PS3 (also on Xbox 360)
Better get a
dentist son. Better get a real good one...
Despite being an entertainment that plays with the big kids like
music, movies and TV shows, videogames work arse about. Fans cry
foul if a muso re-records an old song. Devotees seek to eviscerate
George Lucas should he overdub a “Nooooooooooo!” or recolour a
lightsaber in a Star Wars flick. Meanwhile, it’s rare that a
TV “reboot” recaptures any magic from that upon which it’s based.
Yet as each annus passes and series’ such as NHL are updated,
we’re giddy with an-ti-ci-pa-tion for whatever changes may have been
wrought. We could detour into the “are videogames art?” thing right
here, but we don’t have space (the world exhales a colossal sigh of
Wow, so far, so no ‘puck’ gags. Thank puck... Erm? Oh yeah,
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. NHL 11, something like the 19th ever
NHL iteration, was solid. But, did you ever wish the goalie
wasn’t ensconced in a protective bubble like John Travolta in a
shitty old telemovie? One of the biggest adds this year is that
goalies are more accessible and biffable. Puck yeah!
Less noticeable stuff abounds that improves gameplay greatly, with
intelligent tweaks to AI and physics. The puck doesn’t seem attached
to the in-control player by a string now, and if a titch goes up
against a giant then size is gonna count. It’s amazing how much
allowing a bit more niggle between players adds to realism. As for
when they go into all-out Fight Night
Owners of the previous release may not find enough to justify
shekel-slapping, but others wanting iced-up sticky magic should dig.
Quickly accessible even to newcomers, yet impressively deep once
mastered, and with approximately zillions of on and offline modes,
NHL 12 is (uh-oh) pucking ace.