The new, EA Freestyle released this game to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live 2/5/09. Freestyle is EA’s new brand for everything casual. Arcade is just that, no rules hockey with power-ups, big heads and big hits. You can play with any of the 40 star players in the game. Essentially this is NBA Jam for the hockey fan with less depth.
No seasons, franchise mode or pretty much any feature you have come to expect from a traditional sport sim, which is what EA is famous for. The player attributes are handled in a very simple fashion. You have fast, all around and strong in the same fashion old school Nintendo Ice Hockey did it. At the 9.99 price point you are getting on-line ranked and unranked play for up to 3 players on a team. The multiplayer functionality is only available via same console use, which sucks.The menu sound effects are hilarious. It sounds like someone hit the studio and just recorded the typical menu sounds vocally. The “Whooosh!” when you start a game made me giggle.
The game plays a lot like NHL 09 with dumbed down controls. Every trophy is easily attainable here. I was able to get 38% trophy completion in my very first shot at the game thanks to Mort’s rusty hockey skills. The biggest hold up I see in the trophy department is the Jack of All Trades gold trophy which requires you to score using 5 different power-ups. I’d recommend grabbing a friend and having him make it easier on ya.
What is really lacking here is real NHL teams. Even the most casual gamer will want to play with his local team, right? Wrong, you select players from a list and pick your uniform color, red or blue. The most casual hockey fan might not even recognize a single player in this game. I’d also like to see multiplayer support so that I can play on the same team as my internet friends. That is just a feature that every game in the world should have if you ask me. But nobody asked me, so yeah. Add these features and you have a deal at 9.99. The game remains quite fun despite these shortcomings.
If you love hockey games you might have fun with this and end up disappointed with the lack of features. If features and deep league play aren’t your bag then you will have fun with 3 on 3 NHL Arcade. If you love hockey and hate video games, then you probably aren’t reading this. But you might like this game!
DickyJ nailed everything on the head here. 3 on 3 NHL Arcade is a very fun game, but quite limited in scope. The online is meager at best, you can’t even invite friends, and calling the offline mode meager would be a compliment. But when you actually get on the ice it’s a complete blast and plays great. Which for $10 is all you can ask for… or is it? They certainly could have given us more. The good news is, if you are a trophy whore this game may have easiest trophies this side of Linger in Shadows.