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'[GAME] NHL 2002'

This thread has been linked to the game 'NHL 2002'.
Mon 21/05/12 at 20:38:
Regular
"How Ironic"
Posts: 4,301
NHL 2002
Why are you reviewing a PS2 game?
I recently sold my PS3, and having owned an Xbox 360 in the past, I think Iím about done dabbling with most of the next generation consoles. For my gaming needs, the departure of my PS3 has left me with the Wii and my trusty, and chunky, PS2. Iíve been playing the PS2 for well over half my life, and itís been years since I last bought another title for it. Then I saw NHL 2002 in GameStation for 49p, and since it featured my teamís all-time legend Mario Lemieux on the front cover, I just had to buy it.

Rough and Ready
Iím familiar with the modern NHL games, but in terms of the past, Iíd only ever heard of rave reviews of NHL í94. An ice hockey game from 2002 was certainly new territory on the gaming front for me. I wasnít expecting much, and the game hasnít surpassed these low expectations. Due to the limitations of the PS2ís software, this is only to be expected. Graphically, the block-feel of the players bodies and the rough textures in the environment and characters is classic for a PS2 title. Only since the new generations of consoles were released have we truly experienced smooth graphics. The ruggedness of the game aesthetically in this instance adds to the game more than it detracts. Ice hockey is a rough sport, and the smooth cut of the players is one of the things I didnít enjoy in recent releases of the NHL game franchise.

What does this button do?
Game play is basic at the highest descriptive level. Movement of the players is seemingly in 8 directions, passes include the basic ground pass and the saucer pass. The saucer pass is particularly an ugly animation. The big hit button seems like the best way to get the puck from the opposition. You essentially line up the opponent, and time your large push to annihilate the target player. The other methods of disposing your opponents include the poke check, which is essentially stick to stick combat over the puck, and a simple body check, which seems to bounce the opponent rather than check them. I find the poke check and basic body check to be a complete waste of time, as you have to line the opposing player up to perform them, and you may as well go for the big hit, as the poke check and basic body check wonít necessarily dispossess the player depending on each players respective stats.

Audio
Audio within NHL games, particularly the modern releases, feature heavy rock tracks, which I love in a rough, physical game like this. NHL 2002 features no more than 8 songs, most of which are incredibly annoying. I already play my own music when playing as it really is unbearable to hear the same awful songs over and over again. Commentary is one of the gameís saving graces. Don Taylor took over commentary for that year, and his fun but bizarre commentary really adds to this games retro value.

Game Modes
Play Now mode allows you to enter game play immediately with your choice of teams and settings. The familiar career mode allows you to choose a team and develop them as you see fit, as well as winning as many Presidentís trophies and Stanley Cups on the way as you can. I found a slight problem with the career mode. The Pittsburgh Penguins were at the time the worst team in the NHL despite owning one of the best players to ever play. I was disappointed at the state of my team and so decided to enter the trading market. I found to some pleasure, but mostly dismay, that I could near enough get any player I desired by employing a technique. By trading a player for a slightly better player (a trade which was accepted almost every time) I was able to quickly turn a 65 overall center to a overall 94 center. By doing this I quickly owned the best team in the game within a matter of minutes. Safe to say, I dominated the season that followed.

In Conclusion...
Letís wrap this thing up then. The commentary and graphical style of the game are particular high points for me. Don Taylor really brings this game to life with wacky phrases, and the already mentioned classic PS2 graphics help to bring an emphasised ruggedness to the sport which is lost in the modern releases of ice hockey. Game play is simplistic but ultimately easy to learn and very fun regardless. Add to this fun features, such as hockey cards which have to be collected throughout the game to unlock new features such as big head mode, and the game is broadened in terms of playability. If youíre a hockey fan, picking up this potential piece of history in the NHL series is a cheap venture and a worthwhile one. However, if youíre a gamer alone, youíll be wondering why I even wrote this review in the first place. Luckily, Iím a hockey fan who loves gaming, and because of that, this is my gaming nirvana.

Game Score: 9/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 21/05/12 at 20:38:
Regular
"How Ironic"
Posts: 4,301
NHL 2002
Why are you reviewing a PS2 game?
I recently sold my PS3, and having owned an Xbox 360 in the past, I think Iím about done dabbling with most of the next generation consoles. For my gaming needs, the departure of my PS3 has left me with the Wii and my trusty, and chunky, PS2. Iíve been playing the PS2 for well over half my life, and itís been years since I last bought another title for it. Then I saw NHL 2002 in GameStation for 49p, and since it featured my teamís all-time legend Mario Lemieux on the front cover, I just had to buy it.

Rough and Ready
Iím familiar with the modern NHL games, but in terms of the past, Iíd only ever heard of rave reviews of NHL í94. An ice hockey game from 2002 was certainly new territory on the gaming front for me. I wasnít expecting much, and the game hasnít surpassed these low expectations. Due to the limitations of the PS2ís software, this is only to be expected. Graphically, the block-feel of the players bodies and the rough textures in the environment and characters is classic for a PS2 title. Only since the new generations of consoles were released have we truly experienced smooth graphics. The ruggedness of the game aesthetically in this instance adds to the game more than it detracts. Ice hockey is a rough sport, and the smooth cut of the players is one of the things I didnít enjoy in recent releases of the NHL game franchise.

What does this button do?
Game play is basic at the highest descriptive level. Movement of the players is seemingly in 8 directions, passes include the basic ground pass and the saucer pass. The saucer pass is particularly an ugly animation. The big hit button seems like the best way to get the puck from the opposition. You essentially line up the opponent, and time your large push to annihilate the target player. The other methods of disposing your opponents include the poke check, which is essentially stick to stick combat over the puck, and a simple body check, which seems to bounce the opponent rather than check them. I find the poke check and basic body check to be a complete waste of time, as you have to line the opposing player up to perform them, and you may as well go for the big hit, as the poke check and basic body check wonít necessarily dispossess the player depending on each players respective stats.

Audio
Audio within NHL games, particularly the modern releases, feature heavy rock tracks, which I love in a rough, physical game like this. NHL 2002 features no more than 8 songs, most of which are incredibly annoying. I already play my own music when playing as it really is unbearable to hear the same awful songs over and over again. Commentary is one of the gameís saving graces. Don Taylor took over commentary for that year, and his fun but bizarre commentary really adds to this games retro value.

Game Modes
Play Now mode allows you to enter game play immediately with your choice of teams and settings. The familiar career mode allows you to choose a team and develop them as you see fit, as well as winning as many Presidentís trophies and Stanley Cups on the way as you can. I found a slight problem with the career mode. The Pittsburgh Penguins were at the time the worst team in the NHL despite owning one of the best players to ever play. I was disappointed at the state of my team and so decided to enter the trading market. I found to some pleasure, but mostly dismay, that I could near enough get any player I desired by employing a technique. By trading a player for a slightly better player (a trade which was accepted almost every time) I was able to quickly turn a 65 overall center to a overall 94 center. By doing this I quickly owned the best team in the game within a matter of minutes. Safe to say, I dominated the season that followed.

In Conclusion...
Letís wrap this thing up then. The commentary and graphical style of the game are particular high points for me. Don Taylor really brings this game to life with wacky phrases, and the already mentioned classic PS2 graphics help to bring an emphasised ruggedness to the sport which is lost in the modern releases of ice hockey. Game play is simplistic but ultimately easy to learn and very fun regardless. Add to this fun features, such as hockey cards which have to be collected throughout the game to unlock new features such as big head mode, and the game is broadened in terms of playability. If youíre a hockey fan, picking up this potential piece of history in the NHL series is a cheap venture and a worthwhile one. However, if youíre a gamer alone, youíll be wondering why I even wrote this review in the first place. Luckily, Iím a hockey fan who loves gaming, and because of that, this is my gaming nirvana.

Game Score: 9/10

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