NHL 12 Review
When it comes to the NHL series I have put a lot of game time into each years title. However, NHL 11 was the first year I had taken a break. Now getting my chance to play NHL 12, I remember how good the series has been.
I must start out with saying that the atmosphere they capture in NHL 12 feels like an actual hockey atmosphere and it’s an absolute treat to play in. Of course, NHL 12 still has it’s faults in the gameplay and it’s silly goals or frustrating plays. Those of us who play hockey or even watch it all the time get the idea of how the game should be played and at times you can really replicate that nicely in NHL 12. However, that always seems to get away from you in each game.
I still find the best mode to play in is the Be A Pro mode which is still wonderfully done. I always seem to keep getting my low scoring games most of the time, which I can’t stand. I love being able to start out in the CHL and work my way up from there. Be A Pro mode is still the best hockey experience out of everything you can do in NHL 12.
There are many modes to choose from still and that includes a couple of new modes. One being the Winter Classic game. You can play the previous years Winter Classic game between the Capitals and Penguins or you can choose whichever teams you would like to use and play in that wonderful setting. I can tell you for sure that after I watch this upcoming years Winter Classic, I will want to go start this up and play in that setting as well. Unfortunately it doesn’t include this years Winter Classic setting as it is only the previous year.
You now have Hockey Ultimate Team mode which is a very in depth online dynasty mode. You start as a low end team with low end players. You collect your players via “cards” which can be traded for or purchased in packs and you are able to do this by collecting “hockey pucks”. You earn those by playing games. As a result, this means that the more you play the more you earn. Thereby, allowing you to upgrade your team. I can see a lot of people spending a ton of time and maybe even most of your time in this mode. It’s very interesting and online based, which makes the interactions fun. You will play with your team up against other players online who have put their own team together. It will be difficult at first as some of my first few games online went up against some fairly decent teams with my 70 overall rated squad. So you will have to fight through your opening struggles, but eventually it’ll become worth it. As I said before, there is a lot of depth in this mode and this mode alone is worthy of checking out NHL 12. However, I still think this will be hit or miss for some people.
The gameplay in NHL 12 still has it’s familiar issues that I am sure a lot of you have seen from the past. I am going to hope that next years version really polishes up on all of the bugs as everything else with NHL 12 is really wonderful. Especially with its numerous modes for you to now play in. I actually feel that the gameplay has slipped since I have last played it, which is not a good sign. It doesn’t feel as smooth as it once did when playing in regular games. You still have a good amount of weak goals allowed or scored and moments of you wondering what the heck it is that your goalie is doing.
There is also a new feature which has goalie fights and I actually can’t stand it. It’s cool the first time it happens, but when my goalie wants to fight every game it’s just getting old to where I just turn fights off all together. The goalie contact and net contact in the game is very nice though, and you might also be on the end of goalie interference if you are not careful. There was an interesting moment against me where a guy was driving to the net and barely made contact with the goalie as he decked him and then scored. The goal didn’t count as they called for goalie interference. So, I have seen a good amount of weak calls in that regard. Although, I wasn’t complaining at all about that one.
Another interesting moment in the gameplay revolves around kicking the puck into the net. Now you will find that they will go upstairs to review a goal and see if a player kicked the puck into the net or not. I found that to be quite awesome as well that this feature was added. I’ve only seen this twice so far. The first time looked neat as it did bounce off a players leg, but was still a good goal. As it should be, in my opinion. The second time through was a straight shot, and I couldn’t figure out why they would review that. So that also has it’s bugs within in.
NHL 12 brings a wonderful and very realistic hockey atmosphere to it’s game from it’s music that you would normally hear at the arenas. This includes the breaking of sticks and skating by your bench to pick up a new one. It truly is a wonderful hockey experience outside of it’s few annoying bugs in the gameplay. It has great new modes including EA Hockey Ultimate Team, Winter Classic, and Be A Legend to add to it’s great depth in options of ways to play NHL 12. Online is still a blast to play everywhere from regular versus matches to tournaments and when playing with your Be A Pro character. My enjoyment with NHL 12 is still top notch even with it’s declining feel in gameplay. You will most certainly want to edit and change the sliders before you play.