\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ConsoleSports.net - ConsoleSports.net | EA Sports NHL
\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\

EA Sports NHL

\\
User Rating: / 1
PoorBest 

Today I had the honour of speaking with the Joe Nickolls, senior producer of EA's new NHL Slapshot for the Nintendo Wii.

Before we begin I want to say thanks to him and EA for setting up this interview. I know they're hard at work completing the game, set to release on September 7th, so taking time out to speak with me is greatly appreciated.

I'll be honest, when the first details of Slapshot were released, I instantly wondered if this was going to be another cutesie, fluffy, sports title trying to take advantage of the family-friendly niche the Wii has carved out. However, after speaking with Joe, it became abundantly clear NHL Slapshot is aimed not only to the young gamer, but also to hardcore hockey fans.

Lets start with the career mode, or as it's called “Peewee to Pro”. Joe assured me this could very well be the deepest career mode EA has ever created in any of their sports titles. You begin by creating your Peewee superstar. Choose your name, jersey, likeness, and team to begin your journey. If you'd prefer to play as a current NHL player, or as cover athlete Wayne Gretzky, go for it. (For those wondering, Wayne can only be used in the career mode. If you don't elect to use him as your Pro, he'll take on the role of coach to help guide you to superstardom).

One of the first things you'll notice when you first hit the ice as a pint-sized superstar, is that your skating motions will mimic that of actual children. For those that have never watched young kids skate, most of them will take 100 strides and travel a total of 6 feet on the ice. Thanks to motion capturing technology, EA used actual kids on blades to capture this perfectly. 

\\\\
\
User Rating: / 2
PoorBest 

Even though the snow is melting and Spring is nearly sprung, the NHL playoffs are less than a month away.
 
So with the chase for Lord Stanley's Cup in sight and the EA NHL Community Day event around the corner, I thought I'd provide ten things I'd like to see in NHL11:
 
1. Importable Be-A-Pro feature

BAP is one of my favorite things in all of sports gaming. However, one of the things I like least about it is how I spend countless hours developing my player only to have to start from scratch when the next version comes out. Giving gamers the ability to carry on their career from year to year would ensure more sales and longevity to this mode.
 
2. Online Dynasty Leagues

From drafting to trading to dealing with injuries, it would be a blast to invite 29 friends to join in your own online league and see who is the greatest GM over a 30-year span.
 
3. Better Separation of Players

With NHL10's hardcore settings it's easier to discern between stars and scrubs in comparison to previous releases. But I feel there's still room for improvement. Greater differential in passing, shooting, stickhandling and defensive skills as well as implementing a greater arc in response time are needed. Derek Boogard should not be able to fire off pin-point accurate passes the second the puck hits his stick.
 
4. Real-Time Cut-Scenes

No more canned cut-scenes please. I want to see real-time action between whistles. It adds to the realism of the game and really sucks-in the player. Adding a few more angles and multiple replays would be nice as well.
 
5. Improved Simulated Stats

The simmed stats in the NHL series leave a lot to be desired. I can't remember the last EA hockey game I played where Sidney Crosby was in the top five point-scorers after a full season. This is the most glaring black mark on an otherwise stellar series.
 
6. Robust Faceoff System

Face-offs are one of the most important intangibles in today's NHL. EA needs to reflect that. Adding this component to 'Create-A-Play' would be a welcome addition.
 
7. Fighting

I'd love to have a third-person view. Also, if I could reference point #3, players such as Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom should never drop the gloves, let alone win a majority of their fights.
 
8. Online BAP Mode

Create your own Crosby-Ovechkin grudge match with a friend. Compete for the Calder or Hart trophy. Or better yet, who will be the first to hoist the Stanley Cup?
 
9. Franchise Blog

Blogging and tweeting has never been more popular, so adding the ability to bring your franchise online to share your experience with friends and fans is a logical addition.
 
10. Weekly Wrap-Up Show

Who else misses seeing highlights in-between periods? I know I do. I still remember yelling at my friends to not touch the controller during an intermission while playing NHL'93.

Lets take it one step further and introduce a weekly show featuring highlights from around the league.
 
So there you have it.

If there's anything I've missed, please post your ideas inside our forums.

Thank-you!

\
User Rating: / 5
PoorBest 


 

With the evolution of today's consoles, sports simulations have also progressed.

From lifelike physics, breathtaking graphics and innovated analog control schemes such as the Skill Stick, it's safe to say this isn't your daddy's sports game.
 
Not only has this spike in technology assisted in the realism on the field, but off as well.
 
Several developers have introduced their version of 'sim life' into their sports simulations. It began on last generation machines, but it's taken on a whole new life in this era.

From choosing your equipment, position or even how your name is pronounced, gamers are getting the chance to see what it would be like to don a uniform and take to the field, ice or court of your favorite team.
 
EA’s NHL development team realized this and so they introduced ìBe-A-Proî in the critically acclaimed NHL 09. It should go without saying; it was a huge hit with the masses. ?The gamer was given the capability to customize the players face, name, birthplace, position and even what brand of equipment to wear.

From here you chose which team to play for, making your way from the rigors of the American Hockey League (the NHL's top farm system) all the way into the NHL. If you were good enough, you might even make it into the Hall of Fame.
 
NHL10 expanded on ìBe-A-Proî by introducing a prospects game to help determine where you were selected in the upcoming amateur draft. Play well, and you might go 1st overall. Play poorly and you'll be lucky to break into the top 20.
 
The mode is incredibly fun and addicting. However, it needs work and I'm hoping that NHL 11 can deliver a more robust and deeper experience both on and off the rink.
Here are a few elements I'd like to see modified or added:

  • Eliminate the option to control your own ice time. I'm sure players such as Ottawa Senators winger Alexei Kovalev would love to have this kind of control, but if EA's going for realism nobody should have the ability to manage their time-on-ice. At the very least, give hardcore fans the ability to turn this feature off.
  • Earn special teams duties. Along with ice time, your play on the ice, or your skill set should determine if you're placed on the power-play or penalty killing units. In this regard, getting an 'A' grade for defensive positioning would carry more weight. It would mean you're ready to get the tap on the shoulder from your coach when your team is shorthanded.
  • If you're good enough, and producing, you should stay in the NHL. Many players have never had to endure the hardships of minor league life, so why force every gamer through the American League system?
  • Realistic contracts. Upon being drafted, you shouldn't be playing on a one-year contract. Unless you're given a try-out, a three-year contract is the norm. Which brings up:
  • Deeper prospects camp. Perhaps it’s more than one game. Maybe it’s like NCAA where you play in the 4 team Memorial Cup tournament? In any event, give the user more games to determine his draft position and skill set. If you’re not good enough, then perhaps you don’t even get drafted. Try-outs will dominate your summer months.
  • Incorporate European leagues. Whether you can't get that elusive NHL contract, or you're in the twilight of your career, maybe Europe is the last place, or beginning of your pro hockey journey.
  • More off ice interaction. Press conferences, hard contract negotiations, issues with coaching staff, hiring agents, rehab mini-games, off-season training, sponsors, etc.
  • Career duration. Factors such as age and injuries should dictate how long, or short, your pro career is. If you don't train properly, or sustain multiple injuries, your career might be shortened considerably. The style you play on the ice should be a major factor to the longevity of your career. Once you hit a certain age, skills will begin to decline. Perhaps you have to change your style to continue your NHL career?
  • Play your way onto an Olympic team. Who hasn't dreamt of being selected to represent their country?


These are only a few examples of how I believe the ìBe-A-Proî mode could be improved upon.

If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. Please join our forums and let me here what you’d like to see added or changed for future NHL games.

\
User Rating: / 1
PoorBest 

959973_124579_front

The NHL 10 reviews are started posting last night from several of the sites on the web.  Early reviews look very positive.  Here's some that have already posted.

GameShark - B+

IGN -   8.7 (Great)

1up -        A-

Gamespot - 8.5

\

EA has just released a new NHL 10 "Be A Tough Guy" video.  Check it out HERE.

 

\

Like it? Share it!

\\
503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.