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NHL Hitz 2003 PS2 PlayStation2 Playstation 2 PStwo

NHL Hitz 2003

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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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NHL HITZ 2003

88/100

Review Summary:

"Midway has improved this game on many levels. By adding the mini games and really improving graphics, they have added a special touch that was missing before and raises the boredom threshold. Also, with all of the unlockable items, there are many incentives to keep playing. The irreverent nature of the game really lends itself to multi-player action. That is why it’s disappointing that there is no network play in this game. What could be more fun than smashing a stranger over internet play? All in all, this is a fun game that will provide hours of enjoyment, but is better in a group."

Score Breakdown:

Graphics  18/20
Playability  46/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  16/20

Our Recommendation:

This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

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NHL HITZ 2003

NHL Hitz 2003 was created by Midway and is a Hockey Sports game.

NHL HITZ 2003 FEATURES:

New Franchise Mode ﷓The deepest hockey experience available allows the user to create a team and attempt to reach the top ranking in the world to receive an invitation to join the NHL

New Enhanced Season Mode ﷓ In﷓depth statistic tracking, player drafts and trades, full NHL calendar and playoff tree

New Hockey School Mode with Scotty Bowman ﷓ A tutorial to familiarize players with controls and gameplay mechanics led by the retired Hall of Fame coach and nine﷓time Stanley Cup champion

New Multi﷓Player Tournament Mode ﷓Allows up to 16 players to battle it out on the ice and structure their own playoff trees to determine the overall champion

New Hockey Shop ﷓ Featuring real NHL equipment from the best manufacturers like The Hockey Company, Easton Sports. ITECH Sports Products Inc., Bauer Nike Hockey, Sher﷓wood Drolet and Louisville Hockey

New Mini﷓Games ﷓ Includes six games with multi﷓player skill competitions

New Fully 3 ﷓D﷓Modeled Crowd ﷓ Now more than 10 times larger New Team Play Styles ﷓ NHL teams take on the playing style of their real﷓life counterparts

New Motion Capture Animations ﷓ Two﷓man motion capture animations for more realistic checking

New Fantasy Stadiums, Hidden Teams and Players ﷓ More than 120 hidden features to unlock including secret arenas in unique fantasy settings as well as hidden teams, players and jerseys

New Color Commentary ﷓ A second sportscaster joins the game to describe all of the outrageous action

New Referee ﷓ Officials tough enough to handle face﷓offs, fights and escorting players off the ice Videogame Exclusive DVD content featuring an interview with St. Louis Blues defenseman and cover athlete Chris Pronger and on﷓ice two﷓man motion capture footage

New Jukebox ﷓ Featuring a soundtrack with hit music from alternative rockers Incubus, Moby, Drowning Pool, Hoobastank, Rob Zombie and more

NHL HITZ 2003 OPTIONS:

• DVD Media
• 513 KBytes required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap2)
• Up to 6 Players (with Multi-tap2)
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Vibration facility

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