Game: Old Time Hockey
Release Date: Available on PlayStation 4 and PC. Xbox One release to be announced
Developer/ Publicher: V7 Entertainment
Remember back in the 90’s, you’d come home from school or work, boot up your PC with 256MB of RAM, big funny sounding CRT monitor, dial up your modem, and start up a game of good old NHL? That’s the feeling Old Time Hockey come packaged with. While Old Time Hockey might feel a lot like NHL 99 it still comes with a modern day feel to it, making for a great mix of nostalgia and, well, old timey hockey.
Let us just get one thing out of the way: This is not a hockey game intended to compete with the NHL series. It is a funny little hockey game filled with jokes. Just like Goat Simulator shouldn’t be compared to The Witcher 3, Old Time Hockey shouldn’t be compared to NHL 17. They are different games, with one made for having a good time and one made to simulate hockey. This is a fun arcade style hockey game meant to be played with friends. As a result, it should and will be judged as such. Now that that has been cleared up, let’s get going with the review.
We live in a day where men are made of wood and hockey sticks are made of some metal alloy, Old Time Hockey takes the players back to a time when men were made of steel and hockey sticks of wood. Old time Hockey puts the player in charge of a small town hockey team in the 1970’s struggling for survival. It is up to the player to lead a team of losers to victory, kind of like how Paul Newman did in Slapshot. Besides that, there is not that much to the story mode. It’s pretty much as immersive as any other sports games but with more aggressive hockey and way more fighting than today’s leagues will allow due to people knowing what getting concussions repeatedly does to your brain.
Old Time Hockey, old time feeling
It probably goes without saying that this arcade hockey game doesn’t feel like it was made in 2017, but that is not really too big of a problem because the whole game tries its very best to feel old, even with the music and the hockey team names. The fact that it doesn’t look new or retro might also be a feature that ruins Old Time Hockey for some.
The gameplay in Old Time Hockey is nothing to write home about. At times it feels sluggish and unresponsive like your players don’t know what to do and are confused by your inputs all of a sudden. But Old Time Hockey has several options which allow players to pick the button layout that suits them best and that allows players to stop using one they feel isn’t working for them. Even with the controller scheme of your choice they sometimes feel a bit wonky. That might give an old-timey feel, but it is annoying at times not being able to get a crucial William Nylander cross check to the throat. Though I have to give the "beer mode" an honorable mention. What it does it that it switches the button layout so that players can play with one hand and hold a beer in the other, isn't it great!
The graphics are, let’s say, “unique”. This game ain’t no graphical marvel, though graphics aren’t really that important in this game since it’s part of the whole Old Time Hockey concept. As can be seen in the in the trailer or in screenshots, the game looks about as good as good old NHL 99 but with smoother edges to the pixels, which is nice. This older feel transfers over to almost every aspect of the game, but since it’s a game with a button layout called “beer mode” you sort of get how serious Old Time Hockey takes itself, and how serious you should take it.
A bouncing bar down sent to video-review
Old Time Hockey is like a bar down goal that bounces around the goal line, goes over it quickly to then be swept away by a defender in hopes it didn’t go in when in fact, after video review, did go in.
It’s a fun game to play for a while and works best with friends. Old Time Hockey has everything it needs, really, nothing more and nothing less. It’s got the graphics the style of the game needs, good enough gameplay and a story mode for single player content. Old Time Hockey is everything it sets out to be, which is an arcade hockey game, a feat few games manages these days.
But, and there is always a but, it is not a very deep game and is probably not something players will come back to again and again. It is a great Rocket League or Guitar Hero type game to play with your bros, some pizza, and a lot of beer. For what it is worth, it is a really fun game.