ESPN NHL Hockey 2K4 (Original Xbox) by Sega

ESPN NHL Hockey 2K4 (Xbox) by Sega Box Art

North Amercian Release Date: September 12, 2003.

Region(s) Released: North America, Europe

High Definition Resolutions Supported: 480p
Widescreen Supported (16:9): No
Average Overall Score:
8.85 / 10

?We Will .."

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"ESPN NHL Hockey" boasts cool new features such as a revamped graphics engine and the "Skybox," a place where gamers can keep a host of unlockable items they earn for accomplishing gameplay milestones. Heading back to the future, "ESPN NHL Hockey" also brings back relics from the past as more than 60 retro uniforms will be available along with over 30 era teams, such as the 1994 Rangers who captured the Stanley cup after more than half a century of heartache.


Friday, December 17, 2004

User Reviews

Score: 88
Overall User Average: 8.80 / 10 (88.5%)
Gameplay User Average: 9.47 / 10
Graphics User Average: 9.27 / 10
Sound User Average: 8.33 / 10
young blood
Date reviewed: May 2, 2004.

Overall: This game is just awsome. From the graphics, franchise mode, onlline play, commentating. Theis game is just awsome! I reccomend this game to any hickey fans, it's VERY addictive.
Gameplay: Franchise mode is awsome, goalie is alot harder to beat when playing pro or higher. The only problem is some of the players get a higher rating then they deserve, or their ratings are too low.
Graphics: How much can be said? A nice shiny ice at the beggining of the period, and a dull ice at the end. The camera angles have improved greatly, and the player models look almost real-like.
Sound: The commentating almost always accurate. The crowd sounds so real, and the songs before the puck drops sounds so exactly if you are watching a real NHL game.
Suggestions: There are a few errors, not many. I'd like to add saling tickets, to make money seeing how good your team is.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: March 31, 2004.

Overall: As far as game play is concerned this is the best hockey game of the year. However, this is the BUGGIEST game I have ever played on XBOX. I own several dozen games, and rented many more. I've played many games, and this is the worst as far as game crashing bugs are concerned. I played an entire franchise season (82 games) only to have the game crash after the last game, and now loading the saved game locks up the XBOX. Thats over 100 hours worth of time wasted. Apparently this is a known issue at SEGA, and that is why I have to give this game a 1.
Gameplay: Like I said, this is the best game available for a game of hockey. Most rules are modeled OK in the game. Some rules are not. Delayed offsides are not handled properly. There are no sunch thing as coincidental minors, major penalties are not called unless it is a fight.
Graphics: Great looking game. The player animations are superb. Plays very much like a hockey game. Not a whole lot to complain about here.
Sound: Sound is sound. This is a hockey game so who cares about sound. You know what would be cool is if someone would do player voices on the ice. WGHIII did this way back in 1993, nobody does it anymore.
Suggestions: Fix the bugs. This game should have never made it on to shelves in its current state. Your QA department should be ashamed of themselves.

Overall: 20 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 80 %

Date reviewed: March 31, 2004.

Overall: Solid hockey game. And another word and a couple more and then we are at 75 so we write a few more...
Gameplay: Great control. Great feel and response. Lot of hockey know how can be employed. Gone are the days of the 32 goal "wrap-around bananzas" of NHL '94. Here, you get the benefit of acutally having an idea of what should be going on.
Graphics: Not bad. Not bad at all. Not worth 100 words, but pretty darn good. So here I go again, we are almos
Sound: Good feel and well done. Hard to get hockey sound wrong I suppose, so what can yah say in 100 words.

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 70 %

Date reviewed: December 15, 2003.

Overall: The most realistic hockey game i have ever seen. Unlike in EA hockey games, you cannot just skate through the arena and score without losing a puck. I haven´t played NHL 2k3, but this game is so great that i think i will play it till next christmas.
Gameplay: Players react very smoothly and responsively to the players commands. Puck acts very realistically when it hits somewhere. You don´t always have a perfect shot, because the puck might be on a wrong position or it might hit the players stick and bounce out of ice.
Graphics: The graphics in these game are great! Not as good as EA´s NHL:s, but very impressive indeed. Some people keeps yacking about players faces, but i think they are good enough for the game that tries to be the most realistic hockey game, not best looking..
Sound: The sound of crowd begging for a goal at overtime period creates a feeling, that you really are on the ice. That is just wonderful. Commentators really know what they are talking about, and they´re speech is always on time. Especially i liked that little smooth soundeffect you can hear when puck hits the post. Not like EA:s overloud BOjOingg!!
Suggestions: It would be great when tackling player, that sometimes their helmet or glove would drop to the ice, and then he would have to get that stuff or just keep playing. And maybe a little possibility of a breaking stick when shooting hard or broken stick on a rough tackle against the boards.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: December 10, 2003.

Overall: Best hockey game ever, brings in every hockey aspect thinkable. The hits, goals, and saves are all top notch. The skills competition and online capability pushes this game over the edge and gives gamers everything they could ask for.
Gameplay: Out of every hockey game i have played, this one definatly has the hardest controls, but that is needed because there are much more moves you could pull against your opponents, like different directions the right thumbstick is pointed gives you different dekes. Not only does this game have the normal playoffs, exhibition, and season mode, but it has a franchise and skills competition mode. The franchise mode is especially cool as you can choose your players salaries and even have an email box. Scoring is very difficult past pro, because goalies are unbeleivable and the computer doesnt let you get that close to the goalie. The hip checks are the most intensifying thing in this game.
Graphics: Picture perfect graphics topped off the game. The saves completed are not like any seen in any other hockey game. When the puck is near the goalie it isnt covered until the goalie either gloves it or lays ontop of it, which is original, because in all other games the puck automatically gets covered wherever it is.
Sound: If there is one thing that lacks in this game it is the theme song. The ESPN theme is good, but gets quite repetative, since there is no other songs played, but the sounds on the ice from the players, crowd, and announcers makes up for this. One thing that is awesome is the uniqueness of the buzzers to the rink that you play in.
Suggestions: Make the online gameplay a bit better with goal and assist tracking, and with tournaments, to win people over from NHL Rival's XSN Sports online play. Better songs on here.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 80 %

Date reviewed: November 8, 2003.

Overall: Great game. Really improved over last year's edition. The online play is particularly better as they added the quit stat.
Gameplay: The AI in NHL2k3 were nearly impossible to beat at the highest level. Unless you like 0-0 ties after 4 Overtimes you didn't enjoy it much. They really improved on the general play and now defencemen aren't supermen.
Graphics: The graphics are superb. Way better than any other I have ever seen for a hockey game. I like the way the crowd looks pretty realistic. One thing I really like is that the intro movie shows REAL footage and not boring animated moves.
Sound: Good in some aspects, bad in another describes the sound. The ingame sound is pretty good (IE crowd chants, etc) The commentary is definately improved over last year though I swear the colour commentator loves shoulder hits. One BIG minus for this game is it's lackluster soundtrack.'s horrible except for "We Will Rock You" by Queen which gets old after the first 63 times.
Suggestions: Add customizable soundtracks. That's one thing I've always wanted. An improved franchise mode would also be nice. Other than that keep up the good work.

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 70 %

Date reviewed: October 30, 2003.

Overall: The best hockey sim out there. Its also alot of fun. It has cool mini games like air hockey and the skills competitions.
Gameplay: Very good responsive controls. I used to play EA before so I had to get used to not being able to pass through people and always body checking, so it is more realistic.
Graphics: Sharp visuals indeed. The ice is shiny at the begining but then gets dull towards the end of the period, lots of little details like that make it good.
Sound: I only have my TV speakers so... ya... It probably sounds good im guessing, except the songs suck, and you should be able to play music from your playlist.
Suggestions: Alow the user to use their own playlists instead of listening to old crappy cliche songs. Great gaem though.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 80 %

Date reviewed: October 30, 2003.

Overall: One of the best if not THE best hockey game i've ever played...and believe me..i play alot of hockey games.
Gameplay: Great graphics engine smooth transistions and you actually have to battle for the puck in the corner...THATS AWESOME!
Also my personal favorite aspect of the game is the Skills Competition. As a "true" hockey fan i love it when all star week rolls around and they have the annual skills competition. So to be able to play a video game that has this feature is excellent.

Graphics: a little dissapointed about the player models....when they score or when Clement gives a you a quick fact about them it shows the player and a little picture in the lower left corner of the screen....most of the time the player model looks nothing like the picture.
Sound: Background music is a little annoying after a while becuase its the same songs over and over....but when your at home and you score...if that team has a distinct kind of sound such as the Montr?al Canadians horn sound they are portrayed realisticly..which is quite nice. As for the guy who said that you should be able to hear your own uploaded can you go into the SkyBox and go to the jukebox....all your songs can be played there.
Suggestions: seeing as i have never tried to make a game..and from what i hear it is extremely tedious...i dont want to sound like some idiot that thinks its easy to do this sorta thing...BUT..if you're going to show pictures of the players next to the player models i think you should make them look a little more like them.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 90 %

The Jackal
Date reviewed: October 30, 2003.

Overall: Overall i give it a 4.5 because of the gameplay which it lacks. But if i was looking for a hockey game which is the most realistic this would be my first pick.
Gameplay: Although this game is visually spectacular, i think the developers tried to make it too realistic and this is where it loses some gameplay value. ex. it's very difficult at times to hit players.
Graphics: Visually this game is among the top for representing real life accurately. Some of the faces don't really look like the players and the bodies look kind of odd but other than that it's very accurate.
Sound: The sounds in this game match a real life game very well and gives a great feel as if you're watching an actual game.

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: October 30, 2003.

Overall: by far the best hockey game out there right now... if you like the EA games you are a fool. The Live feature is all i play
Gameplay: supa fun. realistic gameplay, great graphics. Xbox live is a blast to play on they have a leaderboard and what not
Graphics: a huge improvement over NHL 2K3. they actually look like the players this time around. Good job sega
Sound: a huge downfall. the commentating is just brutal. the guy is clearly an american because he cant properly pronounce the name of any of the playaz
Suggestions: canadian commentators who can pronounce names. some stats of players are way off

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 20 %

Date reviewed: October 19, 2003.

Overall: Great hockey game! I hadn't played a hockey game since NHL '96. What an awesome game. I love all the ESPN integration.
Gameplay: Many different skill levels. Great camera angles. Its not to hard to score, but its not easy either. Awesome controls. I love the SKYBOX. It's where all of your records and stuff are kept. You can play air hockey in there or listen to your custom soundtracks. ESPN integration is cool.
Graphics: Awesome graphics! The nest I've seen in any hockey game yet. Players and arenas look great!
Sound: Great commentators. You can hear the guys getting knocked over and hear the glass break. Great sound.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: October 17, 2003.

Overall: The best hockey experience ever! I've never had this much glee while playing hockey before! From Exhibition, to season, to franchise this is the game for me. I LOVE HOCKEY! Go Blues!
Gameplay: Amazingly realistic hockey simulation that contains the most entertaining hockey experience. If I go home for lunch, I turn this on for another game of whooping some computer butt! Two player games are quite simply along the same lines! The best hockey experience. Unless Microsoft blows us all away, this is THE BEST HOCKEY GAME! PERIOD.
Graphics: Quite simply, these are the greatest player models I've yet seen in a hockey game. When I saw Big Mac and the Praying Mantis on the Blues, I was like, "Oh, My God! It's Pronger! All the players display amazing detail and sport great movements. BEAUTIFUL! Maybe give the crowd a little more detail. Crowd looks great though. Awesome lighting.
Sound: WOw! The Commentary is second to none. How amazing of a job they have done. The crowd is amazingly reactive and the rink announcer is hillarious! All this is simply amazing, but why no 5.1 support? It's perplexing! But still an outstanding job. It gets me in the spirit and has me going around, saying, "Eh."
Suggestions: Support it all! I have 5.1 and love the games that support it. I still love your game! Maybe a little too much... But if I could've heard the crowd bang on the glass in true 5.1, i'd have probably crapped my pants already!

Continue to blow away your previous year, and I'll be stuck to you like glue, or something.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 90 %

Date reviewed: September 11, 2003.

Overall: I was scared to by this game because of last years. My first impression of last years was great at first until all the scoreless games, and sloppy play. So I waited a little longer before writing this review, because I don;t want to mislead anyone. Enough said, this game is GREAT! They fixed a lot of old stuff and added a ton more.
Gameplay: GamePlay can be a bit confusing at first. You have three styles to choose from, classic, intermed, and advance. My advise is to pick one and stay with it. Gameplay is fluid and will play as fast as you set it.(slider adjust). Gameplay on-line is perfect between good connections, and I have yet to have a real bad one. The skills level is a real blast, a game of its own. Great thing about this edition is that the scoring is still a bit hard, but can be achieved with skillful play, unlike last years where the goalie stopped everything. This definitely gets a 5 for its improvements.
Graphics: Well its about time SEGA and its developers start using the XBOX powers. The graphics were horrid last year compared to this years game. The ICE is the best I've seen in a hockey game, and the player faces are done with great detail. Arena's look great and crowds look like crowds with some animation in the front rows. The reflections from the ice and the helmets are stunning, great job. Definitely a 5 for the major overhaul.
Sound: This is the first review I have done where I will same some great things about the sound. The game sounds are very well done. From the skates slicing the ice to the awesome sound of the puck clinging the crossbar. The commentary for the game is by far the best to date. ESPN put there broadcasters in the game and it sound like an ESPN HOCKEY Night GAME as you are playing, kick a$$. The on-line chat has been fixed and now is as good as the chat in ESPN football. More improvements and another 5.
Suggestions: There is so much stuff I left out of this review. This is a great hockey game and one worth trying. AS for SEGA, keep improving your games like you have been, and promise you will never get lazy like EA did for so many years.

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

ESPN NHL Hockey 2K4 News

Martin St. Louis On The Cover Of NHL 2K5
ESPN Videogames announced today that Martin St. Louis, from the Tampa Bay Lightning, will be on the cover of ESPN NHL 2K5.

ESPN NHL Hockey" Hits Store Shelves Soon
Hockey fans it’s almost time to get the "puck" off the couch, head on down to the store and pick up a copy of ESPN NHL Hockey.

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