Most helpful positive review
80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Better than the NHL2K franchise - Hardcore Gamer or Family Fun Friendly
on January 1, 2011
To be perfectly honest, when I first saw this game at Best Buy I was quite excited - I've been an addict of NHL2K10 for the last year and liked the Wii's play controls, but was always annoyed with how stiff it felt. To see a game with an actual hockey stick seemed perfect.
Then I went home and read the reviews from different gaming site - and everyone gave it solid marks (B-A-) but constantly mentioned that it wasn't for hardcore gamers - that scoring 7+ goals was common and that things weren't realistic enough. Disappointed, I checked it off my "things I want for Christmas" list.
Then, ironically, my wife gave it to me as a present - she saw how much I loved the 2K10 game - so I put on tentative smile and thanked her. I was hoping, if anything, that since Slapshot was more arcade like, we could actually play it together unlike 2K10 which is a bit complex at times.
I popped the disc in later that night and started playing the PeeWee to Pro mode (where you create your own player and start off as a little dude in the outside rinks and have to move your way up through the leagues). The arcadeness came out right away - checking and shooting was definitely fun - just move the stick as you would instinctively - but the scores were often double digits and checking sent the little guys flying across the ice. I must say my wife found it adorable to see lil baby Kane and Toews running around the ice - it has a cute factor to it.
So I upped the difficulty level to "superstar" - and now the game became very intense to play - quite competitive and fun - yet still double digit scores. It was like playing NBA Jam but for hockey.
However, then I came to see where so many reviewer went wrong. It's the core difference of actually playing a game for an extended period of time or just going for an extended "test drive".
After playing for a week, I finished the season (actually in 5th place) and my player had good enough stats to move to the next league. Now the players were a little bigger - teenagers playing in outdoor rinks - and things were a little tougher. Checks didn't send people flying across the ice - players actually kept their balance and you couldn't just push them around. Scores were still in the 4-9 goal range, but it had a completely different, and more challenging feel.
Now I've made it through that age level, and my player recently got drafted into the CHL (Canadian Hockey League). I'm from Chicago and honestly know nothing about it - but it appears to have all the real teams and stadiums. Let me tell you - it's a whole new league! First, the whole concept of playing your role on the team comes into play - in the peewee and teenage league, you just dominate the ice, go anywhere you want, and have the players pass it to. In the CHL - it's a full 6v6 and as a RW I need to play my position. This isn't a game where you control whoever has the puck - you just control your player. Try to take the puck the length of the ice and score? Forget it - you'll have two guys double team you and lose the puck 9/10 times. Try to not play defense? No hope of winning - your unmarked guy will put it in. Want to go check crazy? Well penalties now exist - so if you get called for tripping, YOU go into the penalty box and can do nothing but scream at the TV while your goalie gets pounded during the opposing team's powerplay. It's absolutely fantastic.
Plus - at the CHL there are announcers calling the game - and you can set it to use a name of a pro player similar to yours. So when you get the puck, score, etc, you actually hear "your" name being called. Let me tell you - I could get used to it.
Finally - the scores? Tight matches with usually less than 5 goals a game. I've had countless 2-3 or 2-1 games. It's completely realistic.
All in all - I honestly was in the playoff in my NHL2K10 game when my wife game me Slapshot - and I haven't put 2K10 back in my Wii since. Between the graphics, gameplay (having an actual stick), realism, personalization, etc - Slapshot is 50 times better than the 2K franchise. Unless you really care about contracts and trades and etc - go with Slapshot - the game is one of the best on the Wii to date.
-Starts arcade style - evolves to realistic sim in pro leagues
-Peewee to Pro Game Mode well developed and immersive
-Peewee mode SUPER friendly for family fun; Easy controls
-Pro level involves playing your position
-Pro level penalty means your actually have to sit in the penalty box
-Pro level includes customized player name announcing
-Hockey stick play control better than any wii-remote + nunchuck setup
-No online multiplayer
-Hockey stick control has a learning curve for advanced levels