Video Game Review: EA Sports NHL for Playstation 2

If you are like me, you’ve been waiting for hockey to come back for quite some time. Now that they’ve resumed play I couldn’t be happier. However, before that time came I need my hockey fix somehow. What a better way to do it than with EA Sports NHL for Playstation 2. EA Sports has been putting out the best sports video games for a long time, and their hockey line is no different. There have been a lot of other developers trying to imitate their style, but EA always seems to come out on top. NHL offers a number of new features that make it the must have hockey game for the year.

New is the exciting EA Sports skill stick. The skill stick allows you to take complete control of your skater and stickhandle like a real pro. Take full advantage of the puck as you execute some of the best player’s signature moves and score amazing goals like the All-Stars in the NHL. Save them to your highlight reel so you can go back and check them out and impress your friends.

Roman’,serif;”>Another new feature for is the EA Sports R.P.M. physics for some of the fastest and most realistic game play ever. The new realistic puck movement dynamics allows the user to stun goalies with shots of the facemask or make a statement with a top shelf goal that knocks the water bottle off the top of the net. Get your defenseman to go down and block the shot and watch as he limps off the ice with a stinger in the ankle. You’ll have a hard time believing that you are playing video game as the players flow seamlessly around the ice and control the puck as if your are watching the real thing live and in person.

NHL also has a newly introduced momentum skating. Momentum skating gives you the ability feel what its like to be on the ice during game play. Generate momentum for speed bursts, and deke out forwards before blasting by helpless defensemen and going in on goal. The new graphics show your literal ice wake as you speed around like a flash of lightning. The better you get at the momentum skating the harder it is for the other team to stop you, and before you know it you’ll be scoring goals at will.

Similar to older models, offers the creation zone, which gives you the freedom to design and add your own custom player to a team. New analog facial sculpting gives you the option to make your player’s face as realistic as possible. Soon you’ll be able to see an almost perfect likeness of yourself complete with black eyes, broken noses and stitches.

The best part of NHL is the inclusion of a playable version of NHL ’94, the original version of hockey from EA Sports. Its graphics are terrible, and it’s slow, but if you ever owned this title, it’ll take you back to the good old days of Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. You’ll be surprised. It’s still fun after 12 years of sitting on the shelf.

NHL is the best hockey game ever created. EA Sports has outdone itself here and this should be a must have for any video game enthusiast. Get it for yourself or for a friend and there won’t be any disappointment. NHL is rated E10 for mild violence and can be played online with the correct Playstation 2 setup. Get it for around $30 at most video game retailers.


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