A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
As in real hockey, players misbehave by taking their frustration out by hitting other players.
Violence & Scariness
The game itself is rather physical. You can check opponents for big hits, and even get into fights. No blood is involved, and players earn stiff penalties.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Most ads are visible along the boards of the ice rink. The majority of sponsors are hockey-related, including Koho.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this hockey sim closely mirrors real professional hockey, right down to the violent hits and fighting, and the ads displayed all around the rink. While engaging in mid-game scraps is pretty easy to pull off, you're always punished by a 5-minute penalty. The game is playable online, a feature Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for kids under age 12.
Is It Any Good?
In terms of on-ice gameplay, NHL 09 feels very similar to previous releases. Stickhandling has been tweaked for better control on defense. Players can now use their stick to block shots or passes. If the controls prove too complex, players can now use a simpler layout consisting of only two buttons and the analog stick.
As usual, the presentation is phenomenal. Lights reflect off the ice, while the surface gradually dulls as players zip back and forth around the rink. Players move so fluidly you could swear you were watching a real game of hockey. NHL 09 is an impressive simulation that uses creative career options to take a big leap in authenticity.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.