NHL 08

NHL 08

NHL 08

Pucking about.

What the hockey gods giveth, they taketh away. Last season's innovation, the skill stick, gave us a clean control to rack up goals. "Finally," the fans spoke, "something fun and fluid to play with on offence." Making the right analog an analog for your player's stick was as good a design decision as we'd seen in sports games, and for a while, this advancement was enough to overlook other faults.

But like a star player that doesn't share the puck, the skill stick's over-emphasis on individual offence made messy teamwork obsolete. A few flicks of the thumb produced an elegant, easy scoring shortcut, but there wasn't enough AI in place to support working the puck around in the zone. No longer.

Puck hogs, be gone: EA's spent time schooling its defencemen so they can school you. Last season's control scheme remains aboard in NHL 08, but the computer finally has the code to counter it: a dynamic AI that scouts your tendencies, forces you to adjust your playing style, and studies the tape while you sleep, we guess. This "on-the-fly AI" is the antidote to repetitive play, say EA. It's not HAL 9000 on skates, but it's enough of an improvement over last season's predictable defenders to earn some stick-to-ice applause.

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Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round Four

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round Four

The good, the bad and the fugly.

Once more Eurogamer returns to the front-lines of the next-gen console war, as we present our latest batch of cross-platform games available on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and put them to the test. Which titles are better on which console? More importantly, where there are differences, is there a fundamental effect on the gameplay?

As is the norm, there's a range of comparison screenshots accompanying each game, acquired digitally and losslessly at full 24-bit precision from the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 Elite and the PlayStation 3 respectively, courtesy of a Digital Foundry HD high-definition capture box. Not too much we can add here other than to say that every pixel of each console's video RAM can be extracted, meaning there's no better way to judge the graphical capabilities of each game on each console - short of mailing you all a disc.

So, onto the roster of software up for discussion then - another gaming mixture that once again encompasses the good, the bad and the fugly of cross-platform development.

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