Good luck convincing me that there is a tougher sport out there than hockey. I may not be able to boast about being a Canadian, but I’ve always been a stone’s throw away from Canada as I lived in Alaska at one point in my life and have been a Michigan native now for almost 30 years. One might say that Michigan is Canada-Lite? Look, I’m just saying that we love hockey in my state (GO REDWINGS!).
Super Blood Hockey is definitely a game that speaks to me for multiple reasons. As I mentioned above, hockey is the best sport on the planet, but also as a gamer in the early 1990s, I LOVED playing “Ice Hockey” on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Loren Lemcke knew what he was doing when he made Super Blood Hockey because you may be drawn in by the aesthetic design, but you stay with the sheer fun factor!
The game may be a cute 8-bit homage on the surface, but there are plenty of things happening in the game to make you wanna stay for a while in the game. Sure, if you wanna play the game to relive the glory days of “Ice Hockey”, this game is an option for you that is perfect. Right down to the different characters to choose from;
• The Enforcer, a big slow-moving man that has the most strength which helps with shooting, checking and most importantly, FIGHTING!
• The Sniper, If speed and accuracy are what you value the most, then the Sniper will be your guy! Just be careful though because he is the little guy out on the ice, any checks from other characters will spell certain doom!
• Lastly, there’s The Playmaker. The best way to describe this character is that he is well-rounded all across the board. If you are new to the game, I would advise that you make a team with all Playmakers so that you may get accustomed to the game before trying to mix it up.
There are several modes for you to play, with lots of wacky options to adjust the gameplay. If you don’t want any kind of craziness then you can play in the standard Exhibition Mode and turn off the blood, simple right? Chances are though that the name of the game caught your eye, you’re probably here for all the blood and the gameplay to be SUPER!!
After you complete the challenges in the Challenge Mode, you can adjust the puck elasticity, Manual Goalies, weight scaling, and the ability to turn off character swapping. Of course, you can also adjust the amount of blood splatter in the game from None to Excessive. When they say Excessive, a standard check looks as if your guy was tossed into a wood chipper!
The Franchise Mode is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a sports game. The zany humour is especially strong in this mode as when you start it, you begin with the standard task of creating your team by naming them and deciding which country you came from. However, you discover that you don’t have enough money to register your new team, so your Coach is immediately tranquillized and his kidney is brutally removed via surgery!! Look at this mode as the ‘Story Mode’ as it covers literally everything about your team on and off the ice.
The actual matches you already know about, but when you are not playing a game, you will be managing your team in every other way. You will watch their diets, their workout schedules, and of course because we live in a future where nobody cares about your actual health, you monitor their illegal drug intake!
If you’re able to gather up friends, then you’ll enjoy sitting down with 4 players local co-op. That’s right, you and your friends can control the whole team! Or perhaps you want to face against those jerks and assert your dominance on the ice! I admit that I wish there was a way that you could play the game online as my brother and I live across the country from each other and it would have been fun to rekindle that age-old rivalry from our childhood.
I went into Super Blood Hockey thinking it was just a homage to Nintendo’s ‘Ice Hockey’ but I quickly realised that it was much more than that! It was as if the developer took the classic title and used it as a starting point to create a much bigger and bloodier game than I could ever imagine. I love the progression you get via completing the various challenges to unlock all the special options and the Franchise Mode was something that I simply did not see coming. Come for the hockey and stay for all the shenanigans!