Xbox games: NHL Rivals 2004

Few sports in Australia are as little understood yet so fascinating as ice hockey (known simply as ‘hockey’ without the ice to most of its players, including the National Hockey League itself). More developers have begun making ice hockey games in the last few years. NHL Rivals 2004 is XSN Sports’ first effort, and it’s a good one. Whether you’re in practice mode, a tournament or grinding out an 82-game season, Rivals nails every requirement of an NHL sim. All official teams and their rosters are available, and players can be traded, created, edited or deleted.

On the ice, players can perform special moves and master a variety of passes, shots and checking actions. A player’s skill may depend on whether he has an enforcer, agitator, sniper or balanced role. Each player also has a speed, fatigue and fuse meter (for fights), which factor into gameplay. The commentators and crowd react well to game events, and arena music is limited to breaks in play.

Rivals offers four skill levels, and good goalie AI means scores shouldn’t look like they’ve come from a cricket match. Adding to the game’s longevity are the special teams and game types to unlock, as well as playing with updated rosters on Xbox Live.

Part of a very stable genre, Rivals has no glaring flaws. It’s only what other titles have in additional teams, game modes and animations that might be the difference.

Visuals: Crisp and detailed
Audio: No arena music during the action, “Charge!”
Gameplay: All licensed NHL teams and players, plenty of moves featured
Developer: XSN Sports Publisher: Microsoft

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Steven Deare

PC World
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?