Excerpt: Over its many years, EA’s NHL Ice Hockey series has fluctuated between accessible arcade gameplay from one year and more thoughtful simulation based gameplay to another year. This year’s edition, NHL 08 is amongst the most realistic Hockey games ever conceived, so it’s obviously simulation this time around then. NHL 08 is certainly a more cerebral game than last years version was.
Conclusion: And as if there wasn’t enough to do with just the out-of-the-box gameplay, Trials HD comes with a powerful level editor that enables you to make your own tracks and terrain, which can then be unleashed on Xbox Live for others to try. (Check out the Movies section on game page here for a look at how the level editor works, and you’ll see the incredible potential, including the ability to alter the light and shadow effects in an environment.
Conclusion: The popular Shootout mode gives love to the goalies in NHL 08 , as they can now be controlled in a third-person camera view. Shootouts can be settled online, but it is features like three-on-three (six different consoles) and 32-team custom leagues that will make gamers do a double take and wonder what took EA so long to get on the trolley. And last but not least, NHL 08 includes the complete AHL lineup, with the ability to develop talent and sign them to NHL contracts.
Conclusion: Overall, the game is a mixed bag. Star Wars fans will love the fact that the game provides an important link between Episodes III and IV (even if some small canon facts are disregarded), and the fact that for the first time you can really use the Force to raise some serious hell. Still, glitches, occasionally brain dead AI and ultimately repetitive gameplay keep this one from achieving true mastery of the Force.
Summary: Parents need to know that, as in real life, this hockey game contains violence. You can hit other players. This game also helps teach kids about the sport of hockey and the NHL. The game has an online component , which Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for anyone under the age of 12.
Conclusion: Above all, NHL 08 can be both fun at the lower difficulty levels and extremely challenging when the AI is cranked up a few notches – thanks to the improved Skill Stick and skating physics. This makes the game even more accessible than last year’s version, which is saying a lot. Toss in a sparkling presentation and it’s hard not to recommend anyone take a run at EA’s pixilated Stanley Cup this year.
Pros: Skill Stick is back AND improved, Learning AI is more competitive, Pressure-sensitive skating, Robust online options
Cons: Stick-handling around the net is still tricky, Not enough Achievements
Excerpt: I think it would do most developers well to remember that every videogame is someone's first videogame. It's an understandable mistake to make. The people who make videogames also play videogames, so there's always a danger of them assuming that their audience is every bit as familiar with genre shorthands as they are. NHL 08 is the most egregious example I've seen of this problem in a long while.
Conclusion: A very good simulation that can also cater to those people with simpler tastes as well. The online suffers from a few too many bugs that can cripple a game instantly for me to recommend it. Pick this game up if you’re a fan but otherwise you might want to dip your toe in with a rental first.