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Review: 3-on-3 NHL Arcade

Posted by on December 10th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Tags: ,

Developer: EA Canada
Release Date: February 5th, 2009
Price: $9.99
Demo: No
Players: 1-6 online (1-7 local)

What I liked:

  • Great, great local multiplayer game with a nice variety of arcade action.
  • Local play + online also supported.
  • Up to seven local players (!)

What I disliked:

  • Shallow single player with little to no replay value.

Here’s a hypothesis for you: all sports can be enjoyed by virtually anyone once you strip the fuddy-duddy rules and add a few arcade perks. NFL Blitz and NBA Jam prove this theory nicely, while I try to forget the disappointment that was Madden NFL Arcade. And then we have 3-on-3 NHL Arcade, one of the most fun arcade sports games I’ve played in quite a while.

Let’s ignore the single player and online components for now, or possibly forever. Let me instead tell you how much fun this game is with other players locally, and how a game of co-op can turn into mad exclamations of strategy as you try to check your way into the goal.

If you’re like me and have never played a hockey simulation before, then you’re ready to play NHL Arcade. Just hit the puck into the goal within the periods given (all customizable) or until you reach a set score. There are powerups that appear on the field after a brutal check, such as Big Goalie, Small Goalie, Big Players, and other uninspired yet fun game changing powers. Playing co-op against the AI, who are quite brutal by the way, is pretty dang exciting; it’s also great that this game supports the maximum number of players available on the PS3. Up to seven local players can play, though with the game being three on three I’m not sure what the seventh person does (goalie most likely; I sadly did not have seven controllers to test this out.) You can even go online with local players, something you would think be a standard feature on most games these days.

The game is $10, and is an absolute must buy if you have friends over on a reasonable basis. The single player game is shallow and there’s not much replay value outside of multiplayer, but buying this game for the single player is like going to a swanky bar just for the peanuts.

This game was purchased for review purposes.