Excerpt: The video that welcomes the player when they first boot up Gretzky NHL is as good as any DVD. Gretzky has had a long, and successful career in the icy sport of hockey. 989 Studios (which has since been swallowed by Sony) has had to play catch up on Electronic Arts, and Sega in most sports games. However I remember a day when they were the cats meow, and brought something new and fresh to the sports genre.
Excerpt: If you followed the suggestions from gaming companies, you might think that the sport of hockey was once a black hole, full of brutish, stick wielding thugs. Fights and hard body checks were the norm, and any grace associated with the sport was farcical at best. That is, until its savior, the great Gretzky came along.
Excerpt: I don't know much about hockey, but I do know enough to realize that unresponsive controls, busted A.I., loose puck handling, and jumpy graphics are the kinds of things that no one wants to see in an officially licensed product.
Excerpt: While the real NHL remains in a holding pattern, the virtual NHL continues to drop the puck on consoles everywhere. Sony's new PSP has shown a strong commitment to sports gaming in its launch lineup, and
Conclusion: I am actually a big fan of hockey videogames in fact I think they may one of the most fun sports games to play in videogame form. With that being said, Gretzky NHL does not provide the same sort of hockey experience that we have become used to in today’s day and age. The frame rate and over simplistic gameplay really makes this game not fun to play. Although Gretzky does have some nice features on paper, the overall play out of the game is just disappointing.
Excerpt: 989 Sports took a year off developing a lot of their titles in order to improve the overall quality of their games. Gretzky NHL was one of these titles and it came out on the PlayStation 2 last year. While the game was an improvement, it failed to deliver the same intensity as the 2K series' Hockey title. However, with a few extra months of development time and a new platform to play with, 989 is at it again with a new incarnation of Gretzky NHL.
Excerpt: Released back in November of last year, Gretzky NHL 2005 for the PS2 was a fairly unassuming and generally unremarkable game of hockey. The game played well enough, but the whole thing felt entirely dated, like a throwback to hockey games on the original PlayStation. Now, 989 Sports has brought Gretzky to the PSP as one of the first sports games for Sony's new handheld system.
Pros: A decent roster of modes, including solid online and ad hoc play., Good sound effects., Solid control mechanics.
Cons: An absolutely atrocious frame rate nearly kills the action., The puck is much too easy to simply skate past or lose track of on the ice., Goalies went and turned into brick walls., No franchise mode of any sort.
Conclusion: An average FPS which tries to win back it’s following with lame PR stunts and back-to-basics gameplay. Occasionally it succeeds but most of the time it falls short of the mark with instances of unadulterated tedium. The multi-player mode succeeds in being the most fun area of the game and offers some replay value but too many flaws make this a rent only title for the PS2. Try it on one of the other consoles instead.