Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Old Time Hockey Gameplay Review

I'm playing Old Time Hockey, an arcade sports game by V7 Entertainment.

The game features a story mode that follows a local hockey team’s tale of redemption. Each match has objectives requirements (either learning controls or achieving specific statistics) that are ridiculously difficult to meet; this results in extremely frustrating matches that must be replayed over and over until you luck out and roll easier semi-random objectives. In addition, the advanced control scheme doesn’t unlock until you have progressed far enough in the campaign, restricting your options in the exhibition mode. An easy solution would be to remove mandatory objectives and simply reward any achievements with experience points (a mechanic already in the game). The game also lacks custom seasons and online multiplayer. The control scheme (designed for a gamepad) involves somewhat complicated procedures for shooting, passing, defensive maneuvers (hook, slash, check, block), and fighting; more simplified control schemes are also available (though the story mode requires the advanced controls to be used). Player movement in the game is satisfying, and the hockey itself is entertaining to play. Line changes are automated, and penalties are rare. Momentum may be gained by leveling the opponent three times in a row or gaining a power play, which allows for more powerful shots and hits. The friendly players lack intelligence on defense, although this is possibly by design. Despite the generally solid gameplay, frustrating mandatory campaign objectives cast a dark shadow over the rest of the title.