Gamers’ fondest memories of NHL ’94

Face-Off

The classic-era video game NHL ’94 celebrates its 20th anniversary this season, and remains as popular as ever. Originally released for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD and PC computers, NHL ’94 is still enjoyed by gamers today. This year’s release by Electronic Arts, NHL ’14, even included an “NHL ’94 Mode” that let’s players experience the run-and-gun style of the old game.

But some gamers still seek out the old-school, pixelated experience. Using emulation software, many play head-to-head via the internet in online leagues hosted by the website NHL94.com. Several of these gamers who still live and breathe NHL ’94 today share their fondest memories of the game. Continue reading “Gamers’ fondest memories of NHL ’94”

Movie Review: Goon

NOTE: This review is spoiler-free.

I knew all along that Goon was going to be a great movie for two reasons:

1. It had a hard time getting a theatrical release in the United States

2. Everyone who saw it made comparisons to Slap Shot.

You might think that any movie that had trouble finding a mainstream release is a bad movie. And in most cases, you would be right.

But I knew Goon would be great because of that. Hockey is a tough sell in the United States. A hockey movie is even a tougher sell, and yet Goon does not sell-out, pander, cater or kowtow to help reach a wider audience. No dumbing down or awkward, “after the fact” edits to make it more commercial.

After watching Goon, you can tell that director Michael Dowse and screenwriters Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg made the picture that they wanted to make: a film that is violent, funny and has a good story. The “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” of hockey movies, one that is truly worthy of Slap Shot comparisons.

Speaking of which, no one would dare compare a bad movie to Slap Shot, except for Universal when releasing a bad Slap Shot sequel. If other fans who have seen both movies say Goon is the Slap Shot for this generation, then Goon must have a lot going for it.

And it does. Continue reading “Movie Review: Goon”

Some Video Games Are NOT for Kids

The last week has been a steady mix of hanging out with friends–including an awesome New Year’s Eve party (thanks, Phil)–and the usual boring “teacher stuff” I do to get prepared for the semester (which started Tuesday). Yes, friends and work are my excuses for not blogging the past 6 days.

Anyway, I found this brochure, starring Patrick Sharp and Bryan Campbell to warn you that…

“Some video games are for kids. Some aren’t.”

That’s right, kids…the Blackhawks are here to warn your parents about the new Call of Duty game.  Perhaps you’d rather play something less violent, like NHL ’12 instead? Continue reading “Some Video Games Are NOT for Kids”

Photo Purchases

I have a weakness for 8″x10″ photos.

No, they aren’t collectible, nor are they “worth” anything.

But there is something so immersive about their relatively large size (compared to hockey cards), their ease of storage (just throw ’em in a binder) and their endless varieties. Whenever I see a dealer who sells photos, I try and find offbeat images that I don’t see everyday.

Here are some 8″x10″ goodies I got…a while ago. I meant to put these up sooner, but they’ve been in a pile of stuff on my floor the past 3 months. Either way, enjoy these pics! Continue reading “Photo Purchases”

Jonathan Toews on "NHL ’11" cover

A few days ago, this image started circulating around the internet:

Yep, from the looks of it, Stanley Cup MVP Jonathan Toews will grace the cover of “NHL ’11”. This is the second year in a row that a Chicago Blackhawks player will be on the cover of the popular hockey video game. For those who don’t follow the Blackhawks or video games, Patrick Kane was on the cover of “NHL ’10”. (Picture here)

Continue reading “Jonathan Toews on "NHL ’11" cover”

2002 Olympic Hockey Photos

(Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios, Brett Hull and Brendan Shannahan at the 2002 Olympics)

Ever since the NHL decided to let it’s best players fully participate in the Winter Olympics, there seemed to be a sort of even / odd “Star Trek” paradigm going on here.

You see, the 1998 Olympics was very much like the first “Star Trek” film–highly-anticipated, but failing to live up to the hype. Of course, I say this from a North American perspective, because I’m sure hockey fans in the Czech Republic thought the ’98 games were just fine.

And like “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” the 2002 Olympics was all it was supposed to be and more, culminating in a final showdown between the United States and Canada. Expectations were met, and then some.

The 2006 Olympics? Totally “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” Yawn.

That makes 2010 the “Star Trek IV” of Olympic Ice Hockey. In other words, good. Or so we can hope. I’m crossing my fingers, ‘cuz I’ll be dammed if I have to sit through “Search for Spock” twice.

With the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament starting today, I thought it would be fun to look back at some pictures from the 2002 games.

Here we have Mario Lemieux and Joe Sakic celebrating their gold medal win.
 
Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux, Paul Kariya and Joe Sakic. How’s that for a power play unit?
The U.S. bench: Chris Drury, Adam Deadmarsh, Doug Weight, Mike York and Jeremy Roenick.

Photo of Team Canada after winning the gold. Click on the photo to enlarge, and see the enviable and unmatched level of talent.

Let’s hope that the 2010 games are as good as they were in 2002.

I’m totally going to see this

You may have seen commercials for a movie called The Tooth Fairy during the Winter Classic on Friday. Here is the official trailer for that film.

Oh man, where is the downside? This could be one of those so-bad-it’s-awesome kind of films. It’s about the meanest, roughest pro hockey player who has to become a tooth fairy. As if the irony of that isn’t delicious enough, it stars Duane “The Rock” Johnson as the main character. “The Tooth Fairy” comes out on January 22. It will probably suck, but probably end up being unintentionally funny in the process too.

Trailer: Forgotten Miracle

A new documentary about the 1960 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team will be released this week. That’s right, the 1960 team. Every four years, all the buzz among U.S. hockey fans is usually about the “Miracle on Ice” from 1980. But many of us overlook the fact that 20 years prior, the miracle first occurred when the U.S. team beat Russia, Canada and Czechoslovakia en route to U.S.A.’s first gold medal in hockey.

Here is the trailer to the documentary about the 1960 Olympic team, aptly entitled “Forgotten Miracle.”

Visit the Forgotten Miracle official website here.

Video Olympics for the Atari 2600

Early hockey video game is really Pong with great box art

Atari 2600 Video Olympics - box frontSometimes we forget how far video games have come. Those old enough to remember when Wayne Gretzky played for the Oilers probably got their start playing video games on the Atari 2600 – with games like Space Invaders, Combat, Surround and Video Olympics. Continue reading “Video Olympics for the Atari 2600”