Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NHL 98: Making Tony Amonte a Hall-of-Famer

The last hockey game I bought and it was big.

This was 1998.

I had read in a video game magazine dedicated just to sports video games for one issue that this game had it all. It was rated a 5 out of 5 on everything from graphics to gameplay.

Bought it and played it a bunch; this game, not a basketball game was my favorite game to play. And this was when basketball was at the peak of its popularity, it being Michael Jordan's last season (1998) and all.

I loved the create-a-player option, so much that I created a team full of created players. Reason why I loved the create-a-player option? The players actually varied by size, speed, and skill and it was somewhat recognizable. I particularly loved the ability to sprint in these games, unlike the iterations on the Sega Genesis or the Playstation competitor NHL Faceoff.

My favorite player was a guy I created who was 5'6, 204. I named his ass Brett Conrad. Not sure exactly why. But I used to love making up white American names for players and adhered strictly to that code. This motherfucker was like the Barry Sanders or Maurice Jones Drew of hockey.

I also created a player named Bernie Peugeot. Now this motherfucker was like 6'1, 240 or some shit, and I modeled him after Bernie Nichols, some guy who came to the Blackhawks in 1995 and had a dope season with them. Or at least I just took Bernie's name. Bernie sounded like a try-hard kind of name and so I kinda used him like a workhorse. My team kicked plenty of teams asses. Of course "teams" meaning 1998-hockey-video-game-artificial-intelligence-controlled teams.

During the actual games, there was a major glitch which I used to give the Chicago Blackhawks like 10 Stanley Cups and break all NHL records of note. That glitch was the ability to score goals from a distinct spot far away from the goal. It was from the side, you'd get the right angle, and bam you'd score. Off that glitch, I expected like 21 goals a game and really after a while was just playing the game to see what kind of statistics I could amass. I made Tony Amonte, an above-average but not quite all-star perennial Blackhawks forward at the time, beat every record that Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux held with a baseball bat AND a baseball.

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