BY JAMES WALSH
NHL 14 was just released Sept. 10, and holy puck is it good. The game, distributed by EA Sports, is available for Xbox, Playstation 3 and PC. NHL 14 scored a solid 8.3 rating by hard-hitting reviewers on the video game review website IGN.
Except for the updated rosters, the game designers took an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach” in the game’s development. Options such as Create-A-Player and Custom Rosters are still available, and not much has changed in the gameplay style since its precursor NHL 13: the skating controls are nearly identical and the shooting dynamics haven’t changed.
Although the controls haven’t changed, aspects such as more powerful hitting and less effective poke-checking are enough to make a complacent gamer change his or her playing style.
The game offers a variety of different game modes. A gamer can control every facet of a team in the Be a GM mode, or try the Ultimate Hockey Team mode to create a fantasy team of superstars and play head-to-head against other owners online via Xbox Live.
New to the NHL franchise is the NHL 94 Anniversary Mode, which celebrates 20 years of NHL video games. This option brings the player on a trip down memory rink by re-introducing NHL 94’s simple controls, fast-paced gameplay and complete absence of penalties. This mode is definitely fun for nostalgia’s sake, but only exists as a Play Now, so after a few plays you begin to miss the more complex controls of the regular gameplay.
NHL 14 is definitely worth checking out and has something for everyone, including hardcore gamers and beginners, as well as both hockey fans and non-fans alike. I highly recommend that players lace up their skates and hit the ice as soon as possible.
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