I still like the menu system itself; it has a little bit of a 1980’s feel, or perhaps like the TV room in The Matrix, but the fact that you have to hold the analog stick in the direction you want to move and not just select and release is silly.
The AI is also better this year. The slot is better defended this year, and there seems to be some real association between the quality of team you’re playing against, the defenders on the ice, and your success at scoring. With the increased emphasis on the slot, there are more opportunities for scoring from the circles and below the goal line, which is as it should be.
The soundtrack is pretty good, though I could probably do without the song Alex Ovechkin chose specifically for the game. The play by play is again provided by the San Jose Sharks announcing team, and it’s solid, if a bit repetitive. There are definitely more names and more lines of color commentary added, but it could stand to be a lot more.
The mini-games are basically exactly the same as last year, with the exception of being able to select your lineup for each game, and the addition of a zamboni time-trial available between periods of the standard game mode. Frankly, there needs to be some more depth here, and I hope the mini-games on the Wii version of the game, add some extra playability.
In closing, I think it’s fair to say this game is definitely an improvement over last year’s version, but I feel as if a lot more could have been done in a years’ time. I can’t say I flat out recommend it, as I haven’t yet played the EA Sports NHL title for the year. But I will say foibles aside, it’s a lot of fun to play, and for those who enjoy a mix of arcade play and statistics based simulation, it’s a good option.
More On:NHL 2K10
Companies: 2K Sports
NHL 2K10 has made some solid improvements over 2k9, but it's still a ways from all-star caliber. A decent AI and better graphics have brought this game closer to highlight reel performance. Zombie pallor of the players complexion and average online functionality need to be addressed for next season.
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