Feeling neglected amidst the next-gen hype, the current-gen versions of NHL 07 seem like a patched re-release of NHL 06
If the 360 version of NHL 07 is the privileged older child, the current-gen version is somewhat of a latchkey kid, stuck trying to fit into oversized hand-me-downs and feasting on cold leftovers. It’s all part of an unfortunate but inevitable trend - current-gen games are becoming budget titles. That isn’t to say that this is a budget quality game - with NHL 06 as a solid foundation, the current-gen version of NHL 07 is still a great experience, but it didn’t get half the attention that its older sibling did.
The Skill Stick control made it down the line, but only for passing. Moving the right analog stick toward your intended recipient passes the puck, and flicking it toward open ice dumps it. When you’re used to it, it feels comfortable, but no more so than pressing a button. If anything it’s refreshing, and at least gives the feeling that something’s been added.
We don’t mean to make the game sound caustic – it already looked good and played well last year, it just doesn’t look or play much differently this year. The graphics, for example, underwent a few improvements here and there, but side by side, NHL 06 and 07 look nearly identical.
Besides the “skill stick revolution,” not much has changed in terms of gameplay. The player AIs now operate based on Player Roles such as “Sniper,” “Power Forward,” and “Offensive Defenseman,” but the impact of these changes is hardly felt while playing. The defensive AI is a little less sloppy, making it harder to find a good shooting angle, and the difficulty of one-timers has been increased, but it’s generally the same fast-paced madness from last year (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).