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NHL 2K9 is 2K Sports' entry into Hockey gaming for the 2008-2009 season. The game is built on the same engine that many of the previous 2K hockey games used, and features include Season, Franchise, 2-on-2 Mini Rink, 4-on-4 Pond Hockey, and Shootout modes. Season Mode allows you to take basic control over an NHL team and guide them through an entire 82-game schedule, as well as (if you're good enough) the playoffs. Franchise is like Season Mode, but much deeper. In it, you guide a team through multiple seasons of hockey, and have control of options like drafting, contract signings, free agency, and hiring staff. The 2-on-2 and 4-on4 modes allow you and a friend to hand-pick a team of players (3 or 5, depending on the mode) and face off in a wide-open, arcade-style hockey game. Shootout works exactly like a shootout in real hockey: three skaters per side alternate taking shots at the goaltender, and most goals wins. Aside from game play modes, you also have the option of creating your own player or your own team from scratch, as well as modifying the existing roster (ie make trades, edit line combination) to your taste.

NHL 2K9 is the first NHL Sports title for the Nintendo Wii. The Wii version features motion controls for shooting, passing, checking, and even fighting. There's also a new system for those who like to take control of the goaltender, which involves mimicking controller movements as they flash up on the screen in order to make saves.

The PS3 and XBOX 360 version include online play, in which you can jump into a quick game with up to 11 other players, or participate in online leagues or tournaments.

In the broadcast booth, Bob Cole and Harry Neal have been replaced by the San Jose Sharks' announcing team of Randy Hann and Drew Remenda. The game soundtrack mainly comprised of energetic rock tunes, and features the likes of The Offspring, Bad Religion, and Mastodon.


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Critic Reviews

IGN Australia PlayStation 3 Sep 09, 2008 8 out of 10 80
GameDaily Xbox 360 Sep 12, 2008 8 out of 10 80
TeamXbox Xbox 360 Sep 09, 2008 7.9 out of 10 79
Digital Chumps Xbox 360 Sep 16, 2008 7.6 out of 10 76
Game Informer Magazine PlayStation 3 Oct, 2008 6.75 out of 10 68
GameZone PlayStation 3 Oct 01, 2008 6.4 out of 10 64
GamingExcellence Wii Nov 03, 2008 6.1 out of 10 61
GameSpy Xbox 360 Sep 12, 2008 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Cheat Code Central Xbox 360 Sep, 2008 2.9 out of 5 58
Game Revolution Xbox 360 Oct 09, 2008 C- 42


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