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PS2 Reviews: NHL Hitz 20-03


NHL Hitz 20-03 screenshots


The Final Say!


NHL Hitz 20-03 -  reviewed by Andrew B 
Review Date: 11 November 2002
Review Score 9.0/10
Distributed By: Acclaim

NHL Hitz 20-03 is the latest Hockey game from Acclaim and features some extraordinary gameplay and music that is sure to rock the world of the PlayStation 2 gaming.

NHL Hitz 20-03 Features

  • Memory Card (8MB) 300k minimum
  • Analog Control Compatible
  • Vibration Control
  • 1 - 2 Players (Standard PS2)
  • 1 - 5 Players with PS2 MultiTap
  • 6 - 8 Players with 2nd PS2 MultiTap 


With so many different hockey games on the market at the moment, NHL Hitz 20-03 is guaranteed to give the competition a real run for their money. From the moment you put NHL Hitz into your PlayStation 2, you immediately know that you are in for a treat with the professional looking menu system and great background music. The premise behind hockey is quite simple, with two teams trying to get the puck past the other team in order to score a goal. The gameplay is extremely easy to pickup and feels like it was specifically made for the Sony DualShock controller. 

You basically use the analog stick to control your player around the court while trying to keep the puck in your possession in order to score a goal by using a variety of different tactics and manoeuvres. Because of the arcade style of this game, there is plenty of unlockable bonuses plus a very interesting power up call Fire. As you perform various moves in the game, your fire meter builds until you can unleash your fury upon the opposing team and more specifically the puck itself. This mode basically gives you super powers for a few seconds so you can pull off some unbelievable shots.  

The game contains a variety of different gameplay modes that include the NHL Season Mode, Franchise Mode, Exhibition Mode, Mini-Games and Hockey School. Hockey School is a basic training mode that features NHL super coach, Scotty Bowman and shows you the basics of the game such as the rules and how to control your team players. Great for players who don't know much about Hockey but unfortunately for me, I'm a seasoned veteran of Wayne Gretzky on the Amiga 500. Yes, I'm that old! 

The mini-games include a variety of party games such as tic tac toe that is great for when you have a group of friends over. The Season Mode lets you play an entire NHL season with your favourite team and offers hours of hockey enjoyment. 

For those that want something different, the game also offers a Franchise mode that lets you create your own team that includes their home city, logos and all the players themselves. Your team then battles it out against other teams world wide for the ultimate prize of being the number one hockey team in the world. NHL Hitz 20-03 features one of the most adrenaline pumping multiplayer features of all time and lets you connect up to 8 players provided you have two MultiTaps installed on your PlayStation 2. Because all sport games were made for multiplayer action, NHL Hitz is no exception to that rule, you have got to see this. 

Graphically, NHL Hitz 20-03 is a great looking game and features some of the most realistic players on any hockey game currently on the market. All the players have different facial features and are made up of a fairly high polygon count to help with the realism. The texture detail on their uniforms is amazing and features all the authentic jersey colours and logos of the real NHL teams. The ingame animations of the players are extremely well handled and features some great special effects such as the fire mode that looks quite real. The game runs at a perfect 60 frames per second for some of the smoothest gameplay you will ever see. All the stadiums have been faithfully recreated and features some realistic crowd movements. 

Apart from the great  ingame graphics that NHL Hitz 20-03 offers, this game also features one of the best sport game soundtracks of all time. From hard rock bands such as Drowning Pool to the melodies of Moby or the hard and rough sounds of Rob Zombie, NHL Hitz has it all.

NHL Hitz 20-03 Soundtrack

  • Drowning Pool - Sinner
  • Hoobastank - Pieces
  • Incubus - Circles
  • Moby - We Are All Made of Stars
  • Fighting Mix - Breath of Giants
  • Fighting Mix - Journey
  • Fighting Mix - Wilderness
  • OddManRush - Breakawy
  • Powerman 5000 - Bombshell
  • Racing Tunes - Ham
  • Racing Tunes - Take Care of the Lonely
  • Racing Tunes - Lead Head
  • Racing Tunes - Beauty Queen
  • Rob Zombie - Feel So Numb
  • The Zambonis - Hockey Monkey
  • The Zambonis - Slapshot Man
  • The Zambonis - Shot Score
  • The Zambonis - The Breakaway
  • Zhu Zhu Petal - Heavy Hitter
  • Zhu Zhu Petal - Thumping Groove

The game also features some great commentary that really makes you feel like you are part of the game itself. Sound wise, NHL Hitz offers quite much and really delivers some realistic sound effects such as the sliding on ice, the various noises of hitting the puck and some great crowd effects, especially if you are playing a home match.

NHL Hitz 20-03 isn't a good game but a great game and I would recommend this game to all sport fans. The game is extremely easy to pickup and features some great graphics, music and sound effects. Apart from that, the game also offers a variety of different gameplay modes to allow for some great longevity, not to mention some great multiplayer fun. Move over Wayne Gretzky, for its time for some great console sport fans to take over. Highly Addictive!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2001 www.impulsegamer.com