Hockey is a sport played by two teams of six players each who skate on a sheet of ice. It has the passing and shooting of soccer, the speed and contact of rugby or American football. The teams included in EA Sports NHL 09 are located in North America, Northern and Eastern Europe. The Canadians, Russians, Swedes, and Finns are perhaps the greatest on skates. While hockey isn't as popular or heavily marketed as basketball, American football, baseball or soccer, it does have a devoted fan base.
The visuals are stunning, the game play is suspenseful and realistic, and the audio features the often-dramatic calls of Gary Thorne, one of the world's greatest sports announcers. The menu music is a decent mix of alternative rock and speed metal. EA Sports has produced one of the top sports titles of 2008, rivaling FIFA 09 in terms of its quality and fun. If you are looking for a new game to try, NHL 09 is a good choice. While it may be an acquired taste for Kiwis and Aussies, you will come to understand why so many in the Frost Belt love this game.