As the NHL 14 cover vote is narrowing down and more trailers are becoming available for the latest addition to the franchise, I wanted to list ways EA Sports could improve NHL 14 before it's September 10th release date.
I've been a gamer for most of my life and although I prefer third person shooters, I've played the NHL franchise games far more than any other video games. EA Sports has always done a terrific job capturing the ins and outs of hockey. From the early vertical play where you could score on every wrap around in the early 90's, to the amazing online gameplay the past few years, I've been hooked.
EA does a great job adding features year to year in the franchise to improve the latest addition. More often than not, the risks pay off. Every year the game physics are as cutting edge as they can get.
For NHL 14, there are already several additions and probable improvements listed for the game:
- One touche dekes: Quicker and easier to control dekes (left stick and one button)
- Enforcer engine: Using Fight Night technology (yes!!!!!!!!), fights will now be a 3rd person experience with different punch targeting, and opponent size differentials will matter.
- NHL collision physics: Get ready for bigger and better hits.
Each of those stand to greatly improve NHL 14 from the past installments, but through my own gameplay I've noticed several ways NHL 14 can be even more enhanced:
1. Allow for fights after periods: Those who watch hockey know that sometimes as a period ends tempers flare. It would be incredibly realistic to allow for fights after periods. Even better if the scraps yield penalties.
2. More Xbox Live game points: Instead of only having the points that count towards your ranking allotted for winning games and the generic "performance" points, NHL 14 could reward your Xbox Live ranking with points for completing such tasks as winning fights, getting a hat trick, winning a shootout, scoring on a penalty shot, delivering a glass-breaking hit, and hitting someone into the bench. It would be great if NHL 14 visibly listed the achievements as you got them during and after the game as well.
3. Goalie interaction reverted to NHL 12: I'm not complaining that in NHL 13 you can get away with bumping the goalie a little bit, but in NHL 12 it was easier for the goalie to fight an intruder and vice versa.
4. Referee interaction: Although it's fairly uncommon to have altercations with the on ice officials in hockey, why not add the option of intentionally bumping or chirping a ref and being justly punished for it. Perhaps it can even add some energy to your bench.
5. Allow 1 pause per period: Perhaps the most annoying aspect of the online gameplay has been playing against some who either doesn't understand that you can skip to gameplay or just enjoys being a nerd by delaying the game, often in retaliation or to rub in a goal. Allowing for a pause per period could keep these violators in check.
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