NHL2K10 Conference Call Report

August 31, 2009 | Posted by Mark Salmela

This past Friday I had a chance to sit in on a conference call regarding NHL2K10, hosted by some of the developers. The call was hosted by Ben Bishop, Nicholas Shewchuk, Anthony Yampol, and Abe Navarro of 2K Sports. All journalists were to submit a list of questions for the developers before hand and questions were selected at random.

The big thing that the developers wanted to stress is that 2K10 will be a huge improvement of NHL2K9. NHL2K9 had an extremely limited development time which ended up hurting the overall quality of the game. Well for the tenth anniversary 2K Sports and Visual Concepts have taken the time to make sure that the game plays great and looks gorgeous.

One of the more impressive features is the ability to co-op the franchise modes with a group of friends. You can play with friends either online or offline and play virtually every mode in the game that way. If you want you can play the left wing position co-op with a friend for an entire season while he plays center. Or if you want to switch it up you can do that too. Find a friend online with nothing to do? Bring him in for a random game in franchise mode, because that isn’t a problem at all. I was very impressed to hear all of the various options that you can play with friends whether it’s online or offline.

On the PS3 you can have up to 7 players on one console. On the Xbox 360 and Wii you can have up to 4 players locally. If someone wants to play the goalie you can have up to 12 players online for the 360 and PS3 versions. The Wii version will also support online this year, which is a first for the franchise on the Wii.

On the Wii side of things there are a few new features. First the game will feature Wii Motion Plus as an option. As you can imagine using Wii Motion Plus will make the game feel more realistic. The Wii version will let you use your Mii’s in 5 different mini-games unique to the Wii version of the game. Unfortunately it looks as if there is no avatar support on the 360 side of things.

As I said before the game has some tremendous graphics. 2K Sports has taken the time to give each arena a visual upgrade and it shows. Each arena looks unique and stands out from one another, with the outdoor rinks looking especially gorgeous. Here’s hoping for the option to have snow falling on the ice rink during an outdoor game.

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but NHL2K10 features Alex Ovechkin on the cover and will feature a new stumble shot system. If your player is good enough he can take an off-balance stumble shot while falling to the ground. 2K was quick to point out that it’s hard to initiate a stumble shot, and even harder to actually score the goal, but it looks awesome when you actually perform one. The stumble shot that 2K has been showing off is the stumble shot of Alex Ovechkin making a goal from his back.

Over the past couple of years critics have argued that NHL2K10 is an inferior hockey game compared to EA’s offering. Well for the 10th anniversary 2K Sports is looking to correct that wrong. With new features such as the stumble shot system, create-a-team mode, the ability to play franchise modes co-op both offline and on, the improved graphics, the support of Motion Plus on the Wii, and more NHL2K10 looks to take the top spot for this year’s best hockey game. NHL2K10 will be out September 15th for the PS3, 360, Wii, and PS2.


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Mark Salmela
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