Review by DraimanBelieve7

Reviewed: 06/20/08

NHL 07 is the best PSP hockey game you can get

Intro: The NHL series has been around for quite awhile since the early 90s. I remember playing NHL 95 and 96 a lot on my old Sega way back in the day. Those were some awesome times and eventhough those games are so old now, every NHL video game that comes out is compared to those games. The Genesis hockey games were awesome cause of their arcade style and super fast gameplay. It wasn't the most realistic hockey game back in the day but they were the most fun hockey games and probably the most realistic for its time. Ever since then the NHL series is kind of gone down hill steadily. Well EA Canada decided to try and make the NHL series more like the older Genesis games starting with NHL 07. They did succeed for the most part although whether you feel this way or not depends on exactly how you like your hockey games to be. If your looking for the most realistic hockey video game out there then this might not be your cup of tea since this game does tend to go toward the arcade side of things just a little moreso than Sega NHL 2K series does. Both series have their flaws but I think this is easily the best PSP hockey game to date and is a lot of fun to play whether your at home or on the road.

Game-play 9/10: The gameplay for NHL 07 on the PSP is remarkable. It really does remind me of the good old EA NHL games from back on the Sega Genesis. The players do what you wnat htem to do. The controls are very responsive and it plays a lot like the PS2 version of NHL 07. It has a feature that allows you to transfer your PSP Dynasty Mode save file to your PS2 version of NHL 07 in case you want to play NHL 07 at home and use your PSP to play on the road. Not much of a huge feature but it is nice for people who bought the PSP version of the game for portable reasons only. Its a great fun game of hockey and probably one of the best NHL games to come along in years. It does have a few issues though. The biggest thing is this game leans more toward the Arcade hockey player instead of sim hockey so trying to get shutouts every game is very difficult. Doesn't matter how good your goaltender is they will block maybe 5-10 shots but will let 1 or 2 goals in easily so it comes down to who has the better offense and which team can limit the amount of damage with their defense. The game doesn't play 100% like a real hockey game would play out but I could care less cause the game is exciting and fun. Also all the rule changes were implemented in NHL 07 for the first time like the trapezoid behind the goaltender and little things like that to speed up the game just like in the real "New NHL". The game is a fast paced hockey game and its amazing how the frame rate keeps up with it. Its an overall enjoyable game and probably the best hockey game in the EA NHL series since NHL 94-96 came out on Sega years ago. Its also easily the best NHL game for PSP right now considering the Wayne Gretzky games are absolutely awful. NHL 08 wasn't released last year and NHL 09 doesn't look to be released this year due to poor sales on the PSP version.

Graphics 10/10: I really don't think EA could've gotten the graphics to look much better than they do here so this gets a 10. Every player I have seen or am familiar with does resemble their real life counterpart. Its almost like they took the PS2 graphics and just watered them down just a bit so they could be put on the PSP version. What you get is awesome graphics that are very close to PS2 quality. The Rink looks awesome, all the arenas are accurate and it plays just like the PS2 version. There is a lot of detail in the graphics for a PSP game.

Sound 9/10: Awesome sound but you might need headphones to hear it good. The commentators do a good job of telling you whats going on. Once in awhile they might make an error or a mistake on who was called for a penalty or some little thing like that. They also talk about the history of certain teams, their coaches and players. For example when you play the Phoenix Coyotes they say "This man needs no introduction the greatest hockey player to ever play the game is now behind the bench" speaking of Wayne Gretzky being a coach. It just gives a little more authenticity to the game. Some people hate commentators in video games because after awhile of playing the game it gets repetitive but I would rather listen to this than John Madden talking about hot dogs and running it up the gut. Sound effects and all that stuff is top knotch. The only thing that sucks is the soundtrack is mostly emo music and me being the heavy metal fan I am emo definitely doesn't appeal to me.

Play Time 10/10: 82 games in a season and then the playoffs adds more to it and a Dynasty Mode that allows you to coach through 10 seasons. You manage your team as a GM and you will get a lot of playing time if you want to try to go through 10 seasons of hockey. You can trade players, sign free agents, draft players and things like that. If you like hockey or hockey video games you will invest a lot of time into this game.

Re-playable 10/10: Its very replayable with a full Dynasty Mode that you can play on your PSP or your PS2 if you own both versions of the game. You can play Free-For All Mode, set up a tournament and play as international teams. There is multiplayer wifi both ad-hoc and Infrastructure. I haven't tried out infrastructure mode yet because the lobby is completely dead everytime I log in probably cause of how old the game is. You can also get updated rosters right online and download them right to your PSP so eventhough it is a hockey game that game out in 2006, if you search hard enough you can probably find accurate rosters. Check the boards on this site and Gamespot to find some.

Buy or Rent? Buy it. It goes for a pretty penny even after being released so long ago. I shelled out around $30 with shipping on ebay for a brand new copy of this game and if you get for under $20 consider that a steal. I did hear that this game didn't sell very well when it came out for PSP, the reason why NHL 08 or 09 won't be out for PSP. Its a shame because this is a great hockey game and probably the best portable hockey game ever made. EA Sports needs to bring the NHL series back to the PSP and even if 2K Sports brought the 2K series to the PSP that would still make me happy as long as it was as good as this. Buy this game if you want a hockey game for your PSP.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: NHL 07 (US, 09/12/06)

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