Summary: Of the four major North American sports, hockey ranks behind only football in terms of its physicality. It’s a brutal game played at high speed; finesse players make headlines with their graceful goal-scoring, but bigger, stronger, and slower skaters have important purposes to serve, too. Alas, videogame hockey is a different story. The virtual ice is a wide-open arena in which racking up points is of paramount importance.
Excerpt: Jeremy Roenick’s face is a disaster. Both eyes are sporting ugly shiners, and we’re pretty sure his nose isn’t pointing the same direction it was when the season started. Worst of all, it’s not even his fault – he’s been in ten fights in the first month of the season. This isn’t because J.R. is particularly prone to fisticuffs, although he mixed it up plenty during his Hall of Fame-worthy career.
Pros: Tough, physical play at net, Puck physics better than ever, Many deep, polished modes
Cons: Legends mode is BORING, Menu load times take forever, Be A Pro getting a bit stale
Excerpt: With the Stanley Cup Playoffs heating up, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) is getting in on the action with the announcement of new features for EA SPORTS NHL 12, shipping on September 9th in Europe and September 13thin North America. Play your way to superstardom in the revamped Be a Pro mode and experience the authentic action and energy of real life hockey with the Full Contact Physics Engine.
Excerpt: This yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s EA Sports brand seems to be more about refinement than advancement. Every title I have reviewed seems to make strides to improve last yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s already stellar performance with some work...
Pros: + Plenty to keep you playing, + Graphics are a treat, + Improved AI
Cons: Be a Legend feels shallow, Not a lot of new features
Summary: EA Sports' NHL 11 reached the pinnacle of hockey gaming last year by featuring the most enjoyable and most accurate arcade simulation of the sport ever made. So where do you go from there? NHL 12 answers that question with a range of subtle refinements and additions that improve play on the ice in a number of ways, as well as add new features like being able to skate as a number of NHL greats.
Pros: Accurate simulation of real NHL hockey, Subtly improved defensive zone coverage and anticipatory AI, Expanded CHL play lets you really get into your Major Junior career, New Be A Legend mode taps into a limited slice of NHL history
Cons: Very few major differences from NHL 11, Some of the new defensive AI exposes problems with the offense, Inelegant incorporation of the new Winnipeg Jets
Excerpt: When you’re placed in a position that requires you to release a new title in your series every year, it’s difficult to consistently improve on the same premise in terms of both quality and enjoyment. This is especially true when it comes to annual sports titles, where it becomes a trend for a franchise simulating a certain sport to hit a high point, then fail to meet that bar the following year or years.
Pros: Most authentic and realistic hockey title in years, Additions to game modes add even more depth and variety, Winter Classic is captured perfectly
Cons: Legends feel a tad underutilized, Graphics and commentary haven't gotten much of an upgrade
Excerpt: Beyond a shadow of a doubt this has been one of the worst summers ever for the hockey community. Over forty players, coaches and staff have lost their lives in this tragic off-season, a mark that will surely be felt in the tight-knit hockey world for years to come. So before I get into this review I would like to invite all our readers to spare a thought for Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak and the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL team, all of whom had their lives...