Excerpt: While this game may not be perfect, it is the closest thing youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get to real hockey, without putting on some skates. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a fan of hockey or video games I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think twice about going out and buying this game; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the complete package.
Excerpt: Hockey is a game of speed, finesse, grit and grind. Injury is commonplace, and the ability to shirk pain is viewed as a right of passage. Yet where actual players incur very real bumps and gashes, the pain I experienced while playing ESPN NHL Hockey was strictly metaphorical—a bruised ego. As a veteran of 16-bit hockey games—including EA's perennial NHLPA series—I came to this current-generation hockey title with admittedly outdated sensibilities.
Excerpt: NHL 2k3 was undoubtedly the best hockey game of last year. NHL 2k3 provided hockey fans with the most realistic game play of any hockey game on the market, even with its graphical and audio drawbacks. This year Sega decided to have their sports games bare the ESPN license. Instead of their latest installment being called NHL 2k4, it's now called ESPN NHL Hockey. Fans of NHL 2k3 shouldn't worry because ESPN NHL Hockey is a major improvement over last year's edition.
Excerpt: Sega Sports has now become ESPN Videogames, and they've renamed the series ESPN NHL Hockey, thanks to their union with the television network of the same name. The game is also under the wing of a new development team, Kush Games, following the acquisition of Treyarch (of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater fame) by Activision. Have the changes in name and development teams hurt the series? The quick answer is a resounding ‘no.
Conclusion: All in all, the gameplay in ESPN NHL Hockey presents some of the most accurate and addictive hockey action ever created--though, ultimately, many people will be initially turned off by the game's somewhat unwieldy difficulty levels. Though there are five different difficulty levels in the game, the first two are pretty much a breeze, and the three that follow are significantly harder.
Summary: ESPN NHL Hockey übertrifft auf jeden Fall seinen direkten Vorgänger NHL 2K3 in Sachen Grafik und auch Sound. Spielerisch hat man mit neuen Modi draufgelegt und die Dekes sind eine sehr gute Ergänzung zur Steuerung. Auch die Präsentation, die bei den Vorgängern meist auf der Strecke blieb ist endllich als gelungen zu bezeichnen. Die Athmosphäre kommt schon gewaltig, willkommen in der NHL.