddle with whatever you want...there's definately lots for you to do. Love or loathe ice hockey, there's a lot of fun in this game to please anyone.
Well done EA
*not an actual guarantee
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/30/01, Updated 06/30/01
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