NHL '94

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NHL '94
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis cover art
Developer(s) EA Canada and High Score Productions (SCD, SNES, GEN)
Park Place Productions (DOS)
Publisher(s) EA Sports
Designer(s) Michael Brook
Programmer(s) Mark Lesser
Series NHL series
Platform(s) Super NES, Genesis, Sega CD, DOS
Release date(s)

Super NES: ‹See Tfd›

  • JP: April 8, 1994
  • NA: October 1993
  • EU: March 31, 1994
Genesis: ‹See Tfd›
  • NA: October 1993
  • EU: 1993
Sega CD: ‹See Tfd›
Genre(s) Traditional ice hockey simulation
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer

NHL '94 is an ice hockey game by EA Sports for the Genesis, Super NES and Sega CD, as well as the first release for the PC (DOS), simply titled "NHL Hockey", without the "94" in the title. The game is officially licensed from the National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association. Being the third game in the NHL series media franchise, it was released in October 1993.[1] NHL '94 is included as #47 on IGN's Top 100 Games of All-Time[2] and was named All-Time Greatest Sports Video Game by Boston.com.[3] It was also ranked second by ESPN on its all-time sports video games rankings.[4]

The National Hockey League had EA Sports remove fighting from the game.[5]

Gameplay[edit]

NHL Hockey (DOS) gameplay.

The game maintained the series' signature vertical camera angle, which offered the player distinct gameplay and strategic advantages over contemporary side-view hockey games, and kept the 2D sprite character models of NHLPA '93 (albeit with some new animations).

NHL '94 introduced the "one timer", an authentic hockey move where a player shoots the puck directly off of a pass. It also added the ability to save records,[6] and has four modes - Regular Season, Playoffs, Best of Seven Playoffs, and Shootout. There are no international teams, but both all-star teams are present. Also introduced were team-specific organ songs played at the start of periods and after goals—examples included the Hartford Whalers' trademark "Brass Bonanza", "Halte-là! Les Canadiens sont là!" for the Montreal Canadiens, "When the Saints Go Marching In" for the St. Louis Blues, "The Sabre Dance" for the Buffalo Sabres, and the Chicago Blackhawks theme song "Here Come the Hawks". "Birthday" by The Beatles is also featured as an organ song after a goal is scored.

Game modes[edit]

  • Exhibition Game
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs: Single Game Series
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs: Best of Seven Series
  • Shootout Mini-Game

Other versions[edit]

A version titled "NHL Pro Hockey '94" (NHLプロホッケー'94 NHL Purohokkē' 94?), was released in Japan for the Super Famicom which has all the important text in Japanese including the main menu, the actual hockey players, the secondary (end of period and post-game) menus, and the crowd meter. However, the passwords still use ASCII letters and numbers exclusively. It is the first and only title in the EA NHL series to have a Japanese release.

The NHL 94 game engine was later used (albeit modified for extra violence) for EA's Sega Genesis game Mutant League Hockey.[7]

The game was included in the PlayStation 2 version of NHL 06. The port included was based on the Sega Genesis version, but lacks the official NHL rosters from the original title.

On July 11, 2013, it was announced that NHL 14 would include a NHL '94 Mode, celebrating the 20th anniversary of NHL '94. It changes NHL 14 audiovisually and control-wise to resemble NHL '94. It also changes other gameplay elements like including faster game speed and having relaxed game rules.[8]

Reception[edit]

Computer Gaming World in 1993 stated that NHL Hockey for DOS had "a playing environment that is flush with realism, excitement and credibility". The magazine concluded that "players will lose themselves in the simulation and feel they are in control of a televised NHL broadcast ... an experience well worth the price of admission".[9]

GamePro gave the Sega CD version a perfect score, citing improved controls and playability from the already outstanding Genesis and SNES versions, as well as the use of real life NHL footage.[5]

In 2012, GamesRadar ranked it as the 25th best Sega Genesis game due in part to its realism.[10] In 2014, GamesRadar updated the list and NHL '94 was ranked 15th.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly - October 1993"
  2. ^ "IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time"
  3. ^ "All Time Greatest Sports Video Game - Boston.com"
  4. ^ Robinson, Jon. "ESPN's Sports Video Game Rankings". ESPN. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "NHL '94: CD Perfection!". GamePro (58). IDG. May 1994. p. 109. 
  6. ^ "History of NHL94". NHL94.com. Archived from the original on December 16, 2007. 
  7. ^ http://segaretro.org/Mutant_League_Hockey
  8. ^ Sarkar, Samit (11 July 2013). "NHL 14 lets you relive your childhood in NHL '94 Anniversary Mode". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Goble, Gordon (November 1993). "First Round Pick". Computer Gaming World. pp. 33–34. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Best Sega Genesis games of all time". GamesRadar. 2012-04-17. Archived from the original on 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  11. ^ "Best Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games of all time". GamesRadar. 2014-08-14. Archived from the original on 2014-08-15. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 

External links[edit]