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NHL 2K11

NHL 2K11 First Impressions
by Matt Bertz on Jun 15, 2010 at 02:02 PM
Platform Wii
Publisher 2K Sports
Developer Visual Concepts
Rating Everyone 10+

With Visual Concepts giving its NHL 2K series a breather on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, this year all eyes are on its Wii title. EA's NHL Slapshot series is taking the ice for the first time on Nintendo's console, and the stakes are higher than ever. To make sure its skater is up to the task, 2K Sports has developed a new interface it calls Wii MotionPlus 2.0.

These new motion controls give you more control over your players stick skills than previous versions of the game, allowing you to stickhandle with the grace of Pavel Datsyuk and harrass puck handlers with the intensity of Duncan Keith. Skill players can deke with one-to-one motion or even juggle the puck, and when you're on defense you can try to recover the puck with poke checks, stick lifts, and by blocking passing lanes with your stick.

To up the authenticity of the on-ice experience, Visual Concepts is also revamping the presentation with a broadcast approach more in line with its stellar NBA 2K series. They've also reworked the skating animations, added broken sticks, created more vibrant lighting in arenas, and fine-tuned the player models.

Not every Wii owner is interested in the hardcore sim aspects of hockey, so 2K is also including a more casual Road to the Cup mode that lets up to four players fight for bragging rights in trivia contests, superskill challenges, mini-rink match-ups, and on-ice mini-games using their Mii characters.

Watch for more news and hands-on impressions as we move closer to the September 7 release date.

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