Brett Hull Hockey

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Brett Hull Hockey
BrettHullHockeyUSBoxShotSNES.jpg
North American SNES cover art
Developer(s)Radical Entertainment
Publisher(s)
Composer(s)Paul Wilkinson
SeriesBrett Hull Hockey
Platform(s)Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Release
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
(up to two players)

Brett Hull Hockey is a ice hockey video game developed by Radical Entertainment and originally published by Accolade for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America on January 1994.[1] It prominently features former Canadian-American NHL player Brett Hull and is officially licensed from the NHL Players' Association.

Featuring the sportscaster Al Michaels as the play-by-play announcer, players have the choice to play across any of the game modes available against with either CPU-controlled opponents or other players. Despite being licensed by the NHLPA, the game was not officially endorsed by the NHL and as such, all the teams are referred only by city with no use of the team name itself, in addition of not having either NHL team logos or NHL emblems to be seen anywhere in the title.

Brett Hull Hockey received mixed but positive reception when it was released. Ports for the Sega Genesis, Atari Jaguar and Atari Jaguar CD were in development but never released. A sequel to the game, Brett Hull Hockey '95, was released the following year for MS-DOS, Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.

Gameplay[edit]

A match between St. Louis and Vancouver (SNES version).

Brett Hull Hockey is a ice hockey game that is played from a vertical perspective in a two-dimensional environment with sprites. Most of the rules from the sport are present in the title, though they can be disabled from the menu and in-game options. Other options are available such as turning on/off music and sound effects, along with the pre-game coaching mode which can turn a losing team into a winning team and viceversa, among other settings. Some of the gameplay options found within the game include an exhibition match, regular season and playoff competitions, among other modes of play. The announcer, Al Michaels, makes commentary during gameplay and announces Brett Hull by name but other players are only called by their respective jersey number due to the lack of the NHL license, while his commentaries can also be turned off on the options menu. Season progress is only kept via password and there is also a two-player option for every mode.

During gameplay, players are able to apply tactics such as multiple types of shots and checking for both offensive and defensive purposes respectively in order to score points. Offsides can occur if attacking players crossing the blue lines are entering the offensive zone (red zone), before the puck and anyone on either team touches the puck before leaving the red zone. Penalties are applied by an official when any of the rules are infringed, sending the offending player into the penalty box for a set number of minutes before re-entering into the playfield. Fights can also erupt at any moment between players from either team.

Teams[edit]

The teams featured in the game only represent their respective cities from both Canada and United States, in addition of featuring two original teams: Eastern All-Star and Western All-Star. Some of the teams available to choose in the game are:

Release[edit]

Brett Hull Hockey was first released in January 1994 by Accolade,[1] and it received a European release by Sony Electronic Publishing later in the same year. A version for the Sega Genesis was advertised and planned for a 1993/1994 release in all regions alongside the Super Nintendo version.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] Unlike the SNES version, which used Mode 7 to display the playfield, the Genesis version featured isometric graphics instead[9] and despite reportedly being completed,[7] it was cancelled for unknown reasons.

Brett Hull NHL Hockey[edit]

Gameplay screenshot from the unreleased Brett Hull NHL Hockey for the Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD, showcasing a match between Western All-Stars and Eastern All-Stars.

In November 1993, Accolade signed an agreement with Atari Corporation to be a third-party developer for the recently released Atari Jaguar and licensed five titles from their catalog to Atari Corp. in order to be ported and released for the system, with Brett Hull Hockey being among one of the five licensed games and it was first announced in early 1994.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] The port was later showcased by Atari in a early playable state at WCES '95 and slated for a Q2 1995 release, with plans to be published for both the Jaguar and Jaguar CD.[18][19][20][21][22] It was later showcased in a more advanced state at E3 1995 and was later slated for a Q3 1995/November 1995 release.[23][24][25]

Internal documents from Atari also revealed that Ringler Studios was developing the conversion and that it would feature the NHL license unlike the SNES original, with some magazines previewing the game under the title NHL Hockey,[26] in addition of being listed as still being in development on August of the same year.[27] Other internal documents from the company still listed the port as in development on December of the same year,[28] with Atari sending the final builds of the game to both NHL and NHLPA for approval the next month.[29] Despite the catridge version being reviewed and rated by both Game Players and Next Generation magazines in their April and May 1996 issues respectively under its final title, Brett Hull NHL Hockey,[30][31] neither version was ever released during the commercial run of the system, which was discontinued by Atari a month earlier before merging with JT Storage in a reverse takeover.[32][33]

On May 14, 1999, Hasbro Interactive released the patents and rights of the Jaguar into public domain by declaring it as an open platform and opening the doors for homebrew development, allowing independent publisher and developers to release unfinished titles from the system's past life cycle.[34] A beta build of the cartridge version of Brett Hull NHL Hockey was released by B&C Computervisions on January 9, 2004 for US$50.[35][36] On May 14, 2009, the defunct Jaguar Sector II website released the CD version under the name Jaguar Hockey to avoid licensing issues for US$35.[35][36][37] Aside from featuring the NHL license and updated graphics and sound compared to the SNES original, the differences between the cartridge and CD versions include bug fixes and full motion video cutscenes but longer loading screens, among others changes.[37]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
GameRankings(SNES) 68%[38]
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame(SNES) 2.5/5 stars[39]
GamePro(SNES) 16.5 / 20[40]
Mega Fun(SNES) 76%[41]
Next Generation(Jaguar) 2/5 stars[31]
Play Time(SNES) 64%[42]
Video Games(SNES) 55%[43]

Brett Hull Hockey received mixed but positive reviews since its release.

Next Generation reviewed the Jaguar version of the game, and stated that "In the end, Brett Hull NHL Hockey, with its three camera options, commentating from Al Michaels, full NHL roster, and realistic graphics, would have no problem holding its own against any competitor if it weren't for the choppy gameplay."[31]

Legacy[edit]

With the advent of modern console emulation on computers and despite never being officially published, the previously unreleased Atari Jaguar version of Brett Hull Hockey has since received two unofficial ROM hacks that were released in 2013 and 2015, titled Jaguar Hockey Legends '13 and Jaguar Hockey League '15 respectively, featuring updated title and menu screens.[44][45] However, in addition of containing then current-day professional rosters while maintaining the original gameplay, each of these hacked versions contains a unique roster set based in members of the Jaguar community.[44][45] The 2015 edition would go on to receive a physical release by community member Gaztee at AtariAge forums later in the same year.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Now Playing - Brett Hull Hockey". Nintendo Power. No. 57. Nintendo of America. February 1994. p. 105.
  2. ^ "Score On These Guys, You're A Hero. Miss It, And You're History". GamePro. No. 51. IDG. October 1993. p. 1.
  3. ^ "Score On These Guys, You're A Hero. Miss It, And You're History". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 52. EGM Media, LLC. November 1993. p. 257.
  4. ^ "Messebericht - Messeneuheiten Für Mega Drive Und Super Nintendo". MAN!AC (in German). No. 1. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. November 1993. p. 12.
  5. ^ "Score On These Guys, You're A Hero. Miss It, And You're History". Game Players. No. 54. Signal Research. December 1993. p. 167.
  6. ^ "Score On These Guys, You're A Hero. Miss It, And You're History". Sega Visions. No. 17. Infotainment World. March 1994. p. 116.
  7. ^ a b "Preview - Mega Drive - Brett Hull Hockey". Computer and Video Games. No. 149. Future Publishing. April 1994. p. 100.
  8. ^ "Score On These Guys, You're A Hero. Miss It, And You're History". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 59. EGM Media, LLC. June 1994. p. 121.
  9. ^ "News - Sport - Brett Hull Hockey". Supersonic (in French). No. 23. Pressimage. July 1994. p. 18.
  10. ^ "ATARI SIGNS 15 MORE NEW SOFTWARE COMPANIES; JAGUAR MOMENTUM ACCELERATES; TOTAL OF 35 AGREEMENTS SIGNED". Nine Lives. November 29, 1993. Archived from the original on 2004-12-07. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  11. ^ "Other Stuff". GameFan. No. Volume 2, Issue 1. Shinno Media. December 1993. p. 212.
  12. ^ "ProNews: Atari Announces Jaguar Licenses". GamePro. No. 55. IDG. February 1994. p. 186.
  13. ^ "News - Update - Sports Accolade". ST Format. No. 55. Future plc. February 1994. p. 86.
  14. ^ "News - La Jaguar ronronne - On attend sur Jaguar". Génération 4 (in French). No. 64. Computec Media France. March 1994. p. 32.
  15. ^ Reutter, Hans (February 2000). "Faran Thomason Interview". CyberRoach Magazine. No. 9. cyberroach.com. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  16. ^ doctorclu (May 23, 2016). Interview with Faran Thomason about Bubsy on the Atari Jaguar. YouTube.
  17. ^ Wallett, Adrian (September 3, 2017). "Faran Thomason (Atari/Nintendo) – Interview". arcadeattack.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  18. ^ "Sports titles coming from Atari". TheFreeLibrary.com. Business Wire. January 6, 1995. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  19. ^ "Short ProShots - Jaguar - Brett Hull Hockey". GamePro. No. 68. IDG. March 1995. p. 151.
  20. ^ "Special CES-Show - Winter CES Las Vegas - Atari". Mega Fun (in German). No. 30. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. March 1995. p. 8.
  21. ^ Nepožitek, Marek (July 1995). "Konzole - Jaguar+CD - CD a virtuální realita již tento rok?". LeveL (in Czech). No. 6. Naked Dog, s.r.o. p. 44.
  22. ^ "Brett Hull NHL Hockey". IGN. Archived from the original on 9 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  23. ^ "E-3 The Biggest And Best Electronic Entertainment Show Ever! - Jaguar CD". GameFan. No. Volume 3, Issue 7. Shinno Media. July 1995. p. 36.
  24. ^ "Feature - XT Generation Report - Atari Jaguar". MAN!AC (in German). No. 20. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. June 1995. p. 40.
  25. ^ Gore, Chris (August 1995). "The Gorescore - Industry News You Can". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 79. L.F.P., Inc. p. 14.
  26. ^ François, Tommy; Msika, David (June 1995). "Reportage - E3 - Atari: Le Virtuel, Ça Marche". CD Consoles (in French). No. 8. Pressimage. p. 43.
  27. ^ Vendel, Curt (August 26, 1995). "Payment Schedule for Jaguar games to Developers" (PDF). atarimuseum.com. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  28. ^ Dragon, Lost (July 5, 2017). "The Ultimate Jaguar Unreleased/Beta/Source/Dev Master List! - Page 5". atari.io. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  29. ^ "Atari Jaguar - Brett Hull Hockey". atarimania.com. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  30. ^ Salmon, Mike (April 1996). "GP Sports - Reviews - Brett Hull Hockey". Game Players. No. 83. Signal Research. p. 75.
  31. ^ a b c "Finals - Jaguar - Brett Hull NHL Hockey". Next Generation. No. 17. Imagine Media. May 1996. p. 92.
  32. ^ "Atari and JT Storage Reorganisation Plan". onecle.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2006. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  33. ^ ATARI CORP Annual Report (Regulation S-K, item 405) (10-K405) ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
  34. ^ Henry, Dana (May 14, 1999). "Hasbro Interactive Releases Rights To The Atari Jaguar Hardware Platform". Atari Explorer. Archived from the original on 2004-08-18. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  35. ^ a b Smith, Jason. "Atari Jaguar Timeline". jaguarsector.com. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  36. ^ a b Smith, Jason. "Jaguar Sector II Atari Jaguar Software Price and Rarity Guide". jaysmith2000.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-17. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  37. ^ a b monokoma (January 7, 2010). "Brett Hull NHL Hockey [Jaguar – Beta / Unreleased]". unseen64.net. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  38. ^ "Brett Hull Hockey for Super Nintendo". GameRankings. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  39. ^ Baize, Anthony. "Brett Hull Hockey - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  40. ^ Commentator, Colorful (December 1993). "The Sports Page - Brett Hull Skates Hard, But Trails Competition - Brett Hull Hockey". GamePro. No. 53. IDG. pp. 182–183.
  41. ^ Girlich, Stephan (April 1994). "Test Super Nintendo - Brett Hull Hockey". Mega Fun (in German). No. 19. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 34.
  42. ^ "Super NES Reviews - Brett Hull Hockey". Play Time (in German). No. 42. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. December 1994. p. 114.
  43. ^ Borgmeier, Carsten; Ulrich, Hartmut (April 1994). "Rom Check - Super Nintendo - Brett Hull Hockey". Video Games (in German). No. 30. Future-Verlag. p. 109.
  44. ^ a b fredifredo (April 14, 2013). "JHL 13 est disponible !". Retro-Gaming Connexion (in French). Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  45. ^ a b Fredifredo (March 20, 2015). "JHL 15 : Release". AtariAge. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  46. ^ Gaztee (July 24, 2015). "JHL 15 : Physical Release". AtariAge. Retrieved 2018-09-17.

External links[edit]