Summary: Even though the NHL strike has hurt the
sport's popularity in the past year or so, the revived league's rules changes
and new attitude seems to have gone a long way in winning back fans. Sony's
latest hockey title for the PSP, Gretzky NHL 2006 looks to capitalize on this
renewed energy while also playing extensive homage to pro hockey's greatest and
most famous player.
Excerpt: The key to a solid hockey game lies in its gameplay mechanics. Simulating the sport in an accurate and exciting fashion is paramount and unfortunately for Gretzky NHL 06, it gets tripped up right from the opening faceoff. Simply put, the game is too fast. It feels like somebody has inputed a code to give all the players on the ice permanent speed boost. And it's not even a fluid flow to the game, it's more of a herky jerky experience.
Conclusion: The commentary in the game is more or less useless. Everything is off by several seconds which will likely annoy players. Players will make a pass only to hear they made the pass several seconds after the fact. It’s just weird. The audience sound effects are as basic as they come as well. One question players will come to ask themselves is “where’s the music?” That’s actually a very good question.
Excerpt: This year's crop of NHL games have one big advantage over last year's: there's actually an NHL season this year. That could have been reason enough for the game companies to simply update the rosters from last year's games and call it a day. Luckily for gamers, this is not that case for all games and we have some new modes of play and gameplay enhancements in games like Gretzky NHL 06.
Excerpt: Developer – Page 44 Studios Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment of America Features 1-2 Players Memory Stick Duo – 3392 KB Wi-Fi Compatible (Ad Hoc/Infrastructure) As the NHLPA and Team Owners finally wised up and settled their dispute, both fans of Hockey and Video Game Sport fanatics everywhere gave a loud cheer.
Excerpt: Gretzky NHL 06 isn’t the prettiest game the PSP has seen. Oddly, when things are close up, they look par for the course. When the camera zooms out, however, the jaggies come out of the woodwork. There is nothing smooth about the graphics at all, including the animations. Though not all too bad when they stand alone, the animations fail miserably when trying to lock up with each other, and that is what happens most often in this game.