NHL 98

Moby ID: 827
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

NHL 98 features much faster and refined gameplay (now using four action keys instead of two, removing the need to double-tap to perform some actions), along other new features such as "in-the-fly" tactics developed by Marc Crawford, then manager of the Colorado Avalanche and new commentary lines from Jim Hughson and Darryl Reaugh and a re-worked interface. Graphics are improved from the previous version with the players being less angular, and thanks to 3Dfx support, with less pixels showing in the textures. The in-game presentation follows a TV-style script, zooming in players while displaying stats during clock stoppages.

As far as game modes go, in the year of the first Olympic Tournament with professional players, NHL 98 introduced the first real international competition, with 18 International teams to choose from. Other game modes include Season (option to pick between 25 or 82 games) and Playoff (best of 1, 3, 5 or 7 matches) and a Penalty Shootout mode.

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Credits (Windows version)

235 People (186 developers, 49 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 34 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 39 ratings with 1 reviews)

The most defining moment of the series

The Good
Being totally surprised .

Having owned the previous version (97) my expectations for 98 were along the lines of the EA yearly update. Id bought the game on impulse in truth, the fact i then spent the next few days solid playing it will probably give away the golden glowing review i am about to give, as if you'd probably guessed by the title anyway.

So what was so great:

The intro. The gameplay/speed/animation, The atmosphere/commentary. The improved graphics/details.

All of those contributed to the biggest leap in the series history in terms of the core game we still play today.

Starting from the off with the intro. The perfect watch before you started playing, it was simply pumping with adrenaline, something not to be skipped, it really set the mood. Not anything since (99's heroes) nor the previous effort in the shiny cgi fest that was 97's were in the same league.

The general gameplay. Where probably the game shone the most compared to anything before, and when you look back on it, it's still at the same pace and style we enjoy today.

Gone were the clunky animations of the early gen/famicon games which were translated into the first 3d effort on the ps (97), what we had here was massively smooth fast flowing gameplay with animations on the players to match.

The atmosphere, one word HUGE.

The one that kept me hooked, the rink was alive, it flowed much like the rest of the game, gone were the ghost towns of 97's soulless experience. When the puck went dead in 98 the music pumped up a notch, the crowd went wild, 97 you could hear a pin drop and a side swipe around the crowd revealed about 20 people watching on the first row (not very ea like)

The commentary, another giant leap, this is what we enjoy today, where it started, the fastest most solid flowing commentary in any sports game started right in nhl 98.... simply mind blowing for the time, it'd still put just about every soccer/football ingame commentary to shame (over 10 years on)

Again with the graphics, improved over anything before, genre setting for what we get today. From the basic things like the player status/stats that come up on the cutscene intermissions, player decals, names on shirts ect.. all started in 98.



The Bad
There wasn't much bad about the game in truth, 98 struck a cord of balance that is rarely seen.

It did everything the playstation could just about handle, far beyond previous efforts fitting that perfect void, and shown up by 99 on the ps as being exactly that when 99 tried to add too much beyond the capabilities of the humble machine, as a result the gameplay suffered.

The Bottom Line
It's gone now, the only thing worth reliving is the intro, it still the best, you can find it as easy as you like on you tube.

It was worth reliving this one though, it really did set the standard for the nhl series we play today.... and may it long continue.

PlayStation · by Des Dearman (6) · 2009

Trivia

Awards

  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1998 - Best Sports Game in 1997
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1998 – Best Sports Game in 1997

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tony Van.

SEGA Saturn added by Corn Popper. PlayStation added by Kartanym. SNES added by Terok Nor. Genesis added by Unicorn Lynx.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.

Game added February 5, 2000. Last modified January 21, 2024.