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2k Sports is back this year with NHL2k11 and this time it’s a Wii only game there’s no Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 versions which will disappoint those who own that console. You would think that the game would be a vast improvement over last years version but the developers decided to concentrate more on the mini games featuring Miis than the full game. The road to the Cup mode lets your Miss go on a series of challenges across the country, playing mini games and challenges. The franchise mode is still there but more of a focus was put on the Mii game mode than anything else. Players can still have a full season, playoffs, and an online mode to play with friends. New moves include fancy puck juggling and the inclusion of broken sticks on the ice. Graphically the game looks better than last years version with better player models and arenas but don’t expect EA sports NHL hockey graphitic here, this is after all the Wii.
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General Game Play
NHL2k11 plays such like last years offering and even the announcers say the same lines which is disappointing. The game does have some new moves such as puck juggling which does take some practice to master and is fun but not really a game breaking feature. The speed burst button has been removed entirely to give the game a bit more of a sim aspect. You may find yourself reaching for the speed burst and it will take time to get the hang of the new controls. You can use the analog stick to get your player moving. Shots still seem to stick when your close to the net and you’ll miss some great scoring opportunities when using the Wii motion plus. The rosters are the same from last year but thankfully this strange error has been fixed with some downloads now available. Your defense still gets caught out of positions and you’ll get scored on while the AI defense is much better. You’ll find yourself adjusting the sliders to get a decent game much like last years offering.
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The game has the same basic features as last year with full season, playoff, franchise mode, mini rinks, and the winter classic as well as online play. The newest part of the game is the Road to the Cup Mode where you take your Mii characters around the country to compete. The developers should have spent more time with basic game play then the emphasis on cute Mii games that average hockey game players have zero interest in. More emphasis could have been put on franchise options, trades, and other sim elements. With EA Sports putting games on the Wii with the new NHL Slap shot 2K Sports had better pay attention and add some great features for the next offering of this game.
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NH2k11 is still the best hockey game you’ll find on the Wii due to the full franchise mode and slider options but it still needs work. More emphasis must be put on the sim side of hockey and not the cute mini games or other useless modes for the core players who buy this game. Add Mii games if you want but make them on the side not the main feature of your new hockey game. The reviews given by other websites rate this game far too low it is at least a 7.0 in terms of game play. With some more work on the core sim aspects and less on other features NHL2k hockey on the Wii could have a bright future.