Tag Archives: hockey

NHL 13 and the Days of Old

As much as I enjoy playing sports video games, there’s always been a certain limit.

For the most part, picking up the latest annual title has never done much for me. If the changes from year to year merely boil down to a roster update, a fresh coat of paint and a new cover athlete, you can count me out. Yes, the Madden series gets a lot of grief about this (and I’m not a fan in the first place), but many offerings in a variety of sports have been guilty of the same offense.

If anything, I was more likely to pick up a sports game after it was a year old. The price would be about $40 cheaper, and the rosters were close enough that I could catch up on the transactions myself and not have to pay for the privilege. A lot of my early gaming experiences (read: when I was young and had no money) were based on getting maximum value out of a title, which might be part of the reason why I played NFL Quarterback Club 99 for about four years. Well, that and I thought it was hilarious that you could tackle your own team’s players.

Sports games have evolved in a lot of ways — more realistic graphics and physics, new in-depth modes and online play are a stark difference from the Tecmo Super Bowl days. But the industry seems to be mired in a holding pattern of two steps forward, one step back. For example, when the next-gen consoles were released a few years ago, games like NBA Live looked fantastic (you could see Shaq’s sweat dripping!), but the gameplay was awful. Titles like NBA 2K11 introduced a complex online system where you could use created players and team up with other players, then promptly yanked it out of 2K12.

I’m hoping NHL 13 is going to buck that trend.

This is a feature (if executed like it appears in the trailer) that Dave and I have wanted in sports games for a long time now, especially since I moved up to Flagstaff. Online dynasties? Yes please. 2K11 had some sort of shell like this, but the player who was joining in online couldn’t see stuff like created player names or season stats, and the connection was usually subpar at best. If EA can pull this off, it’ll be the most interesting franchise mode ever created. Just imagining 750 actual players in a comprehensive, multi-season mode gets me excited about hockey, and I haven’t really liked hockey since the lockout.

Back in the late 90s when the Coyotes were decent, it was pretty close to being my favorite sport. The Keith Tkachuk/Jeremy Roenick/Nikolai Khabibulin era was a solid time to be a fan even if Phoenix never managed to win a playoff series. Now, especially with the help of HD broadcasts on television, I find myself wanting to like the NHL again.

So the ball is in your court, EA. If you can pull this mode off successfully, you’ll get $60 from this consumer on opening day.

Jumping off the Bandwagon

Sadly, that noise you heard on Monday was everyone jumping off of the Coyotes bandwagon. Their 4-0 loss to the Kings put them down 2 games to nothing in the NHL Western Conference Finals. In their first two games, the Coyotes have been outhustled, outhit and outplayed. Goalie Mike Smith can only do so much to help keep the team in the game, but after being outshot 48-27 in the first game and 40-24 in the second game, it seems aggressiveness is a huge problem for the Coyotes.

I’d say it’s a good thing that hockey is my 4th favorite sport, because if this were the Suns blowing the first two games at home against an 8 seeded opponent, I’d have lost my mind already. The Coyotes travel to LA tonight for game three in essentially a must win scenario. Losing center Martin Hanzal due to an illegal hit in the previous game only makes their task more difficult. Their only hope to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals is to take 4 out of the next five from the seemingly superior Kings.


I’ve seen my fair share of Halloween Costumes. Some of them are hilarious, some are clever, some are stupid, some are offensive (I’ve had a friend dress up as Hitler, not once, but twice. Our Jewish friend thought it was awesome though). However, the outrage over Coyotes player Raffi Torres is a complete joke. Continue reading Oversensitive