The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
There used to be a time when I liked the 2K hockey series over EA’s
franchise, and that was because I liked the way the skating felt. It was
tight and responsive, even if the games themselves were more
arcade-like. How I long for those days after playing NHL 2K11.
my biggest gripe with NHL 2K11 is simply in how the skating feels. Too
often your players will slide around wildly, pulling themselves out of
position and exposing the team to a breakaway. Likewise, I think players
pay too big a penalty for failed pokechecks and stick lifts and because
of it they get caught in molasses on defense. These sound like small
gripes, but they add up to an on-ice experience where I was never really
confident in my players’ positioning.
This frustration was
further fueled by the inconsistent shots generated by the Wii remote.
Although the limited selection of manual dekes was responsive (there
are also auto-dekes), too often I would crank back and jam forward on a
shot that never came to pass. The result is that I too often had to rely
on button-based one-timers, which negates the need for the Wii remote
entirely. I also thought the detection between the puck and players’
sticks was inconsistent, as were the penalties called. Sometimes you’d
get a ticky-tack penalty, and other times you could bowl someone over
with no interference call.
This whole situation is really too
bad, because developer Visual Concepts has gone out of its way to make
the game a full-fledged release, complete with a franchise mode and the
new, more casual Road to the Cup mode, which lets you use your Miis in
various minigames. But no matter what the trappings, if you don’t get
the core gameplay right, then you’re just living on borrowed time.
Random minigames are the name of the game in Road to the Cup mode
Broken sticks are a cool new element
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.