NHLPA Hockey ’93


In 1993, things were just getting rolling for terrorism. A truck outside the WTC blew up; the Unabomber bombed a bunch of people; Cheers ended. Also, Kim Campbell was elected Prime Minister. For all of the 18 seconds she was incumbent, I remember thinking, “She sounds like she’d taste like tomatoes.” 16 years later, and Canada still hasn’t elected anyone whose last name sounded more like dinner to me. That’s where progress gets you. Nowhere.

Meanwhile, EA released NHLPA Hockey ’93, no doubt to wild applause and gesticulation. It strikes me that this is another one of those games that attempts to look like a different kind of sports game (see NFL Quarterback Club ’96) while still managing to be the exact same sports game as every other sports game. Actually, I think that this criticism is anachronistic, since this was actually the FIRST NHL game by EA. Well, neato! With that in mind, I think I should probably do a proper review of this game.

I’ll start with the bad and move to the good. The players control like sludge. One of the most satisfying moments in any hockey game is when you clock some dude really good, but I was only able to do that once; you have to get a real running start and most of the time the dude gets out of the way. You can hit them from a standstill, but it never does anything to them. They just go, “Uhhhhhggg” and keep on skating like it never happened. Trying to actually get the puck is pretty much impossible. The game seems to think that you should only be able to steal the puck if you are directly in front of the guy, you press the right button about eight times, and stroke your right ear. No matter; the goal tending is impeccable. I was able to rely on my goalie to stop pretty much everything most of the time. Which is good because, as usual, there is no way to defend anything. Either team can walk through the defensemen like they were M.C. Hammer. Passing and scoring is too much to expect. I found that the best strategy was to take shots from the blue line. The goalie seems to save things based solely on ratio, so just keep shooting.

On the good side,  the puck physics are solid. The sounds the puck makes when it bangs into the boards are awesome. It does what a puck should. But really, the best part of this game is that I beat the fuckin’ Leafs! First period, Ottawa down two nothing. They rally in the second period to tie it up. 50 seconds left in the second and they score to get ahead. It’s 3-2 Ottawa. In the third, the Leafs tie it up like the snakes they are. Overtime: Ottawa puts it in after 3 minutes to win.

EASN? What a great way to get sued, EA!
EASN? What a great way to sued, EA!

That’s right bitches.

That’s right.


Nickelodeon GUTS

Where are my guts?
Someone has the guts.

“The governor is very sick.”

Simon Pensicola paced back and forth with his head tilted painfully against his shoulder, pinning his BlackBerry in-between his greying hair and the luxurious shoulder of his very expensive suit. “I understand that there’s quite a waiting list, but I thought given his status as—I see. None? At all? Very well, I’ll make some more calls.”

He ended the call and tossed the BlackBerry onto the plush leather couch that he liked to pass out on when drunk on Glen Garioch scotch whiskey. Walking softly on his really really costly shoes that were totally expensive you guys, he approached the window of his high-rise office and gazed out over the stunning vista beneath him (he’s rich).

“The governor needs some organs,” he whispered to himself. “And I intend to get those organs,” he said to himself a bit louder. “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!” he whisper-screamed, before mashing his face against the glass and pretending to be a fish.

This is how the Nickelodeon GUTS program was born: gubernatorial necessity. Some called it the most disgusting and exploitative program in mankind’s history of horrible violence, others regarded it as “pretty funny if you think about it.” Most people had no idea that it was anything more than a game show for their ugly children—but it was more…much more indeed. All of the sporting events were specifically designed to lead to fatal injuries; the children’s organs would then be harvested and put to better use than keeping children alive. Here are some of the events that claimed so many lives and freed up so many sweet, sweet internal organs:

Bull’s Eye

Children shot at by “foam” arrows. Foam arrows coated with deadly contact poison derived from Australian stonefish, swift and untraceable.

Slam Dunk

Children instructed to jump off bridge and dunk a basketball. Due to improper safety restraints, the only thing they dunked was their little lives.

Off the Wall

Children told to knock baseballs off a wall. Behind every 8th baseball is a deadly viper that was tortured for 14 hours with a combination of chopsticks and Avril Lavigne songs.

Spike It

Children supposed to jump and spike a volleyball. Have you ever played volleyball? One time I broke a finger so it’s probably dangerous enough already.

Over the Top

Jumping over hurdles. How high can you leap? How FAR CAN YOU FALL? (Game least popular due to least usable organs. Later dropped.)

Jump! Jump!

Die! Die!

Make Your Mark

Your mark will consist of a bloody patch on the tile floor that will defeat many attempts to cleanse it until the janitor stays up late and then orders an industrial tub of CLR from an infomercial.



Dodge It

…because if you don’t you’ll be horribly killed and then a businessman will use your kidneys.

Triple Jump

Triple evisceration.

During the program’s run in the early 90s*, almost ten thousand healthy organs were collected and surgically implanted in really ungrateful rich businessmen who messed them up again in a few short months. No one knows the death toll that the Nickelodeon’s GUTS program collected, but it was noticeably quieter in the 90s with fewer children, and I think we can all appreciate that.

*Clearly the above fiction necessitates time travel to allow for the presence of a BlackBerry, and is not the product of lazy writing. Time machine. Government conspiracy. Look it up…IF YOU DARE.