Ice Hockey

Nintendo NES

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9.5

Overall: 9

This game is nearly 20 years old now, literally ancient by video game standards. Hockey games have come and gone each year including utter dominance by EA sports during the 16-bit era. Strangely, not to mention shockingly, Ice Hockey still remains in the upper echelon of hockey games, maybe even sports games in general.

It's quite simple really. Pick your favorite country, select a speed, and your off....almost. You also must pick the size of your players. In a genius move of programming, your allowed to customize your players which affects the way your team could perform. It's almost like Nintendo could see into the future of video games and see that customization would be the key to sports games. Fat guys are slow, powerful, and shoot fast. Medium sized guys are obviously the all-rounders and skinny guys can't take a hit or shoot fast, but catching them is a problem. Each of the players is easily recognizable, even the most tense situations.

There's no season mode, no playoffs, no 4-player option, nothing. It's such a refreshing change of pace from today's feature packed sports games that you have to admit this one is irresistible. Get a friend over and the wars really begin. Since you control your own goalie, you also control your fate. If your opponents score, it's your own fault. You weren't screened by the center, flicker isn't an issue, and puck is easy to see. The only thing that may distract you is the ridiculously catchy music.

If all of this wasn't enough, you can even start a fight! Most hockey games today don't even feature fights, but Ice Hockey was way ahead of it's time. There's even blood! Tie games are determined the most dramatic way possible: The shootout. It doesn't get more complete than this.

Very few decent hockey games ever appeared on the NES. The only other game that immediately jumps to mind is Blades of Steel. Ice Hockey remains the first and still, even to this day, one of the absolute best. A quick pick up and play game that you NEED to play on a regular basis.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:26 PM