I’ll be honest, when EA Sports announced pre-ordering NHL 21 – read the review here – would get you NHL ’94 Rewind, a throwback to the NHL ’94 game but with today’s rosters, I thought it was a gimmick. A nice gimmick, but still a gimmick – something silly that you’d play once or twice and then forget.
Man, was I wrong.
I mean yeah, it’s silly. The old loose controls shouldn’t be acceptable in today’s game market, and there’s basically zero depth to it…but it’s fun. Man, is it fun. I’ve had a smile on my face pretty much the entire time I’m been playing it, as I crush the pixelated Flames with the equally-pixelated Oilers.
If you played NHL ’94 back in the day, everything you remembered about it is still there. The cross-crease one-timer is king, there’s no dekes outside some side-to-side juking, and you’re going to abuse the hell out of your speed-boost button.
If you never played NHL ’94, you’re in for a treat.
That there’s no online play is really the only downer here, but keep in mind the platform this piggybacks on was built for same-screen, same-room, same-couch play with a family member or friend and 26 years later it still excels at that. It’s perfect for playing with your kids, for example, and a great lesson on how far games have come.
If you didn’t pre-order NHL 21, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to experience this nostalgic bliss. Word is it’ll be available for purchase on its own in December.