NHL Hockey 97
Review by Al Giovetti
Price: $60
Genre: sports simulation
Release: September, 1996
Developer: Electronic Arts Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Phone: 800-245-4525
Website: www.ea.com
Requirements: Pentium, 75 MHz, DOS 5.0 and Windows 95, 4X CD-ROM, 1 MB SVGA, 8 MB RAM (16 MB with Windows 95), 25 MB hard drive space (40 MB with Windows 95)

History: The Electronic Arts Sports Canada group is known for its high powered, fun-to-play, sports games. Their long string of hits shows nothing but professionalism and a love of sports. This NHL Hockey is no different.

Plot: You try to get more pucks into the goal than the other guy and if you do this and the clock runs out you win the game.

Teams and statistics: 26 NHL teams, two all star teams, five international squads, 700 NHLPA players, 600 player photographs, and 30 authentic goalie masks

Interface: Many types of controls are supported but the Gravis Grip is recommended. Only two button game pad support is found. Dynamic cameras follow the action to give you better situational awareness and button free views of the action. You can also bring the camera down to ice level for a better view.

Graphics: Tremendously accurate player uniforms right down to player emblems, goalie shin guards and forearm guards, numbers and names on uniforms, multicolored stripes, helmet emblems, stick painting, and others. You can see the ice surface get rougher as the game play proceeds toward the final buzzer.

Animation: Motion capture of real hockey defenseman Doug Bodger has been raised to an art form. The players move smoothly with the most fluid animation yet seen in a hockey game, with all the other graphic elements intact.

Voice actors: The play by play uses the real names of the players.

Music score: The game has great hockey music, which is not the kind of music you want to play on your stereo but it sets the tone from the first organ blast to the last drumbeat.

Sound effects:

Utilities: A special goalie mask viewer allows you to look at all 30 authentic masks from a variety of angles in true three dimensional presentation.

Multi-player: Network, null and phone modem, and internet play are all supported.

Jeff Tschiltsch, Computer Player, volume 3, number 7, December, 1996, pg. 86, (90%).
Daniel Morris, PC Games, volume 3, number 12, December, 1996, pg. 148, 85%.