Review by Akogingu

"Step forward in graphics,step back in gameplay"

Being a huge fan of hockey and hockey games for about 5 years, I've played a few of the Genesis ones and the PS ones. For the PS, NHL 97 was ok for the time,but was majorly thrashed by NHL 98. 99 had a different engine,and was choppy as helicopty...2000 was the best yet and 2001 was the best hockey game I ever played. Make a PS2 version of the greatest hockey game ever,and you get a 10? right? wrong!

Graphics= As others have mentioned,the game has amazing graphics,mostly in the intros and so forth. During the game it bogs down all of the time,which chops up the gameplay somewhat. The graphics were so amazing that,at first,I didn't realize that this game wasn't that great. 9/10

Sound= Awesome as always,but even clearer sounding,and the announcers stupid catch phrases are always good for an unintentional chuckle. Top notch sound. 10/10

Gameplay= The beauty of NHL 2001 for the PS1 is that the game oftimes feels like real hockey. Despite the so so graphics, the physics were the best yet. You could score in hundreds of different ways..just like in real life. This being a new engine on a new system,the first rendition is bound to be full of gaffs. There are very few ways to score (mostly one timers),since the goalie sucks up rebounds of pucks that are anywhere near him. No garbage goals :(. The hitting is off,you press the big hit button and you'll just miss him and slide out of his way. The goalies stink on every setting,and to make things worse, the momentum meter is ridiculous compared to the PS1 version's. In this one you could be up 4-2 and if the computer makes it 4-3,they'll all of the sudden score like 4 more in 2 minutes playing time. This doesn't always happen,but when every score ends up ''9-7'' and ''11-8'',you have to wonder about the lack of realism. I'll give the gameplay a ''5'',add another point or two if a severe lack of realism doesn't bother you.

OVERALL= EA's first attempt at a PS2 NHL game ends up similar to their first attempt at a PS1 hockey game. Good enough for now,but will be outdated in no time flat. I'll wait until NHL 2002 is out,and hopefully EA Sports will take the time to tweak the gameplay to match up to the last few PS1 outings. OVERALL RATING= 6

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/29/01, Updated 03/29/01

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