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NHL Faceoff 2003
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Killer Game
989 Sports
DVD Media Title
ESRB Rating Everyone
This Section Passes
Hockey season is particularly exciting for me this year since my favorite team, the Dallas Stars, are doing so well. 989's Faceoff series has always been hit and miss with some years doing better than others.

NHL Faceoff 2003 is one of those better years where the game seems to really flow well. The additions are plentiful with new modes that have been needed adding since the franchise moved to PS2. Career mode finally allows for multiple seasons with a team. Players will retire when they're too old, rookies will be drafted, and free agents can be signed. Player models have also been completely redone giving the game a fresh feeling.

The movement and momentum are also on par with what is needed for a fast fluid game of hockey. Players speed can be set with the default set pretty much at a speed that is quite manageable. Of course some may prefer a slightly faster approach.

The game's AI is still a problem spot with single player AI being too easy on the normal setting and a bit too hard when maxed out. There, as usual, as sweet spots that once found make scoring uneventful. Of course in mutliplayer its more fun because you can better prevent those shots from being made.

Overall there's not alot new to NHL Faceoff 2003. The game generally just tightens up many spots to make it a contender this year. Of course with other offerings out there, 989 still might be your third or fourth.

score 7
(out of ten)
very good
image gallery

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This Section Fails
The control here is generally good but we must still fault the game for too loose of a ship. Players skating feels a bit too uncontrollable at times, especially on the faster settings.

989 has a good approach at the control with the layout of the buttons and all. However the actual movement is just riddled with problems that keep the players from really moving like you need to in a video hockey game.

Image 2
This Section Passes
As mentioned above the game looks much better than in previous years due to complete new player models. Along with some killer animations, this makes Faceoff 2003 easily the best looking in the franchise's history.

That doesn't mean, however, that this is the best looking hockey game, cause it isn't. The game just seems too plain in many areas, lacking some of the nice touches the other games offer. However I can't really fault this section when it's so improved and really does look good.

Image 3
This Section Passes
989 has always done well here in this section. Sounds this year aren't terribly different from year's past but that's ok since they worked well before.

The commentary is also very well done with plenty of correct and timely calls that make the game feel like the real deal.

Image 4
score 7
(out of ten)
A good enough hockey game this year to warrant a good look. I found myself enjoying the game but still thinking of other games available.

(12152002)- by - Brian Shroom Gray


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