Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com
That is my initial reaction. EA Sports’ latest installment of the NHL video game series was released on Tuesday, September 11. And, like I said, whoa. This game is ridiculous. Not only are the graphics improved and the game play different, but this may be the only time I can see Claude Giroux in a Flyers jersey playing on ice — albeit in video game pixels.
For the average gamer like myself, the subtle differences are not a big deal. EA Sports made a big deal discussing their new skating options. To me, whatever. I just want to play. I like playing the games, making trades, wondering why Pavel Kubina is still on the Flyers, etc. I like being Peter Laviolette and Paul Holmgren all wrapped up in a controller.
The general manager options are definitely different and much cooler. The trading block is a fun new tool to play with by seeing what other teams want or are looking to sell. If you try to make a trade work, you will lose some of your GM cache.
The gameplay, I feel, is a tad harder (whether that is due to the new skating feature or not). It is harder to score and to be scored on. But, overall, the game is fun.
Of course, I took the Flyers to start my season. As I opened the season, I received a trade offer from the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks offered to send me Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu for Zac Rinaldo and two minor leaguers. That trade was a no-brainer.
The trade backfired as I started the season 4-3-2 (but with one shootout win!).
Overall, the game is loads of fun and I recommend it to whomever can get it. If nothing else, at least you get to see our hero, Claude Giroux, on the cover.