Face Off! is a hockey game by developers MindSpan, who are better known for their HardBall series of baseball games. Play an exhibition game, an entire season or go straight to the playoffs and lead your team to the Stanley Cup. For the basic hockey gameplay a traditional side view is used, but whenever you or your opponent shoots at the goal the game switches to the special Shot Cam view. Occasionally when someone commits a nasty foul the game turns into a one-on-one fighting game; he who wins the fight can stay on the ice while the loser must spend some time in the penalty box.
Face Off! can be played with realistic rules, relaxed rules or with no rules at all. Other options available include the number of players per team, difficulty & period length and whether or not you control the goalie during the Shot Cam mode.
Some minor coaching and management options are also included. You can design your own plays in the playbook, modify your lines, move players form your minor league team to your major league team and vice versa and make trades with the other teams in the league.
Face Off! doesn't have a NHL license, so all players and teams are fictional. One does have the option to rename teams & players however. Multiplayer gaming comes in the form of a two player cooperative or competitive mode. Non-networked of course.
This is a hockey game, but you won't only be a hockey player, you'll also need to guide your team. This includes everything, from standardized game plans (attacking maneuvers) to actually punching opponent's teeth out on ice.
You will need to purchase a franchise including your own hockey team. With that team you will play games, but remember once the game starts, you're only one of the players!
Unlike most team sport games, where the player closest to the ball or puck is the one you assume control off, here you select a player you play (during interruptions of play you can select a different one). Your team mates will act according to the game plan set out before the game (that's the coaching part of the game).
You can though, if you want to select that another human player helps you out (so two players will be human controlled and one computerized), but you won't be able to control both yourself (coo many keys, to fast gameplay). Oh yeah, I don't know though, why there are only three players in a hockey team though. Probably something to do with the handling of the game (more players, more complicated gameplay and controls - and it would really spoil the game to complicate it any further).
There are different difficulty levels and different rule types of play (and you can even turn the fights off if you're a non-violent hockey fan), which directly influence the behavior on ice. I suggest you start off with the easiest (rookie mode) and Australian set of rules, just so you get the feel of the game.
The graphics as mentioned are astounding for the year 1989 and the smooth animations were just amazing. The game is fast paced (which is just perfect for a hockey game) and the animations are able to follow the high tempo nicely. Whenever an important event occurs (such as a fight or a direct shot at the goal) the picture will switch from an overall view to the side view).
The sounds may be somewhat more primitive, but the solution was nicely done. The simple yet effective chanting organ music which accompanies hockey matches is used (technically primitive, but perfect for setting the mood).
Overall I'm not a bit surprised to see it's a Canadian made game. The makers of it probably really love hockey, because you can just see it in every aspect of the game that somebody took the time to make it as good as possible.
The breakthrough of hockey games. The idea of having a new, zoomed screen when shooting at the goal is fantastic! What am I talking about? Download Face Off and see it for yourself. A classical sport game in which you have to choose your team and lead it to the NHL championship title. Give it a shot.
One of my favourite hockey games. Yes, I'm very sure about that! Ok, maybe the newest hockey games look a lot more spectacular and have lots more in them, but I really like this one... It doesn't run smoothly on my pc, but that doesn't matter. Unlike many other games, this game doesn't give many detail, all the hockey players look the same, for example.
But the hockey rules are done very well, you can choose for Aussie rules, full rules and relaxed rules. The ingame music is also as it was copied from a real ice hockey game and the field lines and stuff are realistic as hell.
All by all I am very enthousiastic about this game and I most certainly recommend downloading this one!
A great ice hockey game developed by Canadian sports games experts MindSpan (makers of Hardball series and Joe Montana Football). Faceoff! was MindSpan's first game, and was instantly touted (although not loudly enough in my opinion) as one of the best ice-hockey games of its time for the IBM-PC.
What makes the game an instant classic? Although good graphics doesn't guarantee a good game, great graphics goes a long way toward making an ice hockey game an action-packed, "total immersion" experience. And immersion is what Faceoff! offers in spades. Even more so than Konami's classic Blade of Steel, Faceoff! offers very fluid controls, excellent player animations, and just a lot of atmosphere-- including very good fighting interface for this essential part of real-life hockey game. There are some coaching options which are adequate, although of course not as extensive as complex hockey sims such as Hockey League Simulator. Faceoff! delivers a great you-are-there experience that all hockey fans will enjoy.
People who downloaded Face Off have also downloaded:
Blades of Steel, Front Page Sports Football Pro '98, Earl Weaver Baseball 2, Brett Hull Hockey 95, Micro League Football Deluxe Edition (a.k.a. Micro League Football: The Coach's Challenge), Double Dribble, Hardball III, Fast Break
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