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Wondering how NHL '08 is shaping up?

Sure, hockey isn't the most popular sport in many places of the world, but the NHL series of games is a pretty big hit every year. Not quite a hit like Madden, but it's a great way for the hockey enthusiasts or the closet hockey lovers to get their sticks on the ice. EA has lifted the veil on NHL 08 and we're going to talk about what's changing.

First and foremost, skate controls are going to get a major overhaul. Playing defense in last year's game was quite difficult due to lack of skater control, which is also getting overhauled. For example, the way you move your analog stick (left to right or in a semi-circle motion) will determine how your player turns. It's pretty obvious -- left to right turns the player around right away, a semi-circle motion will turn the player around in a slower, wider arc. You can dynamically switch between the two turns mid-way if you want, too. Your skating speed is affected by the amount you push the analog stick forward. Basic and intuitive, but something they needed to do.

In addition to those control tweaks, there are additions to the skill stick so you can do some fancy puck work around the competition -- no doubt to liven up the online aspect of the game. You can toss the puck in 10 different directions now, so that should help in online matches as well. There's only so much you can do with left, right, and behind.

Checking is getting improved -- momentum based for both players instead of the incredibly outdated "I hit you, so you fall down" method. Shooting takes on a Tiger Woods twist. Your right analog stick serves as your accuracy. With all these improvements, we have to ask: did EA even try on previous NHL titles? It sounds like these "updates" are incredibly basic things that should have been improved and changed at least five years ago. We hope there's more to come, because we'd hate to have the hockey-lovers rise up in rebellion against the lack of attention EA gives to the games.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Canada's Madden. Yay!

I just hope they make sure the online works. I bough NHL 2K7 and it has online but it doesn't work. Even though I can connect to other games like R:FOM and Motorstorm.

Although I am trying to shy away from sports games (which are 90% of what i played last gen) I am going to have to get this one.

They better actually make Matthew Lombardi (Calgary Flames) as fast as he is in real life.

Congrats duck fans.

Posted at 8:48PM on Jun 11th 2007 by massive_98

2. Is that picture from NHL 95?

Posted at 8:49PM on Jun 11th 2007 by massive_98

3. Sorry for the triple post.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Can you still use the old button mashing controls?
>>>>>>>>>>>>
I dont like the idea of shooting with the sticks.(not hockey sticks!)

Posted at 8:56PM on Jun 11th 2007 by massive_98

4. I hope they remember that the Sixaxis senses motion also. I could see myself checking some dude into the plexi by throwing the controller forward and to the right or left, and it'd be very satisfying. :)

Posted at 10:37PM on Jun 11th 2007 by Popfrogs

5. I called last years effort from EA "TONY Hockey" as in Tony Hawk. You could weave all over the freaking place, twirl around, deak a dozen times and then stuff it in. Some people still like it, but it ain't hockey. Garbage game.

Posted at 7:43AM on Jun 12th 2007 by Mick

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