• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Oct 4, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. The game has seen a remarkable improvement since the previous Gretzky NHL released at the handheld’s launch, but it still isn’t quite where it needs to be and probably can’t compete yet with 2K Sports’ or EA Sports’ versions if and when they come out for the PSP.
  2. Of note in this installment is the overall graphic and sound improvements. The graphics are actually quite good and crisp. The character animation is very nice. Other than a few notable exceptions, the sound is quite a bit better as well.
  3. The sound effects definitely help the audio package since they are in tact and quite forceful.
  4. The graphics have been improved and new gameplay modes are well implanted. However, as with the original effort, there are still some AI problems that plague this latest on-ice effort.
  5. There isn’t much depth to the single-player game, but having a season mode is a nice addition.
  6. Despite the occasionally erratic opponent AI and the small framerate stutters here and there, this is still a solid game of hockey. The game modes are decent enough with 3 on 3 Countdown being one of the most enjoyable.
  7. This game might not be a hardcore hockey fan's portable dream game, but the less pickey gamers might want to give this game a shot.
  8. Virtually anyone can pick up and play this game, as depending on your preference, you can focus on more of a simulation-type game or an arcade-type game.
  9. 70
    While it lacks common features like player creation or a franchise mode, it also has better (or less cheap, at least) AI than the console version.
  10. Gretzky NHL ’06, in just about every way, is a spitting image of its big brother counterpart on the PlayStation 2. It suffers the same flaws but it also has the same achievements, though the former outweighs the latter.
  11. A decent hockey game, but it falls short of being the great one.
  12. For players prepared to risk finger cramp, wrist lock, eye strain, and cracked patience in order to make the transitional skill demands laid down by the merciless gameplay, the experience is never anything less than rewarding.
  13. The game is fast, and more suited for the on the go gamer who doesn't mind their sports games with that arcade feel.
  14. 70
    Gretzky '06 piles up some new features, does a better job of tracking franchise info, and has the AHL license for minor-league teams. It does not, however, come close to equaling the on-ice fun of "NHL 2k6" or "NHL '06."
  15. Decent overall and marginally better then its predecessor, it's not worth another $40 in the same calendar year. [Holiday 2005, p.100]
  16. A fairly lackluster game of hockey that doesn't really need to be in your PSP collection.
  17. The Gretzky franchise gets an update in line with its recent PS2 counterpart, but still has a long way to go before dumping that 'rental-only' label.
  18. 60
    Unexpectedly, the best mode is Wayne on Wayne, in which most of the game's rules go out the window in favor of arcade matchups.
  19. A definite improvement over the first PSP Gretzky, but Gretzky NHL 06 still fails to thrill. [Jan 2006, p.105]
  20. Gretzky NHL 06 still has some problems that prevent it from being the definitive portable hockey game - rock-solid framerate, create-a-player and downloadable rosters are still MIA – but it’s still a decent game for hockey fanatics, not to mention the only PSP hockey game this season.
  21. 40
    The gameplay itself, while a bit more grounded than its lame console cousin, has too many AI issues.
  22. 38
    While the game controls nicely, the frame rate is bad, the gameplay is bland and boring; there’s simply no fun to be found in the title. Simply put, it’s a bad port of an already bad PS2 game.

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