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NHL Faceoff 2000

Developer: SolWorks | Publisher: 989 Sports
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Release Date: 08/31/99 | Genre: Sports

What has happened to 989? It seems like their games get worse every year. If you ask me, I think that they should just give it all up and stick with games like Syphon Filter. Faceoff 2k is just a minor upgrade to the lethargic Faceoff 99. For the diehard fans, the minor upgrades might be enough for you to shell out your hard-earned money, but for the rest of us--this is just a rental.

This year Faceoff 2k has all of the features that were in the last game: trade/release players, create players, and sign the free agents. The modes of play include season, quick start, exhibition etc֠One good feature added is the ability of multi-team play, this allows more than one user to play during the season.

The worst part about Faceoff 99 was the horrible AI problems. Realizing this, 989 signed on legendary coach and eight time Stanley Cup winner Scotty Bowman. Together they came up with I.C.E., which stands for intelligence, comprehension, and execution. This means that the computer players will act as if they would in a real life game and after playing the game for a few times, you will notice that the AI problems that plagued this series in the past are gone.

The controls in the game are pretty much the same, which I thought, were pretty good last year. The two styles of control, quick start and advanced, are excellent. The quick start feature allows you to just jump right into the game and start playing without any hassles. As for the advanced controls, they are made to give the true hockey players more control and more freedom on the ice.

Graphically, Faceoff 2k is just about the same as the last version, which isn't saying much at all. But there were over 150 new animations added to the game this year, so it isn't all bad.

Now one thing that I really liked about this game is the sound. Mike Emrick and Darren Pang are once again doing the play-by-play and color commentary for the game. The chatter between these two guys is furiously fast and sometimes humorous. You have to give these guys their props for really calling the plays on cue with what's actually happening on the ice. The ambient sounds in the game, crowd noise, and music are good as well.

Overall, Faceoff 2k is just a minor adjustment over last version. If you liked the version last year then you won't be disappointed. But if you're like me and Faceoff really didn't do it for you last year, you're better off just staying away from it.

By Antoine Byrd - 08/01/00
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Screenshots for NHL Faceoff 2000

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