Ice Hockey (NES)

Datafile

Company: Nintendo
Year: 1988
Plataform: Nintendo NES
Controller: Default controller of the platform

Foreword

Hockey, sport who shares many similarities with football association, which version most spreaded is over ice, so that makes it unpopular in many countries. However, in countries where videogames are popular, the ice hockey is also common, so videogames about this game were known since older consoles.

In 1988, owners of NES consoles, either be NES or FDS, had two choices of playing videogames of this sport, we have written before about, maybe the most known, but this one is also quite good.

Game

Controls

Waiting impatiently for the restart of the game. There is a score to overcome.

As already mentioned, it’s a videogame about ice hockey where the main objective is trying to score the puck in the rival net. Preferently if you can send your rival to the ice trying to get the puck from it, even if the second is not mandatory for the first goal.

This particular game has enough features to offer new challenges even to seasoned players of ice hockey videogames. The first one is that the player can choose from 5 different speeds at how the match is played. The two slower ones are good for getting the feel of the game, but the two fastest… well, let’s say that the matches become quite frantic and chaotic and also is incredibly funny to find yourself pushing the buttons and hoping the best instead of planning the game.

Button AButton B
OffensePass the puck to other teammateShoot to goal
DeffenseChallenge a rival for the puck.Change to the closest player to the puck.

Players

Now, in those years, it was commonplace for videogames to offer different teams to the players to be chosen from, where the differences are more than just different uniforms. In this videogame the differences are 3 different kind of players, used to fill 4 slots per roster in a team. Every team on the videogame has different roster configurations.

This is the lightest and quickest player, useful for faceoffs but shoots the weakest. I called him Schrage.
Classic standard guy, no weaknesses, but no advantages either. I called him Brekhov or Stormavik.
The strong guy of the bunch, being the slowest one. Shoots the quickest and farthest. I called him HorrorShow.

The GoalKeeper is the same between all the teams, I called him Dragonsky.

It’s not seen how the thin dude was sent flying.

The funniest part is building your team according to your style of playing. Consider pros and cons of every player, because when two players clash trying to get the puck, well… let’s say it’s not the same a strong guy hits another strong guy, instead of a thin dude. In slowest speeds you can not appreciate at all the player’s skills, but in the chaos of higher speeds, being able to properly use the thin dude is extremely helpful, specially in counterstrikes.

I strongly advise to build your team with different kind of players, even if it’s tempting to build one with 4 strong guys, every skill is useful, specially in the higher speeds of the videogame. Example: a thin dude used in a counterstrike has high possibilities of trying at least one shot at goal before a strong guy can arrive to deffend. Of course, it’s always funny to see a strong guy hit a thin dude to see the second fly like an eagle.

Teams

The videogame features 6 different teams. When every team has an initial setup of players, but it can easily modigy to suit the player’s needs and/or style.


Canada
1 thin, 2 mediums, 1 strong guy

Czechoslovakia
1 medium, 3 strong guys

Poland
2 thins, 1 medium, 1 strong guy

Soviet Union
1 thin, 1 medium, 2 strong guys

Sweden
1 thin, 2 mediums, 1 strong guy

United States of America
4 mediums

Other Platforms

Famicom Disk System

The main difference with the NES version is that in this port, available in Japan, is that the Japan team appears instead the United States one, and the Sweden team is replaced by the United States. The others remain the same.

Epilogue

I didn’t play much this game, because in my hometown Blades of Steel was a lot more popular. However, once it became easier to get, it became an active asset with my buddies. I liked to play with the USSR team, but using the formation from Sweden, I called that particular configuration Oktober Guaяd, because if you paid attention when I was describing the different kind of players, the nicknames were characters from that group. Here is an image that appeared in G.I. Joe Yearbook #2.

References

Sport Icon designed by Smashicons of FlatIcon licensed by CC 3.0 BY.

Console Icons taken from Retroarch.

EstadioRetro

Informatic guy and fan of retro videogaming. Mexican and spanish. I like to drink good coffee. My favorite sport is baseball, but I like to watch others.

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