Monday, August 9, 2010

Review - previewing the NHL2K11 for Wii game

Got out this weekend to see the NHL2K11 for Wii tour bus, and had a chance to play the game and watch some other folks play it. 

I've had a Wii for several months now, and don't really have a lot of games for it yet, so of course as a hockey fan, I was curious to see what this game might have to offer.

This game doesn't require any extra controllers, just the ones that come with your Wii to begin with, so no extra costs on top of the game's $49.99 list price. The game supports 1-4 players and includes two different styles of play: regular NHL hockey; and the "Geico Road to the Cup", which has a series of different games which, while aimed at kids, could certainly be used by adults to build up the controller skills to play the primary game.

Setting up for "Road to the Cup" - kids' level

If you've never used your Wii for sports or other games that use the Remote/Nunchuk combination, you might want to start with the kid games. I wasn't used to thinking about everything I was doing with the controllers, so it was easier to build up the skills one game at a time via those levels. You can import your Mii character (or choose a random one), and outfit it with your favorite team colors. Then you can compete with/against your friends or against the computer's AI to rack up your fan count (points) en route to the Stanley Cup. The graphics for the kids-orientated games aren't as high as the primary game; they're typical Wii quality.

Opening graphics for loading a new game

Obviously, they're choosing at each local stop to have demo games based on local team loyalties, so no surprise to see they had loaded Blackhawks playing the Flyers at the United Center for people who want to try out the game. (Although folks were certainly welcome to change teams if they wanted.)

I thought the video-UC looked pretty good; and even the crowd noise in the game was even accurate - "Let's go, Hawks!" (and not the "Let's go, Blackhawks *clap clap clap clap clap*" that bandwagoners try to get chanting). You can hear some of that in-game noise on this clip.


In-game fighting sample - Versteeg vs Hartnell

Least you think kids get all the fun, there's extras in the primary game too - such as being able to fight opponents (above video), or between periods in the game, you can do things like Zamboni racing. (The Zamboni racing cracked me up, because it reminds me of the scoreboard videos you see at hockey games, which is I'm sure exactly what it's intended to do.)

Learning how to play the game

Here, Jason from the NHL2K11 team demonstrates how to get started on the game. He was playing against a teenager who was getting his first shot at playing the game, and who seemed to pick it up pretty quickly.

I liked the look of the game. I didn't get to see every single arena, but certainly thought the United Center replica looked pretty decent. The graphics were decent too, and so were the game sounds (crowds, announcer, music, etc). For somebody like me, who has played relatively few sports games on the computer or other console systems, it was not that difficult to get into the game.

My thanks to Jason, Otis and Meghan of the NHL2K11 team for all the gaming and hockey discussion!

1 comment:

  1. Seems a little easy to beat the goalie. Hopefully I'm wrong...


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