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Originally, I rated this game with an 8. After playing a bit more, however, I realized that 7 more accurately reflected the overall quality of the game.
As usual (of the last few in the series, anyway) you can play with teams from the NHL, International teams, and even teams from international leagues. While I always play in the NHL, I do enjoy creating teams using mostly foreign players. It makes for a bit of a challenge, as well as a sense of realisim, because a new expansion team would likely pull players from other countries, mixed in with NHL players in the expansion draft.
The mini-games are pretty much the same as they were in last year's edition, as is the Dynasty mode and Creation modes. One change that I welcomed however, is that the passing is controlled by the right analog stick, as opposed to the X button. This added a sense of realism for me, as well as giving me the feeling that I had more control over where my passes went. Although if you'd rather use the good ol' X button to pass, you can go ahead and change the controls.
Aside from that, the game is pretty much the same. Celebrations, pre-game videos... It's all recycled. But that didn't take away from the enjoyment of the game. So all in all, if you don't mind seeing some recycled clips from last year, I'd say it's worth some money to pick up this new installment in the NHL series, especially because once again, EA has completely obliterated its compettion in the 2k series, which again, has failed to make anything resembling a decent hockey game.
If you bought NHL 2006, you really don't need to bother with the 2007 version, they are nearly the same game. For everyone else though, this is an incredibly well made hockey game that can be quite realistic when put on the higher levels of difficulty. The one new innovation to this year's edition is in how you pass. You use the right analog stick to control where your pass goes, making it so you can dump it deep into the zone or make a pass to your winger skating along on the right side. While it is different, I wouldn't say that it adds a whole lot to the gameplay because there was never anything wrong with the passing system to begin with. The controls are very fluid, allowing you to stop and switch directions with ease to deke out any defenders and the hits are still quite hard. There really is nothing like smashing some team's star player through the glass though. There is still a manual aiming system that will make it easier for the better players to score goals, but they may be a bit frustrated with how less the one timer works in scoring goals in this year's outing. Overall, while NHL 2007 is likely to be the best hockey game on the market, it's still pretty lame to ask people to lay down their money for the same game they bought the year before.
I didn't expect a graphic over haul due to the fact that EA will be gearing to work on sports titles for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 so I wasn't shock to see the game looks pretty much like last year's NHL 06 with few tweaks here and there. Don't get me wrong now the player models still look good, the arenas look good and they improve the crowd shots. Gameplay and the deep dynasty mode with the cap should be the main attractions to the game it force you to be a hockey guy which means you have to figure out how to fix your team without going over the 44 mil cap and as for game play it feels real on the higher skill levels and even when you blow cats out you still have to work for those goals. To sum things
Graphics: same in 06 with few notice touch ups but still a nice looking game.
gameplay: much improve, you want to rule the game you going to work for it.