Excerpt: NHL Rivals 2004 like Top spin is Microsoftâ€™s first voyage into the online Hockey arena for the Xbox. NHL Rivals is what Microsoft hopes will counter Segaâ€™s ESPN NHL Hockey (formerly NHL 2K4).
Excerpt: Genre : Sports Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Developer: Microsoft Release Date: November 18, 2003 XSN deserves a 10 Minute Game Misconduct Hockey is my game. I realize that I am one of nineteen people who, this side of the Canadian border, love Hockey first and foremost.
Excerpt: When “NHL Rivals 2004” from Microsoft arrived at my “Hockeytown” address for review, I had high hopes. I love Hockey. “Rivals” coverboy Steve Yzerman is not only my favorite hockey player ever, but one of my favorite athletes in the world.
Excerpt: Not having grown up near an icy pond, or even anywhere near cold weather, I've had to observe the grace and beauty that is hockey from afar. Well, I guess the days of longing for the slick stuff are now over, with the release of NHL Rivals 2004.
Summary: Winter…it’s cold. It’s miserable. It gets dark early, and you have to shovel snow(well at least those of us in the Midwest have to deal with these things). The only real saving grace about winter is the fact that it’s hockey season. Hockey has to be the most underappreciated sport in the world.
Excerpt: XSN sports has put Microsoft into the hockey gaming franchise, but in my eyes, failed to be the best at it - even if NHL Rivals 2004, although a bit late and not exactly the best hockey game out there, is definitely a good start.
Excerpt: “Sound the alarm, EA. The NHL franchise needs help – now.” – NHL 2003 review, Digital Sportspage, November 2002 That was the final line of my review of NHL 2003, probably the low point of console hockey for EA Sports.
Conclusion: NHL Rivals has all the elements that make a great game, and I am sure fans of Ice Hockey games will love it, but for players who haven't touched an Ice Hockey game before, they will really struggle to connect with the game, and due to its unwelcoming design and high difficulty, they will give up on...
Pros: Good, fluid controls., Multiplayer is enjoyable.
Cons: Poor tutorial, Single player mode is far too hard to get into and enjoy.