The Chicago Blackhawks are playing Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup finals. As a person who doesn’t care about hockey but cares about Chicago, this is exciting to see the Hawks in another Stanley Cup final because Chicago hasn’t had a winning dynasty team since Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
Of course in the mid 1990s, Chicago Hockey was non existent. The team’s owner prohibited televised home games, hiked ticket prices and the team was terrible. No one except the hard core fans cared about the Blackhawks so I didn’t either. But I cared about the next best thing – Video game hockey.
Again, back in my day, video game sports were the best back in the 90s. The simulation was there but it was still easy to pick up and play. The best pick up and play hockey game was Mutant League Hockey.
Made by EA in 1994, this game had everything you could want in a hockey game and more. It had silly team names which were spoofs of official teams, different species of players like skeletons, robots and trolls, and also different arenas that you could interact with. One arena had spikes on the wall that you could get hooked on and your player would bleed out. For a 10 year old, this game was amazing.
If you scored from behind the second line, the goal was worth two. If you needed to take your goalie out to add an extra player on the ice, the goal was replaced with a giant monster that would attempt to stop the puck from getting in. If it did go in, the mouth would explode leaving guts all over the place. If your player got too close, it would eat you and spit out the bones. At the end of each period a slug zamboni would come along and clean up the ice.
The gameplay is similar to EA’s official sports title NHL Hockey but obviously this has a much greater arcade element to it and doesn’t take itself seriously. The game has yet to see any type of sequel and is one of those hard to get Genesis games because of the nostalgia + greatness factor.
If you have the means to get it, I highly suggest you pick it up. You won’t be disappointed.