NHL 2002 (Xbox)

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Product Information
Home video gaming's most popular pro hockey line comes to the Microsoft console. While this first Xbox version of EA SPORTS' perennially popular NHL series follows the basic design of earlier games, a few changes and additions help it to stand out from its predecessors on other systems. Top on the list of new features in this 2002 edition may be the "breakaway cam," which zooms in behind the breaking man and fades out ambient noise of the crowd and other players to provide an emotionally authentic one-on-one experience. This game also features the "NHL Cards" rewards system. As in many contemporary console titles, gamers can earn cards through skilled play and use them to unlock special features.

As far as presentation goes, several animations have been refined and enhanced for a more realistic look on the Xbox. Players may stretch out to grab at wide passes or even kick the puck in line as they move it down the ice. New announcer Don Taylor joins veteran play-by-play man Jim Hughson to provide humor-driven commentary. The EA GameStory is featured in this edition as well, following notable plays and game developments and integrating interesting observations onto the statistical displays and announcers' banter. As usual (since NHL 94), NHL 2002 is fully licensed by both the National Hockey League and the NHL Player's Association and features all of the teams and updated rosters from the most recent (2000-2001) full season.