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ESPN NHL Hockey

Platform : PlayStation2
Rated: Everyone
3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
Metascore: 90 / 100
90

Price: $6.35 + $3.99 shipping
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Power Gamer MD.
  • Can be played ONLINE
  • 1-2 Players. (Multitap up to 8 Players)
  • Digital Control
  • Analog Control
  • Vibration Function
12 new from $5.70 57 used from $0.01 3 collectible from $2.24

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Product Description

Watch out for the puck and body checks as you battle your way to the Stanley Cup.


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By A Customer on September 17, 2003
I waited with high anticipation for this game, especially after I found out that they got Gary Thorne and Bill Clement to do the play-by-play and commentary. though very pleased with the final product, there are some things that dissapointed me greatly. Some of the uniform graphics are not as smooth or as good as last year's game. But Gary Thorne and Bill Clement make for that in a big way. Thorne's play-by-play is enthusiastic and involved, and consistant. He doesn't repeat himself and comments on even the little details going on. Even commenting on the fact that the team I was playing against was changing its defensive pairings. Bill Clement is just as enthused and smooth.
I was dissapointed by a few things. Puck control. Sorry, but it is frustrating to watch my players skate round and round trying to pick up a lose puck or even ignore it when it's sitting right in front of them. The player will just sit there completely immoble staring at it!!!!! They could have done without the skybox feature. I think it was a great idea to put some of the old uniforms from even defunct teams in the game, BUT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD just let me have 'em. Don't make me go through unlocking them with endless challenges that I have to complete to get to 'em. Ok, that was my rant. In short; Keep Thorne and Clement(greatest play-by-play and commentary in hockey or any hockey game ever!) go back to last years puck control and passing, dump sky box and the challenge features and just give me the past teams and or uniforms. Yea, it's not as good as last years, but still worth when held up to NHL Face Off and NHL 2004.
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By Mason M on September 23, 2003
I love NHL 2k3 last year and I was so excited for this year's edition. In general I think everything bad about last year's game was fixed in this one. The new added features are a lot of fun and give you something new to try. The commentary is just amazing and is the biggest upgrade. Slicker graphics also make this game amazing. The gameplay was HARDLEY touched, but there is still one major problem (see below).
However, I still feel as if there are a few huge things missing. The online play is horrible. Every game I play seems to have a bad connection,and I'm on a good broadband connection. Also, the goalies are impossible in the higher skill levels. In 2k3 I would win about 75% of the games on Hall of Famer level and now I struggle to get a goal on All-Star. The goalies are too good as you can rattle off amazing shot after amazing shot and still fall short. Even turning down the CPU goalie skill doesn't do much. They have to fix this for next year as the skill levels offer to much of a jump.
Overall I like this game a lot and it's a good improvement from 2k3. Also, ENOUGH WITH THE SHOULDER!!
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I have never found a hockey game for the PS2 that I've liked, I've instead opted for PC versions which are more full featured and the player controls more realistic. This is the first hockey game I've found for the consoles that gives you all the control of the PC versions and gives you the player controls that make the game playable. This game has everything from excellent graphics, excellent in-game commentary by ESPN's Gary Thorne and Bill Clement to game level tweaks that make the game more realistic to the individual user. This is by far the best hockey console game yet.
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Sega's ESPN NHL Hockey (2K4) isn't the great hockey game that it was last year. Where it has some good options and unlockables (great teams from the past), the gameplay really hurts one's ability to fully enjoy the game.
Graphically, the game looks a tad bit better than EA's NHL 2004. The sounds in the game aren't that great as well as the horrible crowd chants and rink announcer. The only good sounds comes from the play-by-play/color commentating by Gary Thorne and Bill Clement--which is the best I have ever heard (they could mention the "shoulder" a bit less, though).
The gameplay is where this game falls behind EA's NHL 2004. The animation is smooth, but very slow. Trying to perform a hook, poke check, block shot, etc. are animated so slow, that by the time the move is done--it's too late. Minor things like fighting and watching the player skate around can look really bad and silly. Other than that, the action is fierce and quick--which can be good and bad.
Where this game has an advantage over EA's NHL 2004 is in it's roster updates via online. EA's NHL 2004 updates have trades, but never includes rookies or call-ups (I play as the New York Rangers and they have a rookie, Jed Ortmeyer, who has been with the team pretty much the entire season, and isn't on any EA updates. Granted, he isn't an impact player, but that is just an example of how poorly EA's roster updates are). Sega's ESPN Hockey updates are true to the game. Every player that has played on an NHL team this season, is in the roster updates--from one game call-ups, to rookie skaters.
So, if you want a hockey game to hold you over until the next hockey season or until the World Cup of Hockey this summer, I would recommend EA's NHL 2004 over Sega's ESPN NHL 2K4 Hockey if you want a more realistic game of hockey.
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Just like any game, this game has good points and bad points, but overall it is a fantastic game. One of the best parts of the game are the graphics. The close-ups of the players actually look like that player. Also, at the start of a period the ice is clear and shiny, but by the end it is milky and dull, just like an actual ice surface during an NHL game. Gameplay is great and there are sliders for just about everything, so you can adjust the gameplay to as easy or as difficult as you want. The puck movement and player movement is so life like, you would swear you were at the game. The crowd has team specific and player specific chants that it will use during the game, which gives the game more realism.
But now the bad points: Bad Point #1: INJURIES, INJURIES, $%@# INJURIES. Unlike last year's game, there is no slider for injuries, which is greatly needed due to the frequency and duration of the injuries in this game. I am a huge New York Rangers fan and I am currently playing in Franchise mode (which is awesome) and the injuries are ridiculous. At one point, my top four centers were injured (Lindros, Holik, Nedved and Messier) so I traded and got Marchant and Weight and lost both to injuries. Weight was only out 3 weeks, but 6 minutes into his first game back I lost him for 2-4 months with a knee injury. Come on, this is getting frustrating. These injuries were in addition to Bure, Kovalev, Lacatoure, Leetch, Kasparitis, Poti, Karpa, and a few others. All of them were on the DL at the same time. The only options for injuries are off and on. I like the realism that injuries bring to the game, but injuries happen way too often to be realistic.
Bad Point #2: Goalie passing. Can someone please teach my goalie how to pass the puck to his teammate that is only 5 feet away?
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