Gameplay footage from 3 on 3 NHL Arcade makes me happy in my pants

[Ed. note: For some reason, the video plays much better for me (i.e., its frame rate is normal) when I fullscreen it. –Samit]

It’s been forever since the days when the Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey and NHL Hitz series ruled the arcade hockey roost, and it now appears that we may soon have a current-gen spiritual successor to those golden oldies. The phrase I’ve been using to explain the potential greatness of EA Sports’ upcoming downloadable hockey title, 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, is “NBA Jam … on ice.” Until now, we’ve only seen screenshots and an interview on the game, but we’ve finally got some gameplay to look at — and boy, is it glorious.

Assuming that you listen to RetroforceGO!, Destructoid’s number-one retro podcast, you’re probably familiar with “Double Dribble speak,” a reference to the gung-ho voice-over of that NES classic’s menu screen. NHL Arcade brings that back in style — check out the wonderfully obnoxious announcer shouting “MICRO GOALIE” and “ANKLE BREAKER” when those power-ups are picked up, as well as the delightfully cheesy noises that accompany pickups. But what really gets me is the shrill, tiny voice of the shrunken goaltender squeaking, “Oh, no!”

If you watch the above video and see the screenshots below, and you tell me that 3 on 3 NHL Arcade doesn’t look like a whole lot of fun, you’re either lying through your teeth or you’re batsh*t insane (in my not-so-humble professional blogging opinion). Look for the game to hit Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network in early February for only ten bucks.

Samit Sarkar