3 on 3 NHL Arcade

3 on 3 NHL Arcade
Format: Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Players: 1-4
Online 2-6
Price: 400 ms points
Genre: Sport
Release Date: 11th February 2009
EA Freestyle

Blorp. Hello. Blorp. 3 on 3 NHL Arcade is an ice hockey game for those who are too stupid to play the real deal. Blorp. Big menus. Blorp. Silly characters.  Blorp. Crazy Power-ups. Blorp. So wacky. Blorp. Annoying menu noises. Blorp. Stop with the blorping! The menus on this game drive me to killing with that stupid noise!

3 versus 3 ice hockey cuts all the crap. The complicated rules are out the window, and instead beating the stuffing out of each other to get that puck in the net is the only aim. You still need to work as a tightly knit team to have a good chance at scoring, but now you can have the aid of special powers. Growing huge to push the puny opposition over! Fire pucks at the speed of sound! Freeze those losers! It feels a lot more like the Mario Football games on the Gamecube and Wii with the abilities and small cast of characters and it can make for some fun party sessions.

The problem with 3 on 3 NHL though is how it doesn’t do enough to set itself out as a casual alternative to the yearly sport franchise. The controls are much the same and scoring is still incredibly tricky. Power ups tend to annoy more than aid and the layer of wackiness feels like it was done by a bunch of focus groups who haven’t a clue how to make a visually appealing cartoony version of the sport. NBA Jam did it far better with the photo faces and easy scoring, 3 on 3 just makes everything bigger and dumber. Blorp.



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