September 13, 2013

The Best Sports Video Game Ever - Back Again

Let me take you back to a time when things were easier. When The Simpsons were still funny and a Tea Party still was just a thing young girls did with their stuffed animals. Let me take you back to 1993, and the release of the groundbreaking NHL 94

NHL 94 set the bar not only for future sports video games to match, but for video games in general. It brought a degree of control and realism to console games that had yet to be seen. And it was fun...oh my god, was it ever fun.

October of 1993 was one month into my senior year at UConn. I worked for the college newspaper, and my friends and I were sports junkies. We had a Sega Genesis in our library on the second floor of the newspaper building. And that October we brought NHL 94 into our lives. And promptly almost failed out of college.

Okay, that isn't quite true. But it did make studying a lot harder.

It was amazing. The one-timers, the hard checks, and "the move" - a hellacious spin near the net that the goaltender could almost never stop.

There was also broken glass, checking after the whistle...just an amazing game.

And the best part is you can play it again!! For the 20th anniversary, they are tacking on an NHL 94 mode to NHL 14. So while Don Beaupre is long-gone from the Capitals, you can still check Sidney Crosby into oblivion the old-school way. Oh, and you CAN dominate with Roenick as they made him a special addition to NHL 14 along with Gretsky and Lemieux. But as in Swingers, you can't make Gretsky bleed.

You can fight him, though. Unlike the original, EA tacked on the NHL 14 fighting engine to this awesome throwback.

You can't get any younger and you can't go back to the good old days. But with the NHL 94 mode, I can at least relive the memories.


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