NHL Hitz Pro is Midway's 2003/2004 entry into the licensed hockey market. For the 2004 sports season, Midway introduced a directive to move their sports titles away from over-the-top arcade-style gameplay, and introduce a more sim-like approach to sports. For NHL Hitz Pro, this meant moving away from 3-on-3 hockey to 5-on-5 hockey gameplay to make the game more authentic for the demands of the sim hockey player. While NHL Hitz Pro still maintains many of the arcade-style elements that were a signature feature of the Hitz series such as checks over the boards and hits through glass, the gameplay has been tuned to provide an experience that is accurate to the sport of hockey. That being said, the player has extensive options for tuning the gameplay for either a fast-paced arcade experience, or a slower, more sim-like style of play.
As with competing titles, Hitz Pro supports a franchise mode, season and exhibition gameplay and a game tutorial/practice mode. The title also sports a pickup hockey mode with several environments that are reminiscent of playing hockey in outdoor venues.
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