Viewing Review: "Wanna fight?" - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
"Wanna fight?" Edit
by Vegaz
NHL 13...14 is a fighting game..."hockey" game from EA Sports. But it's not a very good one.

This year introduces a new fighting engine and they sure are eager to show it off. Big hit? Fight....
Pros Cons
  • None
  • Not representive of hockey, 3-12 fights per game, issues left over from NHL 12 and 13, lack of changes from 13
NHL 13...14 is a fighting game..."hockey" game from EA Sports. But it's not a very good one.

This year introduces a new fighting engine and they sure are eager to show it off. Big hit? Fight. Injury? Fight. Push the star player? Fight. Someone touches the goalie, even if it's incidental? Fight. Have the play stop while you're winding up for your shot and let it go after the play has stopped? Fight. Touch the star player? Fight. Press the Y/Triangle button before a face-off? Fight. According to statistics a fight occurs in hockey 0.48 per game and 66 games out of the 2460 played had more than one fight. 36.67% of all games had fights last season. This game has 100% of games played with a fight and 100% with multiple fights.

The issues that plagued NHL 13 sadly remain. The AI just scores whenever it pleases. It will pick up a loose puck, bounce off every check, avoid every poke check and then score. Especially if you're already ahead because the comeback AI that's been ruining the series since NHL 10 remains too. This is a relic from arcades designed to get more quarters and should be long gone. You already have our money. Speaking of arcade that's exactly the experience you'll be getting. Regardless of settings, even picking the "hardcore simulation" option at the start of the game results in arcade action. There's no off-sides, icings, penalities and goalie coverage is extremely rare. The only penalty you'll see is if you do something. Off-sides are so rare that even when a player is well over the line with both feet it's still not called. While things like this dictate the flow and pace of hockey in real life they're simply non-exsistant here. It's more like a vertical game of Pong than hockey. That's when the goalies are stopping things. Expect scoring percentages as high as 33.3% even with the sliders all the way up and using the best goalies in the league. 5-0 was my lowest scoring game.

Be A Pro mode is back with the added feature of "live the life". You get to answer questions about yourself, city, team, fans and performance. Your answers affecting likability. Sarcastic or humours answers will endear you to fans while upsetting management for example. While it's a great idea it recieves no credit with me due to overly repetitive questions.

There's the NHL '94 mode which is just blue ice, chip tune music and stars under the players names while using the NHL '94 control scheme that was already available in recent games. This does nothing to improve the poor play or constant fights. No, you don't get to bust anyone's head open and have them fall to a bloody pile on the ice like a famous movie scene.

It's worth mentioning for those who do not have internet access with their console that the default rosters are extremely out of date. Ratings are poorly done as the Islanders and Sabres are the only teams with poor ratings. Even Colorado who only won 16 games last year has 4.5, 4.5 and 4 out of 5 in offense, defense and goaltending. The Panthers who were the worst team in the league have a 4 in offense, 4.5 in defense and 3.5 in goaltending.

This poor, arcade Pong style of play combined with the over abundance of fights make for one of the worst sports games to ever exsist. It fails to capture the sport it's supposed to be emulating in any fashion. It's not a hockey game and as much as it tries to be it's not a fighting game either. There's better hockey to be had and better fighting to be had as well.
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undsioux7 09-23-2013, 01:02 PM

I won't comment on the review because I ONLY play the EA NHL series online. So I will review that portion of the game for anyone interested.

I have been playing online NHL since 09. I play an average of around 1,500 games a year. My team (Long Duck Danglers) is a top 100 team so my perspective is playing with and against other highly skilled players. I also play only defense for the most part, so I will cover that aspect the most.

The good. The skating has been revamped slightly, but for the better. Pivots are (mostly) much quicker then last year where you couldn't do anything from a standstill or turning a 180 was very slow and you could get caught in transition. Passing is better this year and more responsive most of the time. Its just more fun playing other humans this year. 13 was probably the worst of all the games, even with the skating changes. Hitting is MUCH improved for the most part. You basically don't have to use the right stick for hitting if you don't want to. Its automatic which is huge for a D-man when a skater tries to deke. You can actually separate the puck carrier from the puck now. Its less of an all or nothing checking which is nice. Its not perfect, and some may not like the automatic checking which can cause penalties when you don't want to check, but its much better now. Stick lifting actually works now. Poke checking has been lowered, but with checking and stick lifts you have more options now. The new checking really helps against the QC kiddies who try to dangle up the ice all day.

They now have divisions like in FIFA. I love this. We get to play others at our skill level game in and game out. This is huge. It also helps newcomers to only play other new clubs. Unless a skilled team remakes their club, you have a much higher chance of playing someone of the same skill level. If you play enough games, you will settle into the correct division according to your skill level.

The bad. They still haven't fixed vision control which can be frustrating as a d man in front of the net to actually face the puck and be in position to intercept a pass or check someone in front of the net. Its doable, but takes a lot of practice and it should be easier. You still can't pick off easy passes, even when you have perfect position and can see the puck coming a mile away. This NEEDS to be fixed. Fighting still happens too much, even in 6v6 games. They just need to tone it down more.

The high slot shot is easier this year and they need to tighten that up a little more, but it can at least be defended most of the time.

There is one downside to the divisions approach as stated above. If you are a top 6v6 team, you don't have too many others to play against and it can be harder to find games.

Overall, this is one of the most fun games to date online, especially 6v6 where you don't have to worry about crappy computers. Some tweaks to gameplay and it can only get better.

RAH4 09-22-2013, 06:47 PM

And, another thing... who the hell doesn't have internet access???

fierce_gt 09-22-2013, 08:25 AM

oh, i also wanted to quickly comment on the team ratings. this is NHL14, not NHL13. how the teams performed LAST year is not what the ratings are based on. it's how good the teams are THIS year. whether or not you agree with those ratings could still be debated, but at least use this years rosters to argue that, not last year's

fierce_gt 09-22-2013, 08:23 AM

agree with above, i've already played nhl14 more than i played nhl13. i do play in the high impact mode, because i already play 'real hockey', i don't need to simulate that, i find that boring compared to being on the ice. but the arcade style you get reminds me of the 'good ol days' of the NHL franchise when you regularly had 50+ hits in a single game. super fun. either way, it's your OPTION so neither can be a con, yet both can be a pro. it's both super realistic and a good 'sim' style and a super fun pick up and play 'arcade' style depending on your settings.
i do wish there were more options for the fighting though. 3 settings(off, almost every big hit, all the freaking time) really don't give you enough options. i wish i could play the big hitting arcade style without having 3-4 fights a game minimum. they really slow down the action. this is the first year i've actually wanted to leave fighting on, it's a shame i can't tone it down to a once a game max setting.
i also wish they'd make one timers easy again. it's been a couple years since one timers worked. i think it's kind of sad that a wrist shot from high slot can be so effective, but a one timer on a great cross ice pass will almost never score.
its funny, it's been like this for years, where it appears nothing really changes in the gameplay. but after playing the new version for a little bit, you go back to the old one(to finish off your season or whatever) and suddenly you realize how terrible it feels compared to the new one. that's been my experience since about 09.
oh, here's my biggest complaint, why the heck can't we load careers from previous versions. i mean i almost never get through more than one season, especially with the BAP(live the life) modes it just makes sense that i could continue my progress from the last year, and the year before that, etc instead of having to start 100% fresh every time. there's only so many times i want to start at the bottom before i'm going to say f-it to that mode altogether.

RAH4 09-21-2013, 10:10 AM

This is one of the worst reviews I have ever read. Did you even play the game? If you play in the "High Impact" mode, there are tons of fights and the game is ridiculously unrealistic. But if you put it in any other mode, the game is very much like real life. The comments you made about no offsides/icing are not true at all. And, poke checks are much more like they actually happen on the ice. In the older games, if you poke checked anywhere near where the offensive player, he would lose the puck. In '14, they made it more realistic, so NHL-caliber players can actually hold onto the puck. They have changed quite a bit in this new game, too. The skating is better, the goalies are better (contrary to what you said), the hitting and player physics are completely redone (far more realistic than previous games), and the new fighting engine used is a HUGE improvement. It is no longer just a punch-in-the-face contest. Fighting actually takes skill and strategy to win, now.

I'm not really sure what made you hate the game so much, but your review was extremely inaccurate.

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