There's something appealing about it, and not just because the protective padding make the players look like robots. It's fast, there are lots of goals and there's even comical organ music. Yes, maybe if I give Ice Hockey a go I'll really enjoy it. Naturally I don't mean physically. It's much easier to just sit in front of the TV and play a digital game of Ice Hockey and when it comes to 16bit versions of the sport there's evidently only one franchise you should consider; Electronic Arts' 'NHL' games.
Admittedly there does seem to be more weirdly blue ice on screen than team players but sprite size is always a bit of a tricky balancing act when it comes to sports titles. Larger sprites obviously look nicer, but as 'Sensible Soccer' superbly illustrates a more tactical game is possible when players are a dozen pixels high. I didn't get confused playing 'NFL '95' and could easily tell the players apart. But I did think for such as high profile game there were many things that looked a little amateurish.
The player profiles are all poorly digitised black and white stills. Crowds are static and a window that shows close ups of action cringe worthy. Presumably it's there to mimic TV coverage but the impressive instantly replays serves a similar function.
Like Lesser, before playing 'NHL '95' my knowledge of the sport was practically nonexistent. As a result when I play the game I have nothing to compare it to. I don't know if the puck movement is authentic, I have no idea if the player and teams are genuine. I get to play the game and judge it as a video game rather than as an adaptation. While there are other sports games I certainly prefer it wasn't a chore to play this, far from it. I was pleasantly surprised by a game that I could get as much from this game as I did. It was Sega Power magazine's turn to call 'NHL '95' "a game to play even if you don't even like the sport". It's a thought I'd echo and it illustrates that while I may not enjoy playing sport in real life, when a controller is involved I become a lot more engaged.