‘Super Blood Hockey’ Scores a Pixelated Hat Trick
Educational power game
Super Blood Hockey reminds me that I will go to my grave thanking God for the incidental educational power of the game. They taught me football, western geography, how to fish, how to run a budding theme park, drive a train , and soon they will teach me how not to be so intimidated by the operation of a car.
Sports games like Super Blood Hockey are perhaps the best teachers, bringing a game back to its basics to educate an open-minded audience. crazy, NBA 2K, cfu, you name it. If there’s one sport I love, it’s a video game that got me there.
These days, one wonders if games have become too focused on being everything a game is versus how much a game feels.
In this regard, Hockey NES was the first sports game I ever played. As a chubby kid, I made everyone fat and had no idea what I was doing beyond the basics. I don’t remember much more than that white hot flash of a memory. Learn hockey. Make big players. Personalization. I needed more.
And Super Blood Hockey, all these years later, provides it. If nostalgia is a cynically trivialized youth, then Super Blood Hockey gives this term undue credibility. Super Blood Hockey goes beyond cynical homage and walks in evocation, and in the interest of personal disclosure, if you can’t tell from above, this game struck me from childhood – and since I laid eyes on it.
They call me the stick
But first, the basics. Super Blood Hockey is an arcade-style 8-bit arcade hockey game with an emphasis on simple and smooth controls, on-the-fly strategy, and combat. Despite the “Super Blood” in the name and the ability to crank up the gore to levels never seen from the elevator of the brilliantthe real eye-opener here is how focused and centered the entire game is on delivering a quality arcade hockey experience, something people haven’t had in what feels like decades.
On the ice, the game is controlled exactly as expected. One button to pass, one button to shoot, then one button to hit defense. There’s no turbo button or crazy “hold the trigger” combinations. Pass, shoot, score, rinse, repeat. Simple, really. Except for all the blood.
Scoring a goal through strategy or luck is as joyous as it gets, and the loop of defending, attacking, shooting, and brawling is nothing short of thrilling. Additionally, players have body sizes that define their roles and stats that affect passing and shooting accuracy, durability, speed, and how “loose” they feel when moving across the ice.
Corn Super Blood Hockey also changes some pesky rules. This version of the sport does not have a punt penalty, the goaltender cannot be shot or leave the net or grab the puck, and the only “power plays” occur in favor of the team that wins a fight.
It’s the essence of hockey, not a simulation, and it’s better for that. EA’s NHL series is wickedly complicated, choosing to bring “the NHL experience” to players with intricate controls and detailed physics and shot-and-stick tricks and line changes. Simply put, if EA NHL is an overcooked filet mignon, Super Blood Hockey is the best hockey-flavored McDonalds cheeseburger ever.
Fun size deductible
And speaking of McDonald’s, Super Blood Hockey features a silly, charming, and perhaps a bit superficial franchise mode. Playing for three seasons and failing to win it all each time, there may be some progression lurking once you strike gold, but I’m confident this mode is still a delight otherwise a touch of chore.
Running a prison hockey league, the game adopts a top-down RPG aesthetic and lets you manage players’ diets, training, recovery, and recreational activities (which you buy from an alley). After each match on your schedule, your players experience stat boosts and “brain damage”. The greater the brain damage, the more likely they are to die on the ice. As your players with the most brain damage are also likely to have the most experience, you may find yourself “saving” your best players for the playoffs, while inserting rookie players who might not have the merchandise. .
So while it’s not particularly in-depth, it’s charming and stays away from gameplay in the best way. Super Blood Hockey absolutely need a mode to keep players coming back, and that’s it. If the franchise was too easy or too complicated, it would be easy to eliminate. As it stands, Franchise feels about right, erring on the side of keeping the player focused on the gameplay, as opposed to the details of day-to-day player management.
Ultimately, when judging a video game, you have to view it in two ways. The first is its value. Does this game provide me with quality entertainment for my purchase dollar, and when I’m done, will I feel like I got my money’s worth? Second, it’s like an art form. Did the creator(s) of this title deliver on their vision and deliver the promised product to elicit the desired reaction from its viewers and buyers?
And either way, the answer is a resounding yes, but that doesn’t mean Super Blood Hockey is for everyone. If you hate the sport or hate the idea of micromanaging players by walking to each one to adjust their stats, or *want* crazy line changes, punt penalties and brass knuckles, Super Blood Hockey may disappoint due to its relatively simplified nature.
Simple but not boring. Stupid but no joke, and fun as all come out, Super Blood Hockey delivered the game kids of the early 90s always wanted from their sports titles. Mr. Loren Lemcke, the eight-year-old inside us all, wants to say hello and thank you for creating this delightful game.