Being the angry old gamers that we are, we couldn't stand these controls at first. After basically tripping over our own two skates for the first few matches, we were about ready to switch to the "classic" control scheme, a welcome option. But then a funny thing happened - we got used to the new way of doing things, and actually fell in love with them. It wasn't too long before wicked slapshots and twisted wristers were flying all over the ice in the directions we actually intended.
Gone are the days of sprinting down the wing and flicking the puck in front for a simple one-timer for a near-guaranteed score. The goaltenders step it up big time this year which, coupled with more realistic puck behavior off the stick, will have you working harder than ever to develop a consistent way to set up scoring chances. The defense is particularly gritty and hitting is ferocious, which will have fists flying in no time.
Away from the ice, the franchise mode shines, even allowing you to replace existing teams with historic ones from days gone by. We got positively giddy reestablishing the Winnipeg Jets, complete with legit jerseys and logo, and bringing Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen back home to win a Stanley Cup. Kicking the Phoenix Coyotes out of the NHL to make room made our old-school revenge even sweeter.