Super Blood Hockey
Developed By : Loren Lemcke
Published By : Digerati
Category : Sports, Arcade
Release Date : Apr 26, 2019
If there’s one thing I might love more than video gaming, it’s hockey. So naturally, when I can combine both of those loves into a hockey video game, I’m beyond set. Super Blood Hockey on the Nintendo Switch is actually a title that I had been aware of way back in it’s early stages, and had been excited about all along it’s journey. Now, getting my hands on it, the only worry is whether or not the game would live up to the hype.
The game offers a small variety on game modes, such as exhibition, tournament, franchise, and even a short challenge mode. No matter which you choose though, you’ll be met face-to-face with the same brutal, retro-bit hockey gameplay. All modes play just about the same too, with the exception of some very specific alternate conditions that are restricted to the challenge mode.
Each team has five players on the ice for an entire game, one goalie and four ice-men. Just like any hockey game, your goal is naturally to out score the other team. But here, things can be a bit more…well, bloody. There’s no rules, no penalties, nothing but the puck and some harsh stick slashes to help you get what you want. Chances are, if you hack away enough, you just might initiate a team-vs-team fight and the only way this ends is when one team has been completely laid out.
Like I said, the gameplay as a whole stays pretty consistent. The modes that are offered will tweak a little bit of how you handle the games. Exhibition mode is just a single game for you to drop into, customize your players and get them on the ice. Tournament mode gives you a bracket starting with all eight of the game’s teams (each representing a different nation in the world), where you’ll have to pick your team and see if you can be the best of the best.
However, the most in depth mode is definitely Super Blood Hockey‘s Franchise Mode. Here, you’ll step into the role of a new coach entering a new team into the International League of Blood Sports. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more expensive than you’d anticipated, and you’ll have to sell a kidney just to be able to fund your future ventures. But don’t worry, the League will take care of that for you! There’s guys waiting just on the sidelines to shoot you up with tranquilizers and take care of the surgery.
What’s even better is you get to wake up in your team’s medical bay! Confined to a wheel chair for the post-op, you’ll be treated to a tour of the area and all of the things that you’ll be responsible for as the new head coach. This is where the game becomes a bit of a simulation, where you’ll have to hire players to put on your team, maintain their daily routines to keep their stats elevated, and even patch them up in the same sick-bay where you woke up for your recovery. Ultimately during these simulation times though, your biggest concern is nursing your funds (you did lose a kidney for them after all!). You’ll want to make sure you balance everything such as your players’ salary, medical funds, and even rent for the facility without going bankrupt.
The only other mode to talk about in Super Blood Hockey is the game’s challenge mode. There are only five challenges present, but the highlight isn’t the challenges themselves…it’s what you unlock in the rest of the game. You can unlock stuff like adjustable puck friction where the puck can slide crazy fast, a mode where you can manually control the goalie, a mode where you are locked into a position and can’t swap to anyone else on the team, and even adjustable weight options. All of these involve completing a challenge with the same stipulation that you’ll be unlocking, except for one. The challenge for unlocking the ability to make the puck a lot more bouncy requires you to play and win a game in Mega Rumble mode, which is 12-on-12 insanity!
So, to ultimately answer the question of whether or not this game lived up to it’s hype for me…I think that’s rather obvious. It more than lived up to the hype. For me personally, this game is extremely reminiscent of Ice Hockey on the NES which I have fond memories of playing with my father when I was a child. The character sprites look almost identical to those in Super Blood Hockey. The gameplay is pretty fast and intense, and it can ramp up from there once you unlock some of the customizations. If you’re a fan of retro-bit sports titles, you absolutely need this game in your library because it’s easily one of the best ones I’ve ever played. Whether you go for the full franchise, a tournament, or just pop into single matches here and there, there is so much fun to be had with this game. And, to make it even better, it supports up to four players locally to make things even more insane.
One last thing to make note of though for this game. It is called Super BLOOD Hockey so even though it’s retro-bit, simulating lots of blood is a factor. There is a slider in the customizations for increasing the amounts of blood, or eliminating it all together. The detail I want to make note of for you is that in all of the images in this review, all of the blood is on the “Normal” setting which is the lowest possible without turning the blood off. So if the “gore” level of this is a factor for you, make note of that but again, it can be completely turned off any time you want.