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Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey Review

Publisher - Midway Home Entertainment
Developer - Midway Home Entertainment
Platform - N64
Type - Sports
Score - 6/10

Of all the video game genres, I am the least experienced with sports games. So, in order to review this game, I took the liberty of polling some sports and sports video game enthusiasts. Here we go...

There isn't much for this game to draw as far as backgrounds go. There's a hockey arena and that's it. While the game has multiple length rinks and places the home team's insignia in the center of the rink, it basically draws the same thing every time. The players are incredibly blocky. The simple players are forgivable as their movements are fluid and realistic. Gretzky also has a flashing puck that is capable of leaving trails, making the tiny thing much easier to follow. On top of the run of the mill hockey game graphics, Gretzky also adds a nifty effect here or there, such as flaming pucks. AND of course, Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey is in fact 3D.

Much like the graphics, the sound is minimal, but it's what is required to pull off the game. There is an announcer, applause, grunts from the players, and cheesy hockey organ music. The nicest part of all of this is that you can set the individual volumes of all the components of the audio. While the sound isn't a strong point, it doesn't drag the game down either.

The controls in Gretzky are adequate. Since the buttons are configurable, none of the controls can be considered to be in an awkward position. After a little practice, zipping up and down the court is a snap as is switching which player you're controlling. I still haven't quite figured out what kind of shot is more likely to score a goal than another, but passing, checking, and beating the bejesus out of the other guy is easy.

How good is Gretzky? Well, there are better hockey games out there. When you play a good video game, you find yourself squeezing the controller, ducking, and tilting one way or the other. Gretzky won't make you budge. While the game looks good enough for the N64, you don't really feel the game like you would in Waverace or Pilotwings.

I can remember back in the good ol' 16 bit days (way back like last week or so...) everyone who was anyone who played sports games owned a Sega Genesis. Nintendo didn't have a strangle hold on sports games. While Gretzky is a swell entry for N64 (with multiple camera angles, fighting, player stats, and the ability to configure everything about the game), this cart won't secure a definite foothold in the video sports arena. For all you N64 sport fans- this is all we have to go with for now, so enjoy it anyway.