Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
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Acclaim's first hockey game on Nintendo 64 takes a simulation-style approach with a wide variety of customization and team management options. In addition to 26 NHL teams with stats and player ratings from the 1996-1997 season, the game includes both All-Star teams as well as Olympic-style hockey in the international playoffs mode. Other play formats include exhibition, practice, season, shootout, and playoffs. Adjustable settings range from difficulty level and game speed to injuries, fatigue, fighting, and penalties. On the ice, players can call multiple offensive and defensive sets for key situations such as power plays and penalty killing. Lines can also be edited so teams have the right personnel for the right situation.
Seasons can be set to 25, 41, or 82 games as teams strive to win the Stanley Cup. Winning managers earn points that can be spent on upgrading a team's injury therapies, player development, and coaching staffs. Free agents can be signed and released, while trades support as many as six players at once. Of course, players are still free to create their own star athletes, whose names will be displayed on jerseys. The developers also incorporated each featured athlete's height and weight measurements in the motion-captured 3D player models. High-res graphics and advanced lighting effects help bring the arenas to life, as players decide on the best camera view out of eight possible options. Cover star Keith Tkachuk offers in-game scouting reports and strategy recommendations for those new to the sport. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide