Game Review

Hockey Allstar Shootout Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Alex Knox

Nevermind hitting the post, this "allstar" barely makes it onto the rink

It's easy to see why hockey fans will feverishly download Hockey Allstar Shootout. The only alternatives for Wii-toting rink rats are a half-baked port and a few crude NES classics that you had to play back in the day to appreciate now (Blades of Steel and Ice Hockey, in case you were wondering). So, you have to sympathize with their longing for an interactive version of their favourite hobby - particularly one that uses the Wii Remote to replicate the feel of snapping and flicking pucks at the net. Unfortunately this isn’t that game. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to even call this a game, let alone one about hockey.

The problems begin with the controls. All it takes to shoot the puck is aiming the cursor with the control stick and slapping away by swinging the Wii Remote like a real hockey stick. There even appears to be a bit of nuance to how swinging the controller affects your shots, yet the game never bothers to explain exactly how. Instead, we’re left wondering why the puck reacts so unpredictably to our movements. Compounding this is a cursor that constantly sways about the screen, ostensibly to add an illusion of depth to the pointless gameplay. The result is a perpetual battle with the unresponsive controls to simply shoot where and how you want to.

And that’s before you add in a goalie, either controlled by the CPU or a friend in Head 2 Head mode. Considering the unlikelihood that anyone will ever want to play this with you, most of the time spent playing this mode will be against the inane AI. Although there are various countries to face off against (with three separate difficulties), every goalie exhibits the same erratic behaviour. They all move about the net shaking their heads and slapping their sticks on the ice, but there is no method to their madness. It doesn’t matter if you wait until they are out of position, as at the higher difficulties the goalie will magically cover the distance to block what seemed like an easy goal. Ultimately, there is no strategy here whatsoever, just mindless gameplay that wouldn’t even make for a worthy mini-game in an adequate hockey title. Oh, and if you are able to find a willing accomplice you’ll be rewarded with a special education in just how pointless multiplayer modes can be.

To its credit, HAS offers two other modes of embarrassingly irrelevant gameplay. Sharp shooter challenges you to hit as many targets as possible before tallying three misses, while power shot is all able throwing out your arm while trying to slap the puck as hard as humanly possible. Seriously, we threw our arms out trying to register top speeds, but somehow occasionally scored higher with less forceful motions. Each mode has a leaderboard, which provides the only real goal to speak of. Also, there are a few unlockables, but you’d have to be too curious for your own good to even wonder what they are.


Barely functioning controls, cheesy gameplay and an unrewarding experience all add up to an inexcusable attempt to cash in on an apparently untapped market. The developers probably saw the lack of Wii hockey games and thought, “why not?” Conversely, every self-respecting gamer should see this for what it is and ask, “why the hell would I?” Hockey fans are advised to put their 500 Wii points toward one of the aforementioned NES classics in the knowledge that practically every aspect of these decades-old games is a better representation of hockey than this. It really is terrible, and should be avoided at all costs.

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User Comments (76)



WiiMan192 said:

I saw a 1 coming our way after the many 2s, 3s and 4s already showing. It's a shame...




kitroplious said:

Ladies and Gentlemen, WiiWare World has hit another milestone...
This is the first 1/10 they have given to a game!

However, this is embarrassing that my homeland developer didn't do well at all on this review.



Robster said:

Ow yes! Another contender for the category 'Worst WiiWare game 2008'!! This is shaping up nicely



Objection said:

Damn...I've been hoping for a good 500 points game for a month now, since that's what I have left after World of Goo. Yes, I should buy another card but I haven't had the time to go do so.



Jazzem said:

Gah, it's a bit depressing how much muck is beginning to appear on WiiWare. Thankfully there are some gems worth digging for (I'm hoping Bruiser and Scratch will be one)



Wiiloveit said:

Blimey - it didn't lok too good in the first place (mainly since it's a hockey game WITHOUT any hockey), but this bad? It's safe to say that anyone who gets this is a moron.



ACK said:

Yes, TIM is better. As frustrating as that game is, at least it has some semblance of value to offer devoted gamers. In this case, if you actually take the time to master HAS all you'll get in return are a few unneccessary unlockables and a sore arm...

Actually there aren't many games as boring and pointless as this... I can't imagine anyone even bothering to play it for more than a minute or two unless it was forced upon them. And this comes from someone who adores hockey.

I actually never thought I'd give a game a 1, but even if HAS worked like it should it would have been a utter embarrassment.



longtimegamer said:

Nice job. I like how Alex felt about this being inexcusable and how they just seemed to be trying to cash in.

I hope no one buys this, then maybe they won't try this again. Though, I wouldn't hold my breath.
It's kind of insulting that they'd even try to sell this to us.

If the developer of this is reading this, we don't want half baked crap like this. If you're going to put a game out at least put some effort into making a full fun game.

@Wiiloveit-I wouldn't want to call someone a moron for getting this. I'd just feel bad for them. They're basically being taken advantage of.

@Ack- "an embarassment" Exactly! I wonder what they really were thinking when they did this. I hope they're not gamers and if they are they should know better.



thewiirocks said:

"Wow this means that TIM is better than this"

Which reminds me. Someone really needs to port The Incredible Machine to WiiWare. The controls are perfect, the system targets the right age groups, and the pricing is in line with what consumers would pay for a new TIM.

(Of course, that would require Activision to pay attention to their Sierra subsidiary again.)



longtimegamer said:

@Thewiirocks- I don't think so. Thats a really old game. Anyways, if they put it anywhere if would be the vc.
They could do a remake however but I would imagine a new one would just feel like more of the same.



Wesbert said:

While a port of The Incredible Machine is unlikely, due to the age, I think an Incredible Machine-like game for the Wii is actually quite likely, since there are already two such games available for the DS (Crazy Machines and Mechanical Master). And this whole puzzle and experiment feel would fit the Wii like a glove. (And a few new parts can do wonders for the gameplay).



Gabbo said:

Great review Alex!

However, I see it as inevitable that this game will be all over the top 20 for months to come. I say this for two reasons:

1) It's cheap. 500 point games sell like hotcakes.
2) The vaste majority of Wiiware customers are impulse buyers. For them, taking the time to read a review is a greater opportunity cost than the price of the game.



gameking23 said:

You can say that again @MR. Cheez.. I wonder how much time they put in to make this game so bad?



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

Drats, I wanted this game to be good, or at least decent/playable. I like shootouts and skills competitions, so it's not like the fact that it's a very limited part of the game bothers me. But controls are important.



Ren said:

@ dazza. Hey, thanks for the link! I have the same 500 point leftovers blues and this is a great list. I know, I know, I should have remembered the forefathers to begin with, but the appeal of 'new' games is so distracting. Still never tried Startropics or Kirby, nows my chance, as inspired by a horrible new games release. Great review! It's always funny to hear about horrible stinkers (until you're a victim, I was embarrasingly victim to Critter Roundup)



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

Ha ha, lowest ranking to date? Besides, I never played Nintendos Ice Hockey "back in the days", but I think it´s #"%# genoius! I´ve never had so much fun with a hockey game. Hockey A S on the other hand seems to be an embarrasing cash-in. I bet we´ll see it on the top 3.



Wiiloveit said:

@Longtimegamer: Yeah, I suppose you're right. Sorry if I caused anyone who bought this offence

It takes effort to make a game that bad.
Actually, it's quite the opposite.



EJD said:

A game worse than Pong Toss?

Why oh why are there so many awful games on WiiWare? A few gems buried in a heap of rubbish.



blackknight77 said:

"Why oh why are there so many awful games on WiiWare? A few gems buried in a heap of rubbish. "

You stole the words out of my mouth.

I have 2 words for Nintendo's Wii Ware service- Quality Control



Ricardo91 said:

"I have 2 words for Nintendo's Wiiware service- Quality control"
We can use that for Wii retail games too.

"Actually, it's quite the opposite."
I know. That wasn't meant to be taken literally.



AlexSays said:

Equally as funny as this game is the people calling for quality control.
What in the world is wrong with you? lol
The internet would implode from unhappy Wii fans irate because they were looking forward to a game Nintendo deemed "not good enough".



Ricardo91 said:

@Alexsays. I'll give you five bucks if you can name a person who actually wanted Anubis II and Guiness World Records: The Game.



Terra said:

This must be some kind of joke. A 1!? What would it take for a game to get a 0, if it was possible?



MarkyVigoroth said:

Terranigma-san, 1 is the lowest rating.

Hockey Allstar Shootout gets a 1, while World of Goo gets a 10. (I wanted to call attention to the extremes, here.)
At least we got the 10, first.



shadows262 said:

the wii has a lot of great games on its system(retail) but their dowloading service is 30% great, 40% puzzlers, and 30% complete CRAP!!!
i wish nintendo would put of their own effort in their OWN downloading service. sob



longtimegamer said:

@The wiirocks- Update it, I believe that's the samething as a remake. Isn't that right? Cause that's what I suggested.
If they did it like it was originally, then of course it should go on vc.

You're right about the old age, that shouldn't matter as long as it's in vc. (If it's not updated.)



thewiirocks said:

@longtimegamer - Yeah, I wasn't suggesting that the original Windows version be directly ported. I meant that I wanted a new game in the series. Sorry if I was confusing.



longtimegamer said:

@Thewiirocks- No biggy don't worry about it. Nothing to be sorry about. Didn't hurt me none. It (Incredible machine) might be alright for here if it was changed. Yea, be better if it was new then just a rehash with new graphics too.
Though not sure if I would buy it or not. Been awhile since I played the other and then probably not much. Should play again to refress my memory.

@TwilightCrow- hah,hah! Good Idea.



Corbs said:

Wow, now I have to download this game. Any game that's so bad it gets a 1/10 rating, I've gotta try for myself.



longtimegamer said:

@Corbie- That's unfortunate. I really didn't want them to get rewarded for putting out this game. I understand though,I guess. Got to see for yourself, right?



Corbs said:

As was said earlier, this game will be on the charts, and most likely high up. Most Wii gamers will take on look at the title and the price tag and will be all over this one.



Adamant said:

" a few crude NES classics that you had to play back in the day to appreciate now"

Hey now, that's not true. It takes a completely soulless graphic whore to not see the timeless entertainment value in those games. Particularly Ice Hockey is still as brilliant as ever.



Bensei said:

Finally a 1/10. I hope it doesn't make the jump over the ocean, because else I guess I will have to buy it just for the sake of owning the worst WW game



ninjaBanana said:

wow 1/10? imma get it just to have a piece of history...this will be like the ET of wiiware lol



rich said:

what are the conditions for publishing a wii ware title? doesn't nintendo exercise some kind of quality control to prevent customers being effectively ripped off?

wish there was a way to try before you buy wii ware then companies would never consider publishing such dross

its a good job there is this website!



thewiirocks said:

@rich - My understanding is that the only requirement to get published on WiiWare is to be accepted into the program. If you can convince Nintendo that you're cool enough to join the club, they'll publish anything that meets their basic standards. (i.e. Needs to support the Home button, don't use Bongos, include a nice menu screen, etc.) Effectively, Nintendo makes no value judgments about the games.

When you think about it, the deal isn't that much different from the days of the NES. A small studio could publish a really bad game without too much trouble. (Though there was a much higher up-front investment!)



Wiiloveit said:

@thewiirocks: games also need to be under 40mb (around 320 blocks) and there is a current limit of one game per dev per month.
@Terranigma: Donkey Kong JR MATH 2: The Monkey Is Back. Or a lightswitch sim.



AlexSays said:

doesn't nintendo exercise some kind of quality control to prevent customers being effectively ripped off?

No because that is a terrible idea.



AVahne said:

Nintendo needs to go back to the days when they restricted bad games from being made for their systems



AlexSays said:

Nintendo needs to go back to the days when they restricted bad games from being made for their systems

No they never did that.
So I'm not sure which Nintendo and what days you're referring to.
Nintendo knows quality control is a TERRIBLE idea which is why they'll never bite.



gameking23 said:

Hey I just realised that BigBlueBubble has achieved something that even Digital Leisure has not been able to achieve a 1/10.



AlexSays said:

Oh for a couple o' reasons.

1.) Discourages developers from making games. Why would small indie-developers take a chance making a game when it could just get denied by Nintendo?

2.) People will complain. Just look at Disaster: Day of Crisis. Nintendo of America said the game wasn't worth 50 bucks and gamers across the continent were in an uproar.

3.) Bad games make good games look good. If every game got a 10 on this site, would the games be more noticeable? Heck no. No game would stand out and the service would fail. The industry needs bad games to help the good ones. If EVERYBODY released good games, nobody would make money as software would be divided evenly.

Bad games are great.
Maybe not to play, but they're still great.



Tannman42 said:

I knew this was gonna suck the first time I saw it. I hope it doesn't come out in Europe for a long time.



StarDust4Ever said:

Ouch! - So there you have it... Corbie, you have now given out Wiiware's best and worst rating - is a "1" really as unbelievable on the bad side as a "10" (world of Goo) is good? Could this all-time low rating be an omen to the future of Wiiware? Or just simple proof that Nintendo will approve almost anything?



AlexSays said:

So there you have it... Corbie, you have now given out Wiiware's best and worst rating

I know us guys with the name Alex are nearly invisible (stems from the fact we're so sexy once people look they know they can't look away) but I'm almost 100% sure Corbie didn't review this one.



jerkface said:

i registered just so i can comment!

this is the worst game ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i wish i had my points back, you suck blue bubble



chrisoak1 said:

For 500 points, it wasn't that bad. Once you get the hang of the controls, its kinda fun. Yoshi's Story was disappointing cause i paid ten bucks for it. Just my opinion though

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