review
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POSTED 7/9/11


NHL 12

EA Sports
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 phewness).

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!

Sorry.

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 punch-in-the-rink mode, well...

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.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.