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I’d suggest renting NHL 2002 at your nearest Blockbuster to try it out, and please do play it for more than a few days. I was ready to set the cart on fire initially, but after looking past the bundled problems, I found great enjoyment in a somewhat flawed game. I’ll hope for more from EA with 2003, and while I’m not perfectly content with 2002, I still enjoy it. And really, that’s what matters.
Hey, I love hockey. While this game is a bit too fast, thereby affecting strategy, and the title could use some more character, it’s still a solid hockey game for the fan on the move. I’d suggest buying it. Now when is the 'Cube going to be graced by the masterful NHL series?
If you’re pining for the glory days of the NHL series for the Genesis, NHL 2002 does a great job of resurrecting that old charm. Back in the 1990s, that series made a hockey fan out of almost every gamer, and playing this cart, it’s easy to see why as the old-school arcade playability remains intact. NHL 2002 even offers such console-like features as a season mode and player creation.
Even with the game's faults, NHL 2002 on the GBA is a fun hockey title that anyone can pick up and play. The game doesn't have a whole lot of options (turning on penalties kicks on all the penalties...you can't turn off the individual ones that might annoy you the most), but the sensation of the past, excellent Genesis and Super NES hockey games from Electronic Arts is definitely there. Yes, there is definite room for improvement...the game's sound effects are downright pathetic, with some weird "clunk" sound to represent passing the puck from one player to another. And even though the game comes packed on a 32-megabit cartridge (two to four times larger than the SNES games), there are no player photos or aural extras other than the occasional announcement of which penalty's been called. But, like Budcat's Madden NFL 2002 rendition on the GBA, NHL 2002 is a great foundation to tweak out the problems for NHL 2003.