Review by SNESster3

"While graphically inferior to Blades of Steel, this game has a lot more to it!"

Ice Hockey by Nintendo was released in the same year as Konami's Blades of Steel (1988). Both of these games are very good ice hockey simulations with their own elements added. Ice Hockey is also another game where Mario appears. But this time, he's a fat hockey player.
Gameplay: 10/10
Excellent! You go around the hockey rink dodging fat guys who want punch the lights out of you for the puck. You try to make a goal in the other teams net (duh). Also, before you actually go in the ring, you get to suit up your team. This means first you choose what country you want to play for and then you get to make your team. When you make your team, you get to choose each teammate by making them skinny and fast, medium sized and slower but stronger, and the Mario looking guys (the really REALLY fat ones). Each type of player has an advantage and disadvantage. For example, the skinny guys are fast but get beat up easily. The medium sized guys really have no true disadvantages, they sit in between. And then there is the fat guys who are very slow but powerful if you want to pick a fight or if someone picks a fight on you.
Graphics: 7/10
Graphics are like those early NES games but a bit more cartoonish. You have the Mario looking guys, the screen where from time to time the Nintendo logo appears (on billboards, etc.) and the cute looking zambonie drivers. The graphics are nice and colorful, though, and the guys faces stick out pretty well. Graphics are typical NES, but you might expect a little more for 1988. Blades of Steel is superior graphics wise.
Sound: 7/10
When you get in a fight, you hear POW and BLAM. When you pass the puck, the sound is very clear. Sounds are very good and cartoonish. While they don't sound like a real hockey game, they are still nice.
Music: 8/10
Unlike many NES games, this game constantly has music playing and it doesn't get annoying. The title screen has a very nice tune to get you going, followed by the part where you choose you team and fit it up, and then when you are playing. There is a wide variety of catchy and nice sounding music to be heard in this games.
Controls: 8/10
The main controls are straight forward: Slap the puck with A, slap the guy that's attacking you with A, D-Pad to move, and so one. But the one problem which Blades of Steel doesn't have is that you have to MANUALLY pass the puck to a teammate with the D-Pad. While that isn't all bad and gives the game realism, it may cause you to mess up a lot.
Replay: 10/10
Of course, sports games have a lot of replay value. Each time you play, something different happens. You can always mess around with your teammates and play other teams.
Buy or pass it (using the hockey puck method)?
Do yourself a favor and buy this game. It is a very fun ice hockey sim with tons of replay value and action. Not much to say except its great!
So in conclusion, get this game. It is fun and challenging with only a minor flaw that keeps it from earning a 10. That's pretty much it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/01/04

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