NHL 2005 - PS2 Review
As with all of the EA Sports games the crowd and atmosphere of a big match occasion is captured nicely and the commentary doesn’t make you want to throw your machine out of the window after a few hours of play.
The in-game control system is well balanced in the sense that it is easy to learn the basics and get straight into playing on the easier game settings. However as you become a master of the ice, the subtlety of the controls and timing of dukes, passes and shots can become very intricate and rewarding when you burst out of defense, duke, fake, spin, one two, slap shot and score.
You can then point and laugh at your friend whilst enjoying the slo mo replay. However, if you don’t want your friend to point and laugh at you it is worth learning the Bruise Control technique. By using the right analogue stick (or keys T, H, B, F) you can throw outrages tackles at your opponent.
If timed well this can totally take out your opponents players, knock their helmets off, or even KO them completely.
This can then kick off a fight which is always fun.
New controls in NHL 2k5 include one twos between players, the ability to control players off the puck and call for a pass to get into that perfect scoring position. Defensive double teaming and advanced, easily executed set plays also contribute to more dynamic game play.
There are plenty of different game modes to get your teeth into as well.
The standard Exhibition and Season modes are still available together with an improved dynasty mode. The Dynasty mode includes management aspects of being in control of an NHL Hockey team. The transfers of players, ticket prices and financial stability of your team are down to you along with success on the ice. This adds for a more in-depth level of game play.
There is a new world cup of hockey which is well organized but doesn’t have too many nations and an EA Sports free for all in which four players compete every man for himself against a goalie.
Most of these game modes are also available online once you have registered (for free) to EA Sports online adding much more longevity to the game.
Overall NHL 2005 is a lot of fun, very fast and very brutal with enough game modes to keep you busy until NHL 2006 and a learning curve to match.
It will definitely be installed on my machine until it crashes and I have to reformat the damn thing.
8 out of 10