My stick is skilled

September 20, 2006 by Tim

So if you hadn’t heard, the Tokyo Games Show starts this week. It’s kind of a big deal.

Then it’s followed by X06, which is another big thing for Microsoft and the 360.

So Microsoft will be putting up a whole bunch of demos and videos up on XBL this week, supposedly starting today, for those of us that don’t feel like a trucking our lazy asses overseas. But only until the 29th, at which point it will all disappear. So you’ve gotta get on that shit, or you’ll miss it.

They haven’t announced what game demos we’ll get, but I’m anxious. I hope there will be some good ones. I know what videos we’re getting but… meh. I dunno. Game videos just don’t do it for me. Not in this day and age where so many companies have been caught passing off pre-rendered footage as gameplay to build hype. I prefer to see it in action, for myself.

That’s one of my favorite aspects of the 360; demos are right at your fingertips. Often we get to try a game before we buy.

Not that it was terribly helpful deciding which NHL game to buy.

So 2K7 gives us a whole period to play through. It gives you a pretty good feel for the game mechanics. NHL 07 only gives a shootout mode. Now, I can understand why, they want to show off their Skill Stick (which I must admit, is a genius step forward for the genre). But it doesn’t let me see how the rest of the game plays. Defense, offense, checking, etc.

Now, 2K7, from what I’ve heard, is the beefier game. It’s got better online play, better options, etc. However, it still relies on the same gameplay mechanics hockey games have been using for the past fifteen years, and it still rests its weight on use of the one-shot to score.

NHL 07, however, is lacking in some areas, like online play. But it has the Skill Stick, which completely changes puck handling, shooting and scoring, in a way hockey games desperately needed.

Me? I’m going to throw my chips in behind EA’s NHL 07. I’ll take quality over quantity, and innovation over safe bets. Let’s just hope that when NHL 08 rolls around, the rest of the game catches up to the Skill Stick.

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