News Post

Gamers receive an early opportunity to get
hands-on with the highly anticipated hockey title

August 14, 2008 – While dedicated hockey fans eagerly anticipate the first puck to drop for the start of this year’s NHL season, 2K Sports today announced that a free demo of NHL 2K9 is now available for download through the PLAYSTATION Network. The demo will provide fans an early chance to experience the new simplified controls and relive the excitement of this past season’s thrilling Stanley Cup™ Final for a brief three minute period as either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The same demo is also scheduled to be available next week through Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

NHL 2K9, developed by Visual Concepts, brings the fun back to hockey video games with all-new features including user-friendly controls, an exciting Zamboni® mini-game, playoff beards, a revamped fighting engine and much more exciting action than ever before. Complete with fresh new in-game commentary, improved franchise mode, and upgraded online features, NHL 2K9 is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and older by the ESRB, and will be available on September 9 for Xbox 360, Wii™ home video game system from Nintendo, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

For more information about NHL 2K9, please visit

NHL 2K9 screenshot gallery - Click to view NHL 2K9 screenshot gallery - Click to view
Game: NHL 2K9Reader Score: 7/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS2 / PS3 / Wii / Xbox 360Votes for game: 15 - View All
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Member Comments
# 1 bigmoe @ 08/14/08 04:39 PM
Originally Posted by kcxiv
turning on the ps3
Dying for some impressions!
# 2 Splitter77 @ 08/14/08 04:52 PM
i played for about 1/2 hour.
you cant change settings or anything, so I cant really tell if i like it or not.
-i do like the checking animations, but there are still way too many bodies sprawling all over the ice.
-didnt get into a fight yet
-no commentary
-no penalties( i dont think at least)
- no net physics
-the board physics are awful
-i like how you can use the controls as they are in NHL 08
-intro was nice
-game was way too easy (like i said, I need sliders)
-framerate seems to stutter sometimes when your player connects on a check(checking animation)
-game speed was way too fast

after my 1/2, I would say I would not buy this game. I am going to wait for impressions from you guys on the full version.
# 3 VanCitySportsGuy @ 08/14/08 05:24 PM
+ Really enjoyed the new intros. Red Wing highlights were shown on the ice before the players came out
+ Ice will spray up sometimes
- Framerate problems
- Way too many hits
- Game was too fast

Overall it felt more like an arcade style than a sim. The demo didn't have any sliders or pbp. I also didn't see any stat overlays or penalties.

It's hard to judge a game on a basic demo, but I wasn't really impressed.
# 4 bad_philanthropy @ 08/14/08 05:28 PM
It was difficult to judge the gameplay, most notably the cpu AI due o the apparent lower difficulty level. Overall there are some nice gameplay mechanics in place, the game plays smoothly, but there are too many hits and it's too easy to hit. The puck physics are excellent, much better than EA's game, and I want to say passing feels a little more realistic as well. Visually the game is significantly lacking, I'm not sure if it's the demo version or not, but in some respects the game looks worse than previous versions on last gen. Overall the game might be worth a rental.
# 5 greenngold01 @ 08/14/08 05:43 PM
Well remember that in 2k8, by default the game speed was very fast. You had to change it to "realistic" and then the game really shined. So I don't think a demo like this will help anything. Especially since NHL 09 is looking strong (although I'm still probably going for 2k)
# 6 Cozmicoz @ 08/14/08 06:38 PM
Overall Impression - A good, casual game of hockey

I've played 20+ games so far, and I'll break down the GOOD and the BAD.


- Fresher/Cleaner look to the franchise with a brighter overall appearance
- The arena looks wonderful - excellent details on the boards, crowd, etc.
- Intros are very nice; the video presentation on the ice never changes but the entrance camera angles change from game to game to make it a little more varied
- Crowd sounds and reactions are much more convincing and exciting
- Puck sounds are much more realistic too (off boards, flipping to the ice, etc.)
- Puck physics are fantastic as the puck bounces on edge, or rips into the top corner and out again, just as quickly (there's something about those rocket-shots to the roof of the net!)
- Collision detection is fine during gameplay, as the puck glances off body parts, sticks, and the rink convincing
- Also, players spin off checks, tumble, lose balance... nice improvement


- Player models are 'boxy' and jerseys are too tight... however, when the game is in motion, everything looks very good and you won't notice these things as much
- In cut scenes, players bump into each other, the refs, and the net - there are some really quirky animations (or lack thereof!)
- Conversely, in some cut scenes, the collision system simply does not exist as players sail right through each other on their way to the bench and draw
- Goalies rock back and forth before going into their post-goal animation routine
- On a few occasions, the instant replay did not show the goal, but the insignificant action beforehand (???)
- Overall gameplay is more 'messy' than EA's NHL series... It's harder to set up, make quick cuts on your skates, control the flow of the play, etc.
- While the sound of the whistle is better than the previous 'high school gym whistle' used in previous versions, the ref still blows the whistle after a goal !@#!#$


- Check out the CPU demo camera (it activates from the Rick Nash startup screen if you don't hit any buttons). If only we could play with that camera!@# (2K - please release a patch to make the cpu demo camera playable!)

INITIAL VERDICT: This game has a refreshing new look and appeal. It's nowhere near the sim that NHL 09 will be, but it's not meant to be that in the first place. If you like or love hockey, NHL 2K9 will impress you at times, and offer a different experience from EA's game. NHL 2K9 is an addictive game in its own right... and possibly NHL2K10 may seriously challenge EA.


# 7 Flyermania @ 08/14/08 08:52 PM
I downloaded the demo tonight too. While it isn't bad, it doesn't really impress me too much. My early pros and cons:

* Pre-game intros are very cool
* Menus are vastly improved
* CPU defense isn't as hit happy
* Checking animations are very good

* Graphics look last-gen again
* Number and name fonts are way off
* Players don't look like their real-life counterpart at all
* Sound effects are awful
* CPU offense still passes out of scoring chances
* No cycling by CPU offense, or setting up of an offense
* Skating still feels more like floating on the ice

The game isn't bad, but at this point I can't see spending $60 on it.
# 8 Splitter77 @ 08/14/08 09:26 PM
this just happened inmy last demo game. dont know if this was in 2k8, but the net came off the pegs and went way over to the right of the faceoff circle. I waited, and the ref went over to the net and pushed it back onto the pegs- was kinda funny becasue the animation was glitchy due to the fact of where net was, and it took about a minute for him to get the net back in place.
# 9 PES3Paul @ 08/15/08 10:18 PM
I deleted the demo off my PS3 hard drive. When one of the selling points at the end of the demo is for the inclusion of 'playoff beards', that might tell you a company doesn't have that much to offer.
# 10 JimmyDeicide @ 08/15/08 11:28 PM
Im realy, realy digging the demo so far, i think it plays a good game of hockey as is, so imagine when we get the sliders.

At first i was like WTF with the controls but im over that now and settled for pro stick evo basicly if your familiar with EA's game as i am it feels the most natural of them all. And not as easy to score.
Im kinda miffed about the controls as i was very fond of last years layout but just as last year you have to learn new ones same thing but different
They took out full stick control so get that out your systems now, again tho its sorta like EA's controls with a clunky poke check on d but it is very effective and i'd say better than EA's .
The stick handling very similar to EA not as exagerated tho side to side which i kinda like(no mad dekes with mike grier kinda thing) its serviceable for me.

The AI seems realy good so far and the cpu pens have scored some real nice goals against me, the standout being Malkin in the high high slot rolling of a hit and deking my keeper it realy was awsome looking as are most goals , not once have i thought " that was an iffy goal" the cpu burys its chances .

The animations on the hits and just player interactions is outstanding.

Im going on but id say its just like EA's game but with all the 2k gameplay cant wait to delve into the full game.

Not sure about the shooting yet it may be on auto or accuracy is down need more time to realy see if its going where i aim it.

This is looking to be a great single player game for me im realy psyched for it now but i will be getting it for 360 most likely.
It has rough edges but its all good for me so far.
# 11 bukktown @ 08/16/08 01:47 AM
How does skating feel?
# 12 JimmyDeicide @ 08/16/08 11:11 AM
He cant be right about the skating , he has never played Hockey!!!!!

But i agree it is realy good . I love having some momentum and nailing guys in the boards in the neutral zone , feels awsome.
# 13 JimmyDeicide @ 08/16/08 08:26 PM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
Yeah I agree. I still think the skating sounds and looks pretty real. Also, the ice is amazing looking. It really does look like ice and Rink is amazing too. It looks like 20,000 people are there.

Sorry Scott. It was a dig at saint patrick from another thread its perfectly fine to have an opinion without having to be a player of the sport.

I mean mostly they try to replicate what we see on TV right, you see what skating looks like thats all you need i would say.

Sorry again , back to the topic.
# 14 JimmyDeicide @ 08/17/08 10:01 AM
Originally Posted by Scottdau
Skating to me seem so freaking hard. These people that can skate amaze me. I love watching them skate. And Marleau and Michalek are really fun to watch. Man, they are fast.

Yes and throw handling a puck on top and then a side order of keep your head up so it doesnt get knocked off.
# 15 Splitter77 @ 08/17/08 12:28 PM
after playing this demo for about 2 days now- It feels like Im playing an updated version of NHL Faceoff 2001.
# 16 frbc @ 08/17/08 12:51 PM
The graphics on the PS3 come up short again. I agree with the posting that call them last gen--it will be interesting to see what the game looks like on the XBOX 360. I wonder what the problem is with sports games on the PS3. Right now, MLB 08: The Show is the only good looking sports game on the platform. Other than that, I like the new NHL 09 style swing stick and some of the player animations did look good. The graphics thing is puzzling though -- have any developers spoken about this or have plans to address it?

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