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Video: NHL 14 unveils ‘NHL 94 Anniversary Mode’

Jul 11, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT


For years, fans of arcade-style sports video games have been mostly left in the lurch. Almost every modern title focuses on simulating the dream of playing your favorite sport professionally and/or running your favorite team, rather than making basketball nets on fire and celebrating Bones Jackson.

If you were to name hockey’s version of Tecmo Bowl and NBA Jam, most people would point to EA Sports’ famous NHL ’94 as one of the all-time greats. With that beloved title’s 20th anniversary on the way, EA Sports unveiled a surprising announcement: their upcoming NHL 14 title will include “NHL 94 Anniversary Mode.”

Here’s the trailer, which includes a voice-over that straddles the line between humorous and grating:

That trailer actually prompts as many questions as it answers.

As usual, Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy got on the case, revealing that the game will use NHL 14’s engine and feature certainly modernized upgrades. (You also won’t be able to make anyone’s head bleed, which must bum Vince Vaughn out.)

For some of us who had nerdy dreams about playing NHL 94 – or even a replica of the game, but with modern players – online, the tweaks could be a disappointment. Then again, they could make the experience more rewarding.

Either way, it’s a brilliant idea by EA, even if it won’t give us the last 20 years back.

  1. imleftcoast - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    The first organized heist of a Canucks Stanley Cup. Good times living in NYC.

  2. martysbetter - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Breakfast, shmreakfast. Look at the score, for Christ’s sake. It’s only the second period and I’m up 12 to 2. Breakfasts come and go, Rene, but Hartford, “the Whale,” they only beat Vancouver once, maybe twice in a lifetime.

    (Not swingers but just as relevant.)

    • James O'Brien - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      One of the best moments from Mallrats, indeed.

      • whatthehellisansky - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        Although I wouldnt mind my girl doing a strip tease to the theme from Mighty Mouse for me…

  3. blackheart78 - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    So in NHL ’14 can European and North American players “retire” and then go play in the KHL??? That would be fantastical!

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    I would much rather have the NHL 94 version that was in NHL 06.

  5. mz1394 - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    I will take blades of steel over any other hockey game any day

  6. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Blades of Steel was a classic (everyone loved fighting in front of the net for a penalty shot) but Hit the Ice was better.

    NHL 94′ was the first hockey game that was realistic but still had the arcade flair, hopefully they don’t butcher this

  7. neelyisgod - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    “Hi I’m Ron Barr for EA Sports” ahhh I remember it like it was yesterday

    I wonder if the “crowd meter” will be in it?

  8. chazxcore - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    I took the Kings to the Cup.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      On easy, with the offsides turned off….

      I’m gonna make little Wayne’s head bleed for superfan #99 over there

  9. xxakshunxx - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Mutant League Hockey was one of the best sports games ever.. Pretty much NHL94 with exploding bodies and corrupt refs

  10. oquintero99 - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Anybody played Nintendo’s Ice Hockey? You had Team USA, Team Canada, Sweden, Finland and a couple of more teams. And you had 3 or 4 players on your roster plus the goalie. The players could be skinny, medium sized, and overweight. When fighting you could use the stick LOL

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      You’re showing your age with that one my friend! Loved the slap shot from the fat guys

  11. mattypbillsmafia - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    NHL hitz was the best drinking video game ever

  12. nj666 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    It would be cool if it came with the original NHL94 on the disc.

  13. xrateplaya - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    “That’s why theres replay to see if it’s bs”

  14. km9000 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    There are lots of Youtube playthrough/demo videos of those old games online. It’s weird how long ago it seems, with the graphics and audio, yet it feels like yesterday.

  15. georgemuresanwasmygiant - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    Actually, NHL Open Ice 2-on-2 Challenge was the NBA Jam of hockey, but it never gets any love.

  16. watchfullhose - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    The blood was the best part of NHL ’94!

    • timmypolanski - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      There was no blood in NHL94, concerned mommies ruined it for everyone. The last EA NHL game with blood in it was NHLPA 93. 94 introduced the one-timer, manual goalies and boarding animations, which were awesome additions. The one subtraction was blood.

      • timmmah10 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        Super Nintendo had blood I thought… I know NHLPA 93 there was definitely blood. I did like when you knocked a guy out, he would just lay on the ice motionless. But if you just injured them for the period, they would squirm.

  17. pone27 - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Actually just bought a copy of 2 on 2 open ice for next to nothing. Loved that game!

    I really hope they don’t modernize 94 too much. I saw JR wearing 97 in the trailer. Any avid fan from back then knows he’s 27! Cannot wait to use all the old Hawks and re-live my youth.

  18. kantnockdahustle89 - Jul 12, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    -They need to port NHL 94 the old way but with the current rosters. That would be easy and awesome. This version just seems like a rules turned off game with a star under the player. Doesnt seem that much different from the regular game.

    – 2 on 2 Open Ice Challenge can be played with an emulator. Its addicting and super fast. Not as good as NBA Jam but its a forgotten game for some reason. Bure and Mogilny on the same team were unstoppable.

  19. hojo20 - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    The best one was I believe 94 or 95…..the first one where you could create a player. As a Nordiques fan, I created Peter Forsberg.

  20. hbdbrowns33 - Jul 13, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I loved NHL 98 so much and I still play it on PS1. I wish they would do this with that game and keep the old rosters and have the current rosters too. Playing with the 98 Devils, Avalanche, or Flyers versus a modern team like the Blackhawks would be terrific.

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