During the long awaited offseason one of the few things that get me to October is smashing kid’s hopes and dreams in EASHL or HUT with a dipper in my mouth.
After playing the crap out of the beta about a month ago, I was really looking forward to getting the grind in HUT going or mucking other teams with the boys in Club.
With Early Access you can play up to 5 days early, so here is my opinion so far.
EASHL(CLUB): One of my favorite things to play in NHL has always been club. Thats because you can pile in with the boys in a group chat and make a whole team 6v6 online against some other douche bags, even if you aren’t that good. Charging hits up, taking twelve strides into someone, and watching their back break might be the most fun thing you can do in the game.
3v3 EASHL: But this year they stepped it up a notch in EASHL, allowing 3v3 play so you don’t get stuck with an asinine computer. It is much easier to get 2 friends online than a whole team of 6 together, plus it opens up way more ice for you to do some butt wigs. Especially with the new dekes they implemented, creativity and open ice are key in 3v3 Club. Scores tend to be higher, and the game play all around is just more fun with the OT feel for three periods.
New Dekes: One thing I was really happy about is them bringing in new dekes and one touch dekes to the game. They haven’t added or changed the dekes or stick handling much over the past 5 years, and the ol’ back hand forehand is getting old. They added tweeners where you can either sauce a beauty to the opposite post or try and pick a corner stick handling between your legs. Also, they added the Datsyukian toe drags & chip shots which is an absolute beauty if you can manage to score it, The One Hand Tuck to the opposite side of the tendy, and finally the One Handed open ice deke. These dekes are more of a challenge than the regular one touch dekes, but they do add a wealth of creativity to the game. If you can learn them, I’m sure you’ll but stacking DUBS in no time.
Now that I’ve touched on the only worthy improvements of the game, heres my rant for EA and their development of the NHL series as whole.
This game play really hasn’t had any significant changes in around 5 years. Be a Pro is the same, GM mode is the same, the list goes on….. EA is just a money grubbing organization that barely cares about the hockey community. You can tell this by their terrible development of this series year in and year out. All they want is your money from preorder and hope you drop hundreds on packs in HUT. EA continually has misleading promises and continual flaws that are apparent, and this money grubbing organization fails to address them every fucking year. They spend all their resources on games like Madden and FIFA and still fuck over those fan bases too.
Desyncing? How the fuck has this not been addressed in 3+ years this has been around? People glitch games out so you both disconnect and no credit for playing is awarded. It’s horse shit.
No Connection Status? In the pregame menus prior, you could test your connection with the other play to avoid games lasting 30+ minutes or having to deal with terrible lag the entire game. This might be the second most infuriating thing in the game besides having to deal with EA’s bullshit all the time.
NHL Threes: I can’t believe they are trying to pass this garbage ass remake of NHL ARCADE as a newly touted game mode that should draw more fans…. Yea, its sorta fun but all you did was copy an old game and rehash your new bullshit. Change the tuner sliders, it’s the same shit. Besides the players not having huge heads and these stupid money pucks, there isn’t a difference. Watch the two videos below. You literally hyped up this new game mode that probably took you a week to come up with and implement. Great job.
HUT: Ea’s biggest ticket item in this whole game is based off players in Hockey Ultimate team, where you build your own team with cards you earn or buy. You create a collection which can enable you to build a stronger team. I have always been a HUGE HUT FIEND– Meaning, I would spend hours grinding the market and farming coins. And what did they do? They just took coin trades out of the game to restrict people from buying or selling coins out side of their designated market place (So they make more money). They are also claiming to monitor your accounts actions, and will flag any suspicious activity. I can almost guarantee they wont monitor this in any degree. All they are doing is pissing off players by corralling them into their PAY-TO-PLAY mentality. EA’s real motive for this is to restrict the free market this game revolves around so people will sink hundreds of thousand of dollars in their PAY-TO-PLAY packs. To them we are all a bunch of sheep.
Regardless of the continual overlooking NHL gets, and the absolute WORST customer service I have ever encountered I will still play the shit out of this game. Like I do every year, because it’s the only hockey game. The fun value it provides me surpasses my hatred for the EA organization. Like I’ve said before, one of my favorite things is always packing a Brandon Chewbinsky and playing some chel with the boys.
The market for NHL Video games isn’t the largest, but if they even devoted a fraction of the resources like they do on Madden or FIFA this game would be infinitely times better.
These are my initial takes after playing for a couple days; but as usual not much has changed in the NHL game series front.
NHL 18: 6/10