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U-M CIS 587 - Don McDonald

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Quick OverviewPlayer RoleGame PlayScoringArtworkSound and MusicSpecial FeatureManualBugsGame ReviewGoodBadSimilarAppropriate AudienceSummaryDon McDonaldCIS 587Computer Game DesignDr. MaximGame Title NHL 99Company EA SportsType of Game SportsPrice $50Hardware Nintendo 64 Quick OverviewNHL 99 is the first EA Sports Hockey game for Nintendo 64 (both the Playstation and the PC have NHL 2000 available). Every team in the NHL at the time of the game production is included along with complete team rosters. This game is the next generation in a continuing yearly game update, which includes up to date rosters and new rankings for both teams and players. Player RoleThe single player mode has control of one player of the chosen team at a time. The player is allowed to switch from one player to the next using a button on the controller. The player is also automatically switched to the player with the puck. The goalie can either be automatically controlled (where the computer controls the goalie until he has control of the puck) or manual where the player is responsible for switching to the goalie when it is time to make a save. In two-player mode each player controls one person from each team in a head to head battle.Game PlayThere are Rookie, Professional, and All Star levels of difficulty. The player action is much slowerin the rookie level. The All Star level has very intense and aggressive play where goals are extremely difficult to come by. The level of hooking and checking increase dramatically at this level of play. The goalies also become more aggressive and are actively in behind the net chasingpucks down.The first option to start the game is Beginner, which essentially represents a single game at the beginner level. The next option is for exhibition season, which simulates the exhibition season with several games. The next option is for Regular season with simulates a regular season with 82 games. The player can either pick or choose teams to play or stick with one team throughout the entire season. The next option is for New Playoffs, which randomly seeds the teams for the playoffs. The player then selects the team that they want to be and start the playoffs. The player does have the option of reseeding the teams before starting the playoffs. The next option is for a new tournament and the final option is for a new shootout. With the shootout, the player is allowed to select the players that will be involved and the goaltender. Play alternates between thetwo teams giving a penalty shot to each and the one with the most goals wins. Each multi-game option has the ability to simulate the next game and post the results. This allows the player to skip contents that they are not interested in or to speed through the play.ScoringScoring is just like a normal hockey game. ArtworkThe 3D graphics have improved greatly from the first iteration of the Game for Sega Genesis in 1993. The graphics in the original game were only 2D. The crowd is not very realistic in appearance but the trade off between good graphics and improved play performance was chosen wisely. The rink boards include various company logos to simulate the team sponsors that clutter the current rink boards. Each arena has the logo of the team under the ice in the middle of the rink. Each of these logos looks as if they were below the ice. Each player looks about the same but each player has their individual number on their back. The colors of both the home and away uniforms are accurate. When a player is penalized, they will sitin the penalty box and complain, throw their arms up in the air.The goalies have very detailed movements. When a puck is on the glove side the glove will extend out wide to snag the puck. The leg pads of the goalie can be seen to extend out side to side to make a save. In some cases the goalie will actually dive forward to pounce on the puck. When a goal is scored against them, they will bang their stick on the ice in disgust.There are several camera angles to chose from including the classic view from the original game,a press box, broadcaster’s position, a couple of overhead views, a scoreboard from directly over center ice, a chase angle, and an ice level angle. The scoreboard camera is extremely confusing to follow the action as the camera rotates on a swivel the as the play goes underneath. The camera rotates in an attempt to keep up with the action and creates a dizzying affect. The overhead views are the easiest to use as the camera is fixed at one end of the rink and the action alternates from going away from the view to going towards the camera. The press box and broadcast views are the same as the one seen from TV broadcasts of hockey games. They take some getting used to since the direction to shoot cannot be seen well.Sound and MusicThe sound effects are extremely good and realistic. The first sound effects heard are of the announcer, which is a real ESPN announcer. The announcer for the most part has game appropriate things to say. If a couple of actions occur in quick succession the announcer will onlyacknowledge the first action. The announcer will make interesting comments throughout the game action including when the goalie makes a save, “the guy is a wall out there”, “huge save”, “great save”, “he’s a human wall out there”, “Nice try but no goal”, and so on. When a player is checked, “you could here his bones rattle”, “heading north bound on the south bound freeway”, “got hit by a freight train, woo woo”. The crowd noise is very realistic and well timed. If the away team scores a goal, the home crowdwill grow silent until the home team does something that warrants some noise. If there is a particularly hard hit or a goal is scored the crowd will be louder. They have realistically simulated the typical crowd noise. The crowd will chant, “Let’s go Red Wings”, for the Wings orthe appropriate name of the home team.There is even a rink announcer to announce penalties and goals. The players are announced with their team names and number. They could have included the announcing of the players name andnot just the number. In the humorous side of the game, the rink announcer started the classic jokea train is leaving some lace heading west bound and a train is leaving some other place heading eastbound, then he says “Oh, forget it” as the action starts again.Special FeatureEvery teams roster is completely changeable including the first scoring


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