EA Sports NHL
30 July 2010
Today I had the honour of speaking with the Joe Nickolls, senior producer of EA's new NHL Slapshot for the Nintendo Wii.
Before we begin I want to say thanks to him and EA for setting up this interview. I know they're hard at work completing the game, set to release on September 7th, so taking time out to speak with me is greatly appreciated.
I'll be honest, when the first details of Slapshot were released, I instantly wondered if this was going to be another cutesie, fluffy, sports title trying to take advantage of the family-friendly niche the Wii has carved out. However, after speaking with Joe, it became abundantly clear NHL Slapshot is aimed not only to the young gamer, but also to hardcore hockey fans.
Lets start with the career mode, or as it's called “Peewee to Pro”. Joe assured me this could very well be the deepest career mode EA has ever created in any of their sports titles. You begin by creating your Peewee superstar. Choose your name, jersey, likeness, and team to begin your journey. If you'd prefer to play as a current NHL player, or as cover athlete Wayne Gretzky, go for it. (For those wondering, Wayne can only be used in the career mode. If you don't elect to use him as your Pro, he'll take on the role of coach to help guide you to superstardom).
One of the first things you'll notice when you first hit the ice as a pint-sized superstar, is that your skating motions will mimic that of actual children. For those that have never watched young kids skate, most of them will take 100 strides and travel a total of 6 feet on the ice. Thanks to motion capturing technology, EA used actual kids on blades to capture this perfectly.