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NHL 2K10 Review

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Developer: Visual Concepts Publisher: 2K Sports
Release Date: September 15, 2009 Available On: PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

Fans of hockey look forward to September every year. Not only because their favorite sport resumes play, either. 2K Sports and Electronic Arts have sent their respective franchises to the ice. Which one will take the Stanley Cup of the hockey video game world? Well, you’ll have to wait for our NHL 2010 review for that, but you can read on for my impressions of NHL 2K10.

Let me just start by saying that it’s not a good sign when reviews come in showing that the Wii version is superior to the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. EA doesn’t compete on the Wii, at least with their NHL franchise, so it is understandable why the emphasis would get put there. That said, the version that most people will probably be playing (PS3 or Xbox 360) has a bevy of problems.

Unfortunately, the issues begin right when you turn the system on. NHL 2K10 loads to a Quick Match screen, asking you to select a team. Inexplicably you have to move the right analog stick to bring up a set of options. A few more options clicked and you can get to the mode that you are interested in playing. I get that they were going for accessibility here, but the menu system is cumbersome. I normally wouldn’t even feel the need to mention menus in a review, yet I feel that they seriously bungled this.

NHL 2K10 is an offensive heavy game. For people like myself, who only catch the occasional game, an offensive focus is appreciated. This by no means amounts it to NHL Hitz, you still have a fairly slow and methodical pace, yet I think that by making scoring relatively easy it keeps things exciting. The loud arena, filled with screaming fans, combined with the blaring siren that goes off when a goal is scored add to the atmospherics.

The actual game modes are relatively slim. You have a Career and Franchise modes, pretty much requisites for any sports games. They don’t really differentiate much other than Franchise lasts for more than a single season. If you want to micro-manage a team, it gives you that ability to an extent, but for those that want to focus only on winning games, you can also do that. Then there is Exhibition and of course the online multi-player.

Two modes that I found interesting were the Pond Hockey and Mini-Rink modes. The names are self-explanatory. The only complaints I have with playing pond hockey and mini-rink is that it forces you to select players. For people not familiar with Hockey player names, it makes more sense to have a random selection, but they don’t give you that option. I also noticed a glitch when I was playing the Pond Hockey where the puck went around the rink (in the air) as if there were a wall when there wasn’t.

The NHL 2K series is ending the first decade in the 21st century the same way it came in – a marked underdog to the superior NHL 2000 series backed by EA Sports. It’s not that NHL 2K10 is a bad hockey game. What kills it most are a collection of minor annoyances that add up to a disappointing overall experience. PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers should stick with EA’s NHL series. That said, if you own a Wii, you really don’t have much choice in the matter.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review