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THE VIRTUAL STANLEY CUP

"NHL Face Off '98" not only puts you on the ice, it also puts you in the middle of a fierce battle for the Stanley Cup. This fast and fluid hockey simulation game puts all the action and strategy of the NHL in your hands.

The graphics for "Face Off" are amazing. You can actually see the players and the arena reflected in the ice. The players have realistic NHL moves such as backward skating, checking, drop-passing and fighting.

All 26 NHL teams and their arenas are featured. All of the best players are available, such as Chris Chelios of the Chicago Blackhawks, Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and John LeClair of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The controls are tight, but it takes a little practice to master some of the more difficult moves. "Face Off" also has icon passing, which allows players to pass the puck easily.

This game is as close to real hockey as you can get without getting high-sticked. If you like sports games, you'll love this game (it's $25). And it's worth renting for sure.
-- Chicago Tribune

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