Video Games Square Off on Center Ice

NHL 10 from EA Sports and NHL 2K10 from 2K Sports

Hockey fanatics know that NHL action is often best served in person, but when you can’t be at the rink, a true to the game simulation can be the next best thing.

Historically, hockey video games have been some of the best offerings within the sports game genre and each year for the past decade, two options have emerged before the puck drops on the regular season. This season, one is a third line grinder and the other a reliable All-Star.

NHL 10 from EA Sports is the consistent All-Star. It ranks among the best of most all sports games. It doesn’t rely on flash, but instead, focuses each season on making a few solid additions to its roster of features. This year, a more realistic depiction of what takes place along the boards and a first-person view of what goes down after the gloves are dropped headline the list.

The speed of the game is mostly accurate and the physics of how the puck moves around the ice has been well accounted for, and if anything, the game’s precision can result in some grind it out, low-scoring games.

On the flipside, is NHL 2K10 from 2K Sports and the authenticity of the venues depicted, along with the overall ease of use are some of the game’s better attributes. While 2K10 is pushing hard by marketing its disc with a cover athlete like NHL superstar Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, in the end, hockey is a sport where fundamentals are king and winning means knowing what it takes to get the job done.

In a head-to-head shootout, the EA game has to be the favorite. It’s simply more refined.

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