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09-10-2012, 09:59 AM
  #769
RockLobster
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So, I was talking to stevekento19 on Twitter, and I told him I'd post my thoughts on NHL 13 here for anyone who was interested in reading them. (however brief they may be)

To clarify, much like some of the other posters here on HFBoards, I do have the EA Sports Season Ticket, I got it last year because I play, and ultimately buy, the NCAA/Madden/NHL titles, and thought it'd be nice to try the full games before they come out, in case I didn't like them, and therefore wouldn't have to pay $60 and end up with a game that I don't like.

For instance, last year, I downloaded and played all of NCAA/Madden/NHL titles, but didn't buy Madden, I just didn't enjoy it. This year was a bit different, I did the same thing, but did not buy the NCAA title.

I buy the NHL title every year regardless of my love for it.

Now, onto my brief review of the NHL game!

So, one thing you'll notice right away, is the the same thing that EA has been touting all along! The True Performance Skating! I highly recommend watching the brief tutorial video at the beginning just to get a handle on it. But man, oh man, the addition of that is N-I-C-E, NICE!

Does it take a little bit to get used to? For some it may, just based on it being totally different than what we've been used to in the past, but it's a WELCOME challenge in my opinion. It really does capture everyone's speed differently. If you're using Jan Hejda, but get caught flat-footed against a speedier winger? Well, you've got to try and cut off his angles toward the net and hope that Varly will bail you out!

Let me give a bit of history here...In past NHL series games, once I've gotten used to whatever new features are available in the game, I usually end up dominating the CPU even on the hardest difficulties. Now "dominating" to me, is a final score of 5 or 7 to 1 or 2. I've played about 20 total games of this, and only ONCE did I win a game by a large margin like that, and it was final score 7-3...and this was on the default "Pro" difficulty setting! Most of my games have ended with a 1-2 goal lead. And in past games, I could count on 1 hand how many games I've lost, this game, I've lost about 3 games. I feel the CPU AI has improved DRAMATICALLY!

Now, I'm in the middle of my Be A GM 1st season, so I can't give too much info on that right now, but what I can say, is that (so far) the advertising for a "Smarter" GM Brain seems to be working out. For FUN only, I put Stastny on the trading block, and then I simmed to the Draft (I didn't save any of this, I want to play through my first season), I got offered a Top-10 Pick for Stastny, from a team who needed a #1 Center (and it looked like the C class was very shallow after Mackinnon went)

If I HAD to give one knock on the game, it's the same that I had last year's game. I feel that players go down way too easily. Now, I've not actually played hockey, I live in Kansas and when growing up, there wasn't the (limited) youth hockey programs available. So perhaps I'm off on this assertion, but I feel that if Erik Johnson is 6'4 and 232 lbs (as stated on ColoradoAvalanche.com) then he should NOT be bumped off of the puck so easily, and go down to the ice, by players the size of Matt Duchene (just the size, like 5'11-6'0 and 190-200 lbs) I feel that he should be a bit harder to knock off, and definitely harder to make go to the ice. It just seems like it happens a lot, and not with EJ, I've had McGinn and Downie knocked off that easily...surprisingly (or not?) enough, Landeskog seems to hold onto the puck pretty easily.

And another thing, for those who think that they're just got to "waltz in" and be deking out the defenders? Not gonna happen, if you come into the defensive zone, and attempt to deke, you're more than likely going to have the puck poked away from you. Plan on cherry picking at the blue line? Probably not going to work. I've only had a very small amount of breakaways, and I like that. It makes the breakaway a lot more exciting, like in real life.

Overall, I feel that if you skipped NHL 12, thinking that there wasn't enough different from NHL 11 to NHL 12, DO NOT skip NHL 13! The new skating/physics engine are a HUGE inclusion, especially if you've longed for more realism to the NHL series, the new True Performance Skating engine provides that

Today I plan on exploring the Be A Pro area in preparation for tomorrow's physical release.

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