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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: EA Sports NHL 14

Updated: 09/24/2013 11:28 AM
Created: 09/20/2013 2:47 PM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

The very first hockey game I ever played was “Ice Hockey” on the Atari 2600, and over the years, I have played many different hockey games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation3.

I’m not good at them, but I do enjoy playing them.

I just received one of the best hockey games I have ever played to review on the PS3.  I was sent a review copy of EA Sport’s “NHL 14,” and it is amazing in so many ways.

I have to start out with the graphics.  The graphics are stunning.  In my opinion, EA really knows how to make sports games, and with the Enforcer Engine, the games look fabulous.  You could swear you are watching an actual NHL game at home on your HD TV.  The players look life-like, and it’s very hard to tell that they are animated.  One thing that I thought was great was that when you are playing and get into fights, your player will get bruised and bloody.  Sticks will break, helmets and gloves will come off while you are playing, and it all looks great.

The arenas are also very detailed and look amazing.

“NHL 14” is an extremely fast paced, high-speed game, and not once did the game ever lag or slow down.  Playing online was a great experience. I didn’t have any problems connecting with other players, and I never experienced any lag or weird glitches.

The controls for “HNL 14” can be as simple as you want them to be or more advanced for experienced players.  I thought that this was awesome, because I am not an experienced player, so I set the controls to the easiest setting.  All I needed to do was move the player with the left analog stick, one button passed, one button shot the puck, one button could switch players, one button to start fighting and one button to make your player skate faster.  

The more advanced settings let you have more control of your stick and you use the right analog stick for this.

The fighting in “NHL 14” is great.  You can choose to grab a guy and start throwing punches.  You can also dodge the other player’s punches.  Each player has his own health meter, and once one of the health meters runs out, the player is knocked to the ground, and the fight is over.

The first time you play “NHL 14” you got through a “Hospitality” menu and you can choose if you want the High Impact controls or Simulation controls.  These will determine how advanced you want the controls to be.  That was nice and everything was explained very well.

There are many different game modes that you can choose to play.

NHL94 – It’s the 20th anniversary of NHL ’94, and you can now replay it with updated graphics, but the blue ice and organ music is still in the game.

Live The Life – This was my favorite mode, and it was so much fun to play.   You get the chance to live like a NHL pro.  You get to do interviews, endorsements and events.  You have a meter that lets you know how much your fans, family, team, and management.  Your likability is determined on how you answered questions in your interviews and what you did during the off-ice events.  You can be drafted and traded.  There are so many things that you can do in the “Live The Life” mode that makes it really entertaining.

NHL Moments Live – You can play some of the greatest moments that happened in the NHL during the 2012 – 2013 seasons.  You can choose to play pro or regular moments.  If you choose pro then you play as one player and you get to play that amazing moment.  If you choose regular, then you play as the whole team.

Some of the other modes are: Hockey Ultimate Team Online Season (HUT), Be A GM, GM Connected, and EASHL.

There are so many different modes in “NHL 14” that are extremely fun to play and will keep you entertained for a very long time.

As you are playing the different modes, you will earn pucks. You can use the pucks to unlock new players, jerseys, coaches, arenas and contract items. 

I really think that EA Sport’s “NHL 14” is an amazing game.  The graphics are spectacular and so realistic, and the controls are simple and easy to learn.  I also really like the fact that there are so many different game modes to choose from.  I know that sports and hockey fans are really going to enjoy “NHL 14.” The game is rated “E” for mild violence.

___

Aaron Chalich is a columnist with KSTP.com writing about entertainment news.

Photo courtesy of EA Sports

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