NHL Head-to-Head

Brian Ekberg and Alex Navarro sat down for this special NHL Head-to-Head video feature.

The 2005-2006 NHL season was one of the more rousing comebacks in recent sports memory. The new rule changes proved all naysayers wrong and helped the game far more than it hurt it, and the new collective bargaining agreement helped a number of smaller market teams get back into the thick of things. So it's with much anticipation that we await the 2006-2007 NHL season, and what better way to satiate some of that anticipation than with a good hockey game?

With this year's crop of hockey titles, the competition between 2K Sports' and EA's respective franchises has never been tighter, especially on the Xbox 360, where both publishers seem to have focused their developmental efforts. Both NHL 2K7 and NHL 07 introduce great new positives as well as some annoying negatives, yet ultimately prove to be great games in their own right. However, on a philosophical level, these are very different games of hockey, and players of different mindsets are sure to clash over which one is truly the superior game. To help aid you in your decision on which hockey game is the one for you, Brian Ekberg and Alex Navarro sat down for this special video feature and hashed out all the key details on each title. Is NHL 07's skill stick what you want in a hockey game? Or is it more about 2K7's cinemotion? Watch the video to find out.

As an aside, our decision to focus exclusively on the 360 versions of the game is with good reason. The PC and PSP versions of NHL 07 are uncontested this year, and on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, both 2K7 and 07 feature very little change over last year's games. If you want the best of this year's hockey crop, you'll want to go with the Xbox 360 games. Watch the video and leave us your thoughts with a comment, below.

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109 comments
bhawksfan
bhawksfan

Early on the review shows exactly why NHL 07 sucks. A guy skates all the way from one end of the ice to the other, dekes the goalie, and scores. What fun (sarcasm). I used to have to FORCE myself to make two passes before any shot in EA hockey games, just because of this. Garbage. NHL2K is by far better. I do like the skill stick, though.

sm00thpapa
sm00thpapa

Both are great but 2k7 looks and plays more smoothly.

crosby8777
crosby8777

i like how there is a wrist shot a snap shot and a slap shot in NHL 07 but in 2K7 there is a slap shot and a wrist shot but just one button to do them in NHL 07 there is 2.

Unknown_Legend
Unknown_Legend

EA is a lazy company when it comes to their sports games. 2k sports have been consistantly better at making improvements, especially in basketball games while EA has not. That was the reason EA proposed the exclusivity deal with the NFL, because they realised that 2k sports was improving faster, and in my opinion their last game was better than Madden at the time. How much has Madden improved since the deal? Answer: Not much. And before you Madden fanboys flood my inbox with abusive messages I am also a fan of Madden but facts are facts. Its a good thing the NBA turned down the deal when EA presented it, because being stuck with NBA Live is basketball game hell. EA will continue its lazy attitude towards Madden, because people will continue to buy it year after year no matter how much the game stays the safe. Furtunately I will not be one of them. Rise up gamers!! Its time to boycott if the next installment is pretty much the same as this one. VIVA LA RESISTANCE!!!!!

Kicken
Kicken

its a shame stupid EA Sports wont make their PC games next gen, because most of our PCs are better than the 360, so ya EA, you suck, MAKE YOUR PC GAMES NEXT GEN!

jedi_rogue
jedi_rogue

Great adivce and thorough break down on each! I'm still not sure which one willo play like nhl 04 on xbox "the greatest hockey game ever since 93 on genesis" but I am leaning on nhl 07 as it is bringing us into the next gen gaming spectrum!! Thanks again and I wish you did this for all competing sports titles!! Go capitals!

ocdog45
ocdog45

I think GS secretly doesn't like EA sports games. there always giving 2K games better scores. while the fans give the EA games better rating. last year i did give it to 2K when it came to basketball, and hockey. lets see how it goes this yaer.

defaillance
defaillance

I own both and i would have to go with 2K since it runs fluidly while EA drop so many frames making this year release choopy and broken. wish i could love EA like i did before but this game is just on mor erushed release from EA ( tiger woods anyone ? )

lordrule
lordrule

I would love for ea to make a better online experience like 2k does, but yea the skill stick is a great new addition. Also ea needs to revamp the AI a bit. other then that, both games have features that i would like in one package.

adijan
adijan

EA does great games no matter what the rating, so i do really prefer EA's.

madman_420
madman_420

EA sports... its in the game... thats all there is to it, although the PS2 version blows goats.

farewell1
farewell1

i still prefer EA's verson i mean when they did MADDEN 06 thats a great game

UK_Renegade
UK_Renegade

the skill stick won me over great game

Tehnubbin
Tehnubbin

I have to say that I enjoy both games, for what they are. I've always liked the sim aspect of 2K and the franchise mode is pretty sweet. There's alot to do in it and it's complex but forgiving if you happen to overlook something every once in a while. 07 is the best when it comes to gameplay, though. No denying the skill stick is an addicting feature, as I find myself trying anything and everything to fake out a goalie and score. Sometimes feels a bit too easy though, as most of the time, your shot guns off the post and behind the goalie anyway, and the defense is a little lacking at both sides of the ice. There's also a tendency to overuse phrases in the 07 game...(Kinda like the whole Fight Night overuse of the word Haymaker thing. Maybe it's just a thing with EA?)

RKOLegend1
RKOLegend1

I like both hockey games this year.

gun213
gun213

Madden should be a lot better cuz....oh wait this isn't the football comment box...It's a Jockey game..what the hell is a Jockey...err Hockey?

simbasa
simbasa

I think i'll rent '07 and hold off buying a game 'til next year. sounds good but not great and i'm sick of 2k series.

Shaner258
Shaner258

If I ever want a hockey game I get the 07 ones. I have had 99, 01, and 03. I will probally get 07 or 08....depends...

Leems
Leems

I just bought NHL 07 for the PC and I'm quite happy with it. I am, however, a bit disappointed that the Skill Stick doesn't allow for shooting, only passing. Otherwise, I can see this game returning to it's former glory. The pace of the game is good, not too fast, and the AI seems to play smarter than in previous versions of the game. My only other complaint is that EA has taken away many of the slider options that were available just a few short years ago. I like the variety of scoring in NHL07. No more reliance on the one-timer as in previous years. Also, I wish EA would encourage the creation of custom team logos and uniforms like they do in the Madden series as opposed to just picking from a rather lame selection of artwork and ready-made uniforms. I enjoy creating my own helmet and field art for Madden and I would like for EA to add this feature to their hockey series as well. I don't have NHL2K7 yet, but I plan to buy it for my PS2 when it comes out. I still think NHL2K5 was the best hockey game I've ever played (and it's the first NHL2K game I ever bought). I'm hoping the PS2 version of the game is at least as solid as that game is. I was just a bit disappointed with commentary in NHL2K6 as it was nowhere near as good as the 2K5 version of the game.

Gondorjedi
Gondorjedi

indeed!!! nice NHL Head-to-Head video but i think i buy NHL 07!! :)

Turisman4
Turisman4

Head to head! Head to head! Head to head!

Soultaker_22
Soultaker_22

I don't agree that the defensive play is bad...it's just not easy to master. Some games do a lot of the hard work for you, but NHL 07 makes you, the player, work for your wins. In previous years it was WAY too easy to dominate the AI so it got boring fast. Now we've got to earn our W's and people start complaining.

garrett20
garrett20

I couldn't wait for NHL 07 to come out but now that I have it I have to admit that I am disappointed. The skill stick is great but thats it. The defence is almost makes the game not fun to play. They let in huge goals at bad times and I fell there is nothing I can do to prevent it from happening. EA has lost my trust for making good games. Madden was the biggest let down in video game history. It could of been a great game if they held of releasing it and fixed all the bugs. NHL 07 is better but still has a lack of options, and at times just stupid A.I on defense. The only reason I got EA hockey game over the 2k series is because I had 2k6 for the 360 and it was terrible. Whats wrong with EA

melo_211
melo_211

I think I agree with pretty much everything Alex said throughout the entire video. 2K is likable in its own rights, and 07 in another. And btw, even though not a Devils fan...I'm a Brodeur fan..SICK JERSEY ALEX!! But back to the games, both have their pros and cons. If you're an offensive typed player..you'll most likely take 07 for the amazing fun skill stick..if you're more of a sim type guy go 2K. You can't go wrong this year.

chazzx21
chazzx21

I still dont understand why 13 years later we can't make a better game than NHL 94

arawk
arawk

I liked both games. 2k7 was still to easy to score in this year. I dont do a whole lot with season ( ie trading players and sending guys to the minors and all that) so the dynasty mode in 07 is good enough for me. 2k7 just seemed like last years game with slightly better graphics. I have always been a 2k fan but after seeing 07 and using the new control set up I was hooked. Shooting the puck in 07 just looks and feel faster, when you take a wrister it feels like it and when you crank back on your stick and go for a slap shot its not an instant goal. And being a goalie the way the goalies move is darn near dead on in 07. I also like how the puck doesnt just snap to his catcher right away he acctually has to cover it or stop it.

fagsi
fagsi

NHL 07 is a better game imo, but they are both good hockey-games.

Burniz
Burniz

To see what game is the best one, you need to be a hockey player or a hockey fan....as far as im concerned, NHL 07 is by far better than NHL 2K7 in realistic and everything...First, the hits in NHL 2K7 are so ugly...you hit a player and he goes down 10 m further..and the shots...are they homo shots???no power shots....So if you are a real fan of hockey u will surely prefer playing NHL 07 than NHL 2K7..... -Vince P.S : my friend Patrice Bergeron is a right shooter and in 2K7 they say he is a left shooter...they don't have the NHL license...

fws831
fws831

Hey Alex, Awesome jersey. LETS GO DEVILS and nice video too, ive played both and they are both great for different reasons like you said.

nikeportugal
nikeportugal

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ajarman1
ajarman1

Both great hockey games...I stopped playing EA's NHL around 2002 (bought it every year since 1991) when I found it too "arcade-ish", and really liked the realism the 2K games brought (using the boards, fighting for control in corners, etc)...however, I was a little disappointed in 2K6 last year - not being a huge leap from 2K5, and in some ways worse (presentation). So, I gave EA a chance again this year for 2007 - despite the $20 premium, and I'm somewhat impressed. The graphics are spot-on, and the gameplay is much-improved. I think the off-ice work/admin options in EA's is still a step behind (still don't understand how the practice schedule works), and creating players after the start of a dynasty is next to impossible. The minor league representation in the 2K games is still more accurate. The added "bonuses" that the 2K game had are nice little distractions as well...though, they wouldn't sell me on the game (okay, except the Jets and Nordique uniforms ;-). Things both games need to do to move video-hockey forward are: - Where are the linesmen? I understood leaving them out back in the first iterations on the Genesis, and Playstation...but we're a couple generations past that now! I know it's only for looks, but how hard can it really be? - Add deflections to the offense. I recall one of the first in the 2K series having this, and then it disappeared. The one-timers are still way too frequent, as is scoring from the blueline in the EA game. A good chuck of goals in the real NHL will come from traffic out front, and a nicely deflected shot. The games can kinda do that now as one-timers - but it looks ridiculous when a player in front of the goalie takes a big slap-shot swing to simply deflect. - REMOVE the shadow on the puck! I haven't found a way to remove it in the new EA or 2K game (on Xbox 360)...is it still possible? Regardless, this was added to TV coverage in the US (in the 90s?) to help non-hockey fans follow hockey...is it really necessary in a game that mainly hockey fans are going to play? I feel like I'm passing a Frisbee around! - Continue to improve playing the boards, and intensity in the corners. Players in the 2K series have been able to tie-up the puck in the corners for a couple years (where you need to kick it out), and EA appears to have added some "holding" along the boards...but this is still a very common battle-zone in hockey that's under-represented in video hockey.

Daht
Daht

NHL 07 all the way 2K sucks never get it you'll be dissapointed they stil havent fixed the goalies yet SKILL STICK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

frankeyser
frankeyser

hmm from what they say i think i will hold off on buying either and wait for next years verison to come out.

NamelessD
NamelessD

Sega sport games are way better than EA's

Blitzburgh
Blitzburgh

I went with NHL 07 and now after using the skill stick I can't even go back and play the demo of 2k7 anymore. In NHL 07 you can not skate around on offense or defensive crazily! You need to pass the puck and try to maintain control of the same guy as much as possible and play your position. The defense starts to lose control when you start switching to different guys and try to always check the guy with the puck. If you skated around crazily in real hockey you would last a 1 minute shift and that's it. Play smart and your position and this game is very good but yes it still needs to be smoothed out and have better control on the defensive side.

Nishua
Nishua

***Anarky*** EA also mean arcade football too. 2k sports always delivers a more authentic and realistic sports game when compared to EA.

CoheedIV
CoheedIV

I haven't like NHL since 2002, so I will be getting NHL 2k7 this year again and never mind the fact that I am cheap. hehe

alexistheshitbe
alexistheshitbe

The skill stick in 07 just doesn't make up for the horrible defensive controls. I think 2k7 is still the dominant game of these two, especially with its vamped-up presentation.

EvanSkanes
EvanSkanes

Think i'm gonna go with 2K7 this year, for the first time.

kain71
kain71

Video Dun work for me.

gskehans97
gskehans97

i got nhl 07 today and i think it's good but it needs Works.

Team666
Team666

I like to kick da ball... you like?

phoenixbear
phoenixbear

if i wanted to look at replays all day, i'd buy NHL '07, great graphics and menus. however the game is about gameplay. Go with NHL 2K7 for sim-ish play with non-stop action cause ...it's obvious EA still cannot make anything real...(ie. Battlefield 2: Modern Combat) nuff said.