Hoping for EA Sports NHL94 Rewind on the Nintendo Switch

What I would hope for in a potential #NHL94 Rewind Release on Switch

A recent rumour emerged online that an Australian games rating board listed a remaster of the classic EA hockey game NHL94. The game is to be titled NHL 94 Rewind and was given a G rating. 1

If you haven't been following me on Twitter, bringing the original NHL94 to the SNES app on Nintendo Switch Online has been a personal crusade of mine. I hoped that #BringNHL94toNintendoSwitchOnline would go viral, but so far, not so much. This game is one of my favourite games off all time, I still play it on my Super Nintendo and I have dipped my toes into playing online on PC.

If this rumour turns out to be true, I have told people that I will buy a new Nintendo Switch Lite just to play this game. This will be my personal Nintendo Switch and I would probably customize it with as many NHL 94 decals as I can find.

There are certain things I would hope for in an NHL 94 Rewind release. I understand beggars can't be choosers, but ideally, NHL 94 Rewind would:

  • Be a stand-alone game not connected to the current NHL 21 release: I'll spend money on an NHL 94 game, but I am not interested in spending more to take the current release when I likely won't play it at all. My kids aren't interested in sports games, so they wouldn't use it either.
  • Have the look and feel of the original NHL 94. This is a classic game that still has a cult following with players playing on the original console, playing in-person tournaments (pre-pandemic), and using ROM hacks of the game to play online. It is critical that this be the NHL94 game I remember. I assume as a Nintendo Switch game it will be the SNES version, I don't want to get into a debate over which was better the Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo version here.
  • The ability to play online against other players using Nintendo Switch Online. As I just mentioned, players in the NHL 94 community are playing against each other. However, for those of us with slower internet connections or who lack the technical knowledge to set up port forwarding or a PC that plays the game without lag, it isn't as accessible for everyone. Using the Nintendo Switch online infrastructure would help a lot.

My next two wishes for the game would be the icing on the cake, but not necessary to enjoy it:

  • Current NHL teams and rosters. I think a lot of younger hockey fans would connect with this classic SNES game if they could recognize the current teams and player rosters. I wouldn't mind this, personally I think I would have a lot more fun arguing with Nintendo Dad Tim Aulph about which 1994 team is better, Detroit or Montreal.
  • All-time great teams. If you are going to include the 1994 rosters and players, with the current teams and players, include some of the greatest NHL teams of all time. Make this an opportunity to settle some of the great debates in the history of hockey; which team would win in a head to head matchup, the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers, the 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins or the 1976-77 Montreal Canadians.
  • Support for online tournament events a la Splatoon: To win over the players already playing the game online, a huge draw would be to allow them to bring the community to the Nintendo Switch. Have leagues with standings and rewards for competing against other players. The community already exists, why not bring them into the Nintendo family

I am going to watch this rumour very closely and keep reminding Marty Estes anytime any new details come to light. I know he will appreciate that.

Keep up the conversation with me online via twitter, I am @chris_logel or with the Nintendo Dads (@NintendoDads). Let me know if you are excited about this game possibly coming to the Switch.

Thanks again to Marty, Justin, Jesse, Tim, and Gary for allowing me to be part of the Nintendo Dads family.