Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey
The N64's gets a sports game, but is it to everyone's tastes?
The first n64 sports game out of the gate is ice hockey, and who better to slap his chiselled features on the packaging than Wayne Gretzky, probably the most famous hockey player of them all?
Like all games of this ilk, Gretsky is packed to the gills with options such as multiple views, rule changes, line adjustments and team logos, but what sets it apart from the many ice hockey games already available on 16 and 32-bit systems is the sheer quality of the graphics and the speed at which it shifts the polygon players around. Slowdown is a distant memory.
The big plus with this game though is that you can player with not one, not two, but three additional players at once, and that means major multi-player mayhem. You can have two players each on competing teams, or even go up against the computer with all four of you controlling the front line players.
Wayne Gretsky is fantastic fun, especially as there's a viewpoint included for everyone, but from the import copy we played, the computer goalies are far too easy to beat, something which could be addressed in time for the UK copy. A must for ice hockey fans.
Prospects: A solid sports title on which to build, but not everyone will be interested.
Download Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Nintendo's last hockey game was done by Sculptured, and it was entitled NHL Stanley Cup Hockey. The game used a breakthrough rotoscoping technology and it was fairly well received. This time around Williams has acquired Time Warner Interactive and the rights to the hockey name of our time. The player animations for this Nintendo 64 game were motion-captured using real NHL Players and a few stand-ins. Even the Great One himself Wayne Gretzky donned the motion sensors and his skating style was re-created using the patented process.
The N64 game will take hockey to the next level in terms of realtime 3-D. The game currently has an NHL Player's Association license. The game will utilize the N64's one- to four-player built-in capabilities.
- MANUFACTURER - Williams
- THEME - Sport
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
Ice hockey game that was I good for its day but now I looks dated. Now superseded by Wayne Gretzky's 3-D Hockey '98.
For sheer whizz-bang, puck-zipping magic. Gretzky is hard to beat, the one thing that lets it down is the fact that it's only ice hockey.
Gretzky Hockey on the 16-bit sucked. Having just come back from E3, I can tell you that his new game for the N64 is a lot more promising.
Entitled The NHLPA Presents Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey, this game looks intriguing. Not a sim, Gretzky Hockey will feature blistering three-on-three action with the best that the NHLPA has to offer (which no longer includes The Great--really old--One).Totally 3D and using motion-capture, this hockey game will allow you to view play from any camera angle. A nice feature is that the camera will zoom in on the more important plays during gameplay. When you lay that check on the puck carrier in the corner, expect a nice close-up of the action. N64 has the exclusive rights to this coin-op, so don't wait around for it to appear on the other systems. Don't worry, though. Williams will be giving the rest of you NHL Open Ice soon enough.
The very first Nintendo 64 sports title, Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey delivers raucous multiplayer action and solid graphics. But hockey fans won't find the kind of topnotch gameplay that they've grown accustomed to on the Genesis and PlayStation.
Gretzky faces off with the right features: Exhibition, Season, Playoff, and Practice modes; all the NHL players and teams; moves like dives one-timers, trips, hooks, and so on; and a Burst button that jacks up speed, shot, and check power. Unique, snazzy extras include the Fox TV streak that highlights the puck and finishing moves during fights. The controls handle fairly well, though the button layout's too complex.
This cart appeals to both camps of sports gamers by offering Open Ice-style three-on-three action (replete with flaming pucks and actual brick wall goalies) or regulation five-on-five matches. Both modes, however, fall squarely in the arcade realm with a flashy, fast-paced feel that focuses less on realistic, tight gameplay and more on high-octane twitch excitement.
Unfortunately, the shallow A.I. means the one-player thrills fade quickly. A few shooting tactics always score, the defense always shuts down breakaways, and your CPU teammates respond poorly when you set up plays. Multiplayer matches are definitely Gretzky's strong point.
Into the Boards
Visually, the rinks come alive with great color and detail, and the spiffy polygonal players sport awesome animations as goalies lunge for the puck or players splatter across the ice when tripped. However, the player graphics could use more detail, and the skating and stick handling has a stiff, unrealistic look.
On the sound side, an announcer tracks the action with decent color commentary that unfortunately gets too repetitive. The on-ice skating effects and crowd roars perform nicely.
If fast, simple hockey appeals to you and your buds, Gretzky's there with all the right bells and whistles. Just don't expect the depth and staying power of EA's NHL series or Sony's Faceoff'97.
- Don't let an opponent park in front of the crease, or his teammates will quickly set him up with deadly one-timers.
- A defenseman will always there to squelch a breakaway so pass frequently once you cross center ice in order to penetrate the defense.
- Tripping's the best way to shut down your opponent, but approach from the side or back.
- The single best wav to score is one-timers from either wing to the center.
As the first Nintendo 64 sports game, Gretzky Hockey blazes down the 64-bit ice with arcade-style three-on-three (plus a goalie) puck-pokin' action. Although Gretzky headlines the game, you'll find all the real NHL players, and Williams promises to include all the checks, shots, and passes you'd want. The 3D graphics sport a rendered texture-mapped look that's modeled on the movements of pro hockey players.
Holy bare knuckles! Fighting is finally back where it belongs--on the ice, with full-screen, shirt-tugging, merciless punching mayhem straight out of the NHL!
The game's motion-captured skaters look similar to those seen in NHL Powerplay. But with 64 bits of processing power. Gretzky takes you in closer and gives you huge realtime polygonal characters, which, when close up, still look a little rough around the edges. An active camera closely follows the puck and zooms in for face-offs and fights.
Blending Open Ice-style gameplay with a 3D rink and a touch of traditional hockey strategy, Wayne (rhymes with "house of pain") Gretzky debuts on the N64 with a fast, brutal hockey game. The game features three-on-three, four-on-four, and five-on-five hockey; real team names and logos; and all the starting players of the 27 NHL teams. Like the original Ice Hockey game for the NES, Gretzky's 3D Hockey is a solid first-generation N64 sports title.
You control your player with the analog stick and use four of the six face buttons for shooting, passing, turbo, and checking--and the action is pretty solid. In a four-player game, the computer controls your drones and goalie. When the turbo kicks in. you can really blast down the ice. and the Check button enables you to deliver some pretty serious blows. The fighting can get pretty wild--you can even "finish" your opponents, MK-style!