Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One B's fan review of NHL 11' for XBox 360

Yo HO! Now that the KBBK blogs back in biz, it's all about ranting & puck topic variety for me so with this in mind I'll save the preseason hockey musings to Kynch and Chucky for now and start the new year off with this little P-Diddy, which is my personal take on the newly released NHL 11' for XBox 360

While we'll always pine for the simple days of NES' Blades of Steel or the Spin O' Rama magic of NHL 94'! This years video puck edition of EA Sports NHL hockey all takes the old and familiar that we all still love to the next level by simply adding a few those small, detail level bits and pieces of NHL play that make the game so appealing to our audio and visual senses. Small details like now having sticks break in mid-slapper (like that never happens at least 15 times a night right?) making the play of the puck along the boards smooth yet still ferocious. They've also amped up the sounds of the game, things like skates cutting across mid ice and hearing crunching on top of the ice surface while you're trying to change direction in mid glide (yeah, I'm taking about YOU Siedenberg) The goal horns are all unique to each home arena, having to be aware and playing around broken sticks lingering on the ice to the point of wanting to yell at the ref to pick them up... There's even the edition of that truly GAY "Ole' Ole' Ole' chant...UGH... That aside though it's all here and more and because of these small adds alone makes this years NHL 11' release a MUST have for any video puckhead! With all this in mind here's my "quick and dirty" break down of the games better points from my view:

The Presentation: This is where NHL 11 really shines! Remember the the issue with last year's version having every replay dropping frames faster than a Boogaard opponent... Well not an issue this year with the added bits of frames and new buffering of the action. Top notch! Then there's the aforementioned sound of sticks breaking which is SUPERB! The new third-person fighting modes are perfectly designed as well, which makes the jostling for pucks up against the boards also seamless! This is video puck at its finest...Everything looks and feels real and is absolutely gorgeous! From the rink-specific team chants, to the goal horns buzzing, to the less than cluttered menus, to the numerous number of faceoffs, the excellent soundtrack that includes contributions from bands like 2 Unlimited, Bouncing Souls, The Ramones, the immortal Black Box and even our own Dropkick Murphy's Shipping off to Boston which is a PERFECT add! Then add to all that the HUGE roster of teams and leagues to select from the NHL, AHL, IHL, WHL, OHL, QMJHL even the Russian Kontinental Hockey League! Anyone up for a quick Dynamo Minsk/Spartak Moscow tilt?!

Commentating: The team of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement return from NHL 10 and they do they're usual solid job in the booth. Their commentating is accurate, however they do lack a bit of excitement which is odd for Thorne? Hearing him (Thorne) say things like "And he scores!" is for some reason bland even after all these years, but is still straight forward. Bill Clement on the other hand nails sticks with his old standards and because of that is still sharp and on point. Overall They are accurate, well thought out, and a bit abstruse, but you won't notice that anyway because your attention will be geared towards the beautiful ice rinks and wonderfully designed player models.

The Final Tally: While there's still more than a few small items and would like "to sees" that I could still pick apart in this years edition, I'd rather go with the opinion that when it's all said and done, this years NHL 11 addition is the one of the BEST video hockey games EVER released. It's alot of fun to play (and at times $%@! frustrating... Yeah, I'm talking about YOU Ryder!) and will suit everyones skill level regardless because of the easy to tailor levels of play, easy to find and learn tutorials and easy listing of the most basic controls within the manual itself, which most of us know is no longer a given these days. As of yet I've not seen or read that there are any major glitches, bugs, or slow downs (So its been all goodness so far on that front for a change!) and overall the game is still very fast paced, but not too much so to make it play like a 3 on 3 arcade style one (Yeah, I'm talking about like YOU Ovie!) all while giving you the total feeling of controlling everything that's happening within the game, how and when.

So all in all I'd give this the years release a winning mark of a 9 out of 10 and I'll go out on a limb and predict a 40 goal / 60+ assist season for the video David Krejci for sure! - If you think your man or Chucky enough, feel free to challenge me sometime on XBox Live by using my gamer tag of "KingKrej46" (stunner huh...) Until then though I'd suggest you keep your head up and mouth shut otherwise I just might have to "quick create" Stan Jonathan within the player add menu and roll him over the boards at you! Let's Go Broonze! - KingKrej46

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