NHL All-Star Hockey 98
by Radical Ent.
Coming from the same development team that created Virgin's Power Play Hockey, NHL All-Star Hockey *98 has the gift of good lineage as well as some impressive game features to launch it into the hockey arena this November.
Hockey games, like soccer games, have gotten very complex in the last year or so. Look at the facts: It's not enough to have 650 players represented from all 26 NHL teams along with '96/'97 season stats, and decent polygon graphics and gameplay. Now you must have advanced Al that allows forwards to execute defending, multiple coaching strategies including power play and penaltykilling styles and of course MCreate-a-Player." If the developers are really ambitious, there will be lots of subtle attributes like left-handed players and goalies to vary the strategies from game to game. To round out the package, the fights have to be up-close and personal with a 360-degree rotating camera catching every slap, jab and duck punch.
As you've guessed, NHL All-Star Hockey '98 has a lot going for it. But more than that it has proven gameplay and a good development team (Radical Entertainment) behind it, proving more than anything else this one could be a good hockey sim.
When Virgin's Powerplay hockey came out for the Saturn over a year ago, it quickly established itself as arguably the best hockey game on a 32-Bit system by having competent and entertaining gameptay. This year, however, to the dismay of Saturn owners everywhere, Virgin released Powerplay '98 exclusively for the PlayStation, while bypassing the Saturn altogether. Vet, as all hope seemed lost for downtrodden Saturn hockey fans, Radical announced the release of NHL All-Star Hockey '98. This, of course, is basically the unofficial sequel to Powerplay, only under Sega's name.
Taking the successful game engine and used in Powerplay and making it even better has allowed several new options and variables in All-Star. For example, forwards are now able to execute as needed throughout a game, creating a whole lot of new scoring opportuneties. Further instances include defense men who aggressively body-check greedy for-wards that attempt to camp out in front of the net. And finally, a littlething that seems to mean a the addition of left-handed players. Surprisingly, the inclusion of "'lefties" change a lot of strategies by opening up different angles of attack and defense.
Goalies have also undergone a transformation. In addition to skating around the back of the net to chase pucks, they can now break away and challenge shooters well in front of the goal. Doing the splits to catch a shot is new and one of the better examples of the motion-capture animation used in the game.
Twenty-six NHL teams and 650 players including their '96-'97 stats are used in the game as weli as all the official logos, stadiums and the like. International teams are in there as well: lapan. Austria, Australia, France and Finland to name a few.
With so few hockey games slated for the Saturn in the upcoming NHL season, it would be great if NHL All-Star Hockey '98 becomes a worthy successor to the great hockey game whose footsteps it follows.
MANUFACTURER - Radical Ent.
THEME - Hockey
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-6
2016-09-06 NHL All-Star Hockey 98 game added.