EA and 2K Sports were very kind to send me both copies of the latest NHL franchise for me to review. The reviews both take place on the Xbox 360, so if wondering which NHL title to purchase, hopefully this will help clear it up, and choose a winner.
NHL 2K8 – While the game itself looks great, it seems that its everything else that brings down experience. The characters look realistic, while the tags under each player looks big and bulky on my 42 inch HDTV, and the stat tracker that runs at the bottom of the screen during the intermissions just looks out of place.
NHL 08 – The game looks beautiful, and EA has done a great job making sure that the entire game has that authentic NHL feel. If walking by, you could easily mistake it for a NHL game on television. The sport scores that scroll across the bottom also adds to the experience. NHL 08 wins this category without a doubt.
Winner – NHL 08
NHL 2K8 – The commentary of the game simply can’t match NHL 08. I feel like the game uses the John Madden approach, “the player has the puck, the player shot the puck.” Its very dull, and I have heard the same things over and over, with the exception of “i always love a good replay” and some extra commentary about between the blue lines, and no lie, a player on his knees. Anyway, as for the rest of the sound, the audience sounds great, and some of the hits and ice movement is alright.
NHL 08 – I am a huge fan of the commentary of this game. The duo provides a true feel to the game. I mean, commentary can only offer so much but NHL 08 does it as best as it comes. The sounds effects are also very accurate, the hits against the boards are loud, and sound lifelike. Even the simple sounds like the “ding” from the from the post are spot on.
Winner – NHL 08
Both games have very time consuming and difficult achievements. No easy achievements, all require some effort and overall skill in the games. Seriously, winning 3 Stanley Cups in a row, or 10 shutouts in a row. Some of these achievements just really are impossible.
Winner – Neither, both are very time consuming, are very difficult.
Extra: NHL 08 in my opinion has a much better controller set up. Since playing the NHL 07 version, using the right analog stick just makes the game feel that much better, and the button layout has been slightly improved for the 08 version.
Overall: NHL 08 has improved what was a great game before. By adding AHL teams, custom teams, and many, many leagues from across the world, this game wins the NHL wars this time around. Along with extra features, and my favorite feature – setting up preplanned plays. Its hard to not like this EA title.
Next up, NBA! Will 2K sports hold onto its dominance over NBA Live?