Recently, the gaming and NHL community got exciting news when it was announced that the cult-classic video game NHL '94 was making a return with some modern updates, known as NHL '94 Rewind.
EA Sports has revived a game that many, including the likes of Alex Ovechkin, enjoyed while growing up and it is set to be released on October 30. Despite its retro graphics and gameplay compared to the realistic hockey video games EA has produced in recent years, the video game has only grown in popularity since its release.
To this day, it's still a game that many enjoy playing and NHL '94 is a hot topic on the message boards and in video game conversations throughout the country. So, it seemed like a perfect time to bring the game back for those who experienced it in the past and the new generation of gamers.
"NHL '94 is always the one that starts off the conversation of which were the best years," Andy Agostini, senior producer at EA Sports, told ESPN. "We wanted to bring it back and bring a different experience to people who maybe never have had that. I work with a bunch of guys on the team that are much younger than me, and when you mentioned something like NHL '94, they never played with the Genesis or Super Nintendo."
NHL '94 Rewind will have the same structure as the first installment, but with some new aspects to give the game a slightly modern touch. Here are some things to know about the game, courtesy of ESPN and EA Sports:
No one will be rated in the 30s
Yes, back in NHL '94 some players would be slapped with a rating as low as the 30s. That feels like a major shock given how the lowliest of players in the modern float around the 60s. Current NHL players do not have to sweat though, as their ratings will be a lot higher than the original version as EA implements its pyramid rating system and the skill level in hockey continues to rise.
"As the years have gone by, the talent level in the NHL is higher, so you're not going to see the type of players that were in '94 that were the 30s anymore in the league, because they just don't exist," Agostini said. "I hate to point him out, but guys like Stu Grimson, who was an enforcer, a fighter, those guys don't exist in the NHL nowadays. So the bottom end has gone up a few overall because of that."
The ratings won't be the same as NHL '21
Despite the increase in rating in NHL '94 Rewind, they won't match EA Sports' newest simulation hockey game. That means Alex Ovechkin won't tally the same 93 rating that he carries in the game in which he graces the cover.
No updates to the rosters
Here's where EA kept part of the authentic feel of the game. Players and teams were updated to reflect the 2019-20 season, but that's where it stops. There will be no in-game roster updates or rating adjustments. Like in 1994, you get what you get when the game begins and nothing is going to change.
So, while players have moved around this offseason, they won't be on their new teams in NHL '94 Rewind.
The multiplayer aspect of video games have become huge over the years, as you can play with and against others all around the world no matter where you are. Being that this is meant to keep the same "true couch experience," players will have to call up their friends and face off next to one another.