STAFF REVIEW of NHL Hitz 20-02 (Xbox)

Tuesday, November 27, 2001.
by Stephen Cameron

NHL Hitz 20-02 Box art When I got NHL Hitz 20-02, I honestly didn?t know what to expect, living in northern Ontario Canada a person cannot escape the wrath of HOCKEY. I involuntarily grew up on hockey, and I?m getting married with someone that loves hockey. So, I?m stuck. (-: Putting all the hockey-ness aside, I enjoy watching hockey on television. NHL Hitz 20-02 captures not the exact aspects of hockey, but the feel and excitement of hockey. Loading up this game, I first thought that it was broken, 3-on-3? I went through the settings, and found nothing. Then, I read the back of the game box, and there it says??Exclusive adrenaline-style 3-on-3 gameplay?? Honestly, I said to myself (before playing it)...?Here we go, another cheap hockey game?, boy was I wrong. This game rocks! This game is not a simulation.

The gameplay is very fun! This game captures the joy and excitement of hockey, with the fights, the smashing through the glass, EVERYTHING. The player even catches on fire, as he gets more and more goals, this to me is why some people watch hockey. The controls are a little weird, but it?s nothing new playing a sport genre game. Selecting player to player, works like most sports titles. This game is really fun multiplayer. The single player mode is a little too hard to play, and a tad boring. Hockey needs to be played with friends, so you can curse at them when you get your butt kicked. The overall package of this game is very nice, my father in law recognized every single player, and that sparked his interest right away. The man (father in law) watches hockey all the time. He also found it weird that the arena was very small. His suggestion was to make the arena a bit bigger, also you can skate from one end of the arena to the other in a few seconds. Oh well.

The graphics are very well done. Reflections in the ice appear wrong, and there is a shadow and a reflection in the ice. I?m just picky I guess?What impressed me the most was the actual three dimensional crowds! Mind you the arena isn?t very big, but the overall visuals make up for that. The beautifully rendered players are very nice, also when you score goals on a regular basis, the player catches on fire! Unfortunately, not many hockey games pay attention to this, but when players skate lots on the ice, the ice skate marks look fake. Please fix this. Overall nice, nice and nice! Well done.

The announcer guy, he has to go! The announcer?s voice does get on your nerves after a while, what?s weird is the ones on TV don?t. Kudos to the announcer that says...?The Montreal Canadian? the proper way, this is a nice touch to the game in order to show that the developers wanted to stay true the hockey. Slap-shots, ahhh, slap-shots, are extremely well done. Overall the sounds are good!

Get the ice to wear properly. Options to go 5-on-5. Options to have larger arenas. Keep up the good work!

Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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