|a game by||EA Vancouver|
|Platforms:||XBox, PC, Playstation 2|
|User Rating:||5.0/10 - 4 votes|
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|See also:||Hockey Games, NHL Games, Download Sport Games|
Don't Worry, There'll be no puck off' or 'shiny helmet' gags here. Actually, the only reason for that is because I used them all up for last year's review of NHL 2005. Tlie latest iteration of EA's ice hockey series is basically more of the same game, with the addition of slightly improved graphics, analog stick passes and special moves, pucks that can bounce realistically and injure players, and a tweaked create-a-player function.
However, behind the plastic-coated PR spin, NHL 06 remains a fantastic ice-hockey knockabout that still has the best commentary and TV replays of any sports game. Playing is enormous fun, skidding players about the ice with the grace of Torville and Dean and the violence of Vinnie Jones (an obvious combination if ever there was one).
NHL retains the fantastic mid-game punch-ups that made its name and has that must-have-one-more-game guality that all the best sports sims need to have - Pro Evolution Soccer being the best example. Like PES, you don't even have to enjoy or play the sport to enjoy NHL 06 - the game is as smooth and slick as your team coach's hair.
Included again is the Dynasty mode, which presents you with a cut-down Football Manager-style game, even allowing you to let the computer decide results so you can concentrate on the most interesting aspects of ice hockey such as setting ticket prices and analysing fan loyalty (the Glazer family will love this). A quality sports title - even if you hate the ice.