NHL 2K7: Getting Beat Never Felt So Good

NHL 2K7Ever since sports games evolved from moving a stick man with a joystick and pressing one red button to get him to throw a ball (99 yards to the end zone was possible!  Brilliant!), I haven’t been very good at the genre.  My husband destroyed me at ESPN’s MLB (the only time the ’04 Tigers could beat the Yankees that year) or an earlier NHL incarnation, and I’d have to laugh at his victory dance and trash talking.  NHL 2K7 is the first game that I actually enjoyed to lose, though.

Unlike most recent sports games, the controls are, for the most part, easy to learn and simple to execute (I’ll get into the inanity goal scoring later).  The Sixaxis’ motion sensing capabilities work so well that for the first time I could pass the puck where I wanted it to go and cross-check someone without my character falling on his face.  To pass to a player, simply hit the correct button and move your controller towards that player.  Want to hit somebody?  Just jerk the controller in his direction.

The player’s talents are also true to life.  Brendan Shanahan is as much of a wuss in this game as he is in real life and Henrik Zetterberg is just as awesome.  The available teams are great, too.  Watching the Czech superstar team face itself in a Twilight Zone-esque exhibition of talent was wonderful. 

Now read the cons:

As stated, while the controls are mostly intuitive, goal scoring seems completely random.  Sometimes, I found myself scoring completely by accident and other times, I would set up an unstoppable shot that would immediately be stopped. 

Along with spotty shooting, for a “next gen” game, the graphics aren’t anything to write home about.  In fact, if you don’t have an HD TV, you will not be able to read the scoreboard or the end game statistics as the text is just too fuzzy. 

The fun play outweighs the few minor annoyances, though.  I look forward to next year when the Sixaxis’ capabilties will be more fully utilized and another year with the PS3’s hardware will help 2K Sports develop a stronger graphical and game play showing for NHL 2K8

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