Review of NHL 2002
It’s game time folks…the fans are rowdy and the players are pumped for action. Starting off, the gamer needs to decide if they are going to begin with a quick game where one player can choose their favorite NHL team and battle the computer… or jump into the heavier game modes like; Season, Playoff, Tournament, or shootout mode. Having a strategy from the beginning is probably a good idea as NHL 2002 has many bells and whistles that can be tinkered with. Creating NHL players, adjusting game speed, accuracy, players fatigue, aggression levels, and player’s injuries can all be manipulated. Its like playing God, I like that..!
After watching the uninspiring intro video I may not have been as pumped as last year, but I still was ready to design a player and play hockey. My creation benefited from a custom profile due to the nicely enhanced create-a-player mode. I went through all the options to pick the right eyes, nose, mouth, facial hair, height and weight so I now looked like Brad Pitt and played like Eric Lindros. Yes, I had to use the Trade-player feature to get Lindros to the Rangers.
The Philadelphia Flyers picked me up off the waiver wire and I was now on a line with JR and LeClair. I could not wait to see the new Hero celebrations awarded to certain players after scoring a goal and the possibility of playing with 7 other gamers at once is just too good to miss.
EA Sports came up with a few new feature sets with NHL 2002. One is the franchise mode. It is actually tied into the games all-new NHL Card feature. Some of the tasks that earn users the points to buy a pack of 10 cards are only earned by accomplishing certain career marks, such as 500 goals or 1,000 assists with a “created player”. The franchise mode also includes up to 30 user-controlled teams and lasts about 10 seasons. It also tracks players stats, etc.
The controls are pretty much the same as NHL2001, with the addition of being able to pass the puck with some air under it, to go over the top of sticks that might otherwise get in its path. There are also new moves like the Saucer Pass and the player has better control of the stick.
The graphics are pretty pleasant. There is not much of a noticeable improvement since NHL2001 but the framerate appears to be locked now at 30fps. There is no jittering or slowdown to speak of. The NHL players display nice detail; they are a bit more rounded, faces are a little more human-like, and the lighting effect is better. The players also have more animated moves like stretching to save a goal.
The sound effects really rocked. You can hear the swooshing of the puck, screaming of the crowds, and oppositions sneaking up on you. The effects are clear and crisp due to the new digital surround sound DTS feature. This is an awesome enhancement in my opinion. You really feel like your part of the experience. I actually got goose bumps. The commentary is also well done. It is not repetitive and comic relief plays a big part as well, not to mention all of the story telling going on. If you got a digital receiver, grab an optical cable and jam!!
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'NHL 2002' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Loretta Mattie © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 9 NHL 2002 in-game screenshot slideshow
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