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Published on September 19th, 2009 | by Brian Browne

NHL 10 Review

Release Date: September 15, 2009
Developer: EA Canada
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed] and PlayStation 3

With the release of NHL 09 last year, the team at EA Sports, had some big shoes to fill with NHL 10. They managed to get the job done of making a better game thanks to some gameplay alterations. One of things about this series is that the team fully gets into making the game better. I have to believe this is due to the competition they still receive from NHL 2K10 (MLB and NFL take notice).

Even if you aren’t a hardcore hockey fan, you can still pick up and play this game, due to the helpful tutorial. Instantly you are given a player and required to assign a name and position. This takes you through the basic controls including some new features. One of the features that stand out is the board play. Just like their real life counterparts, players can now pin others against the boards and try to pry the puck out. This feature also gives you the ability to pass out of this predicament if you are pinned down. Physical play is a part of the tutorial as well and with a new fighting perspective added, it is important that they show you how to pummel your opponent, instead of getting rained on with haymaker after haymaker.

Even after you get through the tutorials and think that the game isn’t up to par with life like hockey, with the addition of Game Styles, you can meet your needs. These affect how the game is played, not the level of competition (that is decided upon its own difficulty setting). These settings are as follows:

Casual: Arcadish and very fast game, passes seem go from stick to stick
Default: Your skill level will control the game around you
Normal: Gameplay gets slowed down
Hardcore: Full user control of passes, higher amount of penalties.

Trailing Be a Pro mode comes some new gameplay modes for us to try. One of these is Battle for the Cup. This lets you take a team straight into the war for Lord Stanley. This game can be broken down into one, three, five, or a seven game series. This game is given a “more than regular season feel” by storylines and the addition of the interactive crowd (fans wave towels and bang on the glass during board play). If you are a behind the scenes kind of gamer, than Be a GM looks to be up your alley. Be a GM lets you take the helm and pick a team of your choosing with a real life roster or do a fantasy draft of your choosing. This mode is all about meeting wickets, which is similar to NFL Head Coach with an upswing for NHL 10 being that you can directly control the outcome of the games by playing in them. Be careful, as every choice you make, will effect your GM reputation.

The EA Trax include a mixture of rock titles, including ones actually played at arenas (i.e. “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions). If the music doesn’t suit you however, you have the ability to substitute your own. However, you can’t pick and choose from the game to your own tracks, it is either one or the other. Overall, NHL 10 is an impressive game and captures the essence of being there cheering your favorite club on. The title has lived up to the billing and is a must-have for the fans of the series.

Rating: 9.0


First-person fighting mode and new realistic board play included
More player customization offered


Commentary is a yawn

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