NHL Faceoff 2000
I've never been a huge fan of the FaceOff series, mainly because the games have been plagued with shoddy Al and practically nonexistent atmosphere. I came into FaceOff 2000 expecting the worst, but--to my surprise--I came away mighty impressed. FO2000 offers significant improvements over its predecessors, most notably in the two ever-so-impor-tant areas mentioned above. The crowd comes to life big-time in FO2000, making for a much more exciting play experience, and the Al--while still not perfect (it's easy to exploit holes in the goalie Al in Rookie and Veteran difficulty levels)--is majorly improved. As usual, gameplay is lightning-fast and smooth as silk, and this time the controls are superb as well. In fact, the movement seems even more precise than in NHL 2000, though you don't have nearly as many options while on the ice (no deke, no dive...not even a poke-check button). The interface has been improved as well, and is much more intuitive this year (the last two FOs had ugly, cumbersome menus that were a pain to navigate). Any problems? The play-by-play, while also majorly improved, still pales compared to EA's...and the replays are annoyingly choppy. Otherwise, I have little to complain about. Even though I slightly prefer NHL (I digthesim stuff), I still highly recommend FaceOff 2000.
When I first started playing FaceOff 2000, I knew I was investing my time in a solid game. The physics of the game are accurate to the NHL, skating is tight and players stop and turn according to their skating speed. Goalie animations don't thrill me, but I love when they lay on their back with the puck underneath them. Shots are accurate to what corner you're shooting at. But ultimately, the lack of depth (no franchise mode) hurts the game.
To make plays in hockey, you've got to have control. FaceOff 2000 delivers with smooth, silky skating physics which should delight any true fan of the sport. Gameplay speed (notched up 25 percent from the default setting) is dead-on, with a nice balance between odd-man rushes and controlled puck movement. Other excellent features include multiplayer season mode and unrivaled shot control. Overall presentation is not super-slick, but adequate.
Wow, this series is really on track now. They've smoothed out the frame-rate and animation to the point of perfection. The physics are actually closer to the target than those in NHL 2000 (surprising). The players don't unrealistically stop on a dime or accelerate and turn too wildly. It all looks very nice. A couple things I'm not crazy about--the sound, especially the commentary, seems layered. Also, where's the Franchise Mode? Otherwise it's great.
Download NHL Faceoff 2000
It's time for some big-time rock-'em, sock-'em hockey action--the kind that would make Don Cherry's teeth sweat.
Sony has put a good programming team together, and this hockey game shows a lot of promise.
You can create your own players, and there are five different types of checks including the infamous cross check, poke check, shoulder check, hip check and slash.
The game has four different views of the ice including three-quarter, side, down on the ice and overhead.
All of your favorite NHL teams and actual player rosters are in the game, even the Colorado Avalanche, known as tl Quebec Nordiques.
The player animations execute lifelike player movements. One-timers, slap shots and wrist shots are a few of the many often-sive features that you can use to bulge the twine in this first hockey product for the Sony PlayStation.
Even the officiating crew has been added to the action, and they will call everything, so keep it clean. Rough stuff within the rules is okay, but don't bully your opponents.
If you plan on getting into the rough stuff, turn the penalties off. If your team is lucky enough to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup, there will be a cinema showing off hockey's grand prize.
This does not only looks like the real game, but it also sounds like the real game. All 26 of the NHL's actual rinks are included in the game as well as some very cool crowd and bench noises.
This game has three modes of play, including one game, season and a play-off mode.
NHL Faceoff is one hard-hitting game that avid hockey fans should take a closer look at.
- MANUFACTURER - Sony fat, Sports
- THEME - Sport
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
It seems the NHL FaceOff games always come up a bit short when compared to their competition, so this year’s offering was a chance to score a knockout. The company is boasting about a new AI technology called I.C.E, hiring Scotty Bowman as a consultant, and improved player graphics. So grab your hockey sticks and facemasks and skate down to Gameplay for the lowdown on NHL FaceOff 2000.
I don’t have a regular schedule of watching hockey on TV -- as a result I’d be hard pressed to describe to someone what a hat trick is. So it’s pretty fair to call myself a beginner in the glorious game of hockey and it would also be fair to assume that I’d get stomped by the computer. That’s not quite how reality works in the NHL FaceOff world. Instead, someone who barely knows what end of the stick goes on the ice can take the puck, race across the ice and drop it into the other guys net. This is despite the developers recruiting Scotty Bowman to vamp up the AI with what they call I.C.E Artificial Intelligence (for our curious readers I.C.E stands for Intelligence, Comprehension, and Execution). Although the artificial intelligence is a lot better than last year’s offering it still has a long way to go. Too often I scored a goal from clear across the rink from a face off or got an outrageous number of goals in one period.
Their game options are the standard issue: quick play, exhibition game, season, and playoffs. They also have create player, trade player and release player and allow you to mess around with team’s starting lineups. The control setup is one of the bright spots as they have quick keys that allow a novice to just pick up the control and play, and advanced keys that allow you to do more sophisticated tricks. This comes in handy if you immediately want ice time with a friend without having to wait for them to read the manual first. The response time is fairly quick and one of the coolest features is that you have a choice of passing in a general direction or passing using icons.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics are definitely in need of some serious work. Not that they’re all terrible, in fact the arena is almost breathtaking if you ignore the cutout flat looking crowd. The ice especially caught my eye, with the way it reflects and you can see the lines where the skates have dug in. The not so cool parts are the players, due to them pretty much all looking alike and skating with choppy motions. The instant replay graphics are some of the worst I’ve seen and the whole time I was viewing it, I was thinking "Man, how come they did such a great job in the graphics department on their football title and yet did so poor here?"
The audio is another bright spot with commentators (Mike Emrick and Darren Pang) who are right on cue with play-by-play commentary flowing very smoothly and naturally. The music clips they play are great (you get some olden goldies like "Louie, Louie" etc.) and the crowd and other sound effects are good.
This is definitely rent material unless you’re a die-hard hockey fan. Although 989 did slightly improve on overall game quality it is still a lackluster title and way behind its competition. If you’re trying to decide on a hockey game for your collection and you’re not wanting to rent them beforehand, I recommend EA Sports’ NHL 2000.