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There you have it. NHL 07 is a fun and exciting hockey game that will more than likely please both the casual hockey fan and NHL faithful. If you have NHL 06, though, you’ll have to decide for yourself if having the latest rosters and schedules is important enough to you to spend the money on NHL 07.
As current-gen sports titles are devolving into budget titles, it's clear EA has its focus set squarely on its 360 hockey title. But even though NHL 07 looks and feels nearly identical to NHL 06, it remains a fun hockey game, if a bit on the arcade side.
The controls are tight, especially shooting. We would like to see the checking system tweaked a bit so players aren't so magnetic. Great puck physics make for exciting, organic goal scoring. The Dynasty mode has nice depth but the online options are still not where they need to be for sports fans. The franchise's strength is still in a multiplayer game with you and a friend, head-to-head, like old-school NHL 94.
NHL 07 isn’t much of an upgrade, save for the updated NHL roster, over its predecessor. And it does still commit a few unforgivable penalties for gamers, particularly the maddening A.I., which at times can be brilliant while at the same time being frustratingly dumb (especially the goalies), allowing ridiculously easy goals from far distances to find their way into the back of the net twine. But with the newer passing controls via the right analog stick that really enhancing the on-ice control and the same usual brand of entertaining gameplay the franchise has almost always been known for, NHL 07 is once again a hockey game that will score big with the hockey fan.
The one nice thing EA Sports managed to do with NHL 07 on the PS2 and Xbox is price it down to $29.99 (the PC version has been $29.99 at release for a couple of years now), but it seems like a necessary step given how much of this game feels like a patch of NHL 06, rather than a new game. EA's focus is squarely on the next generation of consoles, and if yours isn't, you're going to be left out in the cold if you want solid progression in your hockey games. If you own an Xbox 360, you are hereby excused from purchasing any of the other home versions of NHL 07. If you don't, and can stand buying a roster update with perfunctory tweaks and not much else new to its name, NHL 07 is still a fun game, if not an altogether different one.
Overall, if you haven’t made the leap to the 360, given the bargain price the game is well worth your time if you enjoy arcade hockey with plenty of scoring. It borders on too arcade for me, but I can certainly see people enjoying the game. NHL 07 does have it’s moments; however it feels like an update of last year’s game.