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3-on-3 NHL Arcade on Game and Player

3-on-3 NHL Arcade

Jeremy Steeves  //  February 16, 2009

Got any extra Microsoft Points?


n an effort to extend its product line and cater to those on the more casual side of gaming, EA Sports has started developing products under the Freestyle sub-brand. 3-on-3 NHL Arcade is the latest title to fall within this categorization. Being offered as a digital download on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for only $10, NHL Arcade was touted as offering a, "no -rules, fast-paced hockey experience that gamers of all types can enjoy."

Your home team: Meet
Fast, Strong, and All-Around.
No rules? Check. Fast-paced? Check. Enjoyable for all? Let's explore.

If you've played any of the NHL releases EA Sports has produced in the last three years, you'll be instantly at home with the control options. For beginners, there's the basic, two-button control system; and for veterans, the now-standard Skill Stick, which utilizes the right analogue stick for majority of commands.

Now, turn off the rules you might be familiar with in NHL 09, and for the most part, you've got NHL Arcade — I'm really not kidding.

True, there are eight unique power-ups that seem to play homage to Mario Kart, and while there's certainly a measure of enjoyment to be had from shrinking the opposition's goaltender and skating around at Mach speeds, without any substantial gameplay modes to back them up, the game can quickly grow stale.

In fact, the only option for play is essentially a quick match assessable both online and off, and for those of us that may be accustom to the variety of play in NHL 09, this just doesn't fly. Don't expect to play as your favorite NHL team either, because only a handful of superstars (categorized as Fast, Strong or All-Around) have made the cut for your choice of either the Red Team or Blue Team.

It's not all bad, don't get me wrong. The core game itself is fun, especially if you're able to round up a couple friends to fill out your roster. Huge hits, some goofy power-ups, a shrunken rink and oversized heads certainly set the stage for more than a few laughs, and for $10, at least the price is right.

In the end though, it's hard not to feel like this could have been a mini-game included with NHL 09. For those that already own the latter, you may want to save your money, and for those looking to break into a hockey game for the first time, NHL 09 may still offer the most value. 3-on-3 NHL Arcade isn't a bad game, just a little thin, and for those of you with extra Microsoft Points burning a hole in your pocket, there are certainly worse places you could spend them.

3-on-3 NHL Arcade



EA Canada


Electronic Arts

NA Release

February 11, 2009


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Fun with friends
  • Control system


  • Too thin
  • No licensed teams

G&P Rating

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