Old Time Hockey (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 27.03.2017

Review for Old Time Hockey on PlayStation 4

There was once a time when professional sports didn't know anything about the effects it could have on its players. Concussions were often referred to as "Hero Headaches" and boxers were more attractive the more their eyes looked like their knees. Fortunately, athletes have been viewed as human beings, and not replaceable meat sacks whose spines could be written off by the team's owner as a consumable part. Old Time Hockey didn't get that memo.

In Old Time Hockey, you will not be concerned much with box penalties, though those will occur. Missing teeth are merely the duckface of your professional photos. To say that Old Time Hockey embraces the chaos of hockey's early days is an understatement. Unfortunately, it suffers from other issues that hold the experience back.

While it may be the first option, you'll definitely want to start in story mode instead of exhibition, just to get the controls down. While there appears to be a few control schemes, it can be a bit confusing grasping the controls at first. Getting used to switching team members when playing defensively can take some time, so it's obviously going to be a game hockey newcomers will need to expect getting used to. After a little bit, though, the controls can be fairly simple.

Even with the learning curve, after a round or two, it's pretty easy to get the grasp of defensive playing. Add in the separate offensive moves, and it can all seem a bit overwhelming, even after a few games. Fortunately, it's kind of enjoyable grasping the controls, even if they take a while to get used to.

Not so fortunately, the opponent AI has been training way longer than you. It would be ridiculous if they just let you win, but even on rookie difficulty, they are incredibly skilled. It's discouraging to be fighting the controls and have some adept opponents up against you. For fans of the genre, it shouldn't be a tremendous hurdle, but it will likely turn newcomers away.

Screenshot for Old Time Hockey on PlayStation 4

The biggest thing one should know about Old Time Hockey before buying it is that this isn't a hockey game that can be eased into. It expects players to have a degree of aptitude before stepping in. This isn't something that should retract from its overall appeal, but should be considered before buying.

Visually, the game seems to employ a slight cel-shade, which manages to make it feel different from other hockey games in that regard. The team names, especially when the commentators say them, really drive home the overall feeling the game gives off. To those who have watched hockey in a crowded bar, low on lights and heavy on smoke, this game manages to capture that essence. It's surprising there's not an unlockable character who looks like a 70s Pepsi vending machine. Old Time Hockey succeeds, if at nothing else, at capturing the aesthetic it's aiming for.

While there are things like unlockable trading cards and Trophies, there's not much outside the game to explore. The story mode, which is about a ragtag team of underdogs, well known for not being very good at the game, is fairly charming, and being able to play exhibition matches with your friends means a lot of additional hours of enjoyment. The major hang-up is the controls, which, for an arcade game, manage to be just complicated enough to suck enjoyment out of the experience for the first few matches. Stick it out, though, and you may have found a fairly exciting experience with enough personality to make up for its shortcomings.

Screenshot for Old Time Hockey on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Old Time Hockey might not have the ease of entry to attract new players to the sports genre, but it will definitely make fans happy. While its barrier of entry is high, the rewards are a game that delivers enough charm and intrigue to keep you coming back for more punishment. Worst case scenario, put ice on your lip, and get back out on the rink.

Developer

V7 Entertainment

Publisher

V7 Entertainment

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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