Further Impressions of 3 On 3 NHL Arcade

Posted February 7th, 2009 at 10:30 am


I was able to get some more time in with 3 on 3 NHL Arcade and my initial feeling on it stands. This is a fun simple game to play against live opponents that has an element of strategy that isn’t frustrating like some arcade style sports titles have attempted to implement. And the online play, though short on options, is providing quite a bit of enjoyment.

Power-up wise there are some that are I’m finding to be more advantageous than others. The rocket speed for example is of huge benefit for getting to a loose puck or catching up to someone on a break. The ice one negates an opposing player for a period of time giving you a man up. Tiny goalie is great not only for an excellent opportunity to score on them but when they make a save its almost impossible not to laugh about it. Of course the X2 score can change the outlook of a game immediately but it also puts a target on that player’s back and it is tougher to get good shots on goal with them because of it.

With shaping my team I’ve been inclined to use strong players. Big checks result in the power-ups and grabbing the speed one will give you an edge for a short amount of time anyway. Of course it could backfire if your opponent picks up the power-ups you were able to generate. Having a quicker team could result in more scoring opportunities without having to resort to power-ups.

I like that the action continuously flows. There is no stoppage for face-offs or the puck going off screen as it just flies back in. It keeps you into it and even when facing a deficit you don’t have time to harp on that because you’ve always got the opportunity to score quickly.

The sound effects are excellent and have continued to amuse me. That is probably the part of the game that stands out the most. The back and forth action is enjoyable but the sound effects add some humor to it.

It seems to me like you’re unable to pick up power-ups that are off the screen. There have been several instances where I’ve seen one and gone for it off-screen and haven’t been able to grab them. Either that or I just have a terrible sense of positioning when I can’t see them.

Online performance has been excellent. I’ve experienced no lag and have had no trouble getting connected to an opponent. I just wish they had gotten the Online Team Play in since it would have been a blast to play it that way. Still head-to-head is where the longevity is going to be had with the game and I’m pleased with how the online side has turned out. Games have taken about 10 minutes which is just about ideal.

The only question I have is as I wonder if there is a way to set up a private game against a friend? I didn’t see it as an option even in the unranked games. If that is the case it’s a pretty big fault considering much of the appeal is going up against someone you know in a game like this.

The game is really fun when you’re competitive against a live opponent. I was beginning to wonder why I was having so much trouble scoring especially after I went online and lost my first game 10-2. However I bounced back with a 10-6 victory that gave me reason to hope. Some strategy paid off in that one and it was a feeling of relief to know I could put up goals at that rate.

The game in general isn’t as easy as you might expect. There is a slight learning curve to grasping the strategy involved and finding different ways to score. Another thing is I’ve had very little success scoring by using the buttons to shoot, it seems like you really need to use the right stick if you want to compete.

Overall for a $10 game 3 on 3 NHL Arcade delivers exactly what it promises. A fun experience. If you’re at all interested in this type of game it is worth at least giving the free trial a shot. In the video of the online game below I’m controlling the Blue Team.