Canucks center, Ryan Kesler, finds gracing video game cover 'surreal': 'Clash of the Titans' a real bust


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2K Sports has been a powerhouse in the genre for a decade, with critically acclaimed MLB, NBA and NHL titles. The newest edition to the family will be the Wii exclusive "NHL 2K11," due Tuesday.

Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler, the cover athlete for the game, chatted recently about gaming, the upcoming season and Sidney Crosby.

So, how does it feel to be a cover athlete?

Oh, it's a dream come true. Growing up playing video games, you always dream of being on the cover and when it actually happens it's a surreal thing.

Did you play more sports titles or did you play a lot of different genres?

Growing up I played sports games and now I'll play anything, but I played plenty of Nintendo Ice Hockey.

With the "thin," "medium" or "fat" players?

Exactly.

Do you like playing as yourself when playing hockey games?

Yeah I do play as myself occasionally. Usually I'll just play as a random team, but the one time I need that extra motivation, I'll pick it up and play as myself.

Are there any games around the corner that you're looking forward to trying out?

I was really looking forward to "Crackdown 2." I just played it for the first time and had a lot of fun with it.

Assuming you already have a copy of "NHL 2K11," do you know who the highest rated player is?

I actually do not have a copy. I had one and was able to play about 20 games or so, but then I had to give it back.

Did you encounter any players who were maybe better than they are on the actual ice, or better on the ice than they were in the game?

I think [2K] has done a really good job with all of the ratings, and I'm sure they will update the players as the year goes on.

How are the Canucks looking this year?

The team is looking good. I like the additions we've made and we just need to string it together. I like our chances, but we need to just put together some wins and it'll be a good season.

Do you think this will be the year that you'll make it past the conference semis that the team has struggled with?

[Chuckles.] The dreaded conference semis. Yeah that's the goal this year. We struggled with [eventual champion] Chicago last year. I really thought we should've won the series. So to get past the second round is definitely the goal ... We just don't want to look past the first round, but we want to take it into uncharted territory.

I have to ask some Penguins questions, of course. Do you know Sidney Crosby?

Yeah, well obviously I played against him a couple times. I also met him at the league awards ceremony. I didn't see him too much during the Olympics. Obviously I shook his hand after we played. He seems like a really good guy. I'm sure Pittsburgh would say the same thing. Seems like a hard worker and obviously that translates on the ice.

Let me put you on the spot here. If you had to choose one player to join the Canucks, would you rather have Crosby or Ovechkin?

Tough question. I'll say Crosby since I'm talking to you [laughs]. But it really is a tough question. They both have a little different skill set and they're both really good players and really good leaders. If I had the chance to take one of them I'd probably take both of them.

That would be ideal. One last question; when in uniform, can you tell the difference between the Sedin twins?

Yeah I can. Well one wears 22 and one wears 33 so that helps. Off the ice for the first few years I couldn't tell them apart, but one has a slightly bigger head so that's how I tell them apart now.

Reviews are out of four stars.

'Clash of the Titans'

1 star = Awful
Ratings explained

When I first saw the "Clash of the Titans" remake, I said to someone, "Man, that's just a bad video game waiting to happen. It's like they built this movie as a tie-in to the game, when it's usually the other way around." No sooner had I fired up the game disc (Xbox 360, PS3; Namco Bandai Games; T, for Teen) were my fears confirmed.

When you are forced to slay the armies of the gods, you better bring some good stuff to the party, because by now most everyone has played the "God of War" franchise and been down this road. Granted, plenty of other games have their take on mythological beasts like Gorgons, wraiths and centaurs, but just putting them in your path from Point A to Point B doesn't cut it.

Most of the content involves button-mashing your way through loads of enemies. You'll get some magical powers and a host of weapons to wield. There are quests to undertake, but they have no real bearing on the story. Everything is just a matter of pushing you along to the next battle.

I'm just old enough to remember the original Ray Harryhausen-inspired "Clash of the Titans" film, in which Harry Hamlin and Burgess Meredith fight off Laurence Olivier and his Kraken. The original film brings back much happier memories than anything the remake and subsequent game could provide.

-- Chris Campbell


Max Parker is The Game Guy on PG+ at plus.sites.post-gazette.com.


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