ESPN National Hockey Night

From Nintendo Wikia

With Retro Baseball Love, I made a page for ESPN Baseball Tonight. About the same time that was released, National Hockey Night was supposed to be released in August of 94, but it came out of the woodwork late that year.
The two games had three of the same features. For one, National Hockey Night had a NHL license but could not get one from the NHLPA. Therefore, you have the teams and the logos, but no player names. Baseball Tonight also had the same dilemma, only with the MLB license and nothing from the MLBPA. Oddly enough, EA Sports got the opposite with both NHLPA 93 and MLBPA 94.
The second feature both games share a ESPN Sportscenter intro. But this time in National Hockey Night, Bill Clement does the intro. And the third feature is the 16-bit MIDl style music playing the ESPN music.

Features and Graphics

The game competed with NHL 94 which had both the NHL/NHLPA licenses. Minus actual player names, it offered season mode, playoff mode and skills competition. Unlike the early NHL games (93-96 on SNES and Genesis), you had a side view and a verital view. The vertical view featured a scoreboard on top. However, if you are playing the rom, you may see glitchy graphics for a rink. See picture below.
The graphics in ESPN National Hockey Night are above average and the player detail is better compared to the aforementioned early NHL games from EA. Also, you have Bill Clement introducing the game, intermissions and the final. In case you care about the crowd, it can’t compare with the NHL’s, there is no animation and looks 1940’s.


The controls of this game are below average, players are difficult to control. It is a big minus with this game. Passing is difficult but shooting the puck isn’t a problem. Overall, the gameplay isn’t as great as the NHL series. If the game was released in August of 1994 as it was supposed to, it could have some good competition with NHL 94. But it was released at the same time as NHL 95, which was the first game in the NHL series to have a season mode. Therefore, ESPN Hockey Night took a backseat.