Capabilities: VMU Compatible
Hockey brought to you buy Sega Sports, and Blackbox, not Visual Basics who made NBA 2K & NFL 2K. So this game is done completely different from those games and it shows. Will it do any better, and give us the best console sports experience such as other Sega Sports games did last year like NBA & NFL 2K? Let's get onto the review and see.
One of the things that you'll notice right off the bat that's different from NBA & NFL 2K is that there's no radial menu's. It's just replaced by an ordinary vertical menu. Also the game intros for NBA & NFL 2K used the game engine's hockey & football players for the opening intro, but NHL 2K uses FMV footage off tv of various hockey action. I preferred the NFL & NBA 2K's intro better because it showed off how real games are getting to the real thing. The players look great, and the game can be easily played in any camera view, even cinematic, which was impossible to even play in the other Sega Sports games this year. The players look just like the real thing shown by the awesome power of the Dreamcast. I was amazed that you can see the shaving of ice your players leave by.
There really isnt nothing dramatic thats bad about the graphics. I prefer the vertical menus much more than the radial ones. I really don't like the new type of intro, and the audience looks a little bit on the cheesy side, and not as great as the one in NBA 2K, but that's the only complaints about the graphics, and it barely manages to drop the score down a notch.
The game has an appropriate hockey theme, fits the game well, and all the sound effects are well done, like the skating sounds exactly like skating, and so do all the slap shots, checks, and so on. Unlike it's fellow Sega Sports titles, NHL 2K didn't hire real voice actors for this game, instead it uses real NHL announcers, Bob Cole for play-by-play, and Harry Neale for commentary, but these guys sound real dull, Cole's alright for play-by-play, but his comments repeat too often, and gets repetitive real fast, and Neale's commentary makes him sound like the Mike Tenay of Hockey, all he says is stupid, old hockey facts and his voice sounds like a robot!
Of course, Sega wowed us again with another great sports experience. The cinematic view looks just like the real thing. Any ways you got all the penalties here, and all the moves, like slap shots, wrist shots, and so on. You can choose plays in the same method as NBA 2K by pressing the Control Pad during game play, and it's easy to move around with your player using the control stick., and hockey players skate just like they do in real life, for example, if you're moving up the rink real fast, and try to all of a sudden skate in the opposite direction , your player will slow down the way he's going, and slowly regain speed going down, until he gets at a fast speed. Plenty of modes of play and options to choose from like exhibition and season modes, plus you can also create up to 40 players.
The game does seemed rush, because there is a lack of modes, that most other hockey simulations have out there such as practice and shootout modes missing from action. Also there's no jump pack support, and most hockey games usually have feedback support, and I was disappointed that it was missing from this game, also going against the computer is a pain, because the goalie always covers the puck after he makes a save and you gotta go through another face off. But even though these are some noticeable flaws, you always seem to forget about them, and they arent hat much annoying.
Up to 4 players can play so you can have the ultimate virtual hockey experience of your life with your friends, and have a real blast, and you can create players too, both are big pluses, but there a couple of bugs, that holds the score of the game back, like not many extra modes to choose from, or no jump pack compatibility, but the modes it gives you, are just fine to start off with, but some extras wouldve been nice.
+: Great cinematic camera, create-a-player, lots of stats
-: no jump pack compatibility, not many modes of play
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.8
Replay Value: 8.5
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
A great hockey game on the Dreamcast! This turned out to be a great debut, even though the game didn't come out with all the extras that most gamers thought it would have, but the developers probably did this on purpose so they can have something ''major'' in next years game, I hope it has online play! But if you're a hockey fan, and looking for some great thrills, don't hesitate with this title. Because its still the only hockey game on the Dreamcast.