A sport that’s less popular over here than soccer of basketball is ice hockey and with the hole in the ozon layer it won’t get much better. Eventhough we’ll be without any ice soon, 2K Sports succeeds in bringing the hyped atmosphere of the NHL to the PS2. Just like with the NBA 2Kx series, it’s all about atmosphere and gameplay here.
And with the atmosphere it was immediately ok, despite the hyperkinetic menu structure you easily find your way through the game and will be hitting a puck within seconds without having to know the exact rules of the game. Just try to get the puck in the other goal is a bit what it all comes down to. Contradictory to NBA 2K6 it’s not rap music that comes from the speakers but punk rock that – honestly – has room for improvement but does manage to create a “we’re sitting in an ice cold arena waiting for one bodycheck after another”-feeling. Also the commentary is acceptable but not really to go writing home about. But you can ignore all that thanks to the excellent gameplay and beautiful graphics.
Next to the flashy movements of the players and the fast zigzagging of the puck the game also knows quite a lot of depth. You can choose between a ton of teams and according to my roommate and walking NHL encyclopedia, 2K Sports did a very nice job here. Next to the classic modes there’s also a very well-created management sim to be found. Also don’t forget to try out the minigames when you get fed up with caoching your team.
As with any game and each edition 2K Sports again delivers a fantastic sports game that manages to kick EA’s competition in the ass at a lot of points. With the tweaking of the gameplay options you can even think of it as two games as NHL2K6 quickly changes into a beat’em up that makes that defense look a lot less unbeatable. Tooths flying around and the puck ends up in the goal. Something you don’t need anything more.