As we've covered before, EA Sports' NHL 10 is going to feature a slew of enhancements on what's already considered one of the best hockey titles on the market: first-person fighting, board play and some interesting ways to swing the momentum in your team's favor.
Fighting along the boards? Leahy recalls this being a part of a previous NHL video game, but its absence in subsequent titles would seem to indicate the technology wasn't there for it to work yet.
Without actually testing out the feature, we'll withhold judgment. But the concept seems like one of these things programmers add for the sake of hyper-realism before the gamers rise up and say it's sort of a drag. Like that 14th step in a golf swing when all you want to do is hack it like a weekend duffer. (But that's why they have difficulty settings, right?)
Still, the notion that anything in a hockey video game would be tailored for the Jay Pandolfos and Kirk Maltbys of the world is a tad odd.
That said, the "after the whistle" function is pretty much the greatest thing to happen to video gaming since the invention of giant apes throwing barrels at Italian plumbers. Face washes, cheap shots, putting the puck on the goalie after the whistle ... so, Claude Lemieux(notes) Mode then?
It's also interesting to hear Littman, a former goalie himself, pimp the fact that acrobatic saves have been introduced for the keepers in NHL 10. About time they were something more than digital impediments to fun.