STAFF REVIEW of NHL 2K7 (Xbox 360)

Friday, October 13, 2006.
by Longball77

NHL 2K7 Box art Imagine taking the ice with 18000 people screaming, you line up at centre ice and you look up at the opposing centre, Joe Thornton. The referee skates over to drop the puck, in the background you hear the legendary commentators Bob Cole and colour commentator Harry Neale talking about todays match up and you realize you are playing NHL 2K7 on the Xbox 360 in High Definition. Now imagine you are in the third period in your favorite rink with the score tied 1-1. There is 2 minutes on the clock. You need to decide whether to you want to head for overtime and put your defensive players on the ice or go for it and mix up your lines to get the best players on the ice to win. You decide to head for overtime. You line up to take the face off and you hear something you have never heard before, the strategy from the opposing bench saying get it deep they are pulling the goalie. You call a time out adjust your strategy and decide to go for it.

The MVP of the Next Generation. 2k Sports NHL2k7 has introduced some dynamic new innovations in sports games for the console. They have introduced Cinemotion, Audio Intuition, skating Perfection, Procontrol 2k7 and an Improved Franchise mode. In Cinemotion the made some ground breaking presentation enhancements like cinematic score, or have the voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Harry Neale and Bob Cole call your game like never before. You now have the ability to listen to in game strategies or instructions given to your opponents in key situations. You can feel the ice with each stride, deciding whether to around an opponent or through him is your decision.

Playing this game you will notice one big difference from all other hockey games out there. You are in total control of the lines, strategies, players and even what music you are listening to. You get to choose from game modes like: franchise, season, tournament, Online, mini-rink or good old pond hockey. There are options for simulation games as real an experience as it can get or arcade like games that have an all out brawl, just like the broad street bullies of the 70s (Bobby Clarks Philadelphia Flyers). This is a game that can appeal to your mood. The Franchise mode is my favorite mode as you get to sign the free agents, negotiate the contract and decide how much ice time you want to play him. The best part of this game is you can choose the experience you want, how much control do you want over, the draft, schedule and type of practice you have. What do you have the team work on, or what do you work on to improve your skills.

The most disappointing part of this game is the graphics. When deciding on the Xbox 360 you are choosing it for the entire game experience and the superb graphics compared to anything out there. This doesnt seem to be what has happened with this game. It is in the fonts and the size of the type I have a problem, it gets a little hard to read at times. I played this game on two different TVs, one in high definition and the other not. It is not that the graphics are slow and choppy; they are just not to the high expectations of an Xbox 360. But dont let this make your decision not to buy this game. Play it for 10 minutes and the minor inadequacies with the graphics will be forgotten.

This is one area that definitely did not disappoint. One of the most interactive parts of the game experience was the music drivers or features. The ability to choose the songs you want to hear, the in game voices and of course the authentic sounds of the hockey rink. They couldnt have picked a better tandem than Bob Cole and Harry Neale. They have been calling games in the most popular market in the NHL for over 20 years. Definitely a great choice. But if you are like me and you turn down the so you can hear the sounds of the arena. This is definitely a great way to play this game. You will hear the bone crunching checks along the boards. The coaches yelling out instructions at face offs.

If you are disappointed with the graphics of this game you will quickly forget about it once you start playing this game. The goaltenders in most hockey video games this is the most forgotten position. Not in this one. You want a 50-goal season; you are going to have earn it. Goaltenders in the highest level of play are simply tough. Your not going to score unless you are using your teammates, using one-timers and quick passes are how it has to be done. This is definitely a team game where you need to be quick on instincts and know your hockey. You can switch plays on the fly, the view with a flick of a button. You can speed past your opponents or simply try to go through them. If this strategy isnt working, switch up your lines into different combinations to try and pull off a come from behind victory. You choose you are in control. Other options available are in franchise mode is you can simulate an entire season or 1 game at time. I think you will be playing a lot more than simulating. If online play is your thing then join up with one of the many leagues out there and play an entire season in a week or month.

In my opinion this is one of those sports games you need to go out and buy and then play. Over and over. To the designers of NHL 2K7 the only recommendation I have for you is to create graphics truly worthy of the Xbox 360 high definition ability. You have never had a sports simulation experience like this available on your console before. This is why I am rating this a 4.25 out of 5.

Overall: 8.6 / 10
Gameplay: 8.6 / 10
Visuals: 7.6 / 10
Sound: 8.6 / 10


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