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The Video Game Critic
With NHL '97, you can see that EA was content to milk its cash cow, putting out basically the same game as the year before. Minor enhancements include a "skills challenge" mode, national teams, and four simultaneous seasons. Nobody asked for these, so they hardly justify an upgrade. But it does deliver the same exciting action you've come to expect from the series, so you can't complain too much.
Bottom line, if you don’t know either NHL ’96 or NHL ’98, then there’s nothing wrong in checking out this game. It’s basically the same with a few minor tweaks. However, it hardly brings anything new to the table when compared to its excellent predecessor, and what it does introduce is executed a tad better in the Genesis sequel. If you’re looking to get every single NHL game released for the Genesis, feel free to go ahead, as complete copies of this title can be had for next to nothing. If you’re only looking for the best of the best, then it’s easy to dismiss this game and pick up ’98 or ’96 instead.
Obviously, the competition for your hockey videogame dollar is pretty darn fierce. There are quite a few excellent hockey games available for the PlayStation and Saturn, including the 32-bit rev of this game. But even still, NHL 97 for the Genesis/Nomad is worth your attention. It's much, much better than the weak SNES version I reviewed a couple of months ago.
Puede que entre ediciones consecutivas las mejoras no compensen la compra (este año tampoco es una excepción) pero no hay duda de que quien se acerque por primera vez a «NHL» tiene ante sí la versión más potente y mejor realizada del hockey hielo... hasta el año que viene.