Game Review - by Jeremiah Pratt
I get chills when I hear that EA is releasing a new version of NHL. It especially, touches me in my heart because I'm an advid Hockey fan, as player. As soon as I was old enough to stand my dad had me in skates. And as soon as I learned I could skate I donned the gear and the stick. And learned to attack this little rubber disc now called a hockey puck. Found out I was pretty damn good at it and pursed it in high school. That was an experience, because see I'm a black, French mix, take that. Anyway on to NHL 99….
There is no story to tell here, just that NHL 99 rocks. And it's your job to pick a team and win the Stanley cup.
The Features, in NHL 99 go on and on. They're endless; some of the new comers are coaching drills. The interface in NHL99 is the best I've seen. Not only is it slick and exciting to see, but the music integrated in the background rocks. I took special notice to the advanced controller option, where you can select to play as one person. Plus there are so many options now, ex. Lock rules. Lock rules doesn't allow people on the Internet change the in game rules. Phew there's plenty more, where that came from read on.
The graphics in NHL99 are the best ever. They're awesome, each year EA listens to the gamers and developers. And implements those things into the new version. The players now have noticeable facial features. Where you'll see the player smile or frown depending on his mood. Also the player movements are more fluid and life like. I sometimes think I'm watching the game on TV! But there is something about that ref in the penalty box that freaks me out. He has a grin stretched a mile long. Dunno what he's so happy about oh well.
The Sound FX, kick I can't say on TV ASS! Beginning with the in rink announcer, to the play by play guys. Although EA cheesed out and used some stuff from NHL98. The play by play guys is still enlightening to hear. The Sound of checks can shake your walls if you have a high bass subwoofer. I'm not kidding ya, plus all the other little in game sounds are really cool. The Musical Soundtrack is awesome. Man right in the intro there's the song by Bob Dylan's son (sorry forgot the dudes name) from the wallflowers. I got suddenly inspired to rock butt. Plus right when you enter the main menu your treated to a medley of rock sounds. Including some from the group aerosmith. Plus in game music tracks rock, you'll even catch a short clip of some Marilyn Manson.
Ah the Gameplay! Be prepared for a novel hehe just kidding. The best and most concentrated feature. Allot of little quirks were improved from NHL98. The AI has been jacked up many notches. The computer can seriously score, mostly on rebound shots though. Plus you're team AI is better too, no more excessive onsides or getting out of position. The shooting is harder to do, you'll have to get used to it but it's still fun. Another thing you're players actually try to get in position for one timers and rebound shots. Unfortunately there needs to be less glass shattering and Penalty shots. These things are not seen on a daily basis in Live Hockey. And I hope Companies takes head to this.
Overall, this game deserves a perfect score. Not just because I love hockey and the NHL series. But because it deserves a perfect score. All the elements are here, fully integrated options and controller setup. Tons of features and gameplay details. Awesome Sound FX and a musical track to die for. Plus the graphics are awesome, improved AI and Coaching Drills always something new each year from EA. They never fail to amaze us.