This fast-paced, futuristic hockey game -- with familiar characters -- offers short, intense rounds of play, making it ideal for when you only have a few minutes to kill. The best part of Ultimate Rivals: The Rink is experimenting with your characters by playing up their strengths. LA Lakers' LeBron James, for example, excels in offense but is weaker in defense, and as a goalie has weak endurance but strong recovery and extremely high maneuverability. The game also features sport-specific moves, which you can play around with, such as special dekes by soccer players or heavy hits from the NFLers. It's also fun to see what each of the Ultimate Abilities can do. When it comes to single-player modes, there's Instant Action, where you're in a game within a few seconds, and Solo Play, which lets you first choose from one of three rinks (in NYC, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.) and choose difficulty level (Easy, Medium, Hard). As for multiplayer, the Challenge Friend mode has been newly added since the game debuted, allowing you to invite a friend or wait for an invite, but the opponent must be a Game Center friend. Finally, there's Online 1v1, which tells the game to go out and find a random opponent for you to play against.
You may wait for too long for an opponent and give up, which suggests that there aren't a lot of players out there, but there might be another reason for it. There's a new Instant Rematch option that's been added, in case you lost by a slim margin and want to quickly get back in to even the score, so plenty of people may be constantly replaying each other. For the future, it would be awesome to allow three people to control all three players on a team, in an online 6v6 multiplayer match (with voice support). The camera would have to be higher up, but it could be a stellar (but ambitious) addition in a future update. If you're looking for a quick fix but still enjoy some depth to athletes and how you utilize them, Ultimate Rivals: The Rink is well worth your time and energy, and isn't one to skate past.