NHL 09 + New Patch (March) = Awesome

6 03 2009

Well I never thought as a PC gamer I would ever own a console, but after playing NHL 09 at work I decided this game alone was worth it. So I picked up an XBox 360,  a handful of titles and I must say that I love it. However I should be clear that shooters are still 100% better on a PC. But that is another blog post.

I was having a blast playing the CPU on the new “be a pro mode” and just playing over all. I decided to hook the 360 up to the net and subscribe to xbox live. The new interface update was quite cool not to mention all the down-loadable goodies I have acces to. But NHL 09 took a hit. I sucked online – these guys were just pulverizing me. However I expected this being a noob to the game.  But I was puzzled as to why I can beat people who were in the same room as I but yet could not beat people online. I might be new to 09 but not to the EA NHL franchise. One night I’m playing some schmuck who would just skate to my goal line and shoot the puck toward the net. I’m thinking WTF is this guy doing? Well he scored 2 goals like that. That led me to discover the existence of glitch goals. Haxors. Good to see that these guys also exist in the world of console gaming and not just PC.

These guys were scoring at will. I was passing it off the whole time due to playing people who were more skilled than I. Shortly after discovering glitch goals EA released a a Patch on March 3 that eliminated the glitch goals (new ones coming). w00t! Also the stick lift and hit spamming ended because NHL 09 calls 90 % of penalties. They were calling them before but it seemed random. Now for example 2 players chasing the puck down ice can draw a penalty if one decided to check him before he touches the puck. AWESOME!

I still suck (mabey I should stop playing as the Leafs – lol) but atleast now I’m loosing to guys who are more skilled at passing, setting up plays and ofcourse scoring. This is an upside because of course I can get better with honest game play. The most amusing thing I have found post patch are people who quit on me after I score a goal.

Who’s the noob now? LOLz.

Some people however are not all that pleased with the new patch mainly because of all the calls (they won’t admit to the glitch goals). Well tough turtle nuggets for them. EA states at the begining of their sport games that “it’s in the game” meaning they are trying to make it true to the sport. If you watch hockey (Go Leafs) you’ll find that if you pulled that shit in a real game your team would be in the box for at least 2 periods, not to mention you’d be benched.

So thanks EA for saving possibly the best sports video game of all time.

avatar1EA Sports World…….OOOF!
One other neat thing about NHL 09 is EA Sports World http://www.easportsworld.com. It keeps track of all your game stats for Madden, FIFA or whatever your poison is. Also gives you the ability to upload your highlights and photos you create in the game. The crappy thing about it is the Avatar…..OOOF! When you play someone online this is what shows up representing you to the other player. Unfortunately there are 2 things wrong with it. First the avatar point system (which is usless) in the game covers my ability to pick a strategy during a face off (Not sure about other games).  Secondly the avatar is just a generic 3D dude with lame customization options ( which is what the useless points are for) who I should mention looks like an East LA gang member.

I can understand why EA might not want the user to create thier own avatar. I mean there are only a limited amount of penis’s and other offensive pics a man can take in a day. But why not create a library of simple square avatars. Is there reason as to why you cant pick your favourite hockey team’s logo? If it’s because of the NHL trademarks rights, then the NHL needs to wake up and smell the brand exposure – they need all the branding they can get (States side ofcourse). But outside of that their are other possibilities. Why can’t I take a picture of the custom player I created and use that as my avatar? Flags of countries, silhouettes of goailies or players, a fist or just generic cartoonish icons? As someone who works in new media people like customization. In any case this is me being picky. Overall NHL 09 is a great gaming experience, especially for a hockey fan like me.