ESPN NHL Hockey 2004
A new hockey is starting soon and out rolls the new line of games from various companies I got my hands on ESPN’s NHL Hockey 2004 former, sega sports titles. I was glad to see Visual Concept is still on the team along with Se-spn. So let’s get started!
I started the game and watched the Sports center opening and a special intro about the game I thought that gave it some authenticity. I started the with a season, It brings you into a office/ luxury box of a hockey stadium, you could look at your unlocked items which was like 4 shelves and there much be a lot. You could also look at your trophy cases and then there was a Stanley cup case. I then started my first game. I was given a very good thought out comparison of both teams and that was good.
The graphics are really good; the rink is crisp bright and has a glossy icy look to it. The players themselves look really good and yet are a little off. The players look all too skinny but otherwise look good. The goalie animations are crisp but nothing I haven’t seen anything before. The Checking animations are awesome, I felt the pain as I checked the other players, they just don’t fall they spin, go over head to feet and you can go though the player benches and I thought the checking was fun. The game flows really well and there aren’t too many slow downs.
GRAPHICS RATING: 8/10
The Controls were really easy to get used too. If you’ve paid EA Sport NHL Hockey you’ll know the controls off the bat. All the same controls, The only thing I din’t like is it was difficult to check them, it seem liked you could hit them but then they dive skate out of the way but maybe that makes it realer.
CONTROL RATING: 10/10
The A.I is good, and yet dumb, The A.I is smart and will get the puck from you and if you don’t clear it from your zone your goalie will be pummeled with shots. But on the other hand the A.I is stupid because they will not be in position and they will not help you out with getting the puck. They’ll just act dumb and skate around I also had a lot of breakaways during game play. But after playing longer on harder and harder modes I have found the AI to be much better and you’ll rarely get a good shot off because they’ll either hit you or just take the puck away. I have bumped up the score from a 5 to an 8.
Sound is a huge thing in any game and the game came though with flying colors. I loved the commentary and thought it was great. During puck freezes the camera would show a player and the announcers would say he’s good or said he already scored a goal tonight and the other team should watch out or something. I loved the commentary but there was no commentary that was funny unlike EA sports who always joke around but have great commentary as well. They used the best sports theme in history. Queen’s “We will rock you” that and some other piece of crap music which was annoying. After awhile though you’ll get sick of the music and want to use custom soundtracks. Ad for sound effects everything was great, the skates gliding across the ice, pucks hitting off the wall. And even you hitting the wall sounded good if you missed your person you’d go smashing into the wall and you’d hear it.
SOUND RATING 9/10
There was one other thing I like about the game. The extra features, if you get sick of playing hockey, you can take in a mini game or do skill comps and I loved the air hockey game. My friend and I played it for an hour and then decided to move on and the skills comp was very fun and it gave the game more replay value and all the items you can unlock is massive.
EXTRA FEATURES RATING: 10/10
I had fun with the game and it gives EA sports a run for there money and that’s my review my final total is a 9.5 and I enjoyed the game and will continue playing it.