|Developer(s)||Visual Concepts (SNES)
High Score Productions (Genesis)
Park Place Productions (Game Gear)
Malibu Interactive (Game Boy)
EA Sports (DOS)
|Genre(s)||Sports - Ice Hockey Sim|
NHL 95 introduced many new elements to the series. Firstly, the graphics on the Genesis and SNES versions differed greatly from the first three installments of the NHL series (the DOS version kept those graphics). For the first time, a complete season could be played, and players could be created, traded, signed, and released. It is also the first game to give out year end awards at the end of the season. Other gameplay improvements include fake shots, drop passes and lying on the ice to block shots. Fighting is still removed but if a player sustained a multi game injury during season play, the player would be shown lying on the ice with nasty leg injury; if it was during exhibition game the player would have stars around his head. The game supports Electronic Arts's four player adapter, allowing 1 - 4 people to play simultaneously.
There is a coding bug which causes the game to freeze up. Most commonly, the bug is generated through created players or through trading players. This is noted by a "DAY 2" error on the edit lines page. Also, if a player scores more than 127 points in league play, the stats register will not recognize the number, so the player's score is registered as 100 points less than the actual score. To get around this bug, Electronic Arts customer support recommended that players choose "End season after today" in the options menu once they reach 125 points, thus allowing them to enter the playoffs in first place and still qualify for end-of-the-year awards.
The auto goalie is often unable to defend the across-the-goalie move, the one-on-one move and one-timer shots from the slot. Using manual goalie, a player can defend any shot.
GamePro gave the Genesis version a perfect score and called it "the smoothest, most entertaining hockey title ever created", citing the ability to sign, trade, and release real NHL players, the ability to create one's own fantasy players, the advanced statistics tracking, the new injury animations, the realistic sounds, and "the unbelievably blazing speed of the game." They declared the SNES version to be "just average" due to the vastly inferior controls and sound effects as compared to the Genesis version, as well as the removal of content such as shootout mode, playoff mode, fake shots, and drop-passes. They were still less enthusiastic about the Game Boy version, saying that its impressive graphics and selection of modes are outweighed by the frustration generated by the limited two-button control. They also commented, "The sprites are large and detailed, but that creates another problem. The bigger the players, the less ice that fits on the tiny screen, so you almost need a map to find the net."