If you’re a hockey fan you have probably noticed that the NHL has taken steps to try and prevent fights or excessive hitting. All this is important for player safety, something SUPER BLOOD HOCKEY cares nothing about, and that is great! Super Blood hockey is a top down old school hockey arcade-styled game. It’s 80’s flair and bit-styled graphics, mixed with loads of blood after violent fights or hits, makes for quite the scenery. Controls are simple and it has an old school NHL game feel but with helmet busting gameplay. Anything goes once the skates hit the ice.
Super Blood Hockey gameplay is so simple and it works great in normal exhibition mode. You play as a national team and can have up to four players on the screen (two per team.) You pick your 4 types of players for your set up, choosing from three different player styles; Enforcers, playmakers, and snipers. Each have unique stats that benefit different styles of playing. In Franchise mode it gets more in depth when picking your players. It’s no NHL style game franchise either. You have to manage each individual team member, from coaching them on training, their food intake, and even their health status, which is important for keeping injuries down and increasing player stats. You’re also responsible on keeping your player injuries down and this is achieved by days off or taking illegal drugs. Other drugs can be used to give temporary boosts, where booze helps with fighting abilities for example. Hiring new players is done with money won by winning games. You can have several players and rotate them out throughout the games. A huge part to Super Blood Hockey is the fighting aspect. There are no penalties in games, the only way to have a man advantage in order to score is by physically beating the other team into a player injury. Fights are initiated by hitting the same player three times. There its an all out four vs four fight till the last player standing. At some point one player will be injured and will be laying on the ice. Not only is the other team down to three or up to two whole players. Their hurt bodies are laying on the ice as an obstruction. This can last the whole game so be wise on picking your players and picking fights.
On ice game controls are simple and work effectively. No crazy stick movements, just holding down buttons for hard charged up shots that can actually knock over players and light taps for quick shots or passes. The goalies in the game can only move in a line but they can hit, so it’s critical to either pass around or to shoot across for goals. The hitting in the game is brutal and without a higher defensive player, the opponents with slap you all around, making passing key.
Graphics and music in Super Blood Hockey are classic of any bit-style game, but where I think SBH wins is in the little details. On the home menu the title screen is on an old style tv banner. In the franchise mode the locker room has all kinds of designs and readable signs. The blood splatter that comes out when you hit players or during fights is awesome, too.
SBH is a great game that I think anyone, hockey fan or not, could pick up and have a blast playing. The option for couch co-op is great and I played it against Edwin but on the Switch. It gets very competitive fast, and the multiplayer mode allows you to change rules as well as time per round. SBH gives you a slight nostalgic vibe to the older NHL arcade games but with a very bloody twist. SBH is a game that I think should be made into an actual arcade box and played up against four people. If you have not already, be sure to check this one out.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 9/10
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