Summary: Hockey fans will own both games anyway, right? I'd recommend picking this one up after NHL 08, as it's different enough to warrant the purchase, but sitting solidly in second place behind EA's juggernaut. I'm really hoping 2K9 is a revamp for the series - particularly the controls. It doesn't really matter if you have a far deeper gameplay pool to draw from, give us something we can work with to plumb those depths or that goes to waste.
Excerpt: NHL 2K8 is the gaming equivalent of your favorite band releasing a Greatest Hits album. Although you already own all of the hit songs included on the album in one form or another, often times new material is stirred in. Upon purchasing the album you find that the new or previously unused recordings are lackluster, deprecating an otherwise great collection of material. That’s what happened with 2K8 ‘s new content. And even then, it’s still all about the hits.
Conclusion: Where the game does exceed is in its visuals and audio. The graphics are definitely a significant step forward from 2K7 and the player animations, particularly the superstar moves, are exceptional. The fluid animation and finely detailed players and jerseys make for a hockey game that’s easy on the eye. Player faces too are very well done. A visual aspect that does disappoint would be that of the menus, though functional enough, they simply aren't pleasant to view.