Old Time Hockey Review
Old Time Hockey takes all of the best aspects of hockey and puts them into one arcade style game. There are plenty of fights, hard hits, and injuries to keep you entertained for a while, but a few frustrating elements leave this game coming up a little short.
One of the most interesting parts of Old Time Hockey is the story mode. You play as the fictional team the Schuylkill Hinto Brews who are a bunch of violent drunks who happen to play hockey. During each game in the story mode, you have certain objectives you have to complete before you can advance. These can range from simply winning the game to winning x percent of faceoffs. There are also secondary objectives that you can complete that will help level up your team's skills. The issue with this is that each period is either 2 or 3 minutes depending on the difficulty you're playing on, meaning each game is either 6 or 9 minutes and the pace of play matches something that's more like a real NHL game. If the speed of the players were increased I don't think that this would be as big of a deal.
Old Time Hockey also frequently introduces new mechanic tutorials as you progress in the story. If you happen to fail or get stuck on one of them then you have to start the tutorial from the beginning. There was one objective where I had to fight with the opposing goalie that proved to be extremely difficult not only because of the requirements and the time limits, but because the camera always follows the action and you can't start a fight when you have the puck.
One of the things that I wished I knew before starting the story mode was that you don't have to win the games to begin with. I think that most gamers feel that their objective above all else is to win, especially when you're dealing with a sports title. Once I learned that the game was just putting me through a long tutorial, things got better. The story mode even includes funny newspaper headlines and loading screens that keep you up to date with hilarious things that are happening to your team while they're not playing. Also, Old Time Hockey features an awesome broadcaster that does a great job making the action feel real.
The mechanics in Old Time Hockey work well overall. There is an "on fire" feature a la NBA Jam where you gain an advantage for hip checking your opponent three times or getting on a power play. There are also frequent fights where you have to dodge and punch. If you successfully knock out your opponent, they become fatigued or injured. If they become fatigued, then their offensive and defensive skills diminish drastically. This can also happen to you, so be careful. If you happen to injure enough players on the other team, they are forced to forfeit the game. If you're super proactive in making this happen and winning the fights, you can definitely pull it off, but because the periods are so short you may have trouble doing this.
The game also features a couch coop exhibition mode that allows up to 4 people to play with or against each other. Old Time Hockey is definitely an arcadey game that hockey fans would enjoy playing with friends or family.
Overall, Old Time Hockey does come up a little short. After I played through the story mode the first time and I had a better grasp on the game it did become more fun, but unfortunately, that took too long.
2.75 out of 5 Stars
Thank you to V7 Entertainment for providing the code.