MUTANT LEAGUE HOCKEY / EA / Sega Genesis


Mutant League Football garnered a decent following, so EA said "Hey, let's trot out the concept again, this time using the NHL '93 engine." And so Mutant League Hockey was born. The same rosters of skeletons, robots and monsters take to the ice to brutalize each other, but this time out some new teams are added to keep with the NHL theme - the Pucksucker Pukes stand in for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Blackhearts are the evil twin of the Blackhawks, etc.

Pits and mines make a return, but new environmental hazards include sharks, and weapons tossed onto the ice by the crowd. Instead of checking, players will swing axes or raise their sticks to reveal a chainsaw mechanism attached to the end. Despite all this, the game mirrors NHL '93s gameplay more that MLF mirrored Madden - actually playing hockey is more important than just killing off the other team.

As with MLF, the weaknesses of the original game that it is a derivative of are still present here. In the case of NHL '93/MLH, this means it is very easy to control the puck and get down the ice on the computer opponent, but the computer goaltending is ridiculously perfect. The only reliable way to score is with a stats mismatch involving a high-profile shooter (such as the Pukes' Lepuke or Jamina Dagr, representing Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr respectively) v.s. a relatively weak goalie. Shooting also seems harder in this one than I remember it being in NHL '93 (which I spent many hours with); shots attempted to the right or left side of the goal simply seem to go very wide left or right of the goal entirely. This leads to the best tactic in many cases simply being firing centered shots from the blue line, as you get two points instead of one for anything that scores from there.

Like MLF, the game is not bad, but has a slightly janky and sloppy feel overall and can easily become frustrating. Whether the cartoony ultra-violence, cutesy animations and morbid humor makes up for that is up to you.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video
 
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