July 11, 2008

NHLPA '93: The Forgotten Older Brother of NHL '94

All hockey fans and video gamers are well-aware of the cult status that EA Sports' NHL 94 has reached since it launched on Sega Genesis. But, before Swingers made NHL '94 a pop culture icon, there was NHLPA '93, the videogame that set the foundation for EA's epic game a year later.

NHL '93 had the groundbreaking hockey engine of its day allowing players to break the glass behind the net with a shot, fight, and of course, make an opponent bleed as shown by this terrific video.

The National Hockey League Players Association licensed the game, but the NHL did not, so player names were included, but team names listed as just their city. This would be why the box cover featured no NHL logos on the jersey's and why the New York Islanders were simply known as "Long Island". NHL '93 also allowed you to save lines, stats or your quest for the Stanley Cup during playoff mode. Unfortunately, there was no "season" mode for players to partake in.

One downside to NHL '93 was the infamous glitch the allowed you to score easily on opponents by skating your player around the net on the right side and leaving the goalie on one side to allow an open net.

There was nothing worse than playing against someone who relied on that glitch to score goals and in the end, win. Those are the same types of people who use the same play over and over again on Madden online and the no-huddle offense every time they are on offense.


So what's memorable about NHLPA '93? Well, for one, the whole "making Gretzky's head bleed" is pretty sweet and the gameplay was similar to what we found in NHL '94 a year later. Other than that, the lack of actual NHL logos sucked if you're a true die-hard hockey gamer. Sure, the players were there, but I missed seeing Penguin logo every time Mario Lemieux scored and instead was treated to just a black and gold uniform.

Ballhype: hype it up!


Loser Chris said...

Yeah, no logos sucked, but it was better than the no names and no editable lines in the original NHL Hockey. I still remember firing that game up for the first time on the Genesis I got for Christmas and thinking I had just witnessed the pinnacle in gaming. I played every version of NHL of the Genesis to death and I still have all (or most) of them.

Richard-Steven Williams said...

That was the game that founded my love for hockey. Living in Britain in the Cornish Riviera, I couldn't be further from the NHL, yet when my friend bought the game for the SNES I fell in love. Back then I always played as the Islanders, Hartford or San Jose. Steve Thomas was my faviorite player and the game still lists in my top 5 all time games!