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May 23, 2013
LCS Hockey: NHL '94
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
When I was a lad, I used to play NHL '94 on the Sega Genesis, and then the Sega CD, for hours and hours and hours each night. Seriously. For hours. Each night. C shoots. B passes. That's all I needed to know of life.
And I used to think to myself, "If only I could make my own version of NHL '94..."
Well, thanks to the swell folks over at nhl94.com, I learned how to hack my very own NHL '94. And it is glorious.
The game features 30 teams. We've got all the traditional NHL '94 squads, including the Nordiques, Jets, North Stars, and Whale, but we've also got the Avalanche and Stars, not to mention the Campbell and Wales Conference All-Stars.
Each team's roster is filled with the best players in franchise history. So if you're a Habs fan, you can line up with Rocket Richard, Jean Beliveau, and Guy Lafleur. Not only are the Kings decked out in their swank purple and yellow threads, they can roll the Triple Crown line of Dionne, Simmer, and Taylor. Quebec has Sakic, Nolan, Sundin, and the Stastny boys. All the greats are there, from Newsy Lalonde and Joe Malone to Kid Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
Some players are on more than one team, but their ratings reflect how they played with that respective club. For instance, Winnipeg Teemu Selanne is better than Anaheim Selanne. Buffalo Pat LaFontaine is better than Islander Laffy.
Player ratings are wicked accurate. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Ratings are actually programmed on a 1-6 scale, with the number translated into the 0-100 category rating. So if a guy is programmed with a five in stickhandling, it will fluctuate between 80-98 for any given game.
2. I've toned down the speed ratings in an attempt to make the game more realistic. Speed is rated on a scale of 0-3. While it may seem too slow, speed is relative. Only the fastest of the fast got a 3. Guys like Bobby Orr, Pavel Bure, and Gilbert Perreault can still fly.
3. In order to make it harder to score, shot power has also been limited. It's ranked on a 0-4 scale. Again, everything is relative, and only guys like Al MacInnis, Al Iafrate, and Bobby Hull have a 4.
4. Goaltender ratings are generous at times in order to cut down on scoring. Breakaways are no longer automatic.
5. Checking has been made more realistic. It's based on a player's weight. Don't expect Gretzky to knock down Chara.
Feel free to let me know if there are players you'd like to see added to the game or if you have any other suggestions. I can always go in and update the game.