October 27, 2006

NHL '94 Online.: How to get started. Cue nerdgasm. I'm out of commission for most of the next 48 hours, but I'd love to hear anyone's experience with this.

posted by Ufez Jones to hockey at 05:09 PM - 27 comments

Ahhhh, that games bring back memories. I still recall when I first picked it up not knowing a thing about hockey. I picked the Bruins based simply upon their cool symbol. Plus, the 99 or close to ratings for Ray Bourque and Adam Oates didn't hurt. They were my first love in hockey and made Bourque my eternal hero.

posted by jmd82 at 08:01 PM on October 27

Was this the game they played during Swingers on the Sega Genesis?

posted by rcade at 08:18 PM on October 27

Was this the game they played during Swingers on the Sega Genesis? Absolutely. I can recall MANY spent days of my youth battling my best friend for hours on end. My spin-o-rama was my best move. Gretzky was the bomb!

posted by willthrill72 at 08:27 PM on October 27

Ahhh, nothing compares to the old table top push rod games, my patented "put the puck in the slot and let 'er rip" was, well, uh, anything but patented, I reckon.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:01 PM on October 27

Gretzky was a puss in that game. If you breathed on him he fell over. Super Mario was truly the best in the game. So good my friends made playing with Pittsburgh illegal. One of the first great sports video games.

posted by DudeDykstra at 10:41 PM on October 27

Gretzky was a puss in that game. If you breathed on him he fell over. Super Mario was truly the best in the game. So good my friends made playing with Pittsburgh illegal. One of the first great sports video games. Mario was understandable. What was baffling was just how fierce Roenick was in that game.

posted by mkn at 10:44 PM on October 27

We so need a SpoFi NHL '94 league. They were playing NHL '93 in Swingers. '93 had the blood ooze from the guy's head when he got injured. They took that out in '94. I have to be the biggest loser-geek in the world to point that out, but in my defense I was a freshman in college in 93-94. I mean what else were we gonna do, go to class? Go on dates? HA!

posted by SummersEve at 02:51 AM on October 28

What a game. No concussions for Lindros in that one.

posted by GoBirds at 06:17 AM on October 28

According to Wikipedia, they were playing NHL '94 in Swingers. Vladimir Rucizka was the bomb. I had a long unbeaten streak against my roommates of the time (allô Patrice!). I got so good I only played with the Sharks (fear the Zettler-Zmolek defense pairing, baby, fear), and still won all the time.

posted by qbert72 at 11:30 PM on October 28

What was baffling was just how fierce Roenick was in that game. Never mind that. As qbert suggests, it was all the bench players with ratings in the mid 60s to mid 70s who had some certain mix of skills that made them amazing. I bought a Genesis before my sophomore year in college, played it like it was my job all year and the vicious crucible that was our hall left me so good I wound up using the Senators. Jamie Baker was not quite the monster that was Dallas Drake or Andrei Kovalenko, but he would do. Ah, memories. Rosters and ratings available here. Another great thing: it was one of the first games I remember that saved all stats. I was upset/ proud when I saw how much of 1994-1995 I lost to that game when I fired it up last time we moved.

posted by yerfatma at 12:15 PM on October 29

Ed Belfour was so good, he sucked.

posted by tselson at 09:21 PM on October 29

I would suggest Kottke's friends weren't all that great if they had to outlaw a type of move rather than learning how to switch to the goalie and defend it.

posted by yerfatma at 07:08 AM on October 30

Outlaw a move? Lame. You played with the manual goalie? I bow down. Incidentally, last time I played, I sucked donkey balls. Or my ex-roommies had been practicing in secret for years. Or those damn Genesis controllers were too shot to make a good one-timer.

posted by qbert72 at 08:13 AM on October 30

You have to play with the manual goalie or the wrap-around move is a sure-thing, as Kottke suggests (unless you catch the man in the corner with a good hitting defenseman).

posted by yerfatma at 08:25 AM on October 30

unless you catch the man in the corner with a good hitting defenseman That's the way we did it. Try to leave a D-man in front of the net to stop the forward in its tracks. Other than that, we just conceded the goal, and tried to score more than the other guy (which gave pretty high-scoring games). You did feel cheap if you kept scoring with the damn wraparound, though. A good one-timer was a lot more satisfying (although some were ridiculous too). A lot of the individual efforts in this montage would have ended more quickly and beautifully with a one-timer. From your Kottke link, this complete game (with Finnish commentary) features modern-day players. I suppose you can do this with the PC emulators.

posted by qbert72 at 09:41 AM on October 30

Secret weapons: Alexei Zhitnik Richard Smehlik Mikhail Tatarinov Ah for the days of yanking a goalie because it made a (seeming) difference. Checking your link: well hell, I can't play with offsides. The rink's too small.

posted by yerfatma at 10:22 AM on October 30

So you were a Kings/Sabres/Nordiques guy? The Sabres had quite a team in '94. That damn Yuri Khmylev scored a lot on me. My teams were Bruins/Capitals/Sharks, depending on the handicap I wanted. We always played with offsides. That's how hockey is played. Should we get a room?

posted by qbert72 at 11:17 AM on October 30

We probably should get a room at this point. I used the Nordiques because they were an acceptable way of evening the odds. I used the Kings once in a while because . . . I don't remember why but I do remember rooting against them the year the played Toronto for the Cup (which would have been right before or after the game came out). I'd have to go look, but I imagine the Nordiques are in the top 3 on my most played list. It's weird, but I don't remember who else I used regularly. Offsides constrained the beauty of the game for me. We did keep the two-line pass rule in to prevent cherry-picking.

posted by yerfatma at 12:10 PM on October 30

The Kings beat Toronto in the conference final in '93, then lost the Cup to the Canadiens. Remember McSorley's illegal stick? And the insane 10 consecutive overtime wins by the Habs?

posted by qbert72 at 12:51 PM on October 30

Ah, I always do that with that season. And it's weird because of what Montreal & John LeClair were doing in the other conference.

posted by yerfatma at 02:01 PM on October 30

Is this a private conversation or can anyone join in?:) I can't remember if it was the 93 or the 94 version I had back in England. I remember picking it up and Fifa Soccer at the same time, after trading in Sonic 3. Those were the days. The PC versions have been mostly crap since NHL 98. Played that to death.

posted by Drood at 05:33 AM on October 31

My favorite PC hockey game was Wayne Gretzky Hockey back in the early 90s. Being able to create your own teams was a lot of fun. Both the Charlestown Chiefs and my re-created 70s Bruins dominated the league.

posted by yerfatma at 07:53 AM on October 31

Superstar Ice Hockey on Commodore 64 back in the 80s was my favorite. The first game I had that had franchise-type on-going seasons. And if you turned it off in the middle of a game it would remember and write that game as a forfeit and you couldn't go back and change it. (I'm such a poor loser, I wish PS2 could that.) Here's the youtube clip of Swingers. It's also listed as NHL '94 in the clip description, but that's definitely '93. Look how small the rink is. Imdb.com agrees: Factual errors: Although the guys all lament the fact that there is no fighting in the version of video hockey they are playing, that version is NHLPA '93, which did, in fact, have fighting (as well as being able to make someone's head bleed). Fighting was not removed from the series until NHL '94.

posted by SummersEve at 08:32 AM on October 31

By golly, you're right. Look at the bottom left corner of the screen at the 0:16 mark of the YouTube clip. It's a center ice face off, presumably after a goal. Now look at the 4th NHL '94 screenshot here, and compare with this NHL '93 screenshot. I've been had all along.

posted by qbert72 at 08:54 AM on October 31

It's settled. Bleeding head only in '93. Why, in god's name, would they ever take it out? Put my violence back!

posted by willthrill72 at 08:57 AM on October 31

They had to take it out to keep the E rating (or whatever the equivalent was back then). If we're going to go back to C64, why not Activision's Ice Hockey for Atari 2600? Fairly easy to score when there are only two players on the other team and you can regularly upend the man without the puck.

posted by yerfatma at 09:25 AM on October 31

No, no, no, no, no, no. DO NOT compare Superstar Ice Hockey to Atari. It may have been for C64, but it was a seriously intense game. They had the teams divided into the old divisions, just like the NHL. You could create your own players, but you had to start from scratch and they sucked until you built them up. I made the '87 Flyers, and it took me quite a few seasons to finally win the cup. Back when I was a kid we had to work to win our video games. You could set up your own lines, pick a strategy (more or less aggressive). You could do a franchise and at the end of the year you got points depending where you finished and you could decide how you wanted to improve your team. It was waaay ahead of it's time. I see there's a download, I can't wait to get home and see if I can play it. Holy shit, I'm a geek.

posted by SummersEve at 09:47 AM on October 31

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