Thursday, October 2, 2008

More NHL

It is possible that NHL 09 is the most frustrating game of all time that I will give a positive review.

I have never been so mad at a videogame before. As I said earlier, this is a good game -- with a smooth design and a slick engine. But damn if it doesn't piss me off.

I'm about 12 games into my season and yes, penalties are a slight issue. I get them called on me (overuse of the poke button) but I'm on the powerplay at the most once per game. Well, some games something odd happens and I'll have two PPs but usually I'm the one in the bin. It isn't as bad as I first thought but it's certaiy not ideal either.

The tape to tape tic-tac passing annoys me. How many bad passes do you see in a game? I see *very* few. Passes are picked off and deflected but very few are off target, and it gives the game an artificial feel. To me at least.

Then there is the AI. I cannot beat the AI on All Pro. I just can't do it. I don't get blasted -- most of my losses are 4-2, 3-2, 5-3, etc. but I cannot win. Pro doesn't feel quite right so with the shocking lack of custom options I'm somewhat stuck between Pro (which is a bit stale) and All Pro which drives me to want to break my controller. Most of my All Pro games are very close until the 3rd period, when my AI teammates decide to stop playing defense. Almost all of the late AI goals are uncontested shots in the crease. It's like the AI shuts off and decides it's "time to score."

Criticizing a game over difficulty is dicey because everyone will play the game differently, but with the lack of sliders or ways to adjust the gameplay I think it's a valid point to make.

Still need to try Be a Pro and all of the new online features, but solo offline the gme is at times amazing and at times infuriating.