NHL 2K10 Review – Xbox 360 – Skates n' All

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NHL is not very big in South Africa but that doesn’t mean that it’s not fun to play when it’s in a videogame.

Quite a couple of years back I used to play Ice Hockey for my city and while it isn’t well known here, it’s a great game to both play and watch. I was also a massive fan of NHL on my Sega Megadrive so I was very eager to give this next-gen title a go.

So how do NHL games stack up these days?

Firstly, I would like to address the elephant in the room, which is EA’s NHL series. I find it fantastic that 2K have been able to bring out their own line of sports games to keep things interesting but for the sake of the review I just want everyone to know that I have not yet played EA’s title just yet.

NHL 2K10 has all the usual bells and whistles that one can expect from a modern day sports title, career modes, multiplayer and some strange thumbstick motion control idea that is supposed to make the game have more control and feel more realistic.

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This is actually where my gripe comes in, especially as an old-timer as far as these games are concerned. Gone are the days where you simply had buttons to pass, steal and shoot. Now there are extra levels of controls that are supposed to make the controls more realistic but at the end of the day I found them to be a bother more than anything else.

This also brings in complications with the AI. The reason for this is that the AI is incredibly good at utilising all of these realistic stick controls and all that, meaning that you constantly feel like you are incapable of keeping up with all of the fancy movements that they do to get around you and score goals.

While multiplayer really is the bread and butter of games like this, the single player can be very infuriating as the AI seems to have that age old curse of being able to score whenever they want. You will realise it’s happening when no matter what you do, they get around or keep getting the puck back until a goal is scored, making you almost feel like you should have just put the controller down and let them get on with it.

Gripes aside, the gameplay itself is still fun and the visuals are top notch as far as sports games go. Sound is great, music well chosen but the commentators are pretty forgettable.

NHL 2K10 is a decent effort from 2K but from what I can tell, they still have a long way to go before they catch up to EA’s series and all that it has to offer.

Scoring

Gameplay: 7.5
Fun to play but controls need more polishing

Presentation: 8.0
Good looking game all round

Sound: 7.5
The usual sort but the commentators became annoying

Value: 8.0
Career modes and multiplayer means that, like any sports game, it could last a while.

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Overall: 7.6

Not a bad Ice Hockey title but it’s clear that some polishing and balancing is still needed.

Last Updated: October 7, 2009

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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