by Electronic Arts
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Check price @ amazon.com
• Packed with new features
• Now with Breakaway Camera view
• New GameStory Mode
• Recognizes and rewards outstanding performance
• Create-a-Player feature
Amazon.com Product Description: Rush the net in pursuit of the game-winning goal, guard the crease with your life to shut out the opposition, and watch it all from the player's point of view. In this game, you are the hero. New features include the Breakaway Camera, EA GameStory, which recognizes and rewards outstanding performance, and Create-a-Player so you can really put yourself in the game. Whether you're an intense power forward or bruising defenseman, you'll feel pure adrenaline as you take the ice--but don't take our word for it, experience it for yourself.
Ok, but not much difference from the 2001 version..., October 27, 2002
Reviewer: Bryan from Omaha, NE USA
I rented this game because of how much I liked previous NHL games made by EA Sports. So I picked this up and poped it in. The first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of little movies. Players getting pumped up before a game, celebrations on and off the ice. I thought that was pretty cool, and a new added feature. But other than little things like that, this game doesn't offer much of anything new. Here's what I thought about this game, and why I only thought it a renter, not a buyer.
1. The graphics: The players are sharper, the ice is thicker. The fans actually move in 3D! But overall, not to great. The puck is way too big, and the overall graphics just aren't to improved. This game had great graphics, but so did previous versions.
2. The options: HORRIBLE. No create a team, no new features. And the biggest thing, no FRANCHISE mode! That was about as dumb as having no franchise mode in NBA Live 2001. I am seriously disapointed by the options in this game. Nothing new whatsoever!
3. The overall depth: After your first season, this game will probably get pretty boring. More new features and better graphics is what this game needs. I hope EA changed things in 2003 edition. Oops, too bad! They did the same thing. Until they finally add some sort of franchise and stuff like that, EA's NHL series will continue, for me, to be a renter, not a buyer. Rent before u buy, then make your decision. Just a warning.
Hope this helped, and I expect a lot more from the great company that is EA. Thx!
2002 falls short, July 23, 2002
Reviewer: Dan Wells from Lynn, MA
My brother and I have probably logged more head-to-head games than anyone playing EA hockey simulations. We enjoyed the first two versions for the Sega and now have been playing NHL 99 for Playstation since it debued. We were ready to upgrade and went out and purchased an X-box specifically to play this game. We tried it for about an hour and decided that it wasn't worth the investment. (Sold everything at a loss on E-bay) The graphics were certainly much better than the 99 version and the gameplay was pretty good (not [money] better); but the one aspect we just couldn't get by was the horrible color commentary. I have read many reviews that said it was hilarious but we found that it just distracts from the realism of the game. Though the comments in 99 get a bit repetitive (in fact the rink announcer commentary is identical in 2002), at least they are similar to what you could actually hear watching a real game. 2002 turns the game into a joke. It's like having Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football; you don't need annoying analogies everytime someone goes up and down the ice. 99 kept the color comments spaced out much better and more in line with reality.
As for the ability to control every aspect of the game, I find that also takes away from the realism. If I have the option of having an unbeatable goalie why wouldn't I take it? 99 was a great game in that each team was based on the real-life abilities of that team. If you want to win with a weaker team, you have to be a better player, not merely tweak and tune the options menu.
To be fare I'm sure there are aspects of the game that we couldn't pssibly have found in an hours time, but a great game should WOW you right from the get go and make you want to explore more, this game made it seem like a chore to find aspects to like. We'll try NHL 2000 for Playstation instead and see what that brings to the table, at least we'll save a few bucks!
it is O.K., July 13, 2002
Reviewer: Jim Ferin from desmoines, iowa USA
NHL 2002 is a great game when you first buy it. Its is fast paced, action packed, and just plain fun. but after a while you start losing interest. maybe its because the season is to long, or that you play it 24/7. then it just becomes one of your old games that you dont play to much. if the could have like cheats for extra special teams and stuff it might be more fun, but unfortuatley NHL 2002 doesnt have that. i think this is just a waste of money considering how boring it gets.
Simply the Best (As Always), July 10, 2002
Reviewer: slow-hand from Glen Allen, VA USA
I will keep this one short and sweet. NO ONE does hockey gaming (sim-style) like EA. I have tried other franchises on several platforms over the years, and EA takes their greatness to each one and outshines everyone else every time. The gameplay is fluid, options are deep, and the graphics are top-notch. If you like the arcade-style hockey, then maybe it is not for you. However, if you want the best hockey sim on the market, just stick with EA and you can't go wrong.
The best hockey game on any system, June 26, 2002
Reviewer: mr_bunghole from Toronto
NHL 2002 is a crowning achievement in videogame hockey, the first to combine techincal mastery, EA's typical fast-paced gameplay, and convincing realism into one seamless package. The beginner mode is a good tutorial to get used to the controls without getting hammered, while the difficult setting will have experts throwing their controller through the TV after the opposing goalie's 40th consecutive save. Take your team through a season on medium setting on 5 minute periods, and the point totals will accurately reflect their true range (at least with Toronto this was the case). The feeling of picking the top corner with a rocket wrist shot from the top of the circle is unprecedented, and the control is as crisp and intuitive as one could ask for. One-timers, thankfully, are still the best way to score, and even star players can miss the net when one-timing a hot pass, although more often than not they are on net. Although others have complained otherwise, I find the powerplay is recreated well, thanks to good offensive positioning. The penalty kill [disappoints] though, you can still stick handle end-to-end. And its too bad the computer AI doesn't cycle the puck or show anything resembling a powerplay. The X-Box has slightly smoother graphics, a more detailed create-a-player engine and more hit posts/crossbars than the PS2 version, but the big bulky controller is a bit more awkward and unnatural in pulling off on-the-fly line changes and spin-o-ramas. The commentary is rock-solid, but it can be very lame at times. However, I find the cheekiness a refreshing change from the usual staleness of videogame and real-life commentary. And occasionally it is quite funny (At the beginning of the 2nd period during a blowout: "Hey honey, good news; I won't be working overtime today!"). The gameplay is fully customizable, from game speed, to player/goalie boosts, pass accuracy, shot accuracy, aggressiveness, and even puck friction. Other great features include an NHL cards system that rewards skills and milestones, in-game replays of big hits and saves, the Widescreen Breakaway Camera, and (this is sweet for all you poolies) a FANTASY DRAFT. This attention to detail makes NHL 2002 an excellent game for casual fans and purists alike, and a superb choice on any system. Right now this is the best hockey game on the planet, but there are still some ideas that would make the game even more incredible:
1. Improve the fighting. Not only is a pathetic exercise in button-mashing, but I have never seen Aki Berg drop the gloves against Rod Brind'Amour in real life. It happened several times in NHL 2002.
2. Include a player editor. On top of the aforementioned Brind'Amour scandal, it is frustrating when real-life snipers like Brian Rolston and Keith Tkachuk keep missing the net due to their low shot accuracy rating. The ability to fix these tiny inaccuracies would be awesome.
3. The simulated stats are still inflated. In today's game, only 1 or 2 players will reach 100 points and 50 goals, not the 10 or 15 represented here. Only 10 or 15 players will average a point a game, not 50 or 60. Nobody will reach 500 penalty minutes, and no team will average 11 powerplay opportunites per game.
4. How come nobody ever fans on a one-timer or slap-shot?
5. Tightening up the defensive AI will lower those inflated shot totals dramatically.
It might sound nit-picky, but I'm just rambling on in hopes of convincing others that future NHL titles will be just as groundbreaking as this one. As I said before, the best hockey game on the planet, one that you will be playing until the next precedent-setting EA hockey game is released.
Awesome game! (NHL2002 Xbox users... cool tip at bottom!), June 5, 2002
Reviewer: jkunzvt from So. Burlington, VT USA
This is my favorite game for the Xbox. The graphics are top-notch and the game play is spectacular. The majority of negative things I have read about NHL 2002 can be turned off in the form of a menu option. The skill levels are appropriate, you will easily move past beginner once you learn the basics and only the experienced player should attempt the All-Star level. I'm happy on Pro most of the time. You can create seasons, playoffs, or Olympic tournaments using either NHL or International hockey teams. You can also save a roster file to keep up with the latest trades going on in the NHL and always have the latest, most accurate team rosters. Perhaps the best addition to the EA Sports NHL game as of late is the emotion meter. Win a fight or follow-through on some big hits, your emotion meter goes up and you may find it easier to score goals. Great addition as this is the case in real life hockey games. I've read mixed reviews on the color commentary and while some of it is cheesy, I find most of it very hilarious and entertaining. "I have a message for a spy in our audience... do not trust the smiling penguin, I repeat, do not trust the smiling penguin. Good luck Mr. Spy."
If you do decide to pick it up or already play NHL 2002, here is a cool trick I discovered. If you start holding the shoot button to get your shot meter up and then click either the right or left trigger button at the same time (just holding trigger makes you spin), you put a shot right on net regardless of where you are on the ice. I've had shots from behind MY blue line sail past the goalie. This is also a great trick to use when they pull their goalie at the end of the game and you want to score with a specific person. The shot never misses. I scored 66 goals, most empty netters, with Scott Parker, the enforcer for the Colorado Avs, in my season using this trick.
A good game, but not as fun as SEGA's NHL series, May 5, 2002
Reviewer: ruinedx from Caldwell, NJ
Though SEGA's NHL 2K3 will not be available on XBOX until late 2002/early 2003, I think it may be worth waiting for. SEGA's NHL 2K2 for Dreamcast easily bested EA's NHL 2002 in terms of gameplay. EA's game is not as fluid or intense as SEGA's effort, and I would go with a wait-and-see attitude unless you are dieing for an XBOX hockey title today. Somewhat recommended - A good game, but you'd be better off waiting for SEGA's NHL 2K3 to surface on XBOX.
GREAT FUN!!!, May 4, 2002
Reviewer: Fawaz Al-Sayer from Kuwait
I have never been a hockey fan but NHL 2002 is a great game! It's fun and exiting, and has great multiplayer action...
Full of official NHL hockey teams and real players. This game is simple but FUN!
If you liked FIFA 2001 you will definitely like this game, although the two games are different completely different, the game play is very similar.
I highly recommend this game, it's fun when you play multiplayer and singer player, but after a while you will get fed up.
good for hockey players..., May 3, 2002
Reviewer: Daniel Whang from Atlanta, GA
Hockey is a fun video game. The best part of hockey games is the fighting. I love fighting in hockey games, I know that it isn't quite realistic to expect so many, but that's what I want, not being a true hockey player. But this game has the weakest fighting in any hockey game. The fights last for less than 5 seconds, and it looks like they only use 10 frames of animation for fighting. EA truly treated it as a secondary aspect of the game, and it turns me off.
However, the realism is good. Lots of stats, good replays... especially the breakaway... when you're 1 on 1 with the goalie, it goes into letterbox mode, and all sound dims, and the only thing you hear is a heartbeat.
Hockey, the world's coolest game., April 9, 2002
Reviewer: shtfilter from Plantation, FL United States
Why 5 stars? Because it is the best hockey game on the X-Box. Not because it is the pinnacle of what a game should be.
It will improved over the next year based on these reviews. But gameplayers have to be happy with the options that are available to them as compared to HitZ.
I would like to see some improvements next year, maybe even this year:
1. An update disc with rookies, trades and rosters. Not unlike the upcoming Dead or Alive 3 disc.
2. More player creation options. How about features like in create a wrestler? A really fat guy with long hair...
Those are my only two comments.