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apocalypse

Incredible Pc Hockey Game

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Well, as longtime hockey/hockey gaming fan I have gone through all platforms: Starting from NHL 94, temporarily lovin' the base (unmodded) EA NHL 2004, then buying the original XBox and played all 2k games to 2k5 passionately. Last year I bought a XBox 360 and all games for it... 2k7, 2k8 and the new NHL 09.

Guess what game I always go back to... NHL 2004 for PC. It's one of the best sports games ever made for PC... along with MVP 2005, Pro Evolution Soccer 5/6 and rFactor.

We have rebuilt everything: Graphics, rosters, AI, interface + the game has some radical realistic gameplay tricks... it truely plays like a simulation and the mod community is very passionate and "hardcore". Our community might be not quite as big as yours, but there are many similarities. Fortunately, NHL 2004 is much easier to modify than MVP 2005 because the interface is fully made in html/JavaScript... and thus, very simply to adjust. That has been quite a blessing and we have managed to install some remarkable features to the game.

In my opinion, with mods it's the best hockey game ever created... for any platform... the graphics can't quite compare to the next gen 360 games but the feeling, atmosphere, realism and AI certainly can. And the statistics are ridiculously better: the game has full box scores, scoring summaries, full team reports, detailed player profiles, career stats for the dynasty, etc. etc. We even have individual music for all teams.

Everything is up to date. Arenas, rosters and even boxscores referee information. If you're a hockey fan you should definitely check this game + mods out. Especially if you don't own XBox 360... all new EA's PC hockey titles since 05 have been less than stellar. And I thought the hockey fans among the MVP 2005 players might want to see it... we actually have a few guys from this community onboard.

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Here is the installation thread.

Here are some screenshots of the game in its current state.

Here is some gameplay footage. For some reason the video is a bit jerky (due to YouTube.) Please watch in HQ = high quality.

Thanks for looking... and a warm welcome to everyone! :)

Any questions... well... throw me a pm...!!

shot1.jpg

Edited by apocalypse

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Wow, awesome stuff man. I'm going to have to dust off my copy of NHL 2004 now. :hi:

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Those screens are beautiful! Never played a hockey game, but this would make me change that!

Spectacular modding!

Plus most games from EA Sports 2005 and below are great.

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Plus most games from EA Sports 2005 and below are great.

Yeah... but the older ones are seriously dated. For some reason 2004 has the most "professional" look in it.

Believe me, I've played them all... for all platforms... and the realism, game stats (SOG totals, etc.), game flow & speed, board play, player agility, etc. are absolutely the BEST on NHL 2004. And the one thing that really puts it above others is the challenge. You can never master it fully... there are no cheap AI goals and things like losing a game in OT will affect your team spirit and fatigue levels in the next season/dynasty game.

This development team went to design NHL 2k5 ESPN for XBox, which is a legend among the HC players. But that game looks seriously blocky by today's standards. 2004 has been possible to modify extremely well (graphics wise).

Like I said... ANYTHING that EA put out after 2004 for PC isn't even from the same planet (AI wise). XBox version of 09 is very pretty but it has some serious problems when you play solo against the CPU.

I have the 08 mod for MVP 2005 and it made me a baseball fan...!! And I'm European and I've never even seen baseball in my life...!! I'm quite sure the MVP guys could respect what our community have done for this game. ;)

Edited by apocalypse

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Ah thanks man i didn't even think about a modded nhl game. I am a big habs fan so this should be real fun to play.

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Ah thanks man i didn't even think about a modded nhl game. I am a big habs fan so this should be real fun to play.

Here is a "bird view" from the Bell Centre. Yeah, even the jumbotrons have been rebuilt.

More jumbotron screenies

Edited by apocalypse

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It's an old game... it should be only a couple of bucks. You can probably find it from Amazon or Ebay for very cheap... or some game shops, even.

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It's an old game... it should be only a couple of bucks. You can probably find it from Amazon or Ebay for very cheap... or some game shops, even.

Thank you, I just may look for it in the bargain bins at Gamestop or if I strike out, I'll check e-bay when I have an opportunity.

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Thanks for the post apocalypse, it's great to hear of games similar to MVP that refuse to die. Dare I ask, has anyone managed to edit arenas? If I could play at the Boston Garden or Chicago Stadium I'd buy this game immediately.

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Thank you, I just may look for it in the bargain bins at Gamestop or if I strike out, I'll check e-bay when I have an opportunity.
Gamestop has currently listed the price for the game at $4.99 though they are currently out of stock. You may get lucky at a local store.

http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDet...roduct_id=27378

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Thanks for the post apocalypse, it's great to hear of games similar to MVP that refuse to die. Dare I ask, has anyone managed to edit arenas? If I could play at the Boston Garden or Chicago Stadium I'd buy this game immediately.

You're most welcome mate...!!

Of course we have edited arenas... all have been edited... there's absolutely nothing left of the initial game... except for the base AI (even that has been modified seriously to achieve a "simulation" feel).

Right now there's a mod of 97 season coming up. I guess that's not old enough for the Chicago Stadium or Boston Garden... but it has teams like Hartford Whalers... and of course players like Gretzky and Lemieux. We have just figured out how you can install the game multiple times to your HD... so you can basically have as many versions as you want.

I'm from Finland where hockey is the same thing as soccer for Italians... or baseball for you guys... almost like a religion... and rebuilt 2004 has been a huge sensation here. We get more and more people involved with this game all the time... people who have bought the lousy EA games every year and disappointed. As you said... this game refuses to die... and not only that, it has become more popular than ever (after the initial release year of course).

As much as the graphics rebuilds impress me, the most impressive feature of this game are the sick stats, reports, box scores, game summaries, etc. etc.... the original 2004 game interface was really simplistic... just like on MVP2005. You guys had to do the box score extractor... well we have managed to put everything ingame... even the box scores for the simmed season/dynasty games.

As I said, these are possible due to the html-based interface (very easy to do mods for anyone who knows JavaScript/html). Only the sky is the limit with it... check those previews from the first post. ;)

Edited by apocalypse

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Apocalypse, this is incredible. I have NHL 2002-2005, then 2008, and I can safely say 2004 is the one I go back to most often - you hit the nail on the head, it's by far the best.

These mods look absolutely stunning. Did you guys manage to make the rule changes too? I saw the trapezoid behind the net, but was that rule somehow put into effect?

Anyways, I'll be sure to pick up my CD when I'm back at home.

Also, Y4L: http://www.amazon.com/NHL-2004-Pc/dp/B0000...5579&sr=8-1

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Apocalypse, this is incredible. I have NHL 2002-2005, then 2008, and I can safely say 2004 is the one I go back to most often - you hit the nail on the head, it's by far the best.

These mods look absolutely stunning. Did you guys manage to make the rule changes too?

No... unfortunately not. The game has a bit too much hooking still... but we're investigating the tuning.viv file... there is a possibility that we can tune it down. I mean, the refs started to call way more interference penalties after the lockout. But it's not a big issue, imho.

But the biggest rule change after the 2004 season was getting rid of the two line pass... but that's not a problem at all... as the international hockey didn't have 2-line pass back then... NHL actually grabbed it from IHHF... so that's in the game... you can choose it from the rules... no problem.

Another thing that we did was to get rid of the ridiculous player agility... players' ability to make 360 degree turns on the ice. We seriously decreased that and increased the "slide" so the player behavior is very "sim like". Hitting game has been reduced to realistic level too... as well as game speed and puck control. With our modded AI the gamespeed mimics an actual hockey broadcast. 2004 is the only hockey game where this is possible to achieve... others are way too arcade-like.

PS: I dunno why my YouTube clips become jerky... perhaps I'm using a wrong video compressor. But if you forget that jerkiness, you get pretty good idea how it plays (from the first post).

Edited by apocalypse

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Looks awesome. I'll be sure to check it out. I used to have nhl 09 on the 360 before I sold everything, and I thought it was the best game ever. I'll be sure to check this out on my high end pc.

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I recently joined that modding community.

And I know I have A TON of pull around these parts so,

I give it my stamp of approval

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I'm going to search my game copy now and try to play it asap! This looks awesome!

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Question for you. Were you able to fix powerplays so that the players actually set up in the zone as opposed to the more up and down play that was common in NHL 2004?

For me NHL 09 for the 360 was the closest to real hockey I have played. especially on the PP where the guys setup and worked the puck around.

I think my last experience with NHL 2004 was PNHL 2007

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@Hoop27:

We have managed to hack the replay issue (original NHL 2004 has way too short replays)... or there is a Russian genius named Egorgiy who created an unlimited replay mod for the game (basically you can view the replays from all different angles as long as you want until you press a button)... but we haven't managed to change the hardcode of course. Thus... the powerplay hasn't changed... it might be one department where 360 version of 09 is ahead of 2004... but a seasoned player get very respectable PP pressure in 2004... it takes a lot of playing and skill to get better in PP though.

Here are the powerplay strategy changes that you can adjust in the game.

My personal issue with 360 version of 09 is in solo play. Medium is way too easy and in difficult the AI makes cheat goals. You can win the shots like 50-14 and lead the game 4-1... but then the AI makes things even with 3 cheat goals at the end of the 3rd period. I agree it's the prettiest game so far and it has some great things... but in solo play I take rebuilt 2004 any day over it. It has been the only game (for me) that keeps offering fair challenge... year in year out...!!

Another thing where 2004 is superior is the realistic SOG totals. With our modded AI the game SOG totals are constantly in the 20 (or even 18-) - 35 range... and not like 55-48 like in arcade hockey.

Edited by apocalypse

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This is another thing that makes rebuilt 2004 superior to any other hockey game (just imho). You can view some of the interface rebuilds from these thumbnails.

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It's just an amazing game, modded that is. With the price as low as it is, I recommend it to anyone that even somewhat enjoys Hockey/PC Gaming. It's one of those games that I had for PS2, then found the NHL 2004 modding community, and got it for PC.

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Name another hockey title that has even 1/10 of these features...!! The new EA titles have their interface taken directly from a Texas Instruments pocket calculator. Actually after these previews I have added a scoring summaries to the box score, and AHL minor team logos and names to the manage rosters section... and I'm planning to create ESPN game reports and previews as well.

We have rebuilt everything in the interface and more stuff gets added all the time.

Edited by apocalypse

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One more thing I wanted to point out is that the fights are so much better in 04 than 09, just watch an NHL 2004 Fight on Youtube then watch a NHL 09 fight and you'll see what I mean.

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