Rating: Average I enjoyed the original NHL Face Off well enough, but last year's game left a bitter taste in my mouth and, disappointingly, this year's game does the same. All this game's positives do nothing to make up for the poor gameplay that ensues when Sony tried to shove Icon Passing down everyone's throat. The game basically forces you to use Icon Passing because it controls horribly if you don't, and Icon Passing is a pain in the butt because you have to press the button of the player you want to pass you (like throwing the ball in a football game) instead of just pressing in the direction you want to pass. I scratched my head last year when Sony introduced Icon Passing, thinking "Why would they try to fix a problem that doesn't exist?" They try to promote Icon Passing as if it were the solution to the long-running hockey problem of not being able to get the puck to go where you want it to go, but this problem doesn't really exist outside of Sony's marketing papers and thus the solution can't work if there is no problem. Another big gripe I have with this game (just as with NHL '98) is the fact that scoring goals is completely based on luck. The creators of this game can take their "Icon Passing" marketing fluff and luck-based scoring system and shove it where the sun don't shine.
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