NEW YORK CITY -- The biggest change in the hockey video gaming world in the past year was the news that 2K Sports would be taking their NHL series strictly to the Nintendo Wii. Given the dominance in the hockey video games market by EA Sports, taking NHL 2K to the Wii is a good decision as it's the perfect platform for it.
Last year, we reviewed NHL 2K10 on the Playstation 3 and found that while the game was graphically impressive, the controls sluggish to the point you'd get incredibly frustrated.
Now exclusively on the Wii, 2K might have found its niche. While EA's NHL series is geared toward the hardcore hockey fan looking for realistic gameplay and ultra-deep franchise mode, if you're a casual fan looking for a "pick up and play" kind of game, 2K might be the way to go.
To help promote NHL 2K11, featuring Ryan Kesler(notes) of the Vancouver Canucks on the cover, 2K Sports took an RV from Calgary in mid-July to New York City yesterday, stopping at 14 different cities along the way.
The tour ended yesterday at Chelsea Piers where fans could demo the game and meet Kesler and Travis Zajac(notes) of the New Jersey Devils. Later in the afternoon Kesler and Zajac took part in a pick-up game and then helped run an on-ice clinic for a local youth travel team.
Being the adventurous gamer, I challenged the cover boy to a friendly game between his Canucks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Last summer, Kesler guaranteed that Team USA would defeat the Canadians in the Olympics and medal.
I asked him if he had any guarantees for our match, to which he replied, "I guarantee I won't lose by less than five goals."
Practicing earlier this week so as to not embarrass myself, things were going fine, with Kesler holding a one-goal advantage in the second period.
Then things went haywire.
A faulty Wii nunchuk hindered the skating ability of my Penguins, which in turn allowed Kesler to pop five goals during that time, all but ending my hope of victory and giving the Canucks' assistant captain an 8-2 victory.
A big gamer himself, Kesler said he mostly plays during the season and likes to spend his off-season outdoors. He's already received numerous requests from teammates for free copies of 2K11 and will now be on the receiving end of complaints regarding player ratings and likenesses.
We took some video during the day of the 2K setup outside of Chelsea Piers, the pick-up game and shootout afterwards and inside the 2K RV including the some interesting messages on the bathroom wall: