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NHL Rivals 2004
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NHL Rivals 2004
Published by: forahobby on 2004-05-04
Page Views: 3056
Rating: 8/10

NHL Rivals 2004 like Top spin is Microsoft’s first voyage into the online Hockey arena for the Xbox. NHL Rivals is what Microsoft hopes will counter Sega’s ESPN NHL Hockey (formerly NHL 2K4). While it doesn’t compare to ESPN NHL Hockey in terms of better control and game play Rivals makes up for it with the XSN sports community which you can use to create virtual leagues and better online capabilities. You can also eventually keep track of leagues through your PDA. Even though it’s their first year and they have some features better than ESPN NHL Hockey NHL Rivals still falls short of the 5 year veteran.

NHL Rivals in terms of game play is really good for Microsoft’s maiden hockey voyage. Even though Rivals plays well and it’s surprisingly deep there are some noticeable flaws in this game. Rivals has the usual Exhibition mode, Season mode to playing a pickup game online with up to 6 Xboxes instead of the usual one Xbox to one Xbox for online play. The controls are very easy, straightforward., and shouldn’t take you long to master. Even though it’s surprisingly deep and fun to play both offline and online Rivals, and more importantly most Microsoft games that have 3rd party competition games similar to theirs seem to fall way short for most fans of the sport game genre and are only purchased by those who are diehard fans of the series.

Rivals is a blast to play on Xbox Live. This game functions well online From a simple game of one on one to a game featuring up to 10 people in one game for either a ranked or non-ranked game or up to 6 people on up to 6 separate Xboxes for a pickup game on three different rinks. The pickup games cane make for some interesting matches and fun times. Like other Microsoft Sports games released this year Rivals comes with the XSN sports network in which you can create leagues become a virtual Gary Beatman and make your league with a password so only people you invite to the league participate.

The controls for NHL Rivals are very easy to get into with your basic controls for offence shoot, pass, deke, clear etc. and for defense speed burst body check poke check etc. The controls are more simplified than either ESPN NHL Hockey or EA’s NHL 2004 and for the beginner hockey gamer, but not deep enough control wise to keep the hardcore fans playing for long.

The graphics for Rivals are very good but aren’t as good as ESPN for a few reasons. For one the player models aren’t any different there pretty much the same for each player whereas with ESPN the models are more tailored to each individual player with the differences being the height, weight, and player’s facial definition. As far as the stadiums go in Rivals they are very detailed and life-like. The crowd interactions depending on the action on the ice are really good, and it really adds to the atmosphere in the game.

The sound of Rivals is really good from the bone crunching hits when you plow someone straight to the ice or the boards to the sounds of the puck passing on the sticks the game sounds real crisp and fresh. The commentary while not as efficient as ESPN Rivals still delivers on many levels. The option with many of the sports games released this year is that you can add a custom soundtrack where you can rip your music cds onto your Xbox and use your custom sound tracks to play in the background while playing the game either online or offline.

Rivals while playing by yourself on this game will like other sports games keep you entertained for only so long, but with the addition of Xbox live and XSN games can be a blast to play online. So if you’re looking for a good fun game to play either offline or online with your friends and enjoy hockey check out Rivals, and if they get better with the player models and more in depth player controls then this game could give ESPN some good competition when both games versions come out next year.



  

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Game Release Dates
published by schirmk on 2003-10-20 19:39:14
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