NHL Championship 2000
|a game by||Radical Entertainment|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Fresh from the death throes of ESPN Digital Games, Radical (the developer of Powerplay) is cueing up its latest network partnership--this time with Fox Sports. Infused with the imagery and attitude of Fox Sports broadcasts. NHL Championship 2000 looks surprisingly promising for a newcomer, showcasing an uncomplicated, comfortable style that will probably appeal to rookies and fens of arcade-style action. But the game's not without depth, sporting innovative passing indicators, strong graphics, comptete roster management, fighting, and other hockey standards. If NHL Championship 2000 stays on track, it has a decent shot at the number-two berth in the PlayStation hockey standings.
Download NHL Championship 2000
Every year it seems as if the guys at Radical come so close to making "the" hockey game to own, but inevitably they fall short due to a sub-par game engine. This year is no different. NHL Championship 2000 is easily their best game yet, but it still suffers from one problem that unfortunately weighs heavily against all the other good stuff--the game is too sluggish. As usual, their Al is topnotch. This is the smartest hockey game I've played, and serious hockey fans will no doubt find much delight in the CPU's impressive intelligence. The graphics are very nicely done, with awesome player and goalie animation (this too may be the best I've seen), and the ever-so-slick NHL on FOX TV-style presentation rules. Sadly, the sluggishness of it all makes the experience somewhat less satisfying. I can't wait 'til these guys get their hands on some better hardware, because they've really got a potentially awesome game on their hands. Another thing I don't like about NHL Championship is that when players fatigue, they REALLY fatigue. Yeah, it's important to change lines, but nobody slows down THIS much. On the upside, controls are tight (love being able to force deflections), and the play-by-play is excellent. Don't get me wrong; on the whole this is a very good game--it's just that it could've been great.
Radical Entertainment does a much better job with hockey than basketball. :) Complaints first: NHL Championship is too slow, man is that annoying. The animation is too exaggerated and there aren't as many options as there are in NHL or FaceOff 2000. OK. now for things I like. The Al is much tighter than I expected. While the games are challenging, it's not impossible to score 3-4 goals on the computer per game. Two-player games are decent as well.
This is a decent first effort for Fox Sports Interactive, but decent doesn't cut it for PlayStation sports titles. NHL Championship delivers enough good gameplay to deserve a look, but it fails to offer the many bells and whistles of EA and 989's hockey titles. Also, this game runs slooowww. Sometimes you just wanna freakin' scream at your guys to get the lead out. Overall, presentation is decent and the camera angle is the best of any hockey title this year.
The most important element in a hockey game is speed, and that's the only place that NHL Championship 2000 falls short. Kudos to color commentator John Davidson for being the best part of the game. His comments are insightful and don't seem repetitive or forced like most video game analysts. Fox has made a solid game with great in-game presentation, but the need for speed in the world's coolest game is paramount.