EA Sports makes the best sports games, and there's no argument that could possibly be made. In the tradition of the Madden games and the previous NHL games, NHL '94 is nothing short of fantastic fun.
The characters are a little small, and move a little oddly, but skate just real like NHL players, and have animations just like real NHL players. When Brett Hull has a breakaway, he moves just like he does in real life. The crowd is weak, but does anyone really care? NHL '94 also has plenty of "cool" animations that only pop up once in a while, like the goalie scrambling back for the puck and the glass breaking.
Ah, organ music. What would hockey be without you? Hava Nagila and Charge, among others are well represented in this game. Thank goodness they aren't around for long. They can get irritating fast. The game sound effects are perfect, though. The referee's whistle blow, the sound of shooting and skating and checking, the glass breaking, it all sounds just like the real NHL.
If you even remotely enjoy hockey, you'll love NHL '94. If you don't like hockey at all, this game is still plain fun. Skating around, checking people, trying to score-- it's fun no matter if you like hockey or not. There are no holes in the gameplay at all.
It also doesn't get old anytime soon. I personally was so immersed in the game that I ended up playing all 82 games plus winning the Stanley Cup with the Vancouver Canucks. And I'm not even a real big hockey fan. If you get this game, you probably won't put it down soon.
Graphics: Good graphics, although the sprites' movement is a little funky.
Sound: Great sound effects, and if you love organ music...
Enjoyment: Fun for anyone, even hockey's staunchest enemies.
Replay Value: Hard to put down, because, this game just doesn't get old.
After establishing themselves in the virtual rinks, EA combined both NHL and NHLPA licenses in NHL '94, allowing them to feature all 26 real teams (including both expansion teams) and players of the new NHL season for the first time in the series.
Aside from the licenses, the gameplay for this edition sees for the first time the inclusion of the devastating one-timer shot, but to keep forwards (literally) in check, defenders also feature harder body checks, with new animations. For an additional challenge, players can also choose to control the goalkeeper manually. A popular feature in previous editions, fighting is completely removed from the game. Game modes include exhibition games (or "regular season" in-game), playoffs (best of one or best of seven) and an all new shoot-out mode. The main options remain basically the same couple since the establishment of the series - period length (5, 10 or 20 minutes), line changes (off, manual or the new automatic mode) and penalties. (off, on, on but no offsides).
While there are some minor differences between platforms (Genesis features record keeping for users and the MegaCD version has more stat screens, CD quality audio backdrops and the usual highlight clips here and there), only the PC version released at the same time features complete season action.
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