Hockey and non-hockey fans alike might remember the iconic NHL '94, the first NHL game to feature actual NHL rosters, teams, and logos. It also removed fighting and blood per league concerns. True to its era, NHL '94 offered a simpler form of sports gameplay, more arcade-styled and accessible, fun for either hockey fans who weren't big into games or game fans who weren't big into hockey.
For NHL 14 and the 20th anniversary of the series, NHL '94 is making a triumphant return as its own optional game mode, featuring all the iconic trappings of the game. The ice is blue, the player indicators are stars, and the music reverts to 16-bit organ tunes. They even removed the advertisements from the boards. In an EA game.
Gameplay-wise, of course, it's back to a simplistic button layout, while penalties are non-existent. NHL 14 physics minus the penalties can only mean a good time decking your friends. EA has been bringing its old sports properties back of late, with the wonderful NBA Jam: On Fire Edition and the slightly awkward NFL Blitz remake. Cool to see the NHL series get some love, and as an included game mode, no less. Does it feel too weird in 3D?