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: In the ongoing multi-sport war between EA and the 2K guys, EA wins this one. Don't get me wrong, I really like the way the 2K game plays this year and it looks quite a bit better than in the past, but EA's product is just far more polished. They took a big risk with their series revamp, and it continues to pay off. If you're only going to go with one of the two, I'd recommend you make it NHL 08.
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: For example, in the second stage, your only powers are Force Grip and Force Push but enemies use some kind of grapple beam to pick items up and throw them at you, just like Force Grip. If you can somehow manage to fight through the extreme frustrations and annoyances that The Force Unleashed throws at you, you will find a great storyline there. It's too bad it's buried under such an unplayable mess.
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.