NHL Hitz 2003
NHL Hitz 2003 images
Review of NHL Hitz 2003
Midway has done a nice job to improve things from last year’s game. This is still the basic 3-on-3 hockey using NHL players from all the teams, but now there are more venues, more features and better graphics.
Playability hasn’t really changed much. The controls are easy to master, but you have to master the dirty play to really start winning consistently. One nice feature with the playability are the different areas to help improve the game. One, of course is the Scotty Bowman Hockey School. In school, you get a mini-tutorial on how to do each move that your player can do. In addition, there are a series of mini-games added to the game that really help to not only add variety, but also each area helps to hone a skill. There are fun games like breaking windows in a building across the way, a hockey style tic-tac-toe game, etc.
The games are still three-on-three and you can choose the three players from the hockey team that’s been selected. There are various options, one is to have permanent control of just one player, and the other is to move to the player closest to the puck, which is the default.
The graphics are what really jump out in this game. When a player scores, you get a close-up of his happy face while he celebrates as well as all the wonderful special effects going on in the background. The big-name players are rendered extremely well and very close in likeness to the actual person. Some of the best I’ve seen in any sports game. There are no noticeable edges or seams in rendering of the players and their movement/animation is fluid and realistic. The backgrounds are vibrant and full of variety. In the other games and modes, the graphics are all extremely well done, from the torched players to the strobing lights the game is a joy to look at.
In addition to the regular hockey, games and hockey school, there’s a franchise mode where you can create your own franchise and try to get invited to the NHL. You can create players and play all over the world. When going through the options, you can see a ton of unlockable items and what you need to do to get them. This includes unlocking players with freakish heads and to unlocking past era team jerseys from each hockey team. They even include the ability to unlock the Winnipeg Jets after winning games as the Phoenix coyotes, and other past teams like the Colorado Rockies, Quebec Nordiques, Atlanta Flames, and Minnesota North Stars. Lots of incentives to keep playing every team and mini-game to get more free stuff.
The sound effects are excellent. The play-by-play and color announcing are nothing special, but are specialized to fit in with this particular brand of smash-mouth hockey. The other sounds are very good, realistic sounds of skating, smashing into the boards, and slapshots. On top of all of this is a raucous soundtrack filled with lots of music that you can just accept, or if you want, trim down to just the music you like.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'NHL Hitz 2003' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Downey © Absolute PlayStation
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