NHL Hitz 2002 Review

Developer: Black Box Publisher: Midway Games
Release Date: November 18, 2001 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

I know that it’s a little bit late to review this game, but why not? With more than enough rowdy sports action and solid game play, NHL Hitz is probably my favorite hockey game ever. With just so many things to do and a great arcade experience, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t own this title. After all, it is now only $30 in most stores (because 20-03 edition is out).

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Well, Hitz presents itself as a beat-em-up hockey game, which seemed to be what drew me to the game. Aren’t we all sick of the same old boring hockey game, with checking and all of those non-sense rules? In most hockey games, (including the ones on TV) are slow, unexciting, and low scoring. A slow paced game doesn’t appeal to many gamers and that’s where Hitz comes in. It brings together a great looking audience and players, while also including the option to make your own team and players. Many sports games include this option, but others don’t include the “points system� as I like to call it. By playing an exhibition game and after beating it, you are asked a question. If you answer the question correctly, you will earn points and you use these points to buy things such as new stadiums, uniforms, teams, and other things as well.

No complaints here. Hitz provides you with a life-like crowd which cheers, jeers, and throws beer on the ice (maybe not the beer part). The players look great and all, but each player looks alike. They all look like long lost twins that met up on the New York Turnpike. The crisp ice and great looking stadiums make this a great looking game which is refined from any other hockey games. I mustn’t forget the awesome instant replay, which shows that the game screwed up and accidentally gave your opponent a point. Unfortunately, the Gamecube version pales in comparison with the Xbox version visually.

I’d hate to lower the rating for the sound category, because of the “o so annoying� announcers. They babble and babble on and never stop I tell you! NEVER! “Damphousse, Nolan, now Nolan passes it to Damphousse. Now Damphousse passes it to Nolan.� Is that annoying or what? I must say that it has a solid soundtrack with probably well over 5 songs. You might say that this isn’t much, but really compared to other games, more than 5 songs is a lot. Even though the soundtrack is mostly metal rock, which isn’t my favorite type of music, it does get the point across in a rough and tough game like this. The sound of bells and horns going off is pleasant and makes the game feel life-like in a sort of way. You can hear the sound of skates scraping the ice, the announcers ranting and raving, and angry fans going as mad as a cow with mad cows’ disease. All of this is very refreshing except for those damn announcers!

With options assorting from exhibition mode, to championship and franchise mode, Hitz has nearly everything for everyone. Like I stated earlier, you use your points that you earn to unlock other features, such as stadiums, teams, and logos. You also can gain attribute points for your teams’ players throughout the game. Fortunately for you newcomers out there, there is a skills mode which helps you get through any challenging moves that must be mastered to beat the difficult AI.

In a controls stand point, the controls are very intuitive and simple to learn. The A-button is used for passing, B is for shooting, Y is for spinning, and X helps guard the puck. Oh, and don’t forget the “O’ so useful� L button for turbo! With only a three on three match, you know that the game will boast fast paced action and high scoring scoreboard. You must remember, fighting is encouraged in an arcade style game like this and if you lose the fight, you are ejected. The main complaint is the “rock, paper, scissors� feel when you face off.

Hitz is a great game, especially for teens/kids and adults who don’t like the “normal� type of sports game. You must remember, this is practically an arcade game in your living room. No rules, no sympathy, and no regrets are the basic mottos of this game. Depending on your type, you might like this game. If you like hectic mayhem, then this is definitely the right type of game for you, otherwise, just stay clear of NHL Hitz 20-02. It’s a great investment if you are going to play with your friends.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 9.5
Final: 7.6
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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