Jump to content
NHL'94 Forums

Hockey Stars [Pocket Edition] [AND Pocket Colour!]


Recommended Posts

"So you got all the other ones, what about the Pocket?"
"What?"
"The NEO*GEO Pocket version of Hockey Stars."
"Hm... I'll look into it."

Okay. So the idea behind this one, for those who need a quick backstory. As per wikipedia, "The Neo Geo Pocket (NGP) is a monochrome handheld game console released by SNK."
It was released in Japan only in late 1998 and was essentially discontinued six months later with the release of the Pocket Colour. It launched with six games and saw another three released by the end of the year, before efforts were switched over to making Colour ports. As a side note, the Pocket Colour would meet the same fate as all handhelds that try to compete with the Gameboy and be discontinued two years later, as would the company. Be discontinued that is. Having declared bankruptcy.

Correction: They made ten games that year. And like many of the original Pocket games, SNK colourized it the next year.
But since most people don't have a NEO*GEO Pocket kicking around, we're going to cover the ports that came in the same re-release collection as Hockey Stars 0.

Alright, that preamble was pretty amble-ly, but it seemed important to set the stage for what this is. A SEGA Genesis game that looks like a Gameboy game. So I present a retro-style review of both the original and colour remake of:
image.png  image.png

While titled simply "Hockey Stars", it is known colloquially as Hockey Stars Pocket or Hockey Stars NGP. Or Hockey Stars Colour! And it was developed primarily by Saurus, a subsidiary of SNK that also developed the NGP version of Baseball Stars.

image.png  image.png

Getting into the game, this port doesn't stick to the original resolution of the pocket screen thankfully. but many of the graphics, as well the the monochromatic-ism of an original Pocket release. Maybe at some point we'll see if they ever ported this one to the colour. It's notable that the team names and logos this time were borrowed primarily from the NES version of Baseball Stars II, rather than the Pocket versions of Baseball Stars, as many of those were heavily baseball themed. One change though is that several of the teams have had logo updates when they looked too much like some initials on a ball cap, and changed cities from some smaller baseball towns, to more traditional hockey markets.
image.png  image.png

At least the game is colour blind friendly. And the Colour version is pretty bright.
image.png  image.png

One thing to note, while the 18 playable teams all have colourful fictional names, being restricted to eight total grey tones including black and white, means that a lot of thought had to be put into contrast, and every team looks the same with light grey home and dark grey away uniforms for maximum discernible-ness at full speed. And now individualized colours in the colour version. Even if some of the teams did carry over some weird, un-hockey-like color schemes when directly borrowing from their Baseball Stars II counterparts.
image.png  image.png
I though Denver was a dinosaur, not a dragon...

The game does support up to four players, but being that this is half of the grey tones, telling everyone apart might not be the easiest task. Much easier in Colour.
image.png  image.png

I did like the starry "O" from the original NES game's assets.
image.png  image.png

Alright. One of the best parts of the original NES game, was the player profiles. And we revisit those here too, even if the game doesn't have the capacity to allow for hiring, firing, trading and upgrading. We are treated to a nice set of unique photos. Checking out the player abilities. It would appear that the rosters are also borrowing from Baseball Stars II, and are as usual in this series, vastly min-maxed for acute player specialties. Some playing around with rosters may be required to get a starting lineup that you find best suits your playing style.
image.png  image.png
Goalies be crazy. Some even brought their old-school masks to picture day.
image.png  image.png
While the limited grey scale seemed to relegate everyone to a mid-toned skin shade, it is notable that almost every team has one or two co-ed members. Colour makes for three different three different skin tones as well as some nice mixing it up.

Finally, there are three game modes, Single Exhibition, or play for the SNK Cup in a 16-Team Tournament with Single Elimination or Best-of-Seven formats. There is also a Shoot-out mode from back before those were played out. And the trophy actually looks like gold now.
image.png  image.png

 

image.png  image.png

I don't know if there was a colourized version of this game. Turns out it didn't sell well on the rare system, so SNK made the switch in hopes of having a good launch day selection. Might have to see how the reception to this one went.

 

Hockey Stars NGP.bin

And now
image.jpeg

Hockey Stars NGP Colour.bin

Edited by von Ozbourne
speeling iz hard
  • Love 1
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a really interesting concept and the contrast is well done (haven't had a chance to see it in action yet) but I'm also hoping reception was favorable enough for a color version. 😉

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Sedge said:

but I'm also hoping reception was favorable enough for a color version. 😉

Given that Baseball Stars Colour was literally just a colourization of the original monochrome game released a year later, It probably wouldn't have been that hard for SNK to give this game the same treatment.
And I was thinking it would be nice to see some of those new/old assets in something other than grey...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • von Ozbourne changed the title to Hockey Stars [Pocket Edition] [AND Pocket Colour!]
On 4/27/2024 at 3:37 AM, Lukáš said:

Please hockey world cup 2024?

Certainly thinking about doing that again, but my free time is already earmarked for some other projects and chores. And it'll take me a while after the tournament to collect a of the stats anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/9/2024 at 12:43 AM, von Ozbourne said:

"So you got all the other ones, what about the Pocket?"
"What?"
"The NEO*GEO Pocket version of Hockey Stars."
"Hm... I'll look into it."

Okay. So the idea behind this one, for those who need a quick backstory. As per wikipedia, "The Neo Geo Pocket (NGP) is a monochrome handheld game console released by SNK."
It was released in Japan only in late 1998 and was essentially discontinued six months later with the release of the Pocket Colour. It launched with six games and saw another three released by the end of the year, before efforts were switched over to making Colour ports. As a side note, the Pocket Colour would meet the same fate as all handhelds that try to compete with the Gameboy and be discontinued two years later, as would the company. Be discontinued that is. Having declared bankruptcy.

Correction: They made ten games that year. And like many of the original Pocket games, SNK colourized it the next year.
But since most people don't have a NEO*GEO Pocket kicking around, we're going to cover the ports that came in the same re-release collection as Hockey Stars 0.

Alright, that preamble was pretty amble-ly, but it seemed important to set the stage for what this is. A SEGA Genesis game that looks like a Gameboy game. So I present a retro-style review of both the original and colour remake of:
image.png  image.png

While titled simply "Hockey Stars", it is known colloquially as Hockey Stars Pocket or Hockey Stars NGP. Or Hockey Stars Colour! And it was developed primarily by Saurus, a subsidiary of SNK that also developed the NGP version of Baseball Stars.

image.png  image.png

Getting into the game, this port doesn't stick to the original resolution of the pocket screen thankfully. but many of the graphics, as well the the monochromatic-ism of an original Pocket release. Maybe at some point we'll see if they ever ported this one to the colour. It's notable that the team names and logos this time were borrowed primarily from the NES version of Baseball Stars II, rather than the Pocket versions of Baseball Stars, as many of those were heavily baseball themed. One change though is that several of the teams have had logo updates when they looked too much like some initials on a ball cap, and changed cities from some smaller baseball towns, to more traditional hockey markets.
image.png  image.png

At least the game is colour blind friendly. And the Colour version is pretty bright.
image.png  image.png

One thing to note, while the 18 playable teams all have colourful fictional names, being restricted to eight total grey tones including black and white, means that a lot of thought had to be put into contrast, and every team looks the same with light grey home and dark grey away uniforms for maximum discernible-ness at full speed. And now individualized colours in the colour version. Even if some of the teams did carry over some weird, un-hockey-like color schemes when directly borrowing from their Baseball Stars II counterparts.
image.png  image.png
I though Denver was a dinosaur, not a dragon...

The game does support up to four players, but being that this is half of the grey tones, telling everyone apart might not be the easiest task. Much easier in Colour.
image.png  image.png

I did like the starry "O" from the original NES game's assets.
image.png  image.png

Alright. One of the best parts of the original NES game, was the player profiles. And we revisit those here too, even if the game doesn't have the capacity to allow for hiring, firing, trading and upgrading. We are treated to a nice set of unique photos. Checking out the player abilities. It would appear that the rosters are also borrowing from Baseball Stars II, and are as usual in this series, vastly min-maxed for acute player specialties. Some playing around with rosters may be required to get a starting lineup that you find best suits your playing style.
image.png  image.png
Goalies be crazy. Some even brought their old-school masks to picture day.
image.png  image.png
While the limited grey scale seemed to relegate everyone to a mid-toned skin shade, it is notable that almost every team has one or two co-ed members. Colour makes for three different three different skin tones as well as some nice mixing it up.

Finally, there are three game modes, Single Exhibition, or play for the SNK Cup in a 16-Team Tournament with Single Elimination or Best-of-Seven formats. There is also a Shoot-out mode from back before those were played out. And the trophy actually looks like gold now.
image.png  image.png

 

image.png  image.png

I don't know if there was a colourized version of this game. Turns out it didn't sell well on the rare system, so SNK made the switch in hopes of having a good launch day selection. Might have to see how the reception to this one went.

 

Hockey Stars NGP.bin 2 MB · 55 downloads

And now
image.jpeg

Hockey Stars NGP Colour.bin 2 MB · 53 downloads

I thought this wasn’t a Genesis rom at first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 90 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
×
×
  • Create New...