primeaulives

Why '94?

Recommended Posts

I'm new here so sorry if this sounds like a really stupid question, but why is '94 so revered when an entire season can't be played? I tried the game out on my laptop today (the roster updated version off this forum), and noticed a couple of odd things:

1) '94 is WAY better looking than the later versions of the game. It's a hundred times smoother and more clean looking than 95-97. Is this just because I'm playing an edited rom?

2) Why oh why can't an entire season be played? There seems to be no fighting in this version either.

3) Is there a game or edited rom that looks and plays like '94, but has the full range of features like '96 or '98? I'm really hoping so; the old Genesis NHLs had much better gameplay than the ones out today--I can definitely see why it's being played online.

Thanks for reading!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm new here so sorry if this sounds like a really stupid question, but why is '94 so revered when an entire season can't be played?

Why not? It's still the best hockey game ever made I think especially because it's shortcomings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm new here so sorry if this sounds like a really stupid question, but why is '94 so revered when an entire season can't be played?

I don't think I understand the question. You can play an entire season in '94.... RIGHT HERE ON THE BEST SITE EVER!!!! lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played a full season with Tampa Bay agaisnt the AI. Trust me, a season mode isn't a usefull feature. I didn't lose a game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, this game added a feature (the one timer) which elevated an already quality game (NHLPA 93) to a whole other level. Yes, they removed the fighting and blood. However, most true fans of the game of hockey profess that those who watch for the fights are retards ( even though fighting gives hockey that little something extra). The passing, shooting, skating and evenflo give this game an edge over many of the games created prior and since.

Point two, this game was created in a time when many of us were little tikes. And human nature persistently suggests that one must retain certain qualities of our youth. The demographic of the patronage of this site is a clear piece of evidence that we play this game and it reminds us, it transports us, to some of the finest points in our collective childhood.

So, in closing, you ask why? I give you gameplay and childhood. Add those together and you get NHL 94.

And, if I play three or four games, drinking at every whistle and intermission, I get shitfaced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies. I'm wondering at this point though: what makes '94 preferable to '95, '96, '97 or even '98? It seems to me that each year EA just added roster updates and more features like seasons and stuff. Did the gameplay suffer? I remember playing these games when I was younger and being able to score a cheap guaranteed goal by deking left and right in front of the goalie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The weirdest thing is that, even though VERY different, '94 seem to be the preferred game on both systems. But then again, this is the nhl94.com forums, so who knows, there might be just as many that like the other versions, just that no one has created a community like this yet. I know a lot of people like NHL '93 for Genesis around here.

I never owned '94, but played the SNES version a lot at a friends house. I had Elitserien '95 (Genesis) which was awesome since it had a season mode and to top it of it was a game with Sweden's top hockey league. Though it had a lot of flaws (which I don't think I noticed back then) I really enjoyed it. And I also had EA Hockey and NHL '96 (Genesis) and played the hell out of NHL '96.

Now, 10+ years later, SNES NHL '94 is without a doubt the hockey game I've played the most. Runner up, by miles, is probably NHL '99 for PC, the last good game by EA imho. Dunno if I had any real point, my hands just kept going. Heh..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NHL 94 is so great because it was the game with the biggest improvement over the previous year out of all of the games in the series.

The only thing it lost was fighting. And fighting was like a double-edged sword, because while it was kinda cool, it also slowed the game down a whole lot, especially in 92.

One-timers were the single biggest improvement. Now there were many more ways to score besides slap shots top corner and deking the goalie in close. There was also goalie control, and penalty shots (also shootout mode). And while there was no season mode vs. the cpu, there was still playoff mode, and this was the first year that records were kept. So now you could keep track of your win pct., most goals in a game, and most saves in a victory. Records were also saved for the best performances of each individual player in the game. So the game never got old. The gameplay was so great while playing your brother or friend, but you also had motivation while playing to improve your record or pad the stats of your players or the crowd level. There were also player cards, with actual pictures of the starting lines, so the game looked better too.

I think if as many people had a genesis in 92 as they did in 94, then 92 would be remembered for how great it was too. I remember playing that, after I had been used to playing hockey games like Slap Shot for the Master System (Sega's version of Blades of Steel) and Ice Hockey on the NES. It was amazing, and you thought to yourself, it just can't get any better than this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First of all, this game added a feature (the one timer) which elevated an already quality game (NHLPA 93) to a whole other level. Yes, they removed the fighting and blood. However, most true fans of the game of hockey profess that those who watch for the fights are retards ( even though fighting gives hockey that little something extra). The passing, shooting, skating and evenflo give this game an edge over many of the games created prior and since.

Point two, this game was created in a time when many of us were little tikes. And human nature persistently suggests that one must retain certain qualities of our youth. The demographic of the patronage of this site is a clear piece of evidence that we play this game and it reminds us, it transports us, to some of the finest points in our collective childhood.

So, in closing, you ask why? I give you gameplay and childhood. Add those together and you get NHL 94.

And, if I play three or four games, drinking at every whistle and intermission, I get shitfaced.

Great points Hullie. I definetly agree with them.

Another reason why 94 is so big is that 95-98 are a pain in the butt to play online, they desync a lot and play a lot faster so you may have choppier game play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

92 was revolutionary. There is little question that the difference between 92 and what was available before was enormous.

93 was better.

94 was even better. Fighting was funny, but it didn't affect game play to remove it. I was a little sad. But my happiness over one timers eclipsed it.

I was kind of neutral on 95. I never used season mode, so its inclusion didn't mean much to me personally.

96 took a big turn for the worse in terms of game play, and I didn't trust the new versions of the game after that (also, PlayStation came out soon afterwards).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NHL 94 is so great because it was the game with the biggest improvement over the previous year out of all of the games in the series.

The only thing it lost was fighting. And fighting was like a double-edged sword, because while it was kinda cool, it also slowed the game down a whole lot, especially in 92.

One-timers were the single biggest improvement. Now there were many more ways to score besides slap shots top corner and deking the goalie in close. There was also goalie control, and penalty shots (also shootout mode). And while there was no season mode vs. the cpu, there was still playoff mode, and this was the first year that records were kept. So now you could keep track of your win pct., most goals in a game, and most saves in a victory. Records were also saved for the best performances of each individual player in the game. So the game never got old. The gameplay was so great while playing your brother or friend, but you also had motivation while playing to improve your record or pad the stats of your players or the crowd level. There were also player cards, with actual pictures of the starting lines, so the game looked better too.

I think if as many people had a genesis in 92 as they did in 94, then 92 would be remembered for how great it was too. I remember playing that, after I had been used to playing hockey games like Slap Shot for the Master System (Sega's version of Blades of Steel) and Ice Hockey on the NES. It was amazing, and you thought to yourself, it just can't get any better than this!

Not to mention that the goalies themselves were improved overall. 93 they were kinda weak and got out of position a lot, which I thought made it easier to score. 94 is more of a challenge, which is why they implemented the one-timer as another offensive weapon.

You can probably guess who my favorite player is (psst...Hextall...), but he was traded to Quebec and is on the Nordiques in 94, which of course makes me kinda mad since he was on the Flyers for 93, but here's how I look at it: yes, he's on the Flyers in 93, but you can't even control him, so it's not like it makes a difference. Once I realized that, I got over it and with that little personal thing out of the way, 94 is truly the greatest hockey video game in my eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why 94? Simple, it's the only game I can play online without having a massive fit trying to get things setup. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it comes down to a few things.

- The Wonky Skating. It's just different than the later games. In 94, the players 'swoop', whereas, in the newer games, they turn on a dime. It's just better somehow. You really need to work with the momentum of the players. If your player is skating the wrong way, you shouldn't just turn around and skate the other way, you should try to pass to a guy who has some momentum in the right direction. If you miss a check, you REALLY miss the check.

- The Wonky Passing. Making over 60% of your passes is quite an accomplishment. I don't know why, but this unpredictability makes the game more fun, than knowing that every pass will work. If you pull off 3 good passes in a row, resulting in a goal, you just feel like you scored an amazing high-light reel goal.

- The Quirks (which are also wonky). NHL 94 makes me laugh, plain and simple. I've played so many games of 94, yet I'm still surprised by some of the things that happen. How i wish i hadn't accidentally saved over the clip of me scoring off Larry Murphy's face...

- Player Diversity. In new games, the players all feel pretty much the same. Not so in 94. The speeds, agilities, shot power and accuracy, and checking ability of the players are so varied, that every player has his own feel. Try playing with Randy Wood on the Sabres, whose speed is ~85, but agility is ~40. Then compare him to someone like Mike Modano (same speed, but better agility). Gretzky's shot will surprise no goalies, while Tomas Sandstrom's inspires fear in goaltenders, and Al Iafrate's inspires fear in every single player on the ice, other than the goalies.

- The Sounds. the check noise in 94 is just SO SATISFYING. BLLOOOAARRGHh!!!

- The Polish. The game is basically the evolution and refinement of a single vision over 4 years, from the first NHL Hockey game, to NHL94. OK, there are bugs for sure.. but they're good bugs! Also, compare the one-timers in NHL94, to the one-timers in NHL06 for the XBox -- the NHL94 ones seem much more natural and fluid.

- Unpredictabilty. I touched on this before with the passing. It also applies to the shooting, such as when Iafrate shoots a shot at around 500 mph about 35 degrees off from the net, nailing a guy minding his own business by the boards in the face; and the checking, where you don't always know if your check will knock the player flat, or if he'll slide off the check and go in for an easy deke (you need to know the players well to know who can check whom -- or get good with the B-button poke-check/trip). Unpredictability creates obsession. A bit like gambling, or a girl you just can't quite figure out, but feel endlessly required to try to. Yes, i am comparing NHL94.. to love.

Here are my NHL94 videos on youtube that I hope can help elucidate my points:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it comes down to a few things.

- The Wonky Skating. It's just different than the later games. In 94, the players 'swoop', whereas, in the newer games, they turn on a dime. It's just better somehow. You really need to work with the momentum of the players. If your player is skating the wrong way, you shouldn't just turn around and skate the other way, you should try to pass to a guy who has some momentum in the right direction. If you miss a check, you REALLY miss the check.

- The Wonky Passing. Making over 60% of your passes is quite an accomplishment. I don't know why, but this unpredictability makes the game more fun, than knowing that every pass will work. If you pull off 3 good passes in a row, resulting in a goal, you just feel like you scored an amazing high-light reel goal.

- The Quirks (which are also wonky). NHL 94 makes me laugh, plain and simple. I've played so many games of 94, yet I'm still surprised by some of the things that happen. How i wish i hadn't accidentally saved over the clip of me scoring off Larry Murphy's face...

- Player Diversity. In new games, the players all feel pretty much the same. Not so in 94. The speeds, agilities, shot power and accuracy, and checking ability of the players are so varied, that every player has his own feel. Try playing with Randy Wood on the Sabres, whose speed is ~85, but agility is ~40. Then compare him to someone like Mike Modano (same speed, but better agility). Gretzky's shot will surprise no goalies, while Tomas Sandstrom's inspires fear in goaltenders, and Al Iafrate's inspires fear in every single player on the ice, other than the goalies.

- The Sounds. the check noise in 94 is just SO SATISFYING. BLLOOOAARRGHh!!!

- The Polish. The game is basically the evolution and refinement of a single vision over 4 years, from the first NHL Hockey game, to NHL94. OK, there are bugs for sure.. but they're good bugs! Also, compare the one-timers in NHL94, to the one-timers in NHL06 for the XBox -- the NHL94 ones seem much more natural and fluid.

- Unpredictabilty. I touched on this before with the passing. It also applies to the shooting, such as when Iafrate shoots a shot at around 500 mph about 35 degrees off from the net, nailing a guy minding his own business by the boards in the face; and the checking, where you don't always know if your check will knock the player flat, or if he'll slide off the check and go in for an easy deke (you need to know the players well to know who can check whom -- or get good with the B-button poke-check/trip). Unpredictability creates obsession. A bit like gambling, or a girl you just can't quite figure out, but feel endlessly required to try to. Yes, i am comparing NHL94.. to love.

Here are my NHL94 videos on youtube that I hope can help elucidate my points:

I heartily agree with the wonky skating, passing, and the player diversity, especially since the newer games seem to lack all of those. NHL 08, while still a great game, fails to differentiate between different players. Anyone from Crosby to Brashear can pull off the skill stick moves and can pass the puck tape to tape, no matter what the skill level. Funny how an older game like 94 can do that, yet the newest technology on the 360 and PS3 can't.

Simply put, it's just more fun than the recent games. I'm still stuck on the old Xbox, but the only games that can really compare to the fun I get with 94 are ESPN NHL 2k5 (starting to lose my interest do to either too little cpu offense or too many one-timers), NHL 2k3, NHL 2004, and NHL Hitz Pro. But 94 comes out on top.

I think a big part of the appeal NHL 94 has is the fact that it's low tech, so it's easier to imagine what the plays, the goals, the saves, and the big hits look like. With the technology and graphics in 2k8 and 08, the photo-realistic gameplay makes it easier to see the flaws, sort of like how human faces look much more realistic in games, but because they're closer to real life, it's easier to tell what looks wrong and it puts us off. NHL 94 doesn't suffer from that, and therefore is a better experience in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Supurb reply smo!!! I dont think anyone could of said it better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Smoz, you nailed it with that explanation. People ask me why I like to play that game, I should carry your post around with me so I can say "that's why".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it comes down to a few things.

- The Wonky Skating. It's just different than the later games. In 94, the players 'swoop', whereas, in the newer games, they turn on a dime. It's just better somehow. You really need to work with the momentum of the players. If your player is skating the wrong way, you shouldn't just turn around and skate the other way, you should try to pass to a guy who has some momentum in the right direction. If you miss a check, you REALLY miss the check.

- The Wonky Passing. Making over 60% of your passes is quite an accomplishment. I don't know why, but this unpredictability makes the game more fun, than knowing that every pass will work. If you pull off 3 good passes in a row, resulting in a goal, you just feel like you scored an amazing high-light reel goal.

- The Quirks (which are also wonky). NHL 94 makes me laugh, plain and simple. I've played so many games of 94, yet I'm still surprised by some of the things that happen. How i wish i hadn't accidentally saved over the clip of me scoring off Larry Murphy's face...

- Player Diversity. In new games, the players all feel pretty much the same. Not so in 94. The speeds, agilities, shot power and accuracy, and checking ability of the players are so varied, that every player has his own feel. Try playing with Randy Wood on the Sabres, whose speed is ~85, but agility is ~40. Then compare him to someone like Mike Modano (same speed, but better agility). Gretzky's shot will surprise no goalies, while Tomas Sandstrom's inspires fear in goaltenders, and Al Iafrate's inspires fear in every single player on the ice, other than the goalies.

- The Sounds. the check noise in 94 is just SO SATISFYING. BLLOOOAARRGHh!!!

- The Polish. The game is basically the evolution and refinement of a single vision over 4 years, from the first NHL Hockey game, to NHL94. OK, there are bugs for sure.. but they're good bugs! Also, compare the one-timers in NHL94, to the one-timers in NHL06 for the XBox -- the NHL94 ones seem much more natural and fluid.

- Unpredictabilty. I touched on this before with the passing. It also applies to the shooting, such as when Iafrate shoots a shot at around 500 mph about 35 degrees off from the net, nailing a guy minding his own business by the boards in the face; and the checking, where you don't always know if your check will knock the player flat, or if he'll slide off the check and go in for an easy deke (you need to know the players well to know who can check whom -- or get good with the B-button poke-check/trip). Unpredictability creates obsession. A bit like gambling, or a girl you just can't quite figure out, but feel endlessly required to try to. Yes, i am comparing NHL94.. to love.

Dude brilliant post!!! That sums it up for me as well. The Iafrate deal is spot on and hilarious as well UMPH!

Biggest thing is each player "felt" different. They each had their own character. Thats what I loved. I knew every players ratings and knew and felt what to do with them. EX

Bob Errey was fast as s**t but you would never try to wind up with him. He wasnt even that good at the deke cause his SH was crap..it was either a ram goal or no goal. And lo-and -behold if you could complete a tic tac play with Rick tocchet! He would either rifle a 100mph slapper in or the pass would rattle off his stick. Its those little things where you have to decide DO I PASS IT when you know Rob Ray is lumbering down your right wing cause you know there is a 70% chance his stone hands wont hold onto the pass.

No game since has had the individual differentiation 94 had in respect to the players. That and the feeling that I scored the goal. The stop and go move to freeze the d then the manual spinorama around another D finished off with a delayed lazy backhander deke for the goal. You manufacture the play and the stick work.

Thats why I love 94!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Smoz is dead on..and it does a body good, just look at the results.

jj92km.jpg

ed grimley is classic "i must say." but who is that mongoloid guy. i've seen him on the internet before, but who is he?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ed grimley is classic "i must say." but who is that mongoloid guy. i've seen him on the internet before, but who is he?

Oh you mean the guy next to Bond? Oh, that's Hokkee.

:lol: Just messin' Hokkee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hah. nhl 94 is by far my favourite Hockey game ever.

although it's not the first game i ever played. (Ice Hockey and Blades of Steel), it was the first hockey game I ever owned. i got it the christmas of 1993, when i got my first Snes <_<

I just loved how much less frusterating it is compared to Blades of Steel...and then later games like nhl 95-98 for the Snes.

I still play 96 today, only because of the full season mode...but i end up yelling at the tv after the 50th pass got intercepted by the other team. Then i switch over to 94 and I ask myself "What happened?"

EA had such a perfect game going, and they ruined the 16-bit era hockey with NHL's 95-98 by speeding things up, the most annoying crowd sounds ever. I mean their boo's sound more like a kid moaning at their parents. And when they go "Awww", it sounds like a kid throwing a fit, and the most unconvincing pass, shots, and body check sounds.

But with NHL 94, it all seemed more real. Passes sounded like passes. Shots sounded like they would actually take your head off. And the crowd sounded Real. Even the jerseys looked amazing for the time. unlike later games where each team looked the exact same except different colours.

thankfully once EA moved onto the 32 bit games and up, they went back to their roots and tried to make the games look more realistic.

but anywho, i'm done my little post. long live NHL 94. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol:

On another forum I visit people have love/hate feelings with the acronym OFN [Old fvcking news]. Both threads talk about similar topics but we are, after all, an nhl94 community and it's tough to hold it against people when they just want to proclaim their love from all the rooftops of the internet.

Plus smozoma's post is a well written point by point description of why I love the game. I'm going to have to agree with the suggestion to print it out on business cards and hand them out without any other words to anyone who questions why we're stuck playing a game that's so 90's. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never posted on these forums before, but this subject made me feel compelled to reply.

To really understand why NHL '94 is so special to many of us, you would have to have lived during the era when it was released. If you are a teenager who was born just before, when, or just after this game was released you will never really understand. It is us old timers (and I use the term loosely as I am only 23) who played this game when it was originally released that will appreciate it the most.

Let me elaborate:

Growing up, I played two hockey games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Ice Hockey and later, Blades of Steel. When Blades of Steel was released I was completely floored as it looked amazing and had the most realistic hockey action I had played up to that point.

When I was 7 years old in the fall of 1991, NHL Hockey was released for the SEGA Genesis. A friend of mine got the game immediately. To say that I was in awe would be an understatement. Not only did the game feature real NHL teams with real logos and team colors, but players were also featured. Later I would find that it was only player NUMBERS that were included in the game and not actual player names as EA did not have the license from the NHLPA, but that is besides the point. The fact that numbers, team colors, logos, cities, etc were included and were accurate was amazing. On top of this, real penalties and rules were enforced. Penalties were given based on true to life infractions rather than given to players for losing a fight, and off sides could be enforced. And to add icing to the cake, the player could use a password system to guide a team through the playoffs to the Stanley Cup. Gameplay was also amazing as the graphics combined with a new perspective (north and south rather than east and west) making this game a totally new experience. This game was truely leaps and bounds ahead of anything I had seen before.

I tried to purchase the game for months but it was continually sold out where I lived (St. Louis) and I never did get it. But the rumors at school began to circulate in the fall of 1992 that a newer version of the game was coming out... this one had extra letters added for some reason... NHLXWYZ or something, but it was essentially the same game. In early 1993 I finally found and purchased NHLPA Hockey '93. This game featured real player names and numbers among other gameplay refinements and improvements (such as organ music and player injuries). I was puzzled as to why EASN was at center ice rather than team logos but this was only a minor flaw. I would later realize it was because EA had the NHLPA license but not an NHL license to team names, logos, and the Stanley Cup could not appear in the game. Despite this, the gameplay and features still improved and it was really a quality experience.

That brings us to NHL '94. This game finally tied everything together with NHL and NHLPA licenses. Team names and logos appeared in the game along with player names and numbers and even photos. The gameplay and animations also reached their pinnacle. This truely was the crowning achievement of three years of work on the same game engine. Small things like real team themed organ music (such as "When the Blues go Marching In" for St. Louis and Chicago's theme), improved crowd animations, breaking glass, hats on the ice for hat tricks, players getting checked into the bench, and of course the one timer made this game stand tall above the previous releases. That is why this game is still so revered. It is the game where the NHL and NHLPA licenses finally met and the gameplay and graphics were refined for three years to reach the top of the mountain.

NHL '95 also awed me with the addition of full season play, player awards, trades, and the ability to create players but the gameplay itself was lacking as they completely changed the game engine. The graphics were worse, the sound effects were worse, the crowd noise was annoying.... I even disliked the organ music. Had they simply taken NHL '94, updated the rosters and added all of those other features, we would be at an NHL '95 website right now. Unfortunately that is not the case and NHL '94 turned out to be the best game in the series.

Lastly, I think it is important to note the standards that were held at that time. I remember being amazed by the Big Boo in Super Mario World, and a group of us kids sitting around with our mouths dropped in stunned silence over watching a friend play Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time. With each new generation of video games our expectations rise higher and higher and we are not as easily impressed. When these games were released it was a huge jump from what we had before. Games now are only a small hop above what was previously released. Therefore nostalgia is another reason there is such a fanbase for this game. We remember playing it when our expectations were different and we had a blast. Fond memories were formed, and in my case at least, life was much simpler at that time.

Anyway, I'm done with the long winded post but I thought I'd add my two cents and reasons for loving this game.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EZE, if you retire today and never log in to this site again, your "average post quality" record will stand forever.

lol...He joined dec.5, 2007, posted that day and hasn't logged in since.

eze.tiff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bumping this epic post! :)

I've never posted on these forums before, but this subject made me feel compelled to reply.

To really understand why NHL '94 is so special to many of us, you would have to have lived during the era when it was released. If you are a teenager who was born just before, when, or just after this game was released you will never really understand. It is us old timers (and I use the term loosely as I am only 23) who played this game when it was originally released that will appreciate it the most.

Let me elaborate:

Growing up, I played two hockey games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Ice Hockey and later, Blades of Steel. When Blades of Steel was released I was completely floored as it looked amazing and had the most realistic hockey action I had played up to that point.

When I was 7 years old in the fall of 1991, NHL Hockey was released for the SEGA Genesis. A friend of mine got the game immediately. To say that I was in awe would be an understatement. Not only did the game feature real NHL teams with real logos and team colors, but players were also featured. Later I would find that it was only player NUMBERS that were included in the game and not actual player names as EA did not have the license from the NHLPA, but that is besides the point. The fact that numbers, team colors, logos, cities, etc were included and were accurate was amazing. On top of this, real penalties and rules were enforced. Penalties were given based on true to life infractions rather than given to players for losing a fight, and off sides could be enforced. And to add icing to the cake, the player could use a password system to guide a team through the playoffs to the Stanley Cup. Gameplay was also amazing as the graphics combined with a new perspective (north and south rather than east and west) making this game a totally new experience. This game was truely leaps and bounds ahead of anything I had seen before.

I tried to purchase the game for months but it was continually sold out where I lived (St. Louis) and I never did get it. But the rumors at school began to circulate in the fall of 1992 that a newer version of the game was coming out... this one had extra letters added for some reason... NHLXWYZ or something, but it was essentially the same game. In early 1993 I finally found and purchased NHLPA Hockey '93. This game featured real player names and numbers among other gameplay refinements and improvements (such as organ music and player injuries). I was puzzled as to why EASN was at center ice rather than team logos but this was only a minor flaw. I would later realize it was because EA had the NHLPA license but not an NHL license to team names, logos, and the Stanley Cup could not appear in the game. Despite this, the gameplay and features still improved and it was really a quality experience.

That brings us to NHL '94. This game finally tied everything together with NHL and NHLPA licenses. Team names and logos appeared in the game along with player names and numbers and even photos. The gameplay and animations also reached their pinnacle. This truely was the crowning achievement of three years of work on the same game engine. Small things like real team themed organ music (such as "When the Blues go Marching In" for St. Louis and Chicago's theme), improved crowd animations, breaking glass, hats on the ice for hat tricks, players getting checked into the bench, and of course the one timer made this game stand tall above the previous releases. That is why this game is still so revered. It is the game where the NHL and NHLPA licenses finally met and the gameplay and graphics were refined for three years to reach the top of the mountain.

NHL '95 also awed me with the addition of full season play, player awards, trades, and the ability to create players but the gameplay itself was lacking as they completely changed the game engine. The graphics were worse, the sound effects were worse, the crowd noise was annoying.... I even disliked the organ music. Had they simply taken NHL '94, updated the rosters and added all of those other features, we would be at an NHL '95 website right now. Unfortunately that is not the case and NHL '94 turned out to be the best game in the series.

Lastly, I think it is important to note the standards that were held at that time. I remember being amazed by the Big Boo in Super Mario World, and a group of us kids sitting around with our mouths dropped in stunned silence over watching a friend play Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time. With each new generation of video games our expectations rise higher and higher and we are not as easily impressed. When these games were released it was a huge jump from what we had before. Games now are only a small hop above what was previously released. Therefore nostalgia is another reason there is such a fanbase for this game. We remember playing it when our expectations were different and we had a blast. Fond memories were formed, and in my case at least, life was much simpler at that time.

Anyway, I'm done with the long winded post but I thought I'd add my two cents and reasons for loving this game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is still is the best post of all time on this site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now