#711 – Wayne Gretzky Hockey


                                           “This Game is For Advanced Players”? I’d say This Game is For No One.



                                                                     Where’s Gretzky? WE CAME FOR GRETZKY!


PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous


DEVELOPER: Bethesda Softworks

GENRE: Sports

RELEASE DATE: January 1991


“What the hell’s going on?” is not a phrase one wants to utter during any game, let alone a sports title that demands quick reflexes and precise timing. But Wayne Gretzky Hockey allows – indeed, encourages – such florid exclamations, thanks to the offensive graphics and questionable play control. The hockey games are played from a top-down view, allowing you to see all the players on the arena from a God-like placement. This viewpoint would be a blessing, if the sprites weren’t all smaller than my thumb. Once the game begins in earnest and players from both teams smush together to get the puck, there is no telling what’s happening, but rest assured, it will result in fouls on your end. Making the players pint-sized feels deliberate: no doubt if the sprites were larger, the game wouldn’t move as speedily as it does. But what’s the point of speed if you can’t decipher the actions of your team? The player you control is highlighted by a gentle flickering, adding further to the eye strain. Pressing ‘Select’ will switch between the players, but never the player you wish to play at that precise moment. Switching players feels sluggish compared to the in-game speed, and by the time you’ve reached the player you wish to use, the puck will be far elsewhere. As for making a goal? I doubt Wayne Gretzky himself could shoot and score, even on the Novice setting. The great hockey legend may have sold his name to THQ for a quick profit, but I’d wager he wasn’t impressed with the results.




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  • Mr.X

    the sound effects in this game sound worse then the atari 2600

  • culturefusionreviews

    Wayne Gretzky was so good, they simply called him “The Great One.” Too bad his game is made by ThQ, a developer that I honestly think was worse than LJN in the NES days.

    • DylanCornelius

      Actually Bethesda – of Elder Scrolls and Fallout fame – developed it. That's even more depressing.

  • The NES game Ice Hockey had better graphics than this! Ugh! I remember seeing this in a magazine and thinking it looked ugly as heck.

    • DylanCornelius

      You can see the individual pixels on the players.

  • nic forte

    I remember the dark dark moment in my life when I popped this abysmal piece of shit into an nes…. I had already played ice hockey and blades of steel. Two games I thought were awesome. But what could be better? A hockey game that the great 99 stood behind with his own name…. Didn't even finish one period, ejected it and have never looked at a copy of it again.