EA Sports Brings NHL to the Wii with Slapshot

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Posted May 30th, 2010 at 10:50 am

Back in March the news slipped out that EA Sports’ NHL franchise was headed to the Wii. It turns out it won’t be a version of NHL 11 that hits the Wii but instead it will be branded as NHL Slapshot and include a hockey stick controller attachment. The Toronto Sun has revealed the news and gone into some details of the game including that Wayne Gretzky will be the cover athlete, how the controls work, and the career mode.

It’s hard to say what the biggest news is here. That EA is finally doing their first NHL game for the Wii, challenging 2K Sports on their previously exclusive turf? That Gretzky is involved as the cover athlete and in-game playable character? Or that NHL Slapshot will use a minature hockey stick peripheral that ships with each copy of the game?

NHL Slapshot’s “Peewees to Pros” career mode starts you off as a 12-year-old of our own design (or you can step into the skates of a very young Gretzky, Sidney Crosby and the like) and lets you work your way from Peewee to Bantam to Junior to Pro, watching your player grow, age and acquire skills along the way.

NHL Slapshot is slated to release on September 7th the same day that NHL 11 hits stores for the 360 and PS3. A price has not been revealed but speculation is at $60 which would be $10 more than a standard Wii game. I’ve never felt motion control works well for team sports but in this case it just might. The option to play the game traditionally using the Wiimote along with the Nunchuk will be offered too. Any interest in playing an NHL game with a motion controlled hockey stick? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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  • nice sounds pretty cool

  • Alex

    and with it comes the final nail in the coffin for nhl 2k.

  • Hendricks1977

    I want the TV they are playing it on…”NO CORDS!”…FTW….LOL

  • Always love promo shots like that. The Wii is cordless too! The game is so fun you don't even need anything on screen. Just swing that stick around and enjoy!

  • Henri

    Does it utilize wii motion plus? Regular wii motion would not be good enough for me for a purchase.

  • 42Blues_DavidBackes_18Mavs

    Man that seems fun. Not sure if I will buy it—-because of time but I tink many kids will have a blast with this

    Go Blues-David Backes

  • Hockey player.

    I'll pass on this. You dont need hockey stick attachment. Waste of money.

  • Tougie

    Or you could just go play hockey

  • No to motionplus. They dont need to use it because the stick holds both the Wiimote and Nunchuk and having both sensors work together essentially provides what motionplus does on its own.

  • Lonnie

    why do all the wii games have such funny looking players? they all seem to have huge heads and tiny bodies lol..why can't they just make player models the same as they do for the 360 and ps3? i wouldn't buy it for that reason alone..it just looks stupid.

  • Cause that's such an easy thing to just go out and do?

  • That peripheral attachment reminds me of the mini-hockey sticks we used to use in “Hotel Hallway Hockey” growing up on travel games for youth hockey. I can definitely see this taking off with a younger crowd, but I'm not sure how many people in their mid-20's (like me) would buy into the idea of standing in the living room with a stunted hockey stick and flailing it in the air.

  • They're trying to appeal to the casual crowd that dominates the Wii user base.

  • Henri

    good point.

  • Those are peewee players. The Pros look normal:

    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/bcrt2000

  • Ohh, love to use this as soon as possible. It seems really very impressive, i am surely gonna use this.

  • I don't see myself playing it by myself but I could see myself playing it with my nephews and their dads

  • baconboy

    Gretzky is my fav player, this game is going to rule, too bad I don't have a Wii, I wish Gretzky was a playable character in NHL ll

  • hockeysim

    That's nonsense. The MotionPlus is capable of a heck of a lot more than what you get by combining the nunchuk and wii remote inside a stick. I am pretty sure EA just said that to make people think that the motion plus is pointless… probably a shot at 2k10. Hopefully 2K11 utilizes the MotionPlus for some 1-to-1 stickhandling or something because this sounds like a gimmick to me, although the peewees to pros mode sounds intriguing.

  • hockeysim

    PastaPadre, any word on if the Classic Controller will be compatible with NHL Slapshot, and if the NHL 11 skill stick will be in it? Or if the gameplay is taken from 360/PS3 or the PC/PS2 versions?

  • According to the original news report it will support using the nunchuk+wiimote+peripheral (since both nunchuk and wiimote sensors are used in conjunction, is supposedly as accurate as wiimotion+, no wiimotion+ support though), nunchuk+wiimote or just the wiimote.

    Theres no way to tell right now if this is a port from the PC/PS2 version or 360/PS3 version. The player models and textures are all new and look a lot nicer than on PS2. A friend of mine noticed that the goalie net in the Oilers vs. Flyers pic I posted above is actually the same net used in the PS2 version (thick posts). But the crowd looks completely different from either version (crowd was fully 3D in NHL 2004-09 PS2).

    Really hoping its not just a new skin on the PS2 version but its possible.

  • They have 3 points of reference, the distance between the nunchuk and the wiimote, the distance between the wiimote and the sensor bar and the distance between the nunchuk and the sensor bar. With the Nunchuk and Wiimote being in a fixed distance between each other its easy to find out in 3D space where the stick is. Without the peripheral theres only 2 points of reference (since there wouldn't be a fixed distance between the wiimote and nunchuk), so I'd agree with you that without the peripheral the motion+ is needed, but with the peripheral its not.

  • Hockeysim

    Sure, maybe for NHL Slapshot the Wii Motion Plus isn't needed, because they don't have any features that would utilize everything the Motion Plus does. But I assure you the Motion Plus does more than this hockey stick that comes with the game. Either way it is moot if Slapshot utilizes it well enough. I myself would just rather wait and see if 2K will end up doing anything with Wii Motion Plus (last year was a decent first try) that could make it more fun to play. Who am I kidding though, I'll be buying both games no matter what.

    One more thing about this peripheral… it looks like all kids that play this game will need to learn how to play as a righty, since the nunchuk is toward the butt of the stick.

  • the stick itself does nothing, but putting a fixed distance between the nunchuk and wii makes it possible to find out what orientation the stick is in.

  • Hockeysim

    Oh I fully understand. But what this means is that your nunchuk will be sideways during many points of the game, which seems unintuitive since the analog stick will then be sideways, which means up will be left, right will be up, etc. So I could see the User becoming disoriented when trying to skate and stickhandle (assuming that will be a feature) at the same time. Either way, we will eventually find out, and I am happy to have two legit hockey games on the Wii now. Most sports have no legit sims on the Wii at all.

  • Those screens are a little surprising. I think they look pretty darn impressive! I'm excited to hear more about this game.

  • Guest

    Online play?

  • SD

    No, USA Today put out an article saying that there will be 4-player offline, but no online.
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehun

    Given the strength of 2K's online (especially for the Wii), that's still a very big point in their favor.

  • well, it is really a good point