NHL 96 is a hockey simulation developed by High Score Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1995 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. It was also released for PC and SNES. It can be considered the fourth chapter of the EA Sports hockey sims, which started in 1991 with NHL Hockey for the Mega Drive/Genesis, then continued with NHL '94 and NHL '95.
In this case, there are differences between platforms. The Genesis version of the NHL 96 offers a unique gameplay experience with a classic 2D top-down view, unlike the DOS version that moved to 3D.
The experience is more fast-paced and more arcade-like, with quicker player movements and smoother animations. The game also features more aggressive AI opponents, making scoring goals and winning games challenging. But at the same time, you can also select the difficulty level, something that was not available in previous versions, where you need to accept the default difficulty settings.
Another difference between conversions is in the game modes. The Genesis version offers a Playoff mode and a Season mode, while the PC version only has a Playoff mode, and the SNES version has both a Playoff and an Exhibition mode. The Genesis version also includes a "Classic Teams" mode, which allows players to choose from classic NHL teams from the past.
Among other things, the 96 version introduces several new moves, including "spin-o-rama", "fake shots," and "drop passes". Interestingly, in this edition, you need to start from the beginning of the season, which is a bit more realistic.
Anyway, the list of features does not do justice to this game, which was simply the best hockey simulation ever released for the Mega Drive/Genesis. At the time of its release, it got several 100% scores from magazines such as Sega-16 and FLUX. With its faster-paced gameplay, more aggressive AI opponents, a lot of different moves, and an excellent soundtrack, it is a game that you cannot miss, especially if you love hockey.
So, just call a friend, connect two controllers, and play our version, which is already packed with the emulator. Have fun!