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NES Obscurity Quicky!

As you may recall, a few weeks ago I turned over a classic Gameboy rock and found the peculiar high-stick-em-up, Hit the Ice. Then recently I was poking around the NES library, and saw a listing for a NES version of Hit the Ice, though it was just a prototype.
So I thought, "what the heck?", and decided to try it, to see if it was the same sort of three-mohawk-on-three-mohawk brawl-and-slapshot game that appeared on the Gameboy.
At first, everything seemed to be pretty normal;
lots of options, but hey -- it's a sports game.
Ok, so after I pick a team, I can only choose from a FEW of the Gameboy's gangly goons...
But then, we're treated to a particularly verbose introduction by the team manager,
(Let's call him "Blond Burgundy")
Ok, so parts of it were a little weird...
But nothing could prepare me for what greeted me at the end of his speech:
Is...is this a hockey game or what?
But could possibly happen when I go into those houses?
NPCs?!
Is this a hockey game or Dragon Warrior?
wait is that -- Random Encounters?!
Yes, the Random Encounters are short 1-minute-long hockey matches against opposing teams.
(We'll ignore the implication that you are waylayed by spontaneously-appearing hockey teams who immediately challenge you to a match in their portable ice rinks)
And I bet you thought THAT was the most messed up thing you're looking at...but if you examine the front row behind the goal, you might notice...
THE GHOST OF HAPPY GILMORE'S DAD!
Anyway, sometimes you lose,
Sometimes you win,
And you boost your stats and continue,
Talking to NPCs, shopping,
..learning that some of the poor game designs from early RPGs is implemented here, too.
Heck, there's even the whole "get a vehicle, open up more of the map" thing going on.
...but what the Blue Blazes does any of that have to do with hockey?
Hell if I know. But honestly, this beats any NES or SNES 'continuous league play' sports game I've ever seen. It's got that River City Ransom feel of powering-up your guys while exploring, and the RPG-style map gives a lot of between-match color (and not just because every team is named after the shade of their uniform).
I assume because it was never realized, the translated dialogue wasn't fully regionalized; the relationship between your lecturing manager feels a little more earnest than what I'd expect from a macho Western coach:
I guess it seems like a lot of great leveling-up style games never made it out of Japan. I think I might have enjoyed it if it had been around back in the day; and I've never seen another NES games that was such a hybrid of RPG and sports.
Bottom line: do I think it should have been released? Who knows; 1993 was a little late for NES games. I guess it could have become a cult favorite, or it might just have been an obscure afterthought.
But there's one thing I can say for sure:
This guy creeps the hell out of me.
— carlmarksguy, 2015-04-10
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