I apologize in advance for the length of this post.
First, on the topic of ninjas: Tenchu RPG. How awesome would that be? I don't want an action RPG, that's too obvious. I want a strategy RPG where your movements happen at the same time as the guards/targets/etc. (much like Vandal Hearts 2). That way you always need to be one step ahead of everyone.
Anyways, I just wrapped up by first game of NHL '07. (Aside #1: The clerk at Gamestop gave me some serious attitude when I asked for this. I said, "can I get NHL 2007 for PS2?" So he says "do you want 2k7, or the other one?" "The EA one." "The EA one sucks. I don't like how they changed the shooting." It never ceases to amaze me the level of people that Gamestop will employ.) My first impression, the manual is nine pages. Nine! That includes all the credits and legal stuff. For a game that features almost entirely new play mechanics, that's pretty weak.
I'll give the good things first:
1. I'm glad we finally have a hockey game that utilizes both joysticks. It's about time.
2. When you are in the offensive zone, you deke with the left stick. No other buttons are involved. It's marvelous in its simplicity.
3. Passing with the right stick is super smooth.
4. It feels like hockey. It's hard to describe, but this game has a much better flow than the recent Sega games.
5. It's only $30 for the PS2 version.
And now the bad:
1. The best way to describe the player switching on defense is "drunk."
2. The control scheme is strange. Several times I went to change players and I did a spin deke instead, since they are both on the X button. Also I kept hitting R2 for speed burst, only to wind up to shoot. Would a tutorial have killed them?
3. The defensive learning curve is crazy steep. Even on "easy" I gave up 2 goals within minutes.
4. I lost 4-3 in a shootout. (Aside #2: This game really hates the Flyers. Even with Keith Primeau they are ranked an overall 84. As a point of reference, the Capitals are an 82.) At least I got to play a shootout.
5. Passing with the right stick does not allow you to make "precise passes easier than ever before," as the manual states. If fact, it's the same as passing in any other game, only you don't have to press a button. The puck usually goes the the player in the general direction you pressed.
Well, that's enough for now. Maybe I'll write a real review after I get some more games and the dynasty mode under my belt.