Yessshhhh! - college hoops 99 - nba basketball 2000
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- ca.ign.com /articles/1999/10/22/nhl-championship-2000
- NHL Championship 2000 - IGN
- By Andy BhattUpdated: 12 Dec 2018 9:41 pmPosted: 21 Oct 1999 8:00 pm
- 6-7 minutes
- Listen... Do you hear that? In case I'm losing touch with reality, joining the likes of John Madden or the eloquent Terry Bradshaw, let me clarify. I was referring to the infernal racket before, during, in-between and after every NHL game on the Fox Sports Network. You know what I'm talking about -- that annoying yet catchy tune, permanently ingrained in our heads.
- With its flashy presentation and off-the-wall commentary, Fox has become a staple in the lives of sports fans, often by default. Whether you're watching football, baseball or hockey, you simply must tune into your regional Fox Sports channel to get prime-time coverage. At least we're given the latest in broadcasting technology, right? Like the retarded red beam of light that tracks puck movement... What's my point? Even an idiot, like myself, could foresee this mega-corporation wetting its beak in the interactive industry, especially when it's so concerned about modernizing sports. Hence, we celebrate the birth of Fox Sports Interactive.
- Don't let my comments mislead you. I was attacking the conglomerate, not the game. In fact, NHL Championship 2000 is one of the best-looking sports games I've played on the PlayStation this year. Though I have some constructive criticism concerning gameplay, the overall presentation, from commentary to graphics, is amazing.
- What good is a hockey game if it isn't licensed by the NHL and NHLPA? Yes, Blades of Steel was fun, but we didn't know any better back then. This game has all 28 NHL teams with updated rosters from the 1999-2000 season. That means you don't have to trade Theo Fleury from Colorado to New York. He's already there, along with the other $70 million spent by the Rangers this off-season. Sixteen additional international squads round out the game, not to mention the North American and World All-Star teams. For all you detail freaks, there's also the option of choosing your favorite team's authentic third uniform, if applicable.
- Learning the basics can be tricky. I'm accustomed to turning on my PS, sitting down and playing a game immediately. Some prefer to read the instruction manual hours in advance, but I'm too impatient for that. I learn on the run. It usually takes seconds for gamers like myself to get a feel for sports games, but this one was a little different. Figuring out how to shoot effectively was a major hurdle. Press the square button for a wrist shot, the circle for slap-shots. Here's a hint: pass the puck to an open man for the one-timer because a quick slap-shot is your best scoring option. Avoid the wrister. It's useless.
- I must also give props to the 3D engine. It falls inches short of EA Sports' established benchmark, but Champ2000 is good enough to hold its own. You have complete control of players, who in turn follow the laws of physics. For instance, guys must accelerate before reaching max speed. Sure, that's a given, but many games fail to address such basic issues. It's physically impossible to go from 0 to 60 in less than two seconds, and I'm glad the people at FSI know their limits. We need our sports games to be as realistic as possible, so we can live out our dreams in the form of polygons.
- If you thought NHL 2K was good, wait until you see this game. Simply awesome graphic detail. What impresses me the most is the quality of instant replays. Slower framerates used in replays often distort the overall image, but don't tell that to the developers of NHL Champ2000. Throw in color from the great John Davidson, and you get two classic replays from two different angles with Fox attitude.
- I only have one complaint. NHL 2000 uses motion-capture technology to the fullest, but this game has only a handful of in-game player animations, including a goalie save here and a hard check there. In fact, I'm pretty sure Fox doesn't utilize motion capture at all -- somewhat shocking for a company that prides itself on using the latest in technology. Now imagine if they actually captured pro hockey players. The results might be orgasmic, since players already look realistic.
- NHL Championship 2000 does not have a score. It doesn't include tracks written specifically for the game. Frankly, it doesn't need any gimmicks, with the exception of Fox's catchy theme music.
- My favorite aspect of this game is the commentary. After playing it once or twice, you'll understand what I mean. Kenny Albert does the play-by-play, while the aforementioned J.D. adds color. Yessshhh!!! (FYI -- Kenny is the son of Marv Albert, the great yet beleaguered NBA commentator.) They are two of the best hockey announcers today, and fortunately for developers, they also work for Fox Sports New York.
- Albert occasionally makes a late call, yelling "goal" a few seconds after the lamp is lit; nevertheless, he makes fabulous calls up and down the ice and on most scoring opportunities. Pre-game introductions and goaltender analyses are the best I've seen in any hockey game. Some arenas even turn the lights out to put on their laser light show. The pre-game ceremonies are spectacles themselves.
- This is the third hockey game I've played for the 2000 season. At one point, I thought nothing would top EA Sports' NHL 2000, but Fox Sports Interactive has come through in the clutch. My expectations for this game were lower than imaginable. I mean, this is the same company that brought us College Hoops 99, one of the worst games ever developed for the N64. All biases aside, they have undoubtedly created an amazing product for the PS.
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