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'[GAME] NHL 2K11'

This thread has been linked to the game 'NHL 2K11'.
Sat 17/08/13 at 16:30:
Regular
"How Ironic"
Posts: 4,301
The NHL is a huge gaming franchise, particularly in regards to the sheer number of different developers for the one league. It's entirely different to football, where the 2 games you look for every new season are FIFA and PES produced by EA Sports and Konami respectively. NHL games nearly always feature NHL in the title somewhere, followed by either a year or a gimicky word (such as NHL 13, or NHL Hitz), but it became difficult to distinguish which developer was producing which series of games.

In more modern times (the last 3 years or so), NHL game production has changed, with EA Sports now monopolising the sport and producing games only for the PS3 and Xbox 360, soon to be followed by the PS4 and Xbox One. An NHL game hasn't been released for the PC since NHL 09, and the last NHL game for the Wii is this one, NHL 2K11, developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K sports. So this is basically the last ice hockey game to come out on any platform besides the PS3 and Xbox 360 for the past 3 years.

The game itself isn't anything to shout about by any means, in many respects. You can't expect too much due toe limitations of the Wii, but in my opinion, the game needs to play to the Wii's strengths. What the developers have tried to do is make the game as realistic as possible, and on a platform like the Wii, this is definitely not the way to go. The Wii is more about fun and interactivity, graphics and gameplay aren't going to be great no matter what is done, but it is made even more obvious when the game relies on the consoles weaknesses. The graphics are pretty sub-standard. The players are reminiscent of old 90's sports games, where the odd star player is given a distinguishing feature, whilst everyone else looks exactly the same.

A far more artistic, "cartoonish" approach would have been the way to go with the Wii instead of trying to mimic the graphics of the big boys. The body parts, as well as their movement, also remind me of early FIFA games, with players having almost MineCraft like figures for bodies, that move on a one-way hinge. This is emphasised even more by the 8-directional movement of players, which I know can't be helped on the Wii, but again, it just looks stupid when you go to the effort of trying to make players look realistic when they can only move in 8 directions anyway. It makes you question if a game like this is viable on the Wii when produced in such a way.

Now to the big point. The Wii controller! The Wii surely would have been the ideal console for an interactive hockey game. I drool at the prospect of a well-made Wii hockey game, I really do. Let me pitch an idea to you straight away. Holding the Wii-mote downwards like a hockey stick and shooting like you ordinarily would in hockey. Already the player would feel far more engaged.

But no, in NHL 2K11, the player simply moves around using the stick on the nunchuck, presses A to pass, and swings the remote like a tennis racket to shoot. I really can't believe nobody during the development of the game suggested a more life-like hockey control system that would've helped the game leaps and bounds.

The game does have some fun parts. Pond hockey is a decent mode, where the play is much more like a standard Wii game. The players heads are larger, and the hits are much more violent. It's what the main game should have been in my opinion, so that does save the game slightly. The franchise mode is also enjoyable to a degree. However, the trading system is somewhat flawed. I was playing NHL 2001 on the PS2 the other week, and realised I could build a superstar team by trading my players for others that are slightly better (+1/2 overall rating). You can continue to re-use that trick until you essentially get a star player for an absolute rookie. I tryed the same thing on NHL 2K11, and it worked on there too. So NHL 2K11 basically features a bug which was occurring in the year 2000, which just about sums the game up really.

I'm sad to say, if you want a good hockey experience now, you have two options. You can either give in to EA Sports and a buy a next-gen console, which isn't too bad besides the buying cost. EA Sports are very lazy when it comes to making games, but the NHL series is one of their more solid productions, and it gets better every year. The other option is to go old school, get yourself a simulator on the PC or even buy an old console from eBay, and play the greats such as NHL 94, which lets you re-live the times when ice hockey was genuinely a leading sport in gaming.
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Sat 17/08/13 at 16:30:
Regular
"How Ironic"
Posts: 4,301
The NHL is a huge gaming franchise, particularly in regards to the sheer number of different developers for the one league. It's entirely different to football, where the 2 games you look for every new season are FIFA and PES produced by EA Sports and Konami respectively. NHL games nearly always feature NHL in the title somewhere, followed by either a year or a gimicky word (such as NHL 13, or NHL Hitz), but it became difficult to distinguish which developer was producing which series of games.

In more modern times (the last 3 years or so), NHL game production has changed, with EA Sports now monopolising the sport and producing games only for the PS3 and Xbox 360, soon to be followed by the PS4 and Xbox One. An NHL game hasn't been released for the PC since NHL 09, and the last NHL game for the Wii is this one, NHL 2K11, developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K sports. So this is basically the last ice hockey game to come out on any platform besides the PS3 and Xbox 360 for the past 3 years.

The game itself isn't anything to shout about by any means, in many respects. You can't expect too much due toe limitations of the Wii, but in my opinion, the game needs to play to the Wii's strengths. What the developers have tried to do is make the game as realistic as possible, and on a platform like the Wii, this is definitely not the way to go. The Wii is more about fun and interactivity, graphics and gameplay aren't going to be great no matter what is done, but it is made even more obvious when the game relies on the consoles weaknesses. The graphics are pretty sub-standard. The players are reminiscent of old 90's sports games, where the odd star player is given a distinguishing feature, whilst everyone else looks exactly the same.

A far more artistic, "cartoonish" approach would have been the way to go with the Wii instead of trying to mimic the graphics of the big boys. The body parts, as well as their movement, also remind me of early FIFA games, with players having almost MineCraft like figures for bodies, that move on a one-way hinge. This is emphasised even more by the 8-directional movement of players, which I know can't be helped on the Wii, but again, it just looks stupid when you go to the effort of trying to make players look realistic when they can only move in 8 directions anyway. It makes you question if a game like this is viable on the Wii when produced in such a way.

Now to the big point. The Wii controller! The Wii surely would have been the ideal console for an interactive hockey game. I drool at the prospect of a well-made Wii hockey game, I really do. Let me pitch an idea to you straight away. Holding the Wii-mote downwards like a hockey stick and shooting like you ordinarily would in hockey. Already the player would feel far more engaged.

But no, in NHL 2K11, the player simply moves around using the stick on the nunchuck, presses A to pass, and swings the remote like a tennis racket to shoot. I really can't believe nobody during the development of the game suggested a more life-like hockey control system that would've helped the game leaps and bounds.

The game does have some fun parts. Pond hockey is a decent mode, where the play is much more like a standard Wii game. The players heads are larger, and the hits are much more violent. It's what the main game should have been in my opinion, so that does save the game slightly. The franchise mode is also enjoyable to a degree. However, the trading system is somewhat flawed. I was playing NHL 2001 on the PS2 the other week, and realised I could build a superstar team by trading my players for others that are slightly better (+1/2 overall rating). You can continue to re-use that trick until you essentially get a star player for an absolute rookie. I tryed the same thing on NHL 2K11, and it worked on there too. So NHL 2K11 basically features a bug which was occurring in the year 2000, which just about sums the game up really.

I'm sad to say, if you want a good hockey experience now, you have two options. You can either give in to EA Sports and a buy a next-gen console, which isn't too bad besides the buying cost. EA Sports are very lazy when it comes to making games, but the NHL series is one of their more solid productions, and it gets better every year. The other option is to go old school, get yourself a simulator on the PC or even buy an old console from eBay, and play the greats such as NHL 94, which lets you re-live the times when ice hockey was genuinely a leading sport in gaming.

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