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NHL Faceoff 97
|Price:||$8.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25. Details|
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From the Manufacturer
The Stanley Cup is the number one goal of any hockey player. Many try to obtain it but only a rare few ever hold it above their heads in victory. You can be a member of the elite few who can claim Lord Stanely's Cup. Either play for the Colorado Avalanche the reigning NHL champions or pick up a copy of NHL Faceoff '97 and kick some ice. In NHL Faceoff '97 you can play for any of the 26 National Hockey Teams. All the arenas are rendered in true 3D graphics. Track stats in every offensive and defensive catagory on 650 real players or create your own future NHL stars. The all new Complete Team Strategy lets you control the style of your team's offense and defense. You can rough your opponents up with a physical defense or just pass the puck around and tire them out. On offense use drop passes fake shots and give and go's to baffle the opponents' goalie. Just remember it's a long road to the Stanley Cup but it's well worth the ride.
NHL Face Off 97 is Sony's second attempt at their Playstation-only hockey offering. While this is an excellent hockey game, and will please fans everywhere, it falls short of being the perfect 32-bit icematch.
While all of the options are in place to make hockey fanatics drop their gloves, it's not possible to switch the button assignments on the control pad. Although the controls are quick and very responsive, the experienced sports gamer probably won't find them comfortable (passing is at the nine o'clock position, rather than six); and inexperienced players will probably find NHL Face Off 97 difficult to pick up and play.
But once players have the controls in hand, they're in for a smooth match. The graphics are beautifully rendered, and the four different camera angles offer, essentially, four different types of gaming. (By contrast, EA's NHL '97 promises nine angles.) These four, locked positions are much easier to pick up than the roving camera in NHL Powerplay '96. The new "icon" passing interface in NHL Face Off 97, where a player holds down R+2 to bring up controller icons under every hockey player, is fantastic and should be incorporated into every hockey video game. (It's worth noting that this passing interface is a similar to the one found in GameDay.)
Unfortunately, the gameplay sound effects in NHL Face Off '97 leave something to be desired. The announcer is incredibly crisp and clear, and his voice reverberates with just the right amount of echo to give that in-the-arena feel. Combined with the organ music and cheering fans, the non-gameplay sounds mirror the real thing. However, the annoying, repetitive "swash, swash" of the players' skates will get on most anyone's nerves before the first face off. It's too loud and very distracting, and if it's turned off there's only silence between the other sound effects. If only the crowd's cheering could manage to reach the lofty decibels of those darned skates....
Despite a few quirks, this is an excellent hockey game with abundant options, pinpoint control, and sharp graphics. Casual hockey fans may want to take EA's NHL 97 for a test run before committing to that year-long relationship, but no one who chooses NHL Face Off '97 will be disappointed. --Hugh Sterbakov
--Copyright ©1999 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 and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review
Top customer reviews
First off, I'm not going to whine and moan about the graphics the way some reviewers do for old games. Don't expect 2007 graphics from a late 90s product. As far as graphics go, Face Off had solid, yet unspectacular, animations. Players became blocky with the camera at ice level. With the traditional view, graphics were all right...though the crowds looked terrible regardless of the camera view. The small size of the players helped offset their minimal animation. Goalies managed some reasonable animations, however.
Sound effects were one of this game's strong points. The sounds of the crowd echoed in the background, and on ice sounds put a game player right in the game...down to the skates quickly stopping and scraping ice. The PA announcer provided the run down of goals and assists, adding extra emphasis for the home team. Score a goal in a home game with Mats Sundin and you'll see what I mean. The PA announcer even pronounced most players' names correctly...though there were a few exceptions.
Gameplay was all right, with a few high points. Players moved fluidly yet didn't require much effort to skate around opponents. At the easier levels, goals could be scored with ease. At the rookie difficulty I found myself often making extra passes and pushing up the ice slowly in order to keep the score down. Yet at the expert level goals were so scarce for the player, but the computer would score on one timers all over the place. The only way I ever scored more than a goal or two on expert was to flip the puck over the goalie's shoulder. Unfortunately this game had a glitch where the goalie would only react to a player's shot, not a flip pass. The greatest aspect of game play in Face Off 97 was the advent of icon passing...one of the first games to do so. It allowed the user to make touch and go passes & easily set up one timers. Score a big one for Face Off with that feature.
This game came out before career modes or franchise set ups...it only had season mode, though the season mode was well done. It provided full stat tracking for all players on all teams.
For as cheap as this game can be found, go ahead and pick it up. Though it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of 2k7 of NHL 07, it's just plain fun. Ultimately that's what counts. 2 players playing cooperatively adds to the fun factor even more.... Enjoy....