NHL 2K9 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
NHL 2K9 box art
System: Wii, X360, PS3, PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Visual Concepts 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: 2K Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 8, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Passing is done via cursor system, which feels tight and intuitive, especially compared to more traditional button presses to pass the puck. Pointing and clicking work nicely with the fast-paced game of hockey the title tries to provide. The downside here is when the framerate takes a dip (something that happens fairly often, sadly) the cursor also starts to lag and can be very disorienting.

NHL 2K9 screenshot

For the most part, the core gameplay mechanic is solid. But there is a number of little issues throughout that make it hard to have fun with this game. For example, the A.I. is quite horrendous, even on higher difficult settings. I understand an attempt was made to make this game accessible, but there are better ways to do that than dumbing the game down. The passing cursor, for all the good it does, feels a bit loose at times and it’s easy to overreact and perform a bad pass. It’s not a big deal and it’s not going to cost you a game playing against the poor A.I., but it’s still annoying.

Additionally, NHL 2K9 is lacking in the modes department; there’s just not much of an offering here. Quick play and local multiplayer are all fine and dandy, but online is an absolute no-brainer for this game. There are also a few Wii-exclusive modes in this package, such as pond hockey, but these aren’t particularly fun, nor do they provide a different experience from the traditional game of hockey, so you’re left wondering what the point is.

Advertisement

NHL 2K9 isn’t a bad game, but it doesn’t manage to stand out either. EA has done a fantastic job with their sports franchises on the Wii, providing fully fleshed-out experiences while taking advantage of the Wii’s capabilities and providing all the features that you’d expect from the game on another more “hardcore” console. Sadly, 2K Sports doesn’t seem to be taking the same approach to the Wii, and NHL 2K9 has a churned-out, back-for-more-next-year kind of feel. There is potential here, though, and the series could improve over the next year or two. I certainly hope so, because NHL 2K9 has some good ideas. But, execution is shoddy and you’re probably better-off checking this game out on the PS3 or 360.

By Joseph Catalanotto
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
1.7
Graphics
An unpredictable framerate, poor character models, and a visual sloppiness constantly plague the title.
3.8
Control
They don’t work perfectly, but, for the most part, the Wii-specific controls are fun and easy to use.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The commentary is somewhat boring, but the game’s soundtrack is surprisingly good.
2.2

Play Value
If you can get over some annoying problems during gameplay, you’ll probably have fun with this game. But a lack of online play is particularly glaring.

2.6
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Execute wrist shots with the flick of the Wii Remote or put some power into your stick by holding the B Button while flicking the Wii Remote to blast a slapshot.
  • Take the guesswork out of which player is going to receive a pass by selecting players with the Wii Remote cursor. One-timers, give-and-gos and tic-tac-toe passing are executed by selecting multiple players prior to pressing the pass or A button.
  • Gesture-based goaltending allows gamers to get between the pipes and flash the leather. Even take control when it counts the most: in shootouts!


  • Screenshots / Images
    NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NHL 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook