Unfortunately, the action on the ice is less than stellar. At no point does the skating or speed of the game feel exceedingly realistic, nor do the player models look particularly good. Goal celebrations are strangely herky-jerky, too, and often feature the scorer standing alone while his teammates skate off in different directions. Strange.
Each game yields positives and negatives. While we love the fact that 2K9 is no longer the rock ‘em-sock ‘em human pinball game from last year (thanks to decidedly less powerful checking), the fact that you can consistently still score exactly the same way you always have is a little depressing. Skating into the corner and then throwing the puck in front of the net is by far the best way to put the biscuit in the basket. Yes, the arenas and crowds look tremendous, but there’s also no denying that players sometimes meld into each other or the net (all of which is exacerbated when seen in slow-motion replays).
All of this has us feeling fairly uninspired, yet our love for the series and appreciation for what’s gone into this season’s title means we’ll still skate our way to a Stanley Cup or two before we put 2K9 away for good. That may not be the best endorsement you’ve ever heard, but this sure ain’t the best hockey game we’ve ever played either.
Sep 12, 2008