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SummaryAnother great addition to EA Sports' NHL series.
The GoodPractically everything, the graphics, sounds, music, controls, gameplay, etc.
Sports games and their programmers are often underappreciated but it's really amazing how good the NHL series has always been and how each new addition ups the ante on the previous titles. What really puts these games above the rest though are the extra additions that are always thrown in, such as the put-your-face-in-the-game or the goalie masks gallery, and NHL 2001 doesn't break the tradition. The NHL titles have been gradually gearing towards adding an entirely seperate game within a game, the GM career mode similar to all those mogul titles, and this aspect has only been enchanced in NHL 2001 through the team creation mode. This option allows a player to create an entirely new team and customize it in almost any way imaginable.
The AI customization greatly enhances the gameplay and along with the coaching options it allows it to played as strictly an arcade one or easily the most realistic PC hockey simulation. There is also an additional "face" system for free agents which displays their eagerness, or lack there of, to join your team. The final addition would have to be the momentum meter which changes as shots are taken, hits are thrown and saves are made. This meter increases the overall abilites of the team's players and can change the course of the game within a blink of an eye.
The BadThe flaws of the NHL games never prevent them from being great-buys but are rather small bugs and glitches that never the less detract from their overall quality, and NHL 2001 is no exception.
The first and most major flaw would have to be the blue line and beyond ultra-slow slap shots that the ultra-fast goalies can't seem to handle. Despite the promised fix in the patch this is still a big problem as the computer players have a tendency to often shoot and score like this. The hot-spots where you could always score on the goalie have been significantly decreased but cutting across the net and putting the puck upstairs still seems to work almost all the time.
NHL 2001 also suffers from minor but tedious bugs such as the trade and playoff tree options disappearing from their menus, as well as a few glitches in the player creation which include the play by play mysteriously disappearing and the nationality being randomly changed.