By Banzi – Sports/Racing Editor [Editor’s note: Banzi is our newest contributor and he’ll be lending his expertise on sports titles and racing games! We’ll be doing a little catch up over the next few weeks and then we’ll spend some time talking about what the next generation has in store for our little sports fans!]
Produced by EA Sports
From the avid hockey fan to the novice just being introduced to the sport, NHL 13 by EA Sports has something for everyone. It sports amazing graphics, solid gameplay, and a multitude of game modes that provide hours of hockey for everyone in the family.
I’ve played most of the hockey games on the market and I have to say NHL 13 tops them all. NHL 13 provides the most realistic gameplay and is, above all else, the most fun. The controls are quite easy to learn; you will be scoring and dangling by the defense in no time. NHL 13 is simple to learn. There are tutorials on all aspects of the game from the rules of the game all the way to the controller functions.
EA Sports has done an outstanding job paying attention to all the small details. Player movement is fluid and realistic feeling. With improved A.I. defense and goalies gone are the days of running up the score. This year there has been a huge emphasis on team play and puck movement. EA has designed the game to force players to use the whole team and employ a more team oriented game strategy.
The controls may seem overwhelming, even confusing at first, however I assure you that with enough practice they will become second nature to you and your kids. Here are some highlights to get the little guys going:
- In the most simplistic form, the left stick controls your player’s movement and the right stick controls you actual stick. For example, if you want to shoot, all you have to do is push up on the right stick. If you want to wind up for a huge slap shot, all you have to do is pull back on the right stick and then push up.
- If you keep in mind that the right stick controls your stick on the ice most of the movement is intuitive. Even hitting is based on the right stick. All you have to do is push the right stick in the general direction you want to send you player and he will charge forward for a hit.
- Just like in real life, practice makes perfect. If all these controls seem to be overwhelming you have the option to use the classic controls. Which are more a little easier for younger kids to grasp since it relies on button presses as opposed to joystick movement.
- The more you play and experiment with you player the faster you will be dangling around the defense like Pavel Datsyuk.
There are a ton of game modes to choose from in NHL 13. Here are some of the highlights:
- There is the General Manager mode which allows you to control every aspect of a NHL team. Manage your team through draft day all the way to raising Lord Stanley’s cup. This involves thing like contract negotiations, and long term team development. This is where some of the “meat and potatoes” of the simulation come in.
- Be a Pro mode allows you to create a player and follow him all the way to the big leagues. Through your play you will earn points to upgrade you player’s skills.
- Finally, there is the more classic “Versus” mode. Pick your favorite team and challenge the computer or a second player. Here you will control all the players on the ice and lead your team to victory or back to the drawing board.
These are some of the more popular game modes, but there are plenty more to choose from. They mix up the action a bit and keep the game from getting stale.
Most games include the option to play online these days; NHL 13 is no exception. You are able to bring your favorite team online and connect with thousands of players across the country and even the world. I would think long and hard about allowing your child to play online thanks to the varied personality types they might encounter. They could manage to end up in a game with someone else that is pleasant and interested in honest fun. But they could also end up with a profanity spewing monster. There is no real way to filter that out (currently)
I believe there is more than enough gameplay off line to keep your child occupied. So that doesn’t really take away from the value of the game.
Overall NHL 13 brings all the aspects of a great game together. With the ease of play and realistic gameplay this game is a great way to learn the game of hockey. There are countless hours of gameplay ahead for your budding hockey star!
For more information about this game and other games by EA Sports visit