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Just Watch the NHL 94 Documentary From Noclip

NHL 94

Just Watch the NHL 94 Documentary From Noclip

There are few things from my gaming childhood I cherish more than my NHL 94 memories, and so it’s a perfect match with Noclip getting the chance to do a documentary on the game as we hit the 30th anniversary for a true classic.

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While this video came out last week, I wanted to actually watch the documentary first before posting about it because I wanted to see how it was all framed and put together. Danny O’Dwyer and the rest of the team at Noclip did a bang-up job as usual, grabbing some of the key names from the era such as Mark Lesser (designer), Michael Brook (producer), and Ken Rogers (tester at the time) who all had various roles to play.

Lesser and Brook are the stars of the documentary, and Lesser really shines as such a wholesome guy who truly touts “Maine magic” aka good vibes for why everything came together so well with NHL 94. It probably had more to do with him being an MIT graduate who helped carry the load while passionate people like Rogers bounced feedback off him and Brook helped do tons behind the scenes, but I love the “vibes” argument either way.

While I had heard many stories behind the game before (a classic that is recounted here was the NHL balking at fighting being in the game at the last second), it’s always fun to hear about the outlaw nature of these early EA sports games as it was just a small group of people — sometimes thousands of miles from each other — creating something out of love while the sports leagues themselves were still sort of reckoning with the idea of video games as a whole.

You also get some interesting stories about early Madden games, EA’s sports games overall, and even some potential reasons why some of these games probably lost their way a bit during the transition from 16-bit consoles to CD-based consoles.

In short, take 55 minutes out of your day and enjoy some good times courtesy of Noclip.

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