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NHL Hockey '96

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Reviewed by Dyson Turner I actually got this game by accident for my birthday, I asked for Prime time NFL '96 Featuring Deion Sanders and I got this instead. At the time I knew nothing about Hockey, and really didn't want to learn. I eventually got NFL '96, and didn't play this to a year or so later. I was glad I did, because this is one great game. Even if you know nothing about Hockey, you can learn a great deal from this game. The interface is so easy, and the game play is fast and furious. The controls were a breeze and I picked them up right away. For one who never liked Hockey, this was the first sports game that had a season that I actually went all the way with without simulating games. My first impression when I finally played I was a good one, I was impressed by the characters large, size how fast the game actually played, and how easy the controls were. This thing also had tons of options plus a realistic create your own player mode and team trades. Even though I haven't played too many Hockey games, in my little opinion this was the coolest one for Genesis ever. Graphics 8.5/10 The graphics were stellar, and some of the best I ever seen on Genesis in a sports game. The character size wasn't really large but they were detailed. The audience was well detailed as well, and added more realism to the game. The ice looked good as well, and had the realistic logos in the middle of the rank. The opening scene was realistic as well, and looked like the scene from the previous years Stanley Cup finals. All the characters were the same size by the way accept the goalies, but everything was fast and all the characters moved extremely well on the screen. Even though the game was that fast the puck was highly visible at all times, and it looked realistic, it did flips and things just like a puck did in a real NHL game. The glass that sounded the rink looked pretty good, too even though you couldn't break it like many thought that you could in the earlier NHL games. The referee was shown every time there was a penalty or violation of play, he looked pretty realistic too and did all the motions that a real Hockey referee did. The graphics on this game were overall very good, and some of the best ever at the time this was made. Sound 9.0/10 The music in the game was truly great as well, and was some of the best that I heard. There was some realistic fight songs that the teams had at the start of every half or the beginning of the game. The sound effects were realistic too, every time you hit another player you would here them grown and the crashing sound of them hitting the ice. You even heard the last second sounds of their ice skates, cutting across the ice and different sounds when they were fast or slow, or they stopped. The audience added to the atmosphere and it made the game feel more realistic than ever, as they cheered the home team and jeered the opposition which added extra realism to the game in its entirety. The referee never said nothing all you really heard out of him was the sound of his whistle. Even during the opening screens of the game, when you hear the realistic sounding music blaring which usually is associated with Hockey games you will get the fill for it right there. In my opinion the sounds in this game were done exceptionally well, and added to the graphics to make a game, which was both, good to the eyes and the ears. Game Play 10/10 This game was for one to four players. You had all the NHL teams available at the time, and the NHLPA license. You had your usual modes, which were exhibition, season and playoffs. You also had a shootout mode, which was always fun. You could create your own player as well, but you couldn't make any super player. You had all the realistic calls found in hockey if you left the rules on. You also had fights, where you cold throw two types of punches, and you could grab the guy you fight. Won or lose, its 5 minutes in the penalty box for banging out. You also had all the realistic hockey hits and checks found in the game. You could clip and just knock somebody into the team area, which is always fun. You also had a trading player mode, which was a lot more realistic than found in the other sports simulations that were out in the time. The other teams may reject your trade if it isn't benefiting them, but you could always over ride this. The shoot out mode was a lot of fun, this is where just like real life you and the goalie go at it one on one, which can be pretty exciting and fun at times. The difficulty is adjustable, and the A.I. is definitely tough in his one. There is battery back up saves for all your seasons. Overall 9.0/10 One could not ask for a better hockey simulation then the one that is described here. This one unlike the more modern ones, cut out all the boring aspects of hockey, and added to the fun. Nothing real complicated here, and it is so easy to just pick up and play. The replay value is definitely that this is not one of those sports games where you simulate the majority of the season just to see that you won the title. I assure you will play all the way to the end of the season, and see who gets all the awards. The fun factor is high, if you have a friend or two with you and a multi player device, this game is not one that you would put down any time soon, you could play for countless hours. I really didn't have any complaints with this one once I get into it. Everything was killer about quick games, that were fun, perfect control, but there were factors that you may not have realized while playing. There also was realistic stat tracking, assists and hat tricks which hall added to the realism that you were playing the real game. I recommend this game for anyone, whether they don't any anything about Hockey, or if they were brought up on it.

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