NHL Hitz Pro
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|NHL Hitz Pro|
PAL region cover art
|Developer(s)||Next Level Games|
|Distribution||DVD, Nintendo GameCube Game Disc|
NHL Hitz Pro is an ice hockey video game developed by Next Level Games and published by Midway Games. It's the third and final game of the NHL Hitz series. It was released on September 25, 2003, for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox. Unlike the previous titles in the series, this game has 5-on-5 gameplay instead of the usual 3-on-3 gameplay with the earlier titles. Despite that fact, however, the game does not include penalty shots, and it is still an arcade-type hockey game like its predecessors. It also has, as the name suggests, a lot of hard hitting, appealing more often to casual hockey fans than hardcore ones. The cover athlete of the game is Nicklas Lidström, and features commentary from Tim Kitzrow and Harry Teinowitz.
Unlike many other hockey video games of the 21st century, NHL Hitz Pro had the IIHF license, enabling it to use the jerseys of the Olympic hockey teams.
The game also has many game modes, one of the most popular being the "Pick-Up Hockey" game mode, where the game would turn into either a roller, street, or pond hockey match-up between two amateur teams.
NHL Hitz Pro features NHL-style gameplay for the first time, and although arcade-like features pop up from time to time, the game is far more realistic than the previous titles in the series. Among the changes to Hitz Pro are 5-on-5 gameplay, as opposed to the 3-on-3 action seen in NHL Hitz 2002 and 2003, less exaggerated player appearances, and wrap arounds.
NHL Hitz Pro features a soundtrack of 22 songs. They are listed below.
|12 Stones||Back Up|
|Dry Kill Logic||Hindsight|
|Exit This Side||Beautiful To Me|
|Exit This Side||Finding My Way|
|Exit This Side||Good Enough|
|Exit This Side||Simple Wonder|
|Exit This Side||The Silence|
|Flaw||Get Up Again|
|Flipswitch||Empty Hands Remix|
|Kazzer||Pedal To The Medal|
|The D4||Get Loose|
|Zombie Nation||Kernkraft 400|
NHL Hitz Pro was well received by critics. Metacritic gave the game an aggregated score of 79/100 on the PS2, indicating generally favourable reviews. It favoured slightly better on the GameCube and Xbox, receiving scores of 81/100 for both. IGN reviewer Chris Carle praised its gameplay, stating: "If you're into violence, aggression and humiliation (at least when none of the above are happening to you), this is the hockey game you've been waiting for. There's so much facing going on in this game, it's unbelievable." He gave all three versions of the game an 8.6/10, indicating 'Great' game status.
- "Tim Kitzrow Interview". Team Xbox. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "NHL Hitz Pro PS2 Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "NHL Hitz Pro GC Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "NHL Hitz Pro Xbox Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "NHL Hitz Pro Review". IGN. Retrieved 2013-08-25.