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The Video Game Critic
The ultimate arcade hockey experience, NHL Hitz amps the exciting parts of the sport and ditches the rest.
Everybody knows we all watch hockey games to see someone get their world rocked, and this is where NHL Hitz delivers. At random points throughout the game, a fight between two players will break out. You have two punch buttons, a block, and a hold button. The punches are pretty standard affair, as is the block. The hold button, though, does different attacks depending on the energy level of the opponent. For instance, a hold while at the beginning of the fight will cause your player to do a combo of punches.
NHL Hitz 20-02 is an absolute joy to play. It has tremendous graphics and audio, and a solid options package. To paraphrase an old NHL announcer, this game “shoots, it scores!”
MS Xbox World
I'll make this one short. It's fun. It's exciting. When I pick up the controller, I don't want to stop until I can't keep my eyes open. You don't find this very often in a hockey game, but with Hitz, the replay has hit gold. Like I said, the music could be better, but that is easily fixed. If Midway can improve upon this prototype for 2003, it should sell off of the charts. Do yourself a favor - buy this game RIGHT NOW!
NHL Hitz 20-02 captures not the exact aspects of hockey, but the feel and excitement of hockey. Loading up this game, I first thought that it was broken, 3-on-3? I went through the settings, and found nothing. Then, I read the back of the game box, and there it says…”Exclusive adrenaline-style 3-on-3 gameplay…” Honestly, I said to myself (before playing it)...”Here we go, another cheap hockey game”, boy was I wrong. This game rocks! This game is not a simulation.
Midway has packed a lot into the DVD and produced a satisfying hockey game for the hockey freak. However, hockey fans may need a little more strategy to make this a contender. Sports gamers will enjoy the fast, hard-hitting game play with excellent skills training. Yet you can only watch so many body checks and hockey fights before you starting looking for the real finesse of a hockey game. Not sure about that? Watch some Wayne Gretzky tapes and you will see finesse from "The Great One." Hockey has its strategy and its technique. NHL Hitz 20-02 comes close, but just misses the net.
Those of you looking for a serious hockey simulation that plays by the rules will have to wait for NHL Live 2002, or some other upcoming hockey game. Midway has the luxury of having the first hockey game available for the Xbox and the only hockey game available at launch.
But Hitz is indeed an arcade game at heart and so the depth that would add value to this purchase isn't there. Even with all of the additional modes like the mini games and customization options, you'll quickly realize they all lead back to the same basic play mechanic. As far as the single player mode goes, it's not too difficult to run through a season in one evening maybe two. You'd better have a nice supply of buddies to play against if you want to get your money's worth out of Hitz 2002. It's instant gratification that's not so good for you in the long run like tequila, an econo-box of Twinkies or the Spice Channel.
But the wacky extras are half the fun. The game looks great, even if the players animations leave a little to be desired, and its sound really makes you feel like you’re in the game. Hitz’s greatest hit is its fluid control, which makes the hockey fly by. It’s no NHL 2002, but Hitz should be a blast for arcade sports fans.
Le graphisme assure un bon rendu visuel, ce qui contrebalance un peu l'animation trop lente pour un sport aussi dynamique. La jouabilité est un peu poussive, et la maniabilité de l'ensemble manque cruellement de nervosité. Pas de profondeur, des modes peu excitants et finalement assez peu de fun pour ce NHL Hitz 2002.
Si la majorité des joueurs préféreront la dimension réaliste et technique du NHL 2002 d'EA Sports, les adeptes de challenges arcades apprécieront sans doute plus facilement le gameplay spectaculaire de NHL Hitz 2002. Le soft de Midway reste tout de même en-deçà de son concurrent, et le manque d'innovations techniques de cette mouture Xbox la destinent uniquement aux mordus du hockey sur consoles.
Anyone who's played Midway's Wayne Gretzky games will be right at home playing NHL Hitz 2002 but will find it to be little more than a nostalgic walk down memory lane. But those who have yet to discover arcade hockey games will be instantly hooked on its multiplayer mode. The enjoyment NHL Hitz 2002 deteriorates rather quickly due to its negligible computer AI and simplistic gameplay, but if you're looking for some quick-hit fun from your hockey games, it's an excellent choice.
It would perhaps have been nice to see the game tweaked a little to iron out some of the blemishes, and the 'blitz' gameplay wears thin eventually, but the Tony Hawk-like array of extras to be unlocked and hidden aspects of the game like the cheat codes written on banners in the crowd all add up to a nice little package. Whether ice hockey games are all that relevant to anybody in Europe is difficult to say, but I doubt we'll run out of them any time soon, and this is certainly an above-average one. Perhaps it's time to give in and see what the fuss is about? There are better things to buy on the Xbox, but NHL Hitz 20-02 is worth renting for the multiplayer mode and if you get that far, you may just find that you like it enough to buy it.
Dans un style Midway pur et dur, cette parodie de hockey sur glace reprend les divers ingrédients qui ont fait le succès du genre depuis déjà quelque temps, en améliorant tout de même le principe. Avec un gameplay axé essentiellement sur le spectaculaire, ce NHL Hitz 2002 procure en effet de vraies sensations par le biais d'un principe simple mais ultra efficace. Charges monstrueuses, joueurs on fire, frappes de mammouths, animations délirantes et diversités des modes font de ce jeu un excellent défouloir, seul ou entre amis. Reste que malgré ses indéniables qualités, ce titre verra son intérêt s'amenuiser au fur et à mesure des heures de jeu accumulées pour irrémédiablement finir par lasser. A réserver donc aux fans du genre, aux joueurs avides de plaisirs simples et instantanés ou aux dingues de parties déjantées à plusieurs.