NHL 2K9 Conference Call
Written Thursday, September 11, 2008 By James Parkin
Last week, Xbox 360 Achievements was able to attend a conference call with NHL 2K9’s producer, Ben Bishop, and online producer, Jay Iwahashi. We went over everything NHL 2K9 for about an hour, and I’d like to pass along some of the more fascinating tidbits!
NHL 2K9 will be completely different from its predecessors. The series used to be developed by Kush Games, but this time we’re going to see work from Visual Concepts, the guys who have brought us the NBA 2K and All-Pro Football series. We’re told the game will be a new franchise as almost all of the coding had to be re-written so the team was comfortable with it and how it ran.
Visual Concepts also decided to take a step back from 2K8, and bring the fun back into the series. The have created a new controller scheme, so anyone should be able to just pick up the controller and play. Instead of complicated combo controls, we’re given three main buttons; pass, shoot, and check. So no matter if you’re a veteran gamer, or a ninety year-old grandmother, you should be able to simply pick up the controller and play without fiddling through the manual looking for the control schemes.
Some other new features include a brand new fighting system. Once you lock up to fight, you have to both punch, and keep your balance. You keep your balance with your triggers, and use the A button for a light punch, and the B button for a hard punch. You’ll have to master when to balance and when to punch to win fights.
New to the franchise this year are a few new mini-games. One of which is a new Stanley Cup celebration, if you can battle your way to win the cup, you’ll be able to celebrate like the pros. Different button presses will either raise the cup, pass it to a teammate, or even kick it along the ice.
The online mode has also been heavily worked on. One of the biggest features is the new “Team-Up” feature where you can play along with 11 other consoles for a full six vs. six multiplayer extravaganza. One of the features that’ll be a love-hate feature is the way the game works in ranked games because while playing ranked, you won’t have the ability to control the goalie. Also, unlike player matches, when you decide to play, you won’t be able to choose your position, you’ll just be thrown in there to a random position and be forced to play there all game.
If that wasn’t enough news for you, how about some awesome Reel-Maker abilities? At the end of the game you’ll be able to take numerous clips, and put them together to create a larger clip of up to twenty seconds long. You can have this footage be fights, insanely skilled goals, or even checks that sent your rivals flying along the ice. This won’t be restricted to local play either, if you’re in an online league, you can record some clips, upload them to the 2K site, and it’ll be linked to your gamertag with everyone in your league getting instantly alerted.
From the demo on Xbox LIVE, and the fantastic features that were covered during the conference call, NHL 2K9 looks like it’ll be the best in the series, and may even have the chance topple rival games in the same genre. If you’re interested in finding out more about the game, you can download the demo from the marketplace, or buy the full version in stores today.