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EA Sports has been doing fine work on this series for the last few years, but everything until now only seems like groundwork for this years version. Small problems aside this is the best game of hockey ever made.
All in all, NHL 09 delivers the goods in spades and even if you have played your fill of the NHL series over the past two years. NHL 09 gives you reasons to lace up the skates again, if anything for the Be a Pro mode exclusively. If you consider yourself a hockey fan, you would be doing yourself a great disservice by passing this one up. It may be the best hockey game ever.
NHL 09 is simply a joy to play in any mode, and it truly shines when it comes to multiplayer, whether online or off. With barely a visual hitch, exceptional presentation, engaging online, improved controls and an unmatched level of realism, there’s almost nothing to prevent a full recommendation to any fan of hockey or sports games in general. Even if you aren’t a fan of sports games, the game is so good it could turn you into one.
If you're like me and haven't played a good NHL game lately, or if you have long given up on the series because of its difficulty factor or your inability to score or play defense, it is time to step up and face the reality that NHL 09 is one of the best hockey games that I've ever played. There are so many new features and modes of play present that you really can't miss with this year's installment. All of the basics are there, but the addition of the Be A Pro and Online Leagues is outstanding, and shouldn't be missed. I highly recommend NHL 09 for not only fans of the series and fans of the sport, but those who have strayed and are looking for a reason to come back to EA. NHL 09 is the new standard in sports gaming!
The Review Busters
It pains me to say that I can't give NHL 09 a perfect score, but a 9.5 out of 10 is darn close. The few minor little problems are far outweighed by all of the great aspects of this game. There are no parts of this game that can be considered a weakness (online doesn't count because it's the servers that are having the troubles). Be A Pro is one of the best modes of gameplay I've experienced in a sports game in a very long time. If you have the resources, I suggest you buy this game as soon as you can.
Planet Xbox 360
NHL 09 is hands-down the best sports game yet. The solid dynasty mode and online leagues would have made most gamers happy, given how good it looks. The 'Be A Pro' mode and innovative EA Sports Hockey League give this game replay value unheard of in an annual release. NHL 09 is the new gold standard of sports simulation videogames.
It’s really hard to imagine sports fans not finding a game mode or an aspect of NHL 09 that they enjoy; classic controls and the Be A Pro mode give opportunities for the more casual players to go about a hockey game in a slightly different fashion. You don’t even have to be a psychotic hockey fan to enjoy NHL 09; just a fan of sports in general and of solid Xbox 360 software. Of course pick this one up if you live and breathe the NHL hockey season, but NHL 09 is also worth a look by those that are still searching for that killer, HD-era sports application.
NHL 09 is the pinnacle of the series in 3D. A solid foundation was laid long ago, and now the team is simply layering in the subtle nuances that make hockey the great sport it is. The be a pro mode is incredibly addictive, though progress can be a little slow, and the online league structure is the absolute high point for sports video games. On the ice things can be challenging, but the realism it provides is well worth the learning curve. Just like the real sport, NHL 09 is the comeback of the hockey video game. We recommend it even for those who don't enjoy real pucks, as it provides non-stop thrills from one end of the ice to the other.
The choice for the perfect hockey game used to come down to one question: what features do you enjoy the most? But in 2009, there really is no choice. 2K Sports has completely lost focus, fixing minor problems but also removing features instead of continuing with their 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach. EA has made not only the best hockey game ever, but might very well have the best sports simulation game in history. It really is that good. EA gets the GCM Editors Choice Award, 2K gets the sin bin.
Game Informer Magazine
With the best controls in sports, an addictive Be A Pro mode, and the amazing EA Sports Hockey League, NHL 09 is the pinnacle of contemporary sports games. I hope other sports franchises take note and try to achieve greatness as well.
It was one of the best, if not the gold standard for sports genre video games last year, and it looks set to re-claim that title yet again this year. Despite a few minor quips the game provides a very realistic hockey experience, and is definitely worth an upgrade from last year’s version.
Compared to NHL 08, NHL 09 adds two great modes that may very well change the way you play the game both offline and online, which makes this a must buy for anyone that wanted better utilization of the team play that appeared in last year’s game. The EASHL is one of the coolest online modes to come around since league play, which is hopefully something that becomes a standard for the other sports games to adopt and make their own. There are some rough edges to work out with the new Be A Pro mode that keep it from topping the great, in-depth career mode in MLB 08: The Show, so there’s always next year. Otherwise, NHL 09 is easily in the running for the title of Best Hockey Game Ever, with some people leaning towards one of the great games of the past and others leaning towards the dearth of great modes in NHL 09.
EA Sports NHL 09 is once again the must-have hockey game for Xbox 360 owners and NHL fans alike. The enhancements made to the defence give it a much better all-around feel when compared to last year’s version. The new ‘Be a Pro’ feature is not only innovative but is highly enjoyable as well. Going online with your ‘Be a Pro’ player is a blast especially when playing a full 6-on-6 user controlled game. NHL 09 is also an incredibly deep game whose replay value will sustain your interests well into 2009. Is NHL 09 a perfect hockey videogame? No, but it is pretty darn close as EA has taken last years effort and made it that much better. I highly recommend NHL 09 for the Xbox 360 to any sports fan out there even if you are not familiar with hockey at the NHL level.
Dramatische Spiele mit entscheidendem Tor in den letzten zehn Sekunden der Spielzeit, packende Fights und ein motivierender Managerpart - NHL 09 bietet alles, was uns Eishockeyfans erfreut. Das Spiel ist von vorne bis hinten eine absolut runde Sache, was auch schon die fast an den Haaren herbeigezogenen Contra-Punkte verdeutlichen. Seit den 2D-Klassikern von NHL Hockey hatte ich nicht mehr so viel Spaß mit einer Eishockeysimulation, die nebenbei noch richtig schön umfangreich ist und mit vielen netten Boni zu punkten vermag, die den Titel weit weg von dem ansonsten jährlichen lieblosen Vollpreisupdate für Sportspiele ansiedelt. NHL 09 ist jeden Euro wert, also ab aufs Eis. Neben Top Spin 3 sicherlich das bisher beste Sportspiel des Jahres!
Every fan of the EA Sports NHL series has probably already purchased their copy of NHL 09 but as far as everyone else is concerned, all you need to known is that NHL 09 is the best ice hockey game you can currently purchase. All of the new features help to make the game superior to NHL 08. If you long for the simplicity of the ice hockey games of yesteryear, you'll also be appreciative of the ability to select an NHL 94 control scheme which uses only two buttons. This simplistic control scheme allows almost anyone to jump into a game and immediately feel at ease with the controls. In short, there's little to fault NHL 09 for and it's going to be interesting to see if EA Sports can improve on this next year.
Armchair Empire, The
At this point in time, EA Canada has the NHL franchise down to a science. But this year, rather than just spit out another instalment, they took the time to do some really interesting things while refining things like hitting and getting the control aspects almost perfect. NHL 09 is highly recommended.
EA have really thought about NHL 09 and with the introduction ‘Be a Pro’ this year, they have taken things further. The bar has well and truly been raised by EA and others will have to respond. This can only be good for us gamers and I can’t wait to see what EA has in store for FIFA 09 and the Be a Pro mode if this game is anything to go by.
Sporting titles that provide so much enjoyment and variety for all skills of players are a rarity. NHL 09 has its issues yet these fall by the wayside in comparison to what’s on offer. Arguably it represents the greatest sporting release of this current generation with only a few minor tweaks required next year.
Official XBox Magazine
Loads of smaller additions — separate offensive and defensive line changes, even tighter commentary by Clement and Thorne — only improve the game. The series’ thumbstickbased controls have also matured, adding defensive options (like sweeping poke checks, lifting an opponent’s stick, and pass blocking) that really complete the experience. Which is just another great reason to spend some quality time with NHL 09 — it’s one of those rare sports games that stands out from the crowd.
NHL 09 isn’t just a great hockey game, it’s one of the best sports games to be released in the last decade. It takes the right analog stick controls first pioneered in last year’s game and pushes them forward ever so slightly while pouring on features that everyone from newbies to diehards will appreciate. The only question remaining is how they’ll follow this sports game of the year contender once next season rolls around.
NHL 09 is a great hockey title that does a fine job of putting you in the middle of the action like never before. While not perfect, the Be A Pro mode is tremendously deep and adds a ton of longevity for the game, especially online. Plus, the solid gameplay mechanics from last year’s entry return here in fine form, making this a must have title for hockey fans everywhere.
Finally, there's the Media Hub that's been making an appearance in some recent EA Sports games. You can save and edit video or take photos at any point during a game, then upload them to one of EA's servers for sharing with your friends. It may not seem like much to some, but we had a great time sharing videos of ridiculous goals or vicious hits. Oh, and did we mention that you can also play the game using the old-school NHL 94 controls? The controls feel a bit antiquated now that we've been acclimated to the Skill Stick, but it's an excellent way to introduce your non-sports game loving friends to one of the best sports titles in years.
NHL 09 is an immaculate sports experience, combining what worked so well last year with unbeatable new modes Even non-fans should lace up their skates and hit the ice.
If you even have a passing interest in hockey, you owe it to yourself to play NHL 09. EA has raised the bar yet again for its hockey franchise with engaging gameplay, excellent presentation, and enough game modes to tide you over until Christmas. Move over Blades of Steel, NHL 09 has earned its place among the greatest sports games of all time.
Overall, as I stated earlier, if you are a sports fan at all then you should own this title. It has everything you could possibly want. Sure its hockey and its not the most popular sport out there, but if EA continues to build upon this game then the NHL may just get back on the map as one of the 4 major sports in America. I can't suggest it enough that one needs to buy this title or in the very least give it a rental for the online play. Be a Pro mode is outstanding and the Online League action is just awesome.
Game Informer Magazine
While small tweaks have been made to the skating, it’s still feels a little floaty. Unfortunately, this is most noticeable in the game’s otherwise awesome online segment – which is so fun that it outshines the old glory days of multiplayer hockey. This is no small statement. But since this is the best hockey game I’ve ever played, it’s only fitting.
That being said NHL 09 is the best of the franchise to date and is one of the best sporting games to play either versus the AI or one on one with friends, plus with the addition of online play things can only get better (especially once they figure out the problems and fix them). Be A Pro adds the final sugary frosted coating to an already great game and even if you don't know the game of ice hockey or the NHL there is a longevity to the game that just makes it a worthwhile purchase.
NHL 09 is as real of a hockey game as it can get. It looks great, sounds good (if repetitive), plays great and has an amazing set of features. Some occasional AI issues, a mostly untouched franchise mode, and some online lag issues drag the game away from pure hockey perfection. It still stands well above the competition, and if you've ever enjoyed a hockey game in the past or have wanted to play one, NHL 09 is your best bet for hockey fun this year, hands down.
Cheat Code Central
With its beautiful presentation, broadcast-like feel, smooth control scheme, and innovative new online functions, NHL 09 is not only the best hockey title on the market, it may very well be the best of all-time. Simply, it seems that while EA has perfected their brand of hockey simulation, 2K is still trying to figure things out, and NHL 09 is simply too big of an entity to compete with. The key now is for EA to fix up some of the framerate issues while not tinkering with too many gameplay mechanics to top their accomplishments in 2010.
Das war vor ein paar Jährchen noch umgekehrt: Während NHL 2K9 im arcadigen Mittelmaß versinkt, steigt NHL 09 mit seinem Simulationsanspruch endlich wieder auf's goldene Treppchen. Aber nicht nur die Spielmechanik ist die bessere, auch die Ideen dahinter: Electronic Arts hat vor allem mit dem neuen Be A Pro-Modus eine frische Eishockey-Variante in petto, die ein klasse Mittendringefühl vermittelt und mich aufgrund des Feedback- & Belohnungs-Systems so motiviert auf's Eis lockt, wie seit langer Zeit nicht mehr: Der Jubel nach meinem ersten Tor war richtig laut. Dass NHL 09 kein Platin erobert liegt weniger an den sporadischen Rucklern in den Zwischensequenzen und Internetmatches, sondern vielmehr daran, dass man im Gegensatz zu den lobenswerten Fortschritten in der defensiven Spielmechanik die offensiven Möglichkeiten noch nicht ganz ausschöpft.
If you are into ice hockey this game will certainly fill that niche hole that very few games are able to fill, it’s adaptable and fun. Most of all it is worthwhile and you don’t feel like you have wasted your time playing it like you do with some sports games. Give it a go, you’ll probably like it!
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
NHL 09 is an outstanding hockey game. EA has delivered two truly new features to the genre, in the form of the EA Sports Hockey League and the Be A Pro mode, which have well and truly moved the goal posts. Or net, in this instance. Grab your controller and become a hockey legend today.
Overall, NHL 09 is a worthy purchase for ice hockey fans and an improvement on previous NHL titles. Non-hockey fans may enjoy the game for a short period before switching back to familiar territory – possibly a rental for them.
The Video Game Critic
NHL 09's presentation is understated compared to NHL 2K9, but it does feature a nice intro and broadcast-quality commentary. It's a close call between this and NHL 2K9, but over the long haul NHL 09 probably delivers a more satisfying brand of hockey action.
If you are not an online gamer, NHL 09 is a bit more difficult to blindly recommend. It’s a lot like last year’s game despite some of the new features – it has many of the same faults. It’s fun and addictive, but it’s also not close to authentic hockey so it depends on how much of a stickler for fundamental realism you are – will the ridiculously precise passes and lack of penalties bother you? Still, online gamers or those who want to take the plunge into the world of online sports gaming – this is about as good as it gets.
2K Sports' NHL 2K9 is not a bad game, especially if you'd rather get out there and play than spend time learning button combos. But even with its few warts, NHL 09 is simply too big, too adventurous, too pretty, and too danged consuming to be considered anything other than the best hockey videogame ever produced.
With everything that's packed into NHL 09 we wonder where EA are going to go with NHL 10, there's certainly room for improvement in the way things play out on the ice, elsewhere though it's hard to see what they're going to cram in to sell the game next year. For now though we're more than happy with what's being offered this time round. Despite the pick up and play control system NHL 09 really remains one that fans of the sport are going to get the most out of and as a result they can stick an extra point on the score below. For those of us who are just passing observers though, it remains a delightfully playable game of Ice Hockey that can now be enjoyed by all.
In the end, probably the best remark I can make about the game is that it is one of more accessible available from the selection of EA Sports branded titles, and as a result of this, it’s probably one of the most fun to play. It should be fun for just about everyone regardless of their skill level or knowledge of the sport. Even if this is your first time being exposed to the sport there is fun to be had, and on the other hand, there are also enough varying modes and little tweaks that should bring a smile to experts faces as well.
Si l'on doit opter pour une simulation de hockey, NHL 09 est un titre de premier choix. La concurrence n'est certes pas très féroce mais le savoir-faire des équipes d'EA Sports rejaillit parfaitement à travers le mode Deviens Pro et un jeu en ligne ultra complet. Le gameplay, bien qu'encore perfectible, est à la fois accessible et grisant, ce qui suffit à faire pencher la balance en faveur du jeu d'EA.
A l'instar de NHL 08, NHL 09 répond à toutes les exigences des amateurs de hockey sur glace. Cette année, c'est le mode "Be A Pro" qui constitue l'ajout majeur du titre. Pour être complet, on ajoutera que le gameplay se veut toujours affûté, avec notamment un skill stick au sommet de sa forme qui permet désormais de placer quelques gestes défensifs autoritaires, et que le jeu en ligne s’est considérablement renforcé avec les matches en 6 vs. 6 vraiment prenants. Bref, NHL 09 peut continuer à patiner pépère.
G4 TV: X-Play
It’s almost a perfect game. Severe online connection bugs and freezing problems hamper the experience enough that we can’t give it a full five out of five. Things like putting one player into an empty lobby during matchmaking and the unpredictable nature of the game locking up seemingly at random should have been fixed before launch, especially since these are some of the same bugs that occurred in last year’s game. Despite these issues, NHL 09 is still the most definitive hockey video game to date. There are so many fun modes on the disc, the skill stick is still the best way to play hockey (though there is a three-button NHL 94 classic scheme for the uninitiated), and the gameplay is still rock solid. Even if you’re only a passing hockey fan, you should still play this game.
Once again this is the best ice hockey game around, with flawless presentation and a sublime playing experience. Thankfully EA does seem to have pushed the boat out and added in some extremely welcome solo modes and the ambitious online offering. May not do enough to win many new fans but it’s worth a shot even for newcomers.
Official Xbox Magazine (UK)
Seriously though, it does make you wonder- the controls are as complex as they could ever get, there's full match commentary, the AI's wonderful, and you can either play a manager, a single athlete or take the whole game online and have every player controlled by a human being. Where can they go from here?
Le résultat est de toute évidence maîtrisé, d'autant plus qu'il est possible de gérer manuellement les changements de ligne pour éviter de végéter sur le banc en attendant le signal du coach. Cette option trouve évidemment tout son sens une fois en ligne, avec des affrontements à six contre six, et la possibilité de former des équipes accueillant jusqu'à cinquante membres ; pour les meilleurs, l'éditeur a même prévu d'organiser des play-offs en ligne et de récompenser les rois des stats. Pas la peine d'épiloguer, NHL 09 est plus que jamais la référence du genre.