News Article

NHL Slapshot Includes Wii's First Dinky Hockey Stick

Posted by James Newton

See Wayne Gretsky hold it and smile

In a move that's caused someone, somewhere to curse why they didn't think of it first, the next NHL Slapshot game is coming to Wii complete with a very fetching mini hockey stick peripheral, as modelled by Wayne Gretsky and family here.

As EA's first foray into Wii ice hockey you'd expect it to take on the more arcadey vibe of the company's other sporting titles on the system, but from the first details it sounds like it might cram in a surprising amount of detail, with a wide range of moves and an intriguing career mode that takes you from all the promise of a 12-year old to a grizzled and toothless 40-year old pro.

Then there's that stick, of course. Although it's not required, the game's lead producer Joe Nickolls reckon it actually makes the control more accurate:

Because you’re getting two signals sent to the Wii, it triangulates the signal. So it basically gives you more accuracy.

So much accuracy, in fact, that MotionPlus isn't supported as it's "not needed." EA is due to make the first official announcement today, though it seems most of the cat is out of the bag already. There's still plenty we'd like to hear confirmed, including online multiplayer for starters, but until we get that information we'll leave you with the words of Mr Wayne Gretsky:

EA always makes a great game. I’ve had a chance to play it, and it’s one of the more realistic games I’ve seen in a long time. For me, my kids love to play and they enjoy it immensely.


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User Comments (34)



grenworthshero said:

James, your tone in writing this article reflects the skepticism I think most of us are feeling...



jangonov said:

Wow good job Bloodysaber. I thought it was Mr. Gretsky degrading himself to holding a dinky hockey stick in trade for the real thing, but that was just too obvious. Speaking of which, how does this thing work? I would really like to know how a plastic add on can help you play more accurately. Does it have it's own motion plus type device built in? If so, then my skepticism is unfounded, but when Mr. Nickolls said that, I got the vibe of those people selling the wii on HSN. You know, the ones who say "and it comes with this tennis racket! You're kids need this to play tennis is wii sports." before they bundle it with "Go Play! Circus Star" and throw the remote through the tv.



Kirk said:

What another utterly crap gimmicky controller attachment...that's probably going to sell pretty well to the casuals.



jangonov said:

@kirk sadly, you are completely correct. This'll sound mean, but in a way I hope Nintendo reveals something that makes it impossible for casuals to casual it up. It isn't that I don't like new people playing games, but that when I see a 38 year old woman selling a wii on tv and tells mothers who know no better that the kids will love it, it will help them lose weight, and it requires useless attachments, the wii becomes no more important that a juicer or a pocket fisherman.



brandonbwii said:

The optimist in me wants to say this idea is so zany that it just might be awesome. The realist in me though says this will suck. I don't think EA "gets" the Wii audience at all (has EA Sports ever made a competent title for Wii besides the Tiger Woods series)?

Who knows, many of their games that were "targeted to Wii audiences" flopped at retail. With any luck they learned their lessons and can actually make a game that really is "fun for everyone".

Those kids sure look like they're having the time of their lives though.



Incognito_D said:

@ Kirk - depends where you live. In the UK it won't since no one really cares about hockey



WildPidgeyAppears said:

But I wonder if this'll be a hit with the Canadians... ;D

Seriously, though, this reminds me of this silly little set of attachments for the remote I saw that looked like a tennis racket, etc. I don't think that's really necessary to enjoy this kind of game. Now granted, I'm not a sports fan at all, real or otherwise, but if companies keep making lame gimmicks like this, the Wii will continue to be labeled as a novelty or a glorified toy, etc. It's a shame because these companies don't know how much they're hurting the image when it comes to gamers who matter (i.e., the ones who bought the Wii for Mario and company).



James said:

Let's not write this one off before anyone's had a chance to use it: if it makes ice hockey into an enjoyable and vaguely realistic video game then that has to be a win in anyone's book.



Raylax said:

In fairness, when you're stood in the endless grey void (what a metaphor for EA), your Wii and TV probably don't need wires.



manleycartoonist said:

Let's not forget if it wasn't for R.O.B. the Robot making the NES look like a toy to retailers Nintendo wouldn't be where they are today in America. So I say these useless peripherals are just Nintendo sticking to their roots.



manleycartoonist said:

Wiimote Hockey Sticks will make this more realistic? How about Wiimote Skates? That would actually add some challenge to the game.



Slapshot said:

Oh @#$% I got to change my @#$% screenname because of the @#$%.

@James... theres already 2 incredible hockey games available and that's NHL 09 and 10. If you want arcade gamplay track down a copy of NHL Hitz.



Iggy said:

Depending on how cheaply made it is you could use it as a floor hockey stick. Thats about as realistic as it will get.



so everybody is crying for a stick (that you don't have to use) whitout any data for the game..

..and really, are we still using the "kazual" idiocy after all this years?! really?!



Lefty_Noob said:

@ 8. brandonbwii -- has EA Sports ever made a competent title for Wii besides the Tiger Woods series? -- I loved Madden 07, and 09 wasn't terrible either. I know people are skeptical, but I'm definitely interested to see what they can come up with here. It'll be worth a rental for sure.



Ryon said:

whats wrong with the picture?

we didnt get the wireless TV or Wii's here in the rest of the world yet!



spicoli said:

The picture looks like this conversation is happening:
Kid - Dad, nothing's happening.
Dad - Just give it a second...



WildPidgeyAppears said:

I want the Wii that doesn't need power cords or AV cables, then the system will be truly wireless. As for the kids, they look confused and/or mortified, while Wayne looks a bit TOO eager to be there.

To the people questioning the hating on this: it truly seems pointless, because you could do as much without the useless piece of plastic. You certainly don't need those weird boxing glove attachments, for example, to have a blast with Punch-Out Wii.

Also, insert inappropriate Puck jokes here



ToastyYogurt said:

I'm guessing from the picture that this game is so futuristic, the screenshot takes place in the year 2050 where your electronics don't need to be plugged in to anything...



MasterGraveheart said:

Ooh, ooh, does it give me force feedback when I check Sidney Crybaby into the boards and end his virtual playing career? Because I'd be all over that!



WiiPS2Guy said:

I just saw the screenshots on ign and the game looks pretty cartoony is the only words I can think of.

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