STAFF REVIEW of NHL Hitz Pro (Xbox)


Wednesday, October 8, 2003.
by Casper

NHL Hitz Pro Box art
I will confess right now that I?m a hardcore Hitz fan. That?s right, I said it and I?m proud of it. I have the first 2 games for the Xbox and still play 2003 on a nightly basis with my friends. I played so many games of 2003 that I went through 3 disks already and have found every bug in that game, which really isn?t that hard, but there was never any fixes for them. Create-a-player was my hook. My best player was 7?0?, 250 lbs, had a huge horse head and was named Mr. Marbles. He could shoot over 110 mph for a slap shot, pummel everyone on the ice and after a fight, the announcer would scream ?Mr. Marbles? The Destroyer? ? good stuff. My whole team has a special character and are all sporting my friend?s names and some characteristics. The speed, pickup and play game style, and addictiveness for this game has turned this series into a must own for myself.




So after I got my hands on the game, I was very shocked to see what they did to this series. New and improved menu layouts, 5 on 5 play, bigger rink, more fundamentally sound hockey? Did Midway sell out to try and keep up with ESPN and EA? They did, but they did it in style. This game has now proven to be a competitor to the 2 sports leaders. But they changed their complete image. They went from a cartoonish game to a much improved sim, but is it still Midway? I?m still not too sure yet, but whatever you want to call it, it?s definitely a great hockey game.




The game play is much improved this year, as the addition of two more players on the ice has now opened up many more plays then the previous ?pass and shoot a one-timer?. The deke and guard puck moves are still the same, but now, when you?re behind the goal, you can go for the new wraparound move that was added. This basically takes you from directly behind the goalie, snaps you around tremendously fast, and allows you to try a nice Gretzky-like shot. The AI has been upped quite a bit, making it much harder to just slam everyone around and take out the goalie (I had times that the goalie just knocked me on my butt while I was skating).



Hero equipment was a nice add-on feature to look forward to during franchise mode. By accomplishing various tasks during the games, you get awarded equipment that is actually ?used? by real players. Each piece of equipment adds to your franchise players stats. You can get Turco Pads, the Sakic Stick, or even the Domi Helmet (they should have made them boxing gloves, but I won?t get picky). Speaking on the topic of boxing, the fighting system has been changed. Fighting and hockey go together like white on rice; it?s essential and one of the few reasons why I watch the sport. The previous versions of Hitz had a sweet system ? low punch, high punch, and grab ? which led to some very cool finishes. So what did they do to improve it? I guess someone at Midway thought that playing ?Rock ?em Sock ?em Robots? was cool again and made it so you have to tap a random button each time faster than your opponent to get one hit in, three punches to win. Why? Why did they do this? I disliked this so much that I disabled fighting during the game because it was just a nuisance; very disappointing. Franchise Mode is setup so that you can make your own team (no special heads anymore) and add attributes to your players, but while playing no-name teams. That kind of takes the fun out of things because you don?t really know who you?re playing to start your team, but it does help you get used to the game and you can get updates using the franchise status option in the menu. Once you?ve completed the set amount of games required for Franchise Mode, you get promoted to the NHL to play with the big boys in Season Mode.




Pick-up Hockey has been added to get a nice quick game in of backyard hockey. You can either play on the Local Pond, City Park, or Parking Lot while setting how many goals the other team must score to win. This was a nice add-on being that on the Parking Lot, it?s roller hockey, but you can?t play with your custom teams, just the 2 teams they decide you should play with. It?s nice to have this in there when you don?t feel like getting sucked into a season with your franchise. Scotty Bowman is also back giving you some tips, if needed, on how hockey is played, but he brought some friends this year, a handful of NHL All-Stars. Scotty gives you you?re tips, you do the task, and then a clip from a pro player comes on telling you why you did what you just did. Glenn Murry (Boston), Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit), and Stephen Weiss (Florida) are just some of the players they got to help out with this game. Nice touch as it adds that much more to the simulation edge Midway was shooting for with this game.



Overall, this game is great competition for ESPN and EA. With the new Pro style of games, Midway Sports can now keep up with the others and hopefully broaden their fan base. It?s just that for this writer, I don?t see why something that wasn?t really broke got fixed?.and totally changed around.



Suggestions:

Hopefully Midway decides to stick with the arcade style they are known for in the future and not drift away from the hardcore extreme style of their games. Listen to the fans of this game and let us play together on XboxLive, it?s there for a reason.


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

Comments

Site Statistics

Registered Members: 43,957
Forum Posts: 724,936
Xbox One Titles: 554
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,084
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 583
Xbox Titles: 847
Staff Reviews: 1,398
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 12,883
Screenshots: 28,305
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706

Latest News







New F1 2016 Trailer Released

New F1 2016 Trailer ReleasedCodemasters Racing have put together a little trailer highlighting key moments of the F1 season so far. F1 fans look to have something to get excited for.


See News Archives

Community Forum Activity

Xbox One S - I will indeed buy one
Post by TheOutcast-XBA
2 Replies, 115 Views

It Is Happening
Post by laughs
10 Replies, 307 Views

Happy Canada Day!
Post by Kamshaft
3 Replies, 430 Views

X06 Canada Faceplate
Post by derosh
6 Replies, 321 Views

Mega Bloks Kubros - Assassin's Creed Set Review
Post by Variation-XBA
0 Replies, 229 Views

Article: Post E3: State of the Xbox as a Console & an Ecosystem
Post by Variation-XBA
1 Replies, 199 Views

Looking for players for The Division
Post by Shawn-XBA
3 Replies, 313 Views

Zero Hour faceplate for sale
Post by Cardando
1 Replies, 331 Views

What's your Xbox E3 Impressions as we go through E3 Week
Post by TheOutcast-XBA
7 Replies, 444 Views

Review: SteelSeries Siberia X800 Headset
Post by Variation-XBA
0 Replies, 258 Views

How collectible is Halo green and gold edition xbox 360?
Post by 9milly
0 Replies, 358 Views

You Guys Wanna See a Crazy Xbox Collection?
Post by Kamshaft
6 Replies, 475 Views

APB Reloaded Available on the Xbox One Right Now!
Post by Creeping Judas
6 Replies, 383 Views

Xbox 360 Canadian Launch faceplate 43/158
Post by dus
4 Replies, 587 Views

Sea of Thieves
Post by Actingman-XBA
5 Replies, 509 Views

© 2000-2016 XboxAddict.com - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. XboxAddict.com is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics