NHL Hitz Pro
By: Matt C. on April 11, 2003
On April 7, 2003, Midway Sports announced that it was reinventing the NHL Hitz franchise to "appeal to a broader sports gaming audience". Needless to say, we were a bit surprised when the company confirmed it was taking NHL Hitz into a more realistic direction. After all, the series had been made famous by its over-the-top gameplay and its incredibly simple controls.
Several days ago, Midway went into a little more detail about the changes it is making with NHL Hitz Pro, which is due out on the PlayStation 2 this fall. One thing we must emphasize about the game is that it still will NOT play as realistic as other NHL titles. Midway is still keeping the arcade-style gameplay intact. Instead, they are enhancing the game with more realistic rules and in-depth features.
This year's edition of NHL Hitz will offer full 23-man NHL rosters, penalties (including offsides, two-line passing, holding and cross-checking), improved goalie AI, and a new player fatigue system. If a player takes a beating, he won't skate as fast until he gets some well needed rest on the bench.
The enhanced hockey school mode returns which is said to give players a better understanding of the rules hockey and the gameplay of 'Hitz' with training sessions. Also included will be an improved franchise mode (with drafts, trades, management options and all that other good stuff), multiplayer tournament mode, and an all new online mode -- which allows users to check his or her rankings among other players and enter tournaments over the Internet. The PlayStation 2 is the only console to have online gameplay with NHL Hitz this year.
Midway is also working hard to make the game look as good as possible with new checks, slap shots and goalie animations. Players can even customize physics and graphics, including glass brittleness, puck friction, and more.
Additional information will be posted when it becomes available.