My NHL2002 PS2 Review - Not Good (long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RicP, Sep 26, 2001.

  1. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    EDIT: I've added 1 or 2 positive things after a few more games.
    Well, I had great expectations for this one. All the hype...the good ratings...the DTS Interactive...etc..
    This game is a bust.
    The graphics are actually a little worse than 2001. They break up more, are nowhere near as sharp, and just plain don't look as good.
    The control of the players is Awful. VERY loose and virtually impossible to control a defenceman skating backwards. The players will skate in circles when you try to turn them around, they'll skate through opposition players, and every time you try to select the "closest player" to the puck, they stop dead in their tracks, thereby nullifying selecting the lone defenceman back on a 2 on 1.
    And oh yeah...the game crashed on me twice in 3 games. Crashed as in locked up tight...had to restart the PS2. Nice QA there EA [​IMG]
    After 6 more games it hasn't crashed again, but it still worries me a little.
    The "Breakaway Cam" is a joke and only confuses the hell out of you at the time when you need to concentrate the most. Sometimes it picks angles that are 100% impossible to score from. For example, I had a breakaway heading top to bottom on the screen and the "Breakaway Cam" chose to place itself behind the net!! Now please tell me how in Hell I'm supposed to aim a shot when I can't even SEE my shooter?!Edit: You can turn the Breakaway Cam and the "In Game" Cams off. If you are a "sim" fan more than an arcade fan, I'd recommend that.
    The "In Game" Hit and Save replays are distracting as Hell, as they stop play to show you a Matrixy multi-angle replay of the save, hit, whatever. Then they dump you right back into the game, where of course you've lost your place and need to take 3-4 seconds to regain it.
    The "Game Story" feature, that is supposed to tarck developing stories through the game never once...in 12 games showed me anything other than "Clutch Save", or "Great Save", or "Huge Save". After about 31 of those...you get a little tired of it. And because the control is so sluggish, you can't easily skip over them. It takes at least 12-15 seconds to get from a stoppage to the next faceoff. That's ridiculous.
    Edit: I've seen others now after a few more games, notably Hat Tricks or a Smothering Attack.
    All the "Cut scenes" this year look as though they are FMV rather than being rendered real time. I think that they are in fact being rendered real time, but they look awful--very grainy and fuzzy--just like bad FMV. Also they are all "pseudo-widescreen" making them look even stupider.
    You'll most likely want to turn off the color commentator before you even play a game...he's THAT annoying. Every thing out of his mouth is a horrible joke or gag. None of them are funny and they are all very annoying. Why the Hell EA chose this moron is besides me.
    I don't really know what else I can complain about, but suffice to say that this one is going back. I've played 12 full games on the top two highest difficulties. It's the piss-poor control and the crashing that I can't live with. The other problems I could overlook if the gameplay was better and the game didn't freeze up.
    Incidentally the much touted DTS Interactive sound is not a big deal at all. It sounds no better to me than DPL does, in fact it sounds a little worse. DTSi sounds more vacuous, like you're playing in a canyon instead of an arena. I noticed no split-surround activity at all and only minimal split-front activity that was real time in game.
    I can't even recommend this game to the die-hard EA NHL fans like me. This game has absolutely nothing over last years game, and what they've added only detracts from the game, not add to it.
    Whereas Madden 2002 got better a year later...NHL 2002 got worse...much worse.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Ric Perrott - My DVD's
    [Edited last by RicP on September 26, 2001 at 06:03 PM]
     
  2. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Well, he didn't say anything bad about the box it came in. [​IMG]
     
  3. Peter Loan

    Peter Loan Second Unit

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    I was also bummed by the fact that the game doesn't have a 16x9 mode. C'mon now, Madden 2002, NCAA 2002, FIFA 2001, and even SSX had a 16x9 mode. This is a slap in the face when you consider the fact that only 1/2 of the rink is visible side to side during the normal camera modes.
    [Edited last by Peter Loan on September 26, 2001 at 08:19 PM]
     
  4. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    A review I read at IGN said you will either love or hate the commentary. Put me in the hate catagory, it is BRUTAL. Secondly, the music, just as bad. They need to get rid of this mainstream rock crap and put in good ole fashion stadium organs (this is where the pc would have the advantage of importing your own music). I wonder who these programers thought they were marketing to, definately not hockey purists. Time to tweek the settings.
    By the way I just picked it up at Electronics Boutique in the Chicagoland suburbs if anyone is wondering $54.99....f'n mall prices and they would only offer $10 credit for NHL 2001. I kept it.
    Much of what Ric said rings true, but I have only played one game and am not ready to evaluate it on that game alone.
    Ric....fyi, did you know that DTS is not a default setting?? You have to go to options/sound settings and change 'audio' from 'stereo' to 'dts'. I did not have it on DTS first game, but will try it now and see if the sound is better, though I certainly don't want to hear the music and commentary any clearer.
    Back later with more thoughts
     
  5. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    The graphics are actually a little worse than 2001. They break up more, are nowhere near as sharp, and just plain don't look as good.
    in some aspects I agree, though slight slowdown around the benches during gameplay that existed last year is now gone
    The control of the players is Awful. VERY loose and virtually impossible to control a defenceman skating backwards. The players will skate in circles when you try to turn them around, they'll skate through opposition players, and every time you try to select the "closest player" to the puck, they stop dead in their tracks, thereby nullifying selecting the lone defenceman back on a 2 on 1.
    I did not have any player control problems, though I did use the advance sliders to taylor the game to my liking, this is especially important since I always believe the default is never the best. AI seems better than last year(I am playing on medium and being challenged). Players do not keep control of the puck as easily as in the past (this is a good thing). Load times are quicker. Fighting is still a worthless function. I cannot understand to this day why it is so hard to put hats into the mix (like the first versions) when the hometeam player gets a hat trick
    And oh yeah...the game crashed on me twice in 3 games. Crashed as in locked up tight...had to restart the PS2. Nice QA there EA
    After 6 more games it hasn't crashed again, but it still worries me a little.
    no problem here with crashing, though I did turn off color commentator during the game and his voice would chime in a couple of times, glitch??
    The "Breakaway Cam" is a joke and only confuses the hell out of you at the time when you need to concentrate the most. Sometimes it picks angles that are 100% impossible to score from. For example, I had a breakaway heading top to bottom on the screen and the "Breakaway Cam" chose to place itself behind the net!! Now please tell me how in Hell I'm supposed to aim a shot when I can't even SEE my shooter?!Edit: You can turn the Breakaway Cam and the "In Game" Cams off. If you are a "sim" fan more than an arcade fan, I'd recommend that.
    I only had one breakaway so far in 3 games and it was going from bottom to top of screen. I did not score mainly because I was surprised at how little time I had to react when the screen switched to this cam. This might be better when you are awarded a penalty shot and have more time to prepare
    The "In Game" Hit and Save replays are distracting as Hell, as they stop play to show you a Matrixy multi-angle replay of the save, hit, whatever. Then they dump you right back into the game, where of course you've lost your place and need to take 3-4 seconds to regain it.
    agreed, it is like the gamebreaker in NBA Street but completely disrupts the flow
    The "Game Story" feature, that is supposed to tarck developing stories through the game never once...in 12 games showed me anything other than "Clutch Save", or "Great Save", or "Huge Save". After about 31 of those...you get a little tired of it. And because the control is so sluggish, you can't easily skip over them. It takes at least 12-15 seconds to get from a stoppage to the next faceoff. That's ridiculous.
    Edit: I've seen others now after a few more games, notably Hat Tricks or a Smothering Attack.
    these do seem pretty random thus far
    All the "Cut scenes" this year look as though they are FMV rather than being rendered real time. I think that they are in fact being rendered real time, but they look awful--very grainy and fuzzy--just like bad FMV. Also they are all "pseudo-widescreen" making them look even stupider.
    these can always be partially skipped over by pressing a couple of buttons at the same time, though I agree they look a tad bit fuzzier than last years
    You'll most likely want to turn off the color commentator before you even play a game...he's THAT annoying. Every thing out of his mouth is a horrible joke or gag. None of them are funny and they are all very annoying. Why the Hell EA chose this moron is besides me.
    turning his voice off is a must, this type of commentary should be left to arcade like games like NHL Hitz
    I don't really know what else I can complain about, but suffice to say that this one is going back. I've played 12 full games on the top two highest difficulties. It's the piss-poor control and the crashing that I can't live with. The other problems I could overlook if the gameplay was better and the game didn't freeze up.
    only 3 games played and while I cannot say yet if it is better or not than last years (which I consider the best hockey video game of all time since the original year on Genesis) I look forward to using the career mode. NHL cards are more of a novelty to me I hardly used them in NCAA 2002 or Madden 2001. I'll have to check em out
    Incidentally the much touted DTS Interactive sound is not a big deal at all. It sounds no better to me than DPL does, in fact it sounds a little worse. DTSi sounds more vacuous, like you're playing in a canyon instead of an arena. I noticed no split-surround activity at all and only minimal split-front activity that was real time in game.
    by no means is this feature a reason to purchase the game. See my comment above about it not being the default setting
    I can't even recommend this game to the die-hard EA NHL fans like me. This game has absolutely nothing over last years game, and what they've added only detracts from the game, not add to it.
    Whereas Madden 2002 got better a year later...NHL 2002 got worse...much worse.
    too early for me to form a fair conclusion
    [Edited last by MatS on September 26, 2001 at 10:13 PM]
     
  6. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    quote: I wonder who these programers thought they were marketing to, definately not hockey purists.
    [/quote]
    Now THAT's funny. The fact that the game has a bit hit button should be a complete giveaway.
    quote:
    I cannot understand to this day why it is so hard to put hats into the mix (like the first versions) when the hometeam player gets a hat trick
    [/quote]
    So it can be a new feature in a few years. EA is infamous for putting in something like that, going overboard with it the first year (hats is a little hard to control, but breaking the glass, penalty shots and losing the helmet come to mind), removing it, and then putting it back in as a new feature a few years down the road.
    If it was in the game, it's outta the game.
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    [Edited last by Graeme Clark on September 27, 2001 at 04:07 AM]
     

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