NHL 2K - Sega Dreamcast

3.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
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Platform: Sega Dreamcast
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  • Sega Dreacast
  • E-Everybody

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Product Description

Product Description

In the tradition of NBA 2K and NFL 2K, two of the finest console sports games to date, Sega's NHL 2K aims to score big as the most realistic hockey simulation game ever seen. Those who've witnessed the capabilities of this game's predecessors know what to expect: hyperrealistic gameplay, TV-perfect camera angles, jaw-dropping graphics, expert game commentary, and other fine details that capture the spirit of the sport.

The game is licensed by the NHL and NHLPA, which allowed the developers to include many of the fine details on and off the ice. Teams and players from six NHL divisions are accurately represented in the game. The motion-captured, detailed player models perform as one expects from professional hockey players, right down to custom special plays. With play-by-play commentary by Hall of Fame announcer Bob Cole, and color commentary by ex-NHL coach Harry Neale, NHL 2K seeks to put other hockey games on ice.

Review

NHL 2K had so many expectations to live up to. It had to stand up to the high standards set by its NFL 2K and NBA 2K counterparts. And it had to be better than EA's NHL series, a series EA Sports has had years to finesse. How do you even begin to make a hockey game that can fill these tall orders? You get a talented developer like Blackbox, and tell them that you want it ready right around the time the all-star game rolls around. Many things have been said about NHL 2K, and perhaps everyone's expectations were too high. Sure, NHL 2K doesn't offer quite as extensive a create-a-player mode as its 2K cousins, and it certainly doesn't have all of the modes and options that games like NHL 2000 on the PlayStation or N64 had. But it does have everything required to deliver an amazingly realistic hockey experience that more than deserves to be called great. There are many elements that have to be just right for any type of sports game to have the right feel. One of the most important, obviously, is control. This is something the team at Blackbox has elegantly simplified to make playing NHL 2K more about what you do in the game, on the ice, than what buttons you push on your controller. NHL 2K has a very simple control scheme that on the surface may seem limited, but after spending some time with the game you'll realize that the control scheme is much deeper, letting you do almost all of the moves you could in other hockey games just by using the analog stick. For instance, in most other hockey games if you want to skate backward you push a button. In NHL 2K when you're the defending player you automatically face the skater with the puck, leaving you free either to check him before he ever gets the shot off or to lie out in front of the puck to block the shot. Even deeper is the level of control you have over the placement of your shot. The instant you press the shoot button and your player rears his stick back for the shot you can actually use the analog stick to place the shot. Pressing up and down varies the height of the shot while left and right of course steers the puck in the corresponding direction. When you're all alone on a breakaway, there's no deke button to press to magically throw off the goalie - it's all you. You either have the skill with the analog stick to fake him out or you don't. In terms of responsiveness, the game controls very tight, and the nature of the analog stick makes playing NHL 2K feel even more natural than its football and basketball counterparts. While some will surely see this simplified control scheme as a negative, those who learn how the game works will love to "'play" NHL 2K and never give the control scheme a second thought. Aside from control, there are a ton of other important aspects that play into how a game feels. One is the speed at which the game plays. Many people have varied opinions on just how fast real hockey is - thankfully, NHL 2K features an adjustable speed setting. Even though the game's default setting feels very representative of the actual speed at which real hockey plays, the adjustable setting is nice to have. Another important quality, especially for hockey, is physics. Both the player physics and puck physics are wonderful. The puck skips, rolls, and flies out of play after getting blasted off the top of someone's skate very realistically. The player physics are also very true to life: Players with more girth than others have an easier time of taking out smaller skaters, but since the checking system is momentum based, you can take out big guys with little guys if you get 'em going fast enough. As fans know, the AI of the computer-controlled players always makes or breaks a hockey game. Fortunately, NHL 2K's AI is decent enough to appease both the casual video-game hockey fan as well as the seasoned hockey veteran. One characteristic about NHL 2K's AI that will split opinions is that it is very true to the sport of hockey. If you just watch hockey on TV for the fights and don't understand the purpose of the different positions and their roles in performing basic shot setups, you'll be wondering why some of the players are just milling about. If this is the case, you can just turn off some of the rules like offsides and icing. Then you can set the offense to aggressive and defense to intimidate, and you're set. However if you do know all of the intricacies of hockey, NHL 2K is a very satisfying game to play. When set on rookie, the computer AI isn't a slouch. It just doesn't play aggressively, and it gives you more time with the puck to learn how to play. On pro, however, the computer (depending on which team it's controlling) is either competent or it just wins. On all pro, the computer is an animal. It uses the enforcers to crush you when it can, and the teams finesse players just to take the puck away from you when it can't. Oh, and then it makes a goal. But seriously, the different AI settings are quite good, offering enough variety to be challenging to anyone, at any level. But as mentioned before, knowing the difference between what the Flyers' center Eric Lindros does best, and what the team's left wing Mark Recchi can do in real life, makes a big difference, as it should. Graphically, NHL 2K (like its football and basketball cousins) easily earns the title of the most visually accurate, jaw-dropping game in its sport. Everything in the game looks simply amazing - the players, the ice, the arenas, the spectators, everything. The player models used in the game are literally the most detailed ever, each comprised of 1,500 polygons. This extremely high polygon count gives the players a realistic, round, smooth-skinned look. In addition, 800 of the top players in the game actually have their real-life counterpart's face mapped right onto their polygonal head. This technique of using the real faces of the actual athletes depicted in the game, along with the super-smooth player models, gives the players in NHL 2K an insanely realistic look. When these features are combined with the more than 700 fluid motion-captured animations, the game looks and moves just like the real thing. The first time you see a player jump over a fallen teammate as he picks up the loose puck, you'll just have to say "Wow." The same is true for the first time you send the puck smashing through the glass and it violently explodes. There are a lot of other little visual effects that make the game look convincing - things like facial expressions, real-time ice deterioration, reflections off the ice and glass, and even ice shavings that spray off the ice when players stop and turn abruptly. You can view the action from several camera angles, the best of which happens to be the game's default angle, which is a typical slightly tilted overhead view that follows the action from one end of the rink to the other. The only real difference at all is that this view is dynamic, slightly zooming in and out depending on the situation. Compared with the visual standard that NFL 2K and NBA 2K set, NHL 2K has more to amaze you with, but overall it just doesn't look quite as smooth. Even with that said, the game is still definitely something that must be seen. --Ryan Mac Donald
--Copyright ©1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review

Product Information

ASIN B0000488VQ
Release date February 10, 2000
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #36,538 in videogames
#153 in Video Games > More Systems > Sega Dreamcast > Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 5.6 x 4.9 x 0.4 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
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By Phil on October 23, 2000
Okay, After several months of playing this game, I have a few extra thoughts to add to my previous review. I still feel that the graphics are excellent. Gameplay is pretty good. One thing that lacks here is the fact that you almost have to do a one-timer to score. Scoring on a breakaway is next to impossible. I do feel that the away goalie has the advantage, as another reviewer wrote. The ref seems to always be in the way. I wish you could check him into the boards!! Line changes are a challenge. Bringing up the lines is easy. But then you lose control of your players until you have selected the lines. Also the line box covers about 1/4th of the screen. So you must do the changes very strategictly. Movement of the players is excellent. There is no lag form stick to screen. One thing that keeps me from giving this game five stars is the "extras" as I call them. They don not give out the trophies at the end out the season. Where are the injuries? When I slam Mike Madano into the boards about ten times at full speed, he should get some sort of injury. And last, there is no display to show your stats against the rest of the players in the league. You must scroll through each team to see who has done what. But the worst flaw is a tie. Either the repetitive commentary or non believeable saves made at times by the goalies. If you play enough, you will see and hear what I mean. Scoring is still sometimes easy(especially against Calgary and Nashville) and other times hard. I still say this game rocks. It is very fun to play. I will say that if you want a game to have years of fun with, buy it!! If you want a flawless game that is near perfect, go to the Pepsi Center and watch the Avalanche!!!
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By A Customer on February 16, 2000
Let's get some things out of the way right here at the beginning. NHL2K is not a perfect game. If has a number of small flaws that can probably be attributed to being rushed out the door. However, this game is the best hockey sim on the market. A lot of people out there are comparing this game to the NHL series by EA and I am here to tell you that it is like comparing apples to oranges. As much as I love the ea NHL series (I have owned every version since the first including the current NHL2000 for the PC) the game is a few steps off from real hockey. The speed is a little to quick and the entire game is made up of breakaways. NHL2K comes far closer to giving you the real hockey experience. The speed is much very close to the actual sport. Now I know that a number of people have stated this game is slow but I am here to tell you that they have played more video game hockey than the real thing. NHL2k forces you to actually set up your players and plays to score, unlike Ea which is breakaway city. It requires you play defense with your stick and your body unlike Ea's NHL with is check after check after check. NHL2K actually makes you perform the Deke moves using the anolog stick rather than having a deke button. What this all means is that you really have to play this game to win. Again the game is not perfect. The learning curve for shooting is a little more difficult than it needs to be. Also, there are a number of small details that real hockey fans will miss like horns after a goal. Also the options are lacking compared to other titles. I can honestly say the first night I had this it almost went back to the store, but after I stuck with it and stopped playing the run and gun hockey that I had been playing with EA over the past years, I found myself loving this game.
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By A Customer on February 10, 2000
I have only played NHL 2K for about 1 hour. First it is the best looking hockey game by far. (I play with EA's NHL 2000 most often) Although it is not as "pretty" as NFL 2k the graphics are far superior to EA's NHL 2000. Still I believe they are WAY below the capablities of the DC. The sound is good but already Harry Neal is repeating the same factoid during same game! Annoying. The gameplay is fast (I used fast & rookies modes) but the control is POOR. Black box has chosen to use the triggers for coaching changes! Instead of using them for passing & shooting, making it more difficult to pass & shoot quickly. I do not understand why they left the triggers out of the controller configuration. Other than my major hang up with the controls gameplay seems ok. Although it is too easy to score.
Overall i am disappointed. The graphics are nice but not up to snuff. The control & gameplay are average at best. Wait and rent this game before you buy it. Its good but not nearly as good as it could have been.
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By A Customer on February 10, 2000
Beautiful graphics and super smooth gameplay are the highlights of NHL2K. The most realistic hockey game to date as far as the gameplay. The game lacks the extras however; such as: individual season player stats, and there are no international teams. Your presentation options are also limited in comparison of NFL2K. Where this game really shines is in two player head to head. Thre scary thing about the sports titles on the Dreamcast is that these are only first generation titles! The sound effects in this game are second to none. Overall, despite the lack of options, this surpasses EANHL2000 on Playstation and FaceOff2000. If your a hockey fan, buy this game!
Highs: incredible graphics, realistic gameplay, great sound effects.
Lows: lack of options and international teams
Overall: Still the best hockey game out there!
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