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ESPN NHL 2K5 (PlayStation 2) artwork

ESPN NHL 2K5 (PlayStation 2) review


"When you say hockey you think of a few things. Fighting, toothless Canadians, and organ music playing the chicken dance are the first things that come to mind. When talking about hockey in terms of video games only one thing comes to mind, Sega Sports. "



When you say hockey you think of a few things. Fighting, toothless Canadians, and organ music playing the chicken dance are the first things that come to mind. When talking about hockey in terms of video games only one thing comes to mind, Sega Sports.

As soon as you put this baby in your Playstation 2 you know that your in for something special. The first thing youíll notice about this game is the gameplay. When I first played NHL 2K5 I felt like I was playing my old Sega Genesis, in a good way. Back in the day, game developers put gameplay first and foremost and this title remembers that.

One of the keys to great gameplay is great controls and this game has them. The controls are very responsive and smooth. If you want to pass the puck point to the direction you want it going and press the x button. If you want to shoot a wrist shot tap the square button or if you want to send a furious 100 mile an hour slap shot the goalieís way all you have to do is hold square. This game has bone crushing hits too. You can knock your opponent on his butt with an open ice hit, slam them on the side of the boards if they are going after a puck, slash them in the back of their legs if they ever get in your way, and much more punishing moves to make them in pain. Sometimes these big hits can leads to fights which is one part of the game I dislike. Yeah, you can do cool moves like grabbing your opponentís shirt and call them over to you but it also can be boring, sometimes frustrating, and a little annoying. Sometimes you will lose your best players in overtime (something youíll get to know very well) due to a fight or one of your players will start a fight for no reason when you are up by three goals. The last thing that makes this game great is just one thing, itís fun

The biggest problem this game has is itís lack of presentation. With the name ESPN on itís cover you would think that there would be some kind of presentation here but there isnít. Unlike last yearís version there are no ice girls, no locker room cut scenes, and the players donít get introduced from the locker rooms. You will see a goal celebration once in a blue moon but that is if you are lucky. With the name ESPN I expected higher in this part of the game. I guess every game has itís flaws.

On a different note, the graphics are really good too. The player models are very well done and the on ice animation looks very nice. At the beginning of a quarter you can see the reflection of the players on the ice which is a very cool feature. The graphics are very crisp and clear and I havenít noticed any glitches. The sound is also very stand out in NHL 2K5. The announcers sound very natural. What makes them so good is their reaction. In other games such as Madden NFL 2004 the announcers seem like they are not interested in the touchdown you just scored but this game does. When you do score they seem like they are excited but not overly excited that itís cheesy. They also tell you interesting facts that you donít hear at least 10 times a game.

NHL 2K5 puts the biscuit in the basket, or very simply put, this game is just awesome. With just a 20.00 price tag, this just one game you donít want to miss. Even though my Bruins wonít be playing this season, I will.

Rating: 9.4/10

espnking2002's avatar
Community review by espnking2002 (September 25, 2004)

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