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well I'm getting pretty bored of the games I have right now... but no money...bleh! Can anyone tell me what they recomend I get when I do get some money?

hockey video game editorial

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What NHL video games need?



As an NHL fan of 13 years, I know the game inside and out for the most part, and I have always enjoyed NHL video games, however, the first one I ever bought was NHL 2000 by EA sports. However, there's always been weaknesses in all editions of the NHL franchises, why is this? Is it because developers think that they'll get more money because the game appeals to the casual crowd? Is it because of hardware limitations? Personally I think that it's a little bit of column A, a little of column B. Back in the PS1 and N64 era, there was more reason for the arcadey feel, because of the fact physics engines were far weaker. In the PS1/N64 era EA didn't have much competition for NHL video games, however, 989 sports did give it some competition, albeit a weak resistance. However, after the Sega Dreamcast failed and 2K moved onto developing for the PS2, Game Cube [NHL 2K3 being the only NHL game in the 2K franchise to be developed for the game cube] and the original Xbox, physics engines became more complex and the games got overall tighter, however, for the PS2 cycle EA sports focused on keeping the game arcadey and high scoring, where's 2K sports decided to go for more of a simulation approach. However, the EA franchise would more often then not out-sell the 2K franchise, and my bet is because the graphics for EA's series have always been better then those of the 2K franchises, and I don't think EA sold many games on simulation alone, as that really didn't feel like hockey to me at the time. Now the tides have changed, EA sports has turned it around and gotten better graphics engine and a more simulation feel, where's 2K is staying the course with graphics and regressing from simulation to arcadey, however, even though EA is working on the games to be more sim like and less arcadey, there is still the arcadey feel there. In this Editorial, I shall outline what needs changing in NHL video games if we are to ever have a true simulation experience, will we get this experience this generation of consoles and PCs? Probably not, as technology is still too far behind to fully support a 100% true to reality sim of hockey.


This is one thing in NHL video games that has really been a pain in the behind for sim lovers and for hockey fans in general, this particularly gets in my grill... If you look at most hockey games, the 2K series especially, the AI is too aggressive when you have the puck, now this is not necessarily a bad thing as it does provide the player with alot of challenge however it's not realistic. Yes there are aggressive players in the real NHL; but none of them are this bad, it was more realistic to have NHL games play this way when the NHL was more clutch and grab, but post-lockout the NHL has really opened up offensively, forwards are backchecking less and less then they used to, and I feel that NHL video games should also reflect this, also on offence, player types are still rather useless as they have very little effect on how a player actually plays. I especially noticed this in NHL 2009 by EA Sports; yes there is some difference, but not alot, when I was playing my Dynasty team (The Toronto Maple Leafs as you've probably guessed) I managed to get both Alexander Ovechkin and Andrew Peters through trades, Ovechkin is as you know a superstar, and Peters as you may or may not know is an enforcer (or grinder as they're called in NHL 09) and while Ovechkin could certainly score more then Peters, on the fore and backcheck they were about the same to be perfectly honest, diversity is needed in the animation pool for checking, also players need to hip check more, as it does still happen in the NHL, however it didn't occur in NHL 09 when I had rented it, players hips seemed robotic and immobile, which really did take away from the otherwise wonderful sim experience that EA put together for NHL 09.


Another glaring problem is the physicality of defensemen in the NHL games, yes D-men are physical usually by nature, but it would seem for defensemen in the NHL games, for both EA and 2K respectively are just too check happy, in some cases guys who are supposed to be crap at checking (Thomas Kaberle) will deliver bone crunching hits, and this isn't how it should be, sure the occasional one is ok, but it's really ridiculous how out of hand it truly is, especially in the 2K franchise.


Now this is quite possibly the thing that ticks me off most about NHL games as this is VERY unrealistic, and by very unrealistic, I mean this, so to reemphasis how big it is, I'll say it again.... VERY unrealistic! I mean when the hell do you see NHL goaltenders turn their backs on the puck while in net? The answer! NEVER! And the reason for this is because if you don't have your eyes on the puck, more often then not it will be in the back of the net, I hate this especially in NHL 2K8, quite possibly the worst goalie for it is Curtis Joseph, 5 times in one game the replica of Cujo did this. And all 5 times... GOT SCORED ON! 2K really needs to fix this, I'm more impressed here by the EA game because I only experienced a goalie turning his back on the puck like twice.

Miscellaneous Issues

Now here's some quirks that I have with NHL games that don't fit into any of the 3 categories I have previously rambled on. One of my main quirks with all of the NHL games for decreasing the reality of gameplay is the fact that the games speed out of the box is just too high for both franchises, and it needs to be slowed down by the use of the sliders, while this may be a good thing for some, it's a pain in the butt for others because you have to fiddle with the sliders to get the perfect gaming experience and in most cases, people just don't have the time to fiddle around with the sliders to make the games handle and play more realistically, it's time consuming work that requires alot of trial and error, and in the end, it's ultimately not worth it, as it takes too long to find the perfect balance, if developers would actually set the speed lower right out of the box, and then balance the other sliders around a slower tempoed game then the simulation freaks like me wouldn't have to take time when they play to fool around with the sliders, which as I stated before is time consuming because after each little change you have to test it out. Penalties are another issue that plagues both NHL video games, there's no Double-Minor and suspensions are rare, why is it that in the PS1 and N64 days we managed to get these but on beasts of systems like the XBOX360 and PS3 we can't get suspensions, in my personal opinion this needs to change, and quick. Double-minors are more of a finicky issue however as double-minors only happen when a player is injured, and in my opinion developers aren't including this because they don't want to include blood in any NHL games, which to me is a bad decision, as you see that and much worse if your actually watching an NHL game... Bryan Berard's eye injury by the hands of Marian Hossa, being a perfect example of that, or Olli Jokienin's skate blade cutting Richard Zednik's throat open being another example, so why not include blood and cuts in NHL video games, it's a part of the sport and it would add realism to the games, besides it's stupid when a player has a cut or laceration injury they can't play a game, when they could most of the time in real life, this just doesn't make sense to me. Continuing with the injury train of thought, why is it that goalies can't get injured in these games when they can in real life? I mean seriously! If you're going to include injuries, include the netminders too!

Ok, so this ends my editorial, I hope you guys found it informative, and I would appreciate your comments, especially on what you think needs to be included to make NHL video games better!

My Take On The Leafs (new home and additional content)

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hey guys, as you remember I announced near the beggining of the season that the leafs blogs were moving to GB, well they are still going to be on GB, but I have created a live journal account to post more leafs content, such as polls etc. So drop on by, here's the linky!

How to deal with burn out?

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Ok well I'm burned out, and I need tips on how to get my energy back, and no, it can't be resting because I have to go for 4 more weeks before I can rest for a greatly appreciated!

A Ramble and a Song

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Ok well I feel the need to go on a bit of a ramble here so please ignore this if you really don't want to read a long winded rant, you've been warned, though feel free to skip ahead to the song lyrics I'll be posting, however they might not make sense if you don't read the rant.

Ok so first off, some of you may or may not know that my girlfriend Sophie has a twin, who I am also friends with, Sophie's twins name is Danielle. I'm close friends with Danielle, and have been friends with her for 4 years, the exact amout of time I've been friends with my girlfriend. Well my friendship with Dani seems to be dying, and we talked about it, and even though we're going to attempt to be friends again, I don't think we can repair it. :( and this really really depresses me because the thought of losing Danielle as a friend is a scary one to me as I have so few people I'm actually close to.

So yeah that's part 1 of why I'm needing a ramble... the second part of the ramble is, I found out that another one of my close friends (who shall go nameless) has feelings for me, and I don't feel the same about her, and she knows I'm happy with Sophie, so why the hell she'd even bring up how she feels about me, I have no clue.

So both of these combined is making me feel sick and agitated, I have no idea how to react and I'm depressed because of it.

and now for the song, for those of you wondering what it's about, it's about not being able to sleep because of worrying about losing a close friend, so here it is, critque the song if you like, but it was writen just as a charthotic way to relieve some of my stress.

and thanks goes out to Hazelnutman for listening to me ramble earlier today, thanks it really meant alot! Ok so here's the song now.

Rambles of An Insomniac

Verse: When it's one of those nights

Where your mind just doesn't shut down

And your bodies about to break from exhaustion

Blame it on Insomnia, why do they call it insomnia anyways?

Why not the bane of sleep? Insomnia can be a real pain in the ass

Especially when it comes to keeping friends, I feel like I'm drifting away

Chorus: It's the little things that make this a living hell

When you just want to fall into bed and forget the troubles of the day

I think this is why some people take to the drink and become alcoholics

You'll be wastin' away left with nothin' but empty thoughts and past memories

On A Happier Note!

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Well my last blog wasn't a happy one, so I'll post a new blog with a happier tone. As of 10 minutes ago, I've been with Sophie for 3 months!