Review by Flashman

"Enjoyable hockey with enough options to satisfy everyone"

Ah, good old NHL 2001. I have spent many an hour playing this gem. During my Toronto season, I was able to match each game up with the actual day it was played on.

Graphics: 9/10 --The game is very nice looking, and moves at a very fast clip. Most players have their owns faces, and many are recognizable. The ice looks like ice, and the jerseys are accurate. There is slight slowdown when passing benches, and replays give no idea of where the puck really went (I've seen a replay where the puck passes directly through the goalie's chest, when it actually went under his blocker).

Sound: 10/10 --It sounds like hockey, and The announcing is very strong, keeping up with the action nicely. The music for the menu screens is not plentiful, but the songs are mood setting, and never really get old.

Gameplay: 10/10 --This is where NHL really shines, with excellent default options, and play that resembles hockey well. If it scores goals in real hockey, chances are it will here too. In the event that you find any aspect of NHL not to your liking, there are a huge amount of sliding meters by which to modify everything from game speed, to game rules, to hit strength to puck elasticity.

Teams and Rosters: 8/10 --The biggest failing in the game is the outdated rosters, which were a season out of date at the time of release. Teams are nicely represented, with all 30 NHL teams, 2 All-Star teams, and 20 world teams. Each of these teams has at least 2 jerseys, but many NHL teams have 3 to 5. If you don't like the roster for your team, make trades or create players to suit your liking.

Controls: 10/10 --The default setting takes a bit of time to get used to, with Square being shoot, and X pass, but you can either get used to it, or design your own control scheme. Controls are responsive and easy to remember while including many complexities of hockey.

Fun Factor: 9/10 --This game is quite fun if the settings are right for your skill level, as you can make it challenging, or have every game be an amusing blowout. From the beginning, NHL is an enjoyable experience.

Multiplayer: 9/10 --The multiplayer aspect of the game is excellent, and one of the most fun sections in the game, but it will take you a bit of time to adjust to not controlling the entire team.

Ingenuity: 7/10 --It's hockey, so there isn't much room for creativity here, but the tremendous options allow you to make your own game however you want it.

Replay Value: 10/10 --This is the first sports game I've ever completed an entire season in, and in fact I've probably played over 350 games of it. You will get tired of it eventually, but if you want a game that you'll enjoy for the long haul, this is it.

Overall: 9/10 --It's not perfect, but it is a classic, and one I recommend any PS2 owner buy, regardless of whether you like sports or not. You won't regret your purchase, and with NHL 2002 already out, this edition will be available very cheaply.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/20/02, Updated 05/20/02

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