June 18, 2008

New NHL 09 Nuggets

In his latest blog on IGN.com, EA Sports' NHL 09 producer David Littman dropped a few little nuggets that should have puckheads eagerly awaiting
the upcoming game even more than they probably are. The game comes out in September, but, if you're like me, you're still playing NHL 08 religiously just to kill time until the new release. You're also probably scouring message boards and various websites just to find out more details of EA's plans for the 09 edition.

In the NHL 09 trailer, there was a cut scene of a "dump and chase" play which is an added edition to this year's gameplay. Littman writes, "The new flip dump will sometimes bounce over the defensemen’s stick and get him in all sorts of trouble. Then you can use the lift stick or the new checking system to get the puck back using one of the new forecheck strategies."

Want to match-up Nicklas Lidstrom when Sidney Crosby's line is out there? Expect the ability to change up your forward and defensive lines separately for the first time ever. Think you can turn George Parros from fighter into top-notch scorer? Think again. If a player is rated low, you will find it hard for them to perform deke moves around defensemen and score goals in general.

My favorite line in Littman's blog comes at the end: "We will have lots of retro jerseys in the game (Seals, North Stars, etc) and we are doing something even more special with one of the NHL franchises." Retro jersey's is something I've been wishing from EA for a long time. I think they had some old school uni's a few years ago (anyone?), but glad to hear they're coming back. I'm going to guess that "special" thing EA is going to do with a NHL franchise probably has to do with Montreal, since next season will be their centennial celebration. Maybe even something with Detroit, the Stanley Cup champions?

Littman ends his blog with a major tease:

" NHL 08 received seven sports game of the year awards. But, as you know and we know, we can be a lot better. Based on your feedback, we have added new features and fixed things you didn’t like. Plus, we’ve added some things that you have never seen before in a hockey video game."

Hmm..interesting. To check out more features in the game, head on over to EA Sports' official NHL 09 website.

So, EA Sports junkies, what do you want to see in NHL 09?

Ballhype: hype it up!


Justin said...

Yeah, I remember there being old unis in one of the older EA Sports hockey games. I have to say that I've been a bigger fan of the 2K series more recently, though. If EA moves back away from the arcade-style gameplay that marked everything after NHL 2004, maybe I'll consider them again this year.

Freeptop said...

Weird. Being able to change forward and defense lines separately and having old-school uniforms in the game are things I've just come to expect from playing the 2K series. The puck-flipping feature is also one that's already in 2K. Sounds like I'll be sticking with the 2K series for a bit longer.

Richard-Steven Williams said...

I used to be a 2K fan but last year they mullered the controls for some weird reason and after I got used (sort of) to the EA games dual stick controls I was converted, although as a games commentator I'm less than enamered with the proposed takeover of take-two interactive by EA, competition is good after all, though with EA's chequebook on't be expecting to be playing 2K games for much longer. I think the dual stick takes away from the arcade element whilst 2K still lets you play the oft-unbeatable one timers by a touch of a button, good to see they are finally putting retro jerseys in as 2K have sported them for years, hopefully they will expand on the create-a-team function as well.

Mike said...

The teaser comment about doing something special with one of the NHL franchises is definitely interesting.

My vote says it's with the Blackhawks. Their rink is on the NHL 09 page and there has been a monumental buzz around that team since Wirtz senior kicked the bucket.

I like your thought about it being the Habs though.

Time will tell.

JonnyP said...

Maybe you'll be able to play a "Winter Classic" game, in the middle of the season.

If they could do that, it would be pretty cool.