PS2 News: E3 2003: NHL 2004 Hands-On Impressions - PS2 News

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E3 2003: NHL 2004 Hands-On Impressions

  As I watched NHL 2004 before playing, I wasn’t overly excited about trying the game. Last year’s version really fell off as the top hockey game to own and in this year’s game isn’t anything extraordinary. The player models are average and the game just seems to lack polish in certain areas. When I did finally play the game, my assumptions were somewhat confirmed. NHL 2004 doesn’t control as nicely as I would have hoped and it’s rather sluggish in gameplay. I understand that EA is trying to accomplish a simulated experience and is attempting to avoid an arcade-like feel, but for me the game was just rather boring. Apparently the game’s biggest feature is new fight animations; however, from what I played the checking and physical portion of the game was rather uninspired.

   As far as hockey titles go, I’d still have to give Midway and Sega the upper hand. Both companies last year proved that they had what it takes to compete with an EA Sports game, and not only did they compete, they’ve downright outdone themselves for superiority. I’m really surprised EA wasn’t able to rebound from last year, but at its current state NHL 2004 is nothing spectacular. I was informed that the game will have an outstanding franchise mode, so that will be something to look forward to. However, as it stands now, NHL 2004 lacks the excitement and speed that hockey fans desire in a hockey game. We’ll continue to update on the game, so stay tuned for further information.

5/15/2003 Matt Stensrud

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