NHLPA Hockey 93 FI

SNES A Day 140: NHLPA Hockey ’93

nhlpa_hockey_93_us_box_art

Approximate Release Date: December 31, 1992
Genre: Hockey simulation
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: EA Sports

Turn down the volume when playing NHLPA Hockey ’93.

There’s a hissing noise in the background of each hockey match that drives me crazy. It’s bad enough that I looked up videos of NHLPA Hockey ’93 on YouTube to make sure the hissing wasn’t on my end. It’s not. Maybe it’s trying to recreate ambient crowd noise or the sounds of skates on ice, but it’s terrible. It goes away when the organ music plays, which just makes its inevitable return jarring.

Otherwise, NHLPA Hockey ’93 is serviceable. Barebones. It has the player association’s license but not the NHL license so don’t expect to see your favorite team. Just the generic city names. It’s disappointing, just like not being able to change the difficulty is disappointing. I found the default-and-only to be challenging, but hockey game fans will probably find it laughably easy.

The on-ice action is good, though. Maneuvering with the puck and passing and scoring in NHLPA Hockey ’93 is great fun. I would like there to be more options on the defensive side. The B button switches between players and A lets you check the other team’s players. Y lets you try to take the puck, but I never had much success with it. Otherwise it’s limited and I never felt like a had a ton of control in preventing the other team from scoring except for tackling them.

The 16-bit consoles were the golden years of hockey video games. NHLPA Hockey ’93 isn’t going to be the best. But it’s not going to be the worst, either. If you have this game lying around or you see it at a garage sale for a nickel, its worth checking out.

Tomorrow: Will Pro Quarterback finally be a Super Nintendo game worth playing?

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