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NHL Hitz Pro Details

   Midway announced recently that its NHL Hitz series would be changing directions from the arcade-styled gameplay and instead focus more on the simulation aspect of the sport. With that said, NHL Hitz Pro will be released on each next-generation console and is officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA. The game will feature Nicklas Lidstrom as its cover athlete and will also be completely online.


   "NHL Hitz Pro combines the best of both worlds, delivering a combination of Hitz signature extreme-style hockey gameplay but with added realism hockey fans will respect," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway.


   The list of new features is as follows:


  • New Online Play -- New 5-on-5 Gameplay
  • Full NHL Penalties and Violations, including offsides, two-line passing, holding and cross- checking
  • 23-Man Player Rosters -- 100% legitimate NHL rosters
  • Real Stadiums -- Accurately diagrammed arenas
  • Real Offensive and Defensive Team Formations -- Accurately represented offensive and defensive schemes
  • Player Fatigue System --- After a major check from an opponent, players show fatigue and strain
  • "On the Fly" Line Changes -- Substitute players upon seeing mismatches or tired players
  • Legitimate Stick Handling -- Use the right stick to glide and move the puck back and forth
  • Realistic Crowd Reactions -- NHL Pro re-creates realistic crowd and player emotions based on the flow of the game
  • New Color Commentary -- A second commentator has been added to the to the booth
  • Upgraded Franchise Mode -- GM Mode enables you to build a dynasty, manage various aspects of your team, draft and trade players at your whim, select offensive and defensive strategies, and more
  • Re-tooled Hockey School Mode -- Experience an all new training session.
  • Score from Anywhere on the Ice -- More ways to score including context-sensitive plays such as wraparounds, deflections and flip shots from behind the net
  • Multiplayer Tournament Mode -- Set up tournaments with up to 16 teams.
  • Advanced Options -- Using tunable settings and sliders, players can customize physics and graphics, including glass brittleness and puck friction among other options
  • Enhanced Fantasy Draft -- Do more than in last year's game
  • Improved AI -- Includes realistic offensive and defensive behavior, and smarter goalie AI and behavior too
  • Improved Goalie Animations and Goalie Logic and Behavior
  • Officially Licensed Equipment -- Players can choose from five levels of equipment, using some of the most popular brands in hockey: The Hockey Company, Bauer Hockey, Itech and Easton
  • New Motion Capture Animations -- New checks, slap shots and goalie animations. Midway's game improves on its 1,500 motion-captured animations


   NHL Hitz Pro is scheduled for release this fall 2003.

4/10/2003 Matt Stensrud

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