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Olympic Hockey Nagano '98

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Reviewed by Scott McCall And you thought Midway went overkill with Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98. Enter Olympic Hockey '98. It's almost exactly the same as the '98 version of Gretzky, except for these minor differences. First, the game includes all 14 international teams that played at Nagano and the real NHLPA players that go along with them. So Jagr is playing for the Czech Republic, Selanne is playing for Finland, Lindros is playing for Canada, and so on. The uniforms in the game contain flags rather than the official designs, though, because the uniforms were submitted too late to include them in the game. Second, the rink size has been increased to reflect Olympic rules. Third, there are Olympic-style tournament modes included. Fourth, trades have been cleverly renamed "defections." Fifth, there are expanded statistics. Sixth, the infamous "Robin Hood and his merry men are up to it again" phrase is back. Seventh, there are some brief anthems for each of the countries. Finally, the intelligence was increased to give the game a "greater simulation feel." Yeah right. In all honesty, Olympic Hockey '98 might be slightly better than Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98 because of the larger rink size. The arcade-style action of the game lends itself to the more open play. Nevertheless, Gretzky is still Gretzky and Olympic Hockey is Gretzky. The only redeeming factor of Olympic Hockey '98 is that it's a limited edition -- or so Midway says. It seems to be harder to find AeroFighters Assault or Robotron 64 than Olympic Hockey '98. So if you're a big fan of hockey and the Olympics, or if you want your first Gretzky hockey game, then the game might be a worthwhile purchase. Otherwise, you'd be wasting your money.

Graphics: 3.8 out of 5 Sound: 3.1 out of 5 Control: 3.4 out of 5 Gameplay: 2.9 out of 5 Lastability: 3.3 out of 5 Overall: 3.0 out of 5

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