Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 6

nhl2kdc1.jpg (36116 bytes)Sega Sports has truly revived themselves since the days of the Saturn. Developer Visual Concepts have pulled of some miracles with their NFL and NBA franchises on the Dreamcast. Of course, there's always going to be some kind of bump in the road and NHL 2K is just that.

VC's NBA and NFL games were known for their picture perfect graphics. While you can tell that some time was taken to make this game stand out, the blocky players and the sub-par look of the rink are really inexcusable. The corners of the ice to the sides of the net are practically black, almost as if half the stadium lights went out. A few nifty camera angles plus the steady frame rate keep things alive, but the overall package is too flawed compared to Sega's previous sports entries. On a side note, where is the red light when a goal is scored?

Gameplay is rather loose with accurate physics, both on the skaters and the puck. Goals seem to slip by on luck more than by skill. There's no real need to set up an offense since you're not challenged enough to make it worthwhile. It's a very bland, almost dull engine that never generates the excitement it should.

Dropping the game down another notch is the audio presentation. The play-by-play announcer keeps up with the "fastest game on Earth," but he constantly stutters. Whether this is a flaw in the programming or just the announcers way of doing things is unknown, but either way, it's annoying. The color commentator is always off, spurting out phrases that make no sense whatsoever and hardly ever relate to the on-screen action. The organ and PA announcer are of high quality, a small bright spot in an otherwise mundane audio presentation.

nhl2kdc2.jpg (42441 bytes)Another notable problem is the glaring lack of features. The stat department is missing numerous categories, the create-a-player is only good for editing skills, and the season options are nearly bare. With all due respects, the fights are highly detailed, a rarity in today's hockey games. Alas, not all is good even with this feature as a brawl occurs once about every six games.

When the game ends, it's not hard to figure out that this game is really just a copy of Sony's NHL Face-off series. Making it to the halfway point of the game without hitting the power button is commendable. Everything in the game just screams potential. It's just all been done better elsewhere. The few areas where the game does excel doesn't make it worth a purchase, not even for the most hardcore NHL fan.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 25, 2005 11:25 PM