Holy shit this game is confusing. Nintendo (via Sculptured Software, not their in-house teams) wades into the hockey world with their first entry since the goofy but somewhat fun Ice Hockey back on the NES in 1985 or so, and they've snagged an NHL team license on the way (no player's association, though - jersey numbers only here.) Unfortunately, instead of goofy fun, they try to use Mode 7 quasi-3D to be the most "realistic" sim of the time, and it just doesn't work out well at all.

The problem is that the view aligns behind the player with the puck at all times, which leads to constant vertigo-inducing Mode 7 rotation to where you get confused about just what the hell is going on even if you know the game of hockey pretty well. Even if you do manage to come to grips with the crazy view, shooting is weird, the goalies are godly and it's far too easy to collide and steal pucks, leading to extremely low-scoring and boring games most of the time. The physics are also more like running than skating, which is a common problem with seemingly every hockey game outside of EA's in this period.

The music is totally forgettable, and the sound effects quickly get annoying in-game with what sounds like The Penguin from Batman constantly yelling "Nyaah" and "Smaash".

There's a season mode, but do you really want to play 80+ games of this? I'm guessing you won't even make it to 3.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video