Sept 14, 2007
Hockey fans have had it rough these last few years, what with cancelled seasons, sagging TV ratings, and commissioner Garry Bettman's continuing reign of terror. However, there's one sure way to put a toothless grin on your favorite puckhead's face this season - hand him NHL 08 and get out of the way.
Simply put, NHL 08 is the best hockey game we've played in eons, and clearly the champion of its generation. It's been a long time coming, but Electronic Arts has hit almost all the right notes this season, packaging stellar controls, gorgeous visuals, and smooth gameplay into a stunner of a title.
The Skill Stick, an ingenious shotmaking feature introduced last season, returns intact with a couple of new tweaks to expand its usage. You still wind up and fire away on the right stick to generate blistering slapshots or seeing-eye wristers - no change there. However, a new deke mechanic adds to its depth by allowing you to slither past hapless defenders with a deft flick of the left stick and bumper. Naturally, it's easier to pull off these moves with Peter Forsberg than Derian Hatcher, but no matter who you're skating with it takes some time to perfect them. Chances are you'll end up turned the wrong way without the puck if you don't hit the practice ice first.