There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are turning color, The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking forward to their next golf season already and us Canadians are gearing up for our Turkey Weekend this week – that can only mean one thing…Hockey Season is upon us (it also starts this week). That also means that it’s time for me to get my annual Birthday present to myself.

For the last 4 years, The NHL series from EA Sports has been something I buy and play religiously and it just

keeps getting better. Unlike Madden which really only seems to get minor graphical enhancements and menu changes, the NHL series gets subtle but effective gameplay changes to better recreate the experience of watching an NHL game. Some of the tweaks they’ve added include:

      – The ability to run/hit the goalie
      – The Goalies can fight now – which is easily one of the greatest things ever (just Youtube goalie fights)
      – a hit doesn’t always have the same result; there’s a level of real life physics involved here now based on weight, speed, hitting ability and the hittees awareness.
      – Be A Pro mode can see you play through a junior career right up to becoming drafted and joining the ranks of the NHL
      – New features have been added to the GM Mode
      – for the first time ever you can play through an NHL Legend’s career using Ray Bourque, Chris Chelios, Steve Yzerman, Patrick Roy, Jeremy Roenick, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Börje Salming and Wayne Gretzky
      – Some minor presentation tweaks

I won’t go into too much detail on the gameplay as it’s straightforward however, I will say that there are still 3 locations on the ice that can result in a goal more often then not will either annoy people or make them happy because they like higher scores in their games. Despite some of the presentation tweaks, it’s still much of the same old boring stuff – The Commentary really hasn’t changed at all as I’m still hearing things that were said 2 years ago (time for some new commentators) and try as they might with some tweaks, in between whistles is boring and could use a major overhaul. I’d like to see a TV style presentation with more stats, info about players and acknowledgement when a player nears a milestone or record.

All in all, NHL 12 is still the best sports game around – If you love hockey, this is a must buy.

Feed Your Console gives NHL 12 an 8.5 out of 10

Pros:

  • New hitting physics adds a new dimension to gameplay
  • Running the goalie can be very satisfying
  • Goalie fights are always a welcome addition
  • Using one of the legends is a great way to live out your childhood hero’s career (STEVIE Y!!!!)
  • Online league is lots of fun with friends.

Cons:

  • Commentary and presentation is old and dated.
  • Time to overhaul the entire system

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