Excerpt: If any of you have read my past reviews, you will know that I had a lot of snide remarks over the current NHL lockout. Well instead of going back on a tirade and jabs at the NHL, I am just going to concentrate on the game at the forefront. Instead of dragging things out and forcing you to read the review to figure out my thoughts, I am going to tell you right up front that this is the surprise sports title of the year on the Playstation 2.
Excerpt: In a year when hockey is just a memory in our neural process, 989 Sports releases Gretzky 2005. The sport itself has a ways to go with the general public. The Ã¢â‚¬ËœBig 3Ã¢â‚¬â„¢, MLB, NBA, and the NFL, all hold a strong lead over the Ã¢â‚¬ËœSmall 3Ã¢â‚¬â„¢, NASCAR, PGA, and the NHL. NASCAR, a favorite in the south, has pulled ahead of hockey in the ratings race, while the strike this year has left the sport grappling for an audience.
Conclusion: In-game action is acceptable, the game camera does give some really good camera angles – especially the TV angles which work really good until you get closer to the boards. Game play isn’t as fast as we’ve seen with some of the EA Sports titles, nor are the controls as responsive. I found myself being screwed out of some easy plays by a really delayed response to a pass which leaves the stick five seconds after the intended target has moved (and I ended up dumping the...
Excerpt: With this year's hockey season already pretty much in the tank due to the lockout, and with two major hockey titles already on the market for the last couple of months, most hockey fans have probably already made a choice when it comes to what game they plan to spend the long, melancholy months ahead playing. Thus, the timing of 989's first hockey title in more than two years, Gretzky NHL 2005, seems more than a little suspect.
Pros: Features a couple of neat gameplay innovations., The action is fast and mostly pretty fun., Solid graphics., EyeToy support lets you put your own face on a created player., Gretzky, baby! Aooouuu!
Cons: Can't compete with the list of modes and features in EA and Sega's hockey titles--the franchise mode is especially weak., Repetitive and occasionally inaccurate commentary., Scoring is woefully unbalanced for a simulation hockey game., Defensive and goalie AI is suspect, at best., Not much in the way of unlockables or bonus material.