Create-a-Character: Facially this is pretty trashy. I don't like the way you have to customize every aspect of your face, mainly because with the bad graphics it doesn't really do much. Your eyes will always look squinty and angry. There's only about 3 options for hair: Short, Faux-Hawk, or some kind of mullet. Facial hair as usual didn't improve. Like most games, the longest beard possible is elongated facial stubble. Customization on equipment is decent, a lot of options. I don't really like the layout scheme of the whole thing, feels a bit choppy and a bit too MLB 2k7ish. Made my guy a right wing and threw him on the sharks.
Franchise Mode: First off, the player ratings have me confused. Apparently Milan Michalek is better than Patrick Marleau. I ignored that and went on to fixing the lines so my guy would start. Franchise mode auto-turned off budget, since my guy put the sharks over the cap, which was kind of cool, a nice little feature. Anyways, on to gameplay.
Gameplay: I played for about 30 seconds before slamming down the pause button. I quickly went and switched my control scheme over to pro-stick. I wish there was an option to keep 2k8 controls, as even the pro-stick controls are a bit annoying. I went and switched the camera to 3/4, which actually improved the graphics a bit, made everything look better since it was closer. It took me a while to get used to it but I found my groove, ended up only losing 2-3. So, now knowing how to play I went and started another game. At the end of the first period, Tim Cory (me) had 5 goals, while Torrey Mitchell also was enjoying a nice hat trick. The score was 8-0. Fast forward 2 periods and you will see the end score of 8-7, as I barely won. I guess that was the games way of balancing itself out? Anyways, the next game I won 12-4. The next game, it's 2-2 in the third period. Three minutes later it's 2-6 to the computer. The scoring on this comes in spree's, it really needs some sliders.
I like 2K better. This game is fun and even though they basically copied the EA control scheme, thats good becuz EAs was better.
There are sick signature moves and the game is more realistic feeling than last year. The face off system is WAAAAY better than EA and you can actually check people without having to skate from halfway across the ice.
The graphics are definitely not as good as EAs, and the AI is slighty worse (people overrate EA AI, you can basically score in EA by skating backward, centering yourself on the ice and shooting to a top corner every time, plus CPU EA AI isnt nearly aggressive enough at times). But i think this game feels more like you're playing hockey (the physicality of the game really comes through against the boards and on face offs). I think they also have classic teams and they definitely have classic unis, something that EA doesnt have and it adds to the game.
I mean most people seem to disagree with me and like EA better, but I just wanted people to know that it is possible to like 2k better. The game is mad fun, but you should rent both before you buy because although its not even close to better in every way, I really do think this game is better in a lot of ways.