Over a few games – NHL 9X – Genesis

Dear readers, did you guess that after playing Blades of Steel I would immediately fall into a Sega Genesis retro hockey game pit and never return? Well you didn’t, but if you HAD guessed that you would be correct!

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PLAY ALL THE NHLZ ON THE GENESIS’Z!

I’ve been working through NHL’s 93, 94, and 96 (not sure why I skipped 95) looking for the hockey experience that I remember. What I’ve learned so far is that, unsurprisingly, what I remember doesn’t exist… or at least I haven’t found it.

NHL 93 has the slick, tight control that I fondly remember – after a few minutes I could deke almost any CPU player out of their snowpants. But no one-timers! WTH?

NHL 94 brings the one-timer thunder, but they’re really clunky and I couldn’t actually get that many to fire. I have this game for SNES as well, but in addition to clunky one-timers, the gameplay was also pretty sluggish. I have a suspicion that my SNES controller is about to give up the ghost, so I won’t kick the SNES version TOO much.

Also, apparently NHL 94 turned 20 last year and it made Jeremy Roenick a star! Huh, the more you know.

NHL 96 – Genesis

NHL 96 is the closest yet and I spent awhile with it last night. Its gameplay is FAR faster than 93 & 94, and the AI is so stupid. SO STUPID. My own defencemen kept knocking me off my line of attack (if you recall, the best defence in these games is to flatten your opponents – the best players are the best checkers… naturally, Gentleman Joe Sakic LAYS PEOPLE OUT).

LEMIEUX AND GRETZKY ARE IN THESE DAMN GAMES!@$%@#

So. Good.

And, of course, my Oilers are freaking terrible. In. Each. Game… Does nothing ever change?

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