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Cover Boy Wayne Gretzky Must Really Want You To Buy ‘NHL Slapshot’ For The Wii

Since his dismissal as the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes last year, Wayne Gretzky has found himself with a lot of time on his hands. And what better way to waste away the days then by making more fat stacks of cash becoming affiliated with a first second-rate hockey game for the Wii?

Set for a September 7th release, NHL Slapshot will feature Wayne Gretzky on the cover, is geared towards children and features a hockey stick controller.

EA, not surprisingly, vows the 21-inch/53-cm stick peripheral that ships with each game will revolutionize video game hockey. But [lead producer Joe] Nickolls makes the point that the stick is the first third-party controller peripheral that Nintendo has approved for inclusion with a game, and that EA’s NHL franchise is too valuable to sabotage with a gimmick that doesn’t live up to its promise.

Nickolls says that because the stick peripheral holds both the Nunchuk (in the butt end of the stick, with the analog stick used for moving your player) and the Wiimote (further down the shaft, with the trigger used as a modifier to execute certain moves), it’s more accurate than the Wiimote alone.

“Because you’re getting two signals sent to the Wii, it triangulates the signal. So it basically gives you more accuracy,” Nickolls says, adding that WiiMotion Plus won’t be supported by NHL Slapshot because it’s essentially not needed.

The stick peripheral will detect slap shots, wrist shots, body checks (done with a cross-check motion) and poke checks, with the Wiimote’s trigger used as a modifier to perform passes, dekes and other moves. The game can also be played with the Wiimote and Nunchuk alone, or even just the Wiimote.

Color me impressed. But for those of you still not convinced, are you willing to argue with this ringing endorsement from The Great One?

“It’s one of the those games that you could sit down and you’ll be able to play for hours. It’s very realistic … it’s almost like playing in the NHL.”

Yep. Just like playing in the NHL, Wayne. The same way playing the original Mario Bros. trained you to be a kick-ass plumber. Come on.

EA hockey comes to Wii with NHL Slapshot [Load This]
EA Sports partners with Wayne Gretzky to bring NHL video game to Nintendo Wii [Washington Examiner]