Your chance to play for the Stanley Cup
by Alan Zisman
(c) 1999. First
published in Toronto Computes,
Electronic Arts Sports
Requires: Windows 95/98 (NT not supported), Pentium
200 or higher,
32 MB RAM, 70 Meg drive space
Recommended: Pentium II-300 or better, 200 Meg drive
space, 3D accelerator
Multiple players are supported via network or Internet
Even if most of the teams come from south of the 49th
is still the game closest to Canadian?s hearts.
So I suppose it?s a good thing that computer hockey
remains a made-in-Canada
product. Yes, Electronic Arts Sports? NHL 2000 is out, proudly produced
by EA?s Burnaby, BC studio.
We asked a pair of real kids, 12 year old Sam and 15
year old Joey,
to put the PC version of the game through its paces on a 400 MHz
with a graphics accelerator card?there?s also a version for Sony
Both boys were impressed with EA?s attention to the little things that
add to the game?s realism. Sam pointed out that ?if you score a cheap
the other players push you?, while Joey liked how ?if you get in a
and win, the people on your bench cheer for you?when your team is going
off the ice, the coach in a suit walks off with them?. Sam liked how
ice sprayed when a player came to a stop, and summed it up??It?s pretty
realistic. Nothing seemed out of place?.
EA prides themselves on their attention to
details?look hard enough,
and you?ll notice that even the hockey pucks show off the home team?s
Where in previous versions, the fans in the stands were just little
this time around, the boys noticed that close-ups showed people up
And while, like other sports games, NHL 2000 includes
and uniforms, along with more realistic-than-ever faces on the players.
As well, this game includes a feature new to sports-gamedom. You can
a new player, and by importing a digital photo, map on the face from
photo?imagine, a player with your name and now your face, getting to
in the Stanley Cup!
While the boys were impressed with the look of the
game, they were less
taken with the game?s feel. Both boys felt that the game seemed
than NHL 98 or 99. Joey thought that players were skating more slowly,
making it feel like there was less action. Sam found the new shot
meter just too finicky?he preferred the controls used in previous
with one gamepad button for a slapshot, and another for a wrist shot.
The result, according to both boys, is a game that?s
but less fun to play. Joey proposed that ?hard-core hockey fans are
to have to get it?, but otherwise, they didn?t feel like it was a ?must
have? for owners of previous versions. After playing this new version,
Sam didn?t feel much need to update his NHL 98, while Joey said he?d be
happy to stick with last year?s NHL 99.