NHL 09 is my first purchase of the series since 2004.
The game play has improved immensely since 2004 with many new extras.
Lest start form the top. As I said game play is perfect. The players move so smoothly and the puck control is fantastic. Shooting the puck can not be more life live for a game. Pull back the stick and let if fly.
Be A Pro is a great option. Create a player, Choose the skates, stick, gloves, look and your on your way. Pick you team you want to sign for and join there amateur team on the 3rd line. If you want to play for the big boys, play well as a team, and as an individual and don't take penalties. At the end of the game you will be rated and if the coach thinks you have the stuff you will be promoted. Can you get to be the Team captain?
Destiny Mode is another great option. Become GM of the team of your choose. You must manage the NHL team and there amateur team. Trade, pick you lines and win! That is the aim.
Online play is new for me with NHL, but is great fun playing people from around the world.
NHL 09 - Glove side, Top shelf!
This is the 2009 version of EA's extremely successful NHL franchise, for those not familiar with this series of games you are playing ice hockey. There has been a marked improvement in this offering with a new gameplay mode being available. There are teams from all over the globe available to play as but the main focus is on the american and canadian teams from the national hockey league.
The biggest new feature in NHL 09 is the addition of the "Be a Pro" mode. Those who have played the FIFA franchise may already be familiar with this but for those who aren't it is fairly easy to explain. Basically you create a player (can be you or can be anyone you want) and you pick which team you want them to be registered to, once that is completed you will begin life in the NHL's feeder league the AHL (American Hockey League) as an up-and-coming rookie desperate to prove himself! If you play well consistently you will eventually get called up to the parent NHL team where you will get a shot at guiding your team to the historic Stanley Cup.
I really enjoy how NHL 09 plays, EA has once again improved the skill stick to make puck movement silkier than ever and has also made playing defence more realistic. As with previous NHL games you can choose before you start the game as to whether the shots are guided automatically (easier for beginners) or manually (for more experienced players and a greater sense of satisfaction when rubber hits twine). The passing for the most part is fairly accurate and will enable a fast paced counter attacking game.
The Be a Pro mode is fantastic and is far more accurate and responsive to what you do than on games such as FIFA.
As with all NHL games making the fighting aspect good is imperative and I am happy to say that EA have not disappointed (watch out for this in NHL 10 it is phenominal!)
You get to play against people online and have up to 12 people playing in any one game!
You and your friends can create an online team and play against other online teams from around the world in your conquest to be known as the world's best!
As a nice token the game developers received a letter from the "Make a wish" foundation about an Indian girl named Lahda about how she wished she could become a professional, as a response to this the developers put her in the game as a Netminder and have made her the best on the game!
I find the commentary on this game to be rather dull and very repetitive which is a shame.
Sometimes the goalies play very very stupidly and give away silly goals.
The AI's defence can be quite poor too, I have seen numerous own goals from them.
With NHL10 just around the corner it may be best just to wait for that if you are into this type of game. However if you are more a casual gamer who occasionally likes to throw a big check or just get in a fight and see this at a car-boot sale or on offer cheaply / pre-owned then this is deffinately worth your hard earned cash!
The Skill Stick system from the past two NHL games evolves yet again in NHL 09 to bring precision control to the defensive side of the puck. The all new defensive skill stick gives you 360? control over your stick's movement. Block passing lanes, poke check more effectively and for the first time ever, lift an opponent's stick to prevent a shot.