Every week, we will present a new game to be nominated for the Diehard GameFAN Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame. These nominations will occur every Monday and Friday, respectively. Our standards are just like the Baseball Hall of Fame: every game will be voted on by members of the staff, and any game that gets 75% of the vote – with a minimum of four votes – will be accepted – or thrown – into their respective Hall.
Game: NHL ’94
Developer: EA Canada/High Score Productions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 03/05/1993
System Released On: SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, PC
Genre: Sports (Hockey)
Who Nominated The Game: Christopher Bowen
Why Was It Nominated: Hockey fans tend to consider NHL ’94 to be the best hockey game ever made. It’s one of the few sports games to make Top 100 lists and it was voted the greatest sports game of all time by Boston.com. It was the game that introduced the “one timer” into video game hockey. It also introduces the ability to save your game, break the class surrounding the rink, an annoying child that berates you. It even had some of the trademark organ music for each team. Because we have a lot of hockey players on staff – from Bowen to Guy to Berg, it made sense to nominate this game as our first Sports Nominee. Now the only question is whether or not it would be able to get in.
All in Favour:
Mohammad Al-Sadoon: I have to admit something…I played this game using an emulator… in 2001.
Now that I have the shame of being a pirate out of the way, the fact that I obsessively played an old Sega Genesis game using a crappy keyboard controls and LOVED it should show you how awesome this hockey game is.
I’m sure fellow staffers and hockey freaks Chris Bowen and Guy Desmarais can better brief you on how great the momentum in the game translates into hip checks and icing calls or something else an Arab like me wouldn’t understand. All I know is that NHL ’94 fills my “get into legal sports fights” quota better than even those fancy shmancy recent NHL games with their High Definition and Career modes and life like physics or what have you.
Now what if I actually experienced this game when it first came out and with a decent controller? I would have probably nominated it myself!
Guy Desmarais: If there is one hockey game that needs to make it into the Hall of Fame, it is this one. Sure, today’s hockey games are more technically advanced, and more realistic, but NHL 94 took the essence of hockey, and translated it perfectly into a 2D world. The hits felt brutal despite the comically small players, the dekes were effective, the speed was a huge step up from the previous edition. It introduced the shootout mini-mode, which is how many hours were wasted after school. This game IS hockey.
>Alex Lucard: I’m not a big hockey video game fan, but the Genesis has the two Hockey games I actually really liked – Mutant League Hockey and NHL ’94. But really my experiences aren’t necessarily the ones that matters here. All you need is one little example. NHL ’06 came with a port of the NHL ’94 in all its glory (save named rosters) if you purchased the PS2 version. That was all people needed to buy ’06. Yes, ’06 sold not because people wanted that game, but because people wanted ’94 on a current gen console. That tells you something about the quality and love hockey fans have for NHL ’94. If this alone doesn’t persuade you that NHL ’94 deserves to be the first sports title in the Hall, I don’t know what could.
All Opposed: No one!
Result: 3 In Favour, 0 Opposed, 75% Approval = REJECTED DUE TO LACK OF VOTES
Conclusion: Well, much like Grim Fandango, the people that actually played the game loved it, but there wasn’t enough to actually meet the minimum number of votes to get it into the Hall. Alas.
Next Week: A Treasure game gets the nomination. BUT WHICH ONE?