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NHL 2003
(hx) 10:56 AM CET - Nov,16 2002

Are you ready for some hockey? If you prefer arcade sport games a la NHL 2002, you may like NHL 2003 which is almost the same game as last year with a few new additions. In other words, there isn't a enormous change from 2002 to 2003, but the improvements are definitely for the better. Of course, there are some good things and some bad things for sure. I'm just not sure whether it's worth the money or not yet. I think there are some really nice changes, but some glaring problems that are very frustrating. There are many pros and cons to consider...

  • impressive graphics, the player animations and physics are improved, lots of new goalie animations
  • a brand new Game Breaker feature (somewhat like the bullet-time in Max Payne)
  • the saves and goals are a lot more realistic
  • the interface is completely redone, though it could be done better
  • updated team rosters and player ratings, NHL cards from 2002 are gone
  • AI plays a lot better than last year
  • realistic puck physics
  • controls are really easy to get, especially if you've played any of the previous versions
  • NHL's online franchise mode remains intact and 100% free of charge + EA Sports Online online service (the first two months of this service is free, but afterwards costs $6.00 a month)
  • great dynamic crowd sounds
  • you can import your own mp3/wav into the game through ditty importer utility
  • it's not a simulation by any means
  • gameplay way too slow until you raise the speed and speed burst up
  • you can shot a pass in the wrong direction
  • focused on offense than defense - defensive AI still sucks
  • opponent AI is sometime dumb
  • there is no way at all to adjust goalie skill in season mode
  • comical fights - they are the weakest of the animations
  • pathetic intro sequences
  • "Game Breaker" feature triggers the camera to move in too close on your player
  • annoying color commentator
  • no financial model incorporated in the off-season
  • the EA "Trax" music gets annoying quickly
Despite this game is pretty same as last year, those who like the series will probably buy it anyway. However I would recommend If you have 2002, keep it. If you want a better interface with some drawbacks, get 2003. NHL 2003 is not bad game, but there are things that make it less worth the investment than I think EA would have wanted. Also if you enjoy an arcade style game then this title might actually appeal to you. Download playable demo (49MB).

System Requirements
Pentium 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP+ MSIE 6.0, DirectX 8.0, 8 MB DirectX-compatible 3D accelerator, DirectX-compatible sound card, 4x CD-ROM drive, 700 MB HDD space, for Internet play - Modem, DSL or Cable Internet connection

snd: 4/5 - great sounds, they should get rid of that bloody color commentator :), the EA "Trax" music gets annoying quickly
gfx: 5/5 - gorgeous to look at, especially at high resolutions, the player animations and physics are improved, still look similar to last years game, some repetitive sequence, contorted faces are a bit unnatural, pathetic intro sequences
playability: 4/5 - addictive&fun for those who don't expect simulation, easy controls, realistic puck physics, improved goal variety, comical fights, multiplayer
genre: ice hockey
platform: PC, PS2, Xbox, GC
release: October 2002
developer: EA Sports
the game is similar to: NHL 2002
publisher: Electronic Arts
Overall: 76%

last 10 comments:

Peteposted - Nov, 16 2002 - 11:55
You can adjust the game speed rather than the speed burst to increase the pace of the game. With the nhl cards in 2002 i kept on playing in order to complete the collection, but without the cards replay value seems to be short. Goalie moves are ok, but the puck seems to trickle in often, almost as annoying when in nhl 2002 the opponent would crash the net and you'd score an own goal by accident, glass wall breaks when you knock your opponents in them, or hit it hard with the puck. Menu seems to be squashed, it took me a while to know what i was doing. Slightly easy to score on medium level, if you know how, i havent played hard yet, medium is ok for me at the moment.Commentary is the same as in nhl 2002.I cannot suggest that you should or shouldnt get this, as your gaming taste's arent the same as mine. But you can download the demo and see for yourself.

Erbozposted - Nov, 16 2002 - 20:25
Besides some lame attempts to send some personal info to the EA-site, this thing doesn't offer anything of value.

NOTHINGposted - Nov, 17 2002 - 05:19
Erboz, So they don't ask you anymore, but do it without your consent to send your info? btw, does this run under Win2K? Couldn't get the 2002 version to go under Win2K.....blah.

DaChosen1posted - Nov, 17 2002 - 14:45
the graphics are slightly better then nhl 2002, but the game has a few things that bother me.. The game crashes with my Logitech Wingman Rumblepad so i have to play with the keyboard until the first patch is out (i hope they fix that) and the in-game menu of 2002 was better organized i think. And where are the cards?? No, I think i'm gonna stuck with NHL 2002...

EAddictposted - Dec, 10 2002 - 02:43
The fact that this game "covertly" sends your data to EA Sports harkens back to the RealPlayer "scandal." Those of us with a rudimentary knowledge of this kinda stuff can easily block it; but the average consumer isn't aware of this highly questionable activity on the part of EASports. One good thing about their shameless practices, though. It makes me feel AOK to use the "free" versions available out there. I'll never give another dime to this company.

david foxposted - Mar, 09 2003 - 20:33
NHL 2003 is a headache the main interface is lame 2002 was much easier to do than this fuck up shit!One thing I dont understand is this I played the very highest level and still scored a freaking 25 to 30 goals each game shit EA Morons are us give me a game that challenges me get real!@003 interface is like ok I'm a freaking rocket scientist now what!Created players rule and the so called "STARS SUCK". I like to win 5-3 6-0 not 25-1 one game i actually won 43-0.Hhahahah\\ It was cool but every game gets a little boring.You guys complain how it sucks well try playing an Atari system from the early 80's EA sports is ligh years ahead of everyone else.I just love the commentary in the game.You say you wont give me a dime yeah right you'll be the first to buy the next game that comes out!NO hockey game cant even compare to Ea games.Their not perfect but they cool.I wish they make the opposing teams give you a real game instead of wimps on ice!

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