Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

NHL14 - From the Casual Gamer

I don’t have the time or the patience anymore to dedicate more than a few hours a month to playing video games.  Sure I own an Xbox 360 – and I owe probably close to 20 games, most of which are of the Kinect variety and are played by the wife and kids.  There is one game that gets a fair amount of play by me, and can most often be found stuck in the tray of my console – and that is the EA Sports NHL series.

I am not one to stand on needing the most up to date and current version of the game.  It was mid season last year that I picked up NHL 13 – and the most current version of the game is the very first in the series that I actually stuck my five dollars out there at Best Buy to pre-order.

Had some downtime yesterday after the kids went to bed, so I popped the game in, got through all of the setup features, played the tutorial, and off I went.

There are really only two features of the game that I play – the Be A Pro, and the online matchups.  So before lending my hand to the hockey gods and getting my face caved in by a fellow gamer – I went right to the Be A Pro to check out the new features.  Since I start in the CHL with a 16 year old, I haven’t quite gotten to a sponsorship deal, a contract, or even the post game interview questions – so I am not sure how that game play will effect my affection for the game.

From what I gather however, I could have stuck with NHL13 and been plenty happy.  Sure the one touch deke’s are nice – the hit engine being revamped makes for much smoother game play in my eyes – but I just don’t see the value in shelling out this much money for nothing more than the same game tweaked year in and year out.

I actually never got into a fight, so I can’t tell you about the new fighting engine.  My “be a pro” player is a power forward, and anytime I crushed a guy worthy enough to trigger a response from my opponent, a bigger member of my team stepped in and took over the fight for me.  Maybe because my characters a 16 year old rookie with three games under his belt – in which case, I give the gamers at EA a lot of credit for developing the “assist” from a teammate.

By the time I got to venture into the online portal of the game (most of the night I was getting EA Servers are unavailable at this time – something I get a lot) I was able to get in a matchup with another gamer and their friend, while I normally hate playing co-oped opponents, I let this one slide, and much to my surprise I held on for a 1-0 win.

First impressions are a killer, and for this part time gamer, I am not impressed, nor am I eager to buy a nexgen console in the coming year.  Looks like NHL14 will be a mainstay in my gaming repertoire for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to a reader – we will be publishing a more in depth analysis of the game for your reading pleasure in the coming days.

If you feel the need to beat the pulp out of someone and you have an Xbox live account – I might be inclined to share my gamertag with you – and we can match wits on the ice as well as here at Sabrenoise.

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Tags: Ea Sports Nhl 14

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