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NHL Faceoff 2003 is a nice package, though certainly not as good as EA or Sega’s version but it is still worth the money. I think EA is the true sports specialist. Never the less, Hockey enthusiasts should love all the features packed into this game, too many to even mention in this review. The commentators are fantastic calling play by play. The learning curve is short so most anyone can enjoy playing and there are tons of options for adjusting difficulties, speed and so on. This is also a great game to play with the buds. If you’re tired of football, call the armchair hockey enthusiasts over, grab some beers, hook up the multi-tap and play some damn hockey!
A good enough hockey game this year to warrant a good look. I found myself enjoying the game but still thinking of other games available.
The game AI may have a few stumbles, and the graphical quality isn’t near the standards set by EASports or Midway, but this is not a bad game. The audio track is very good and the game does play well (the own goals aside). Camera angles can hamper view, but the game is entertaining.
The game also includes a number of gameplay modes, including a practice mode that allows you to set the number of players on the ice. You can use it to handicap the other team while learning to play or to practice power plays. In addition to the quick match, tournaments, and shoot-out modes, the game features career and season modes. The most notable feature of these last two modes is that you can not specify the number of games to be played. A season is always a marathon 82 game endurance trial. In the career mode your reward for sticking it out to the end of the first season is a generic draft and free agent signing session that pretty much just involves looking for the player with the highest rating.
All in all, NHL FaceOff 2003 is a game that really needs a design overhaul – some might like title, but I certainly wouldn’t want to spend more time with it.
Sega Sports fueled the flames of the hockey console war with its wonderful NHL 2K3. I was hoping that NHL FaceOff 2003 would add to the pressure being put on EA Sports, but the game doesn't deliver. There are far too many gameplay, graphics, and presentation problems. I would say that the game is minor league, but that would be an insult to the guys in the AHL.
The replay value is another case of lost potential, as there are the necessary modes in this game to provide excellent replayability. However, the gameplay is such that it makes you not want to play the game, therefore nullifying any possibilities of a long lasting enjoyable game. In the end, NHL Faceoff 2003 is not an entertaining game and provides little in the way of realistic hockey. There are other hockey titles out right now that shatter the quality of 989 Sports' product. It's a simple decision if you're pondering buying this game, so take it from me that this is an obvious pass in the game store.
NHL FaceOff 2003 is still lacking in many areas. The visuals have been improved a good deal since last year, but that's not really saying much. Player models are much better, but the animations are still terrible. The player moves are all simplistic, and they have almost no transition time between them, resulting in a very jerky looking game.
Despite a year off last year, Faceoff 2003 hasn't improved enough to stay with the competition. The redesigned game engine has the underpinnings of a good hockey title, but it needs additional tweaking. Also, 989 Sports needs to address some obvious bugs in the game. The sound and graphics likewise need to be updated in order to compete with the other hockey games on the market.
Overall, NHL FaceOff 2003 is a substandard hockey game. Once again it didn't seem convenient for the developers to address problems that have carried over every year. Everything this game tries to do is done better in other hockey games like EA's NHL series. While NHL 2003 didn't have too many innovations this year, it is still light years ahead of FaceOff in every category. So do yourself a favor and avoid this game.
A lot of people seem to look for things not to like about games, I like to take the opposite approach and I try to find things to like about games. There just isn’t much to like about FaceOff 2003 especially when a game like NHL 2K3 is on the market or a game like NHL Hitz is available for the arcade fans. The graphics are bad, the gameplay is below average and the career mode is weak, add it all up and it makes for a game I can’t really recommend to anyone.
Textured well enough, suitably brutal, and sporting fairly evolved team-management options, it's too bad the gameplay experience weakens the overall score.