My 6 hours with NHL 15

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Those of you that know me are aware of my love for hockey. I attend as many Hawks games as I can in a year. I play in a couple leagues in the winter. I have even traveled all the way to California just to experience out door hockey in 60 degree weather. I do not claim to be an expert, however I am in their wheel house when it comes to this type of game. I had a bunch of credit on my Xbox account, from some contests this summer and decided to get EA Access. With that came 6 hours of the full game of NHL 15. I just finished those 6 hours and wanted to share my impressions.

I know it is fun to dog pile on EA and the NHL franchise right now.  They are doing their transition with this edition of the game.  That means the 360/PS3 version is basically a roster update with much of the new function being added to the XBOX One/PS4 version.  With that being said, yes there is lots missing.  I really did not miss this things, yet.

EA does get somethings right in this version.  I really like the puck physics, a lot.  You now get the odd bouncer or rolling puck goal.  The puck will stop sometime causing the shooter to over skate and miss their slap shot.  The player collision and skating system are fun.  This is one place where NHL15 shines, control.  They left in the 3 control options, Simulation (dual stick), Hybird (Buttons/Dual Stick), Arcade (NHL94).  It is the same as it has been the last few years.  I like the hybrid, gives me the best of both worlds.  This really comes through in practice mode.  As stupid as it sounds I really like skating in the practice mode shooting and chasing down pucks.  I would love to see more players for 1 on 1 drills, or multiple pucks littering the ice.  It really is basically shootout practice.  You are the Captain of your “Favorite” team.  You cannot choose the goalie you go against.  It is super bare bones.  This does bring up one of my first negatives – practice mode.  I really liked how in previous versions they walked you through all of the basic system to the game – from face offs to snap/slap shots.  This is non-existent, as of the EA Access version.  I still struggle with the face off positioning, trying to figure out if it is something new or the old system.  I really wanted a robust tutorial system to walk me through all the new nuances of the control system.  Maybe this will get added in, but I doubt it.

I played a few quick matches, they work exactly as you would expect.  I moved on to Moments.  These are fun and appear to match the 2015/2016 season as it happens.  I look forward to seeing what happens there.  They multiple stars for each level of difficulty.  I feel my Chicago Blackhawks are woefully underrepresented in that mode, oh well.  Hopefully they will have more this season.

I have spent the majority of my time Be a Player mode.  This is the only way to create a player currently.  And you play this player for it’s whole career.  I do like that women are part of the system.  I played through a lot of this and I do like it.  There are a few things that make it tough.  First, default is 20 minute periods.  This is a real 20 minute period, so be warned.  Secondly, they do not accelerate play when in a penalty box.  So if you choose to fight, be prepared to put the controller down for at least 5 minutes.  Thirdly, the voice over.  The presentation is rather top-notch.  It feels like a real NBC broadcast, however after playing about 5 – 6 games the dialogue stitching becomes very evident.  I may go crazy if I hear Emeric say “geometric” or Olczyk say “dance partner”.  The canned lines for routine events does get a little repetitive at times.  In fact, some of it does not even seem to have alternate options.

As of today, I would say pass if you like the previous options.  That is a fuller more complete product.  EA does say they will be updating it throughout the year.  So if you want a hockey game on your new PS4/XBOX One, it might be worth it.

Below is a video of my time with the demo on PS4.

Yup, We’re still alive

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So Max and I have start to podcast again.  We are both in different parts of the country so we talk via skype.  We just finished our first podcast.  I have rebuilt the podcast feed and storage; so you may have to resubscribe via iTunes.  Our goal is to do a show every other week and then on big occasions, like E3, PAX, etc.

If there is something you would like covered, please let us know.  If there is something we can fix, please let us know.

Thanks again for listening,

 

Brad

EP16: We’re Back!?

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What the what!?  I thought this feed was dead.

This week the guys make their return.  Using a little technology they plan on making this a regular thing again.  This is the first attempt at this setup.  Please let us know how you think it works.  

This week they talk about the following:

XBOX One

Injustice

Bioshock Infinite

Comics Code Authority and some general Comic book gibberish


Check out this episode
Download the mp3 here

We’re Back!

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I have graduated, so the school crunch is over. This means I have the free time to record and edit once again. Max and I will be returning next week with an all new show!

I hope you did not miss us that much.

Brad

It’s that time of year again… EXTRA LIFE TIME!

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Well, it is that time of year again.  The beginning of September for me starts the beginning of the campaign drive for more recruits and drumming up supporters for me.  Extra Life this year is on October 15, 2011.  For those of you that do not know, Extra Life is a 24 hour gaming marathon.  Get people to pledge you money for every hour you play.  You do not have to play video games, any game counts – play scrabble with the family, have a afternoon football game, that counts to – even naked twister if that’s what you like.  Have fun and raise money for your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.   If you are concerned you cannot play 24 hours in one day,  break it up in two.  Anything goes.  Participate in the community get friends and family to sign-up.  Have Fun, Heal Kids, Make Friends.

This year Extra Life is a little different there are two membership levels.  The basic in which all participants start in at and the Platinum level.  Basic is free, you are eligible for some prizes, but none of the big ones; Platinum costs 15 dollars and makes you eligible for bigger prizes, like a new XBOX360, and the yearly t-shirt.  The current prize, the XBOX competition runs through September 12.  The way to win works like this, raise money, the more money you raise the more entries you get in the drawing. So if you raise $1200 before September 12, then you get 1,200 entries into the drawing; simple right?  Great – So get out there and start raising some money.  You can register at the all new website – www.extra-life.org.  You will notice that this year has a big sponsor – Microsoft.    They are responsible for the XBOX and a whole bunch of 12 Month Gold subscriptions.

With Extra Life being on October 15th – there are plenty of new games to play, let me break down a quick list from now to Oct 15 -

September -

  • Resistance 3 (PS3)
  • Dead Island (PC, PS3, XOBX)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine  (PC, PS3, XOBX)
  • Rugby World Cup 2011 (PS3, XBOX)
  • Star Fox 64 (3DS)
  • NHL12 (PS3, XBOX) – Ill take the Hawks against any of you fools.
  • Gears of War 3 (XBOX)
  • Shadow of the Colossus and ICO Collection (PS3)
October
  • Rage (PS3, XBOX, PC)
  • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (PS3, XBOX, PC)
  • Batman Arkham City – Doh, the week after Extra Life, maybe I’ll do another Extra Life marathon!
If you are so inclined and want to donate to my hospital and cause you can do it here – Brad’s Extra Life Page.
If you want more information about Extra Life, head to Sarcastic Gamer or the Sarcastic Game Extra Life Page.
I have an old post about preparing for Extra Life  – Preparing for Extra Life

E3: Day 0

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Well today present a whole host of pressers from Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and Sony.  The day started off with the Microsoft stage show. This could easily be summed up with one picture, in motion form:

Compliments of @JensDietrich

Aside from Kinect, Kinect, Kinect Rail Shooter, Another Rail shooter for Kinect; there were a few key announcements pertaining to media content.  This included the addition of live streaming TV.  Although there were no specifics related to fees, carriers, or date.  UFC will also be offering Pay Per View via XBOX360.  This will integrate some of the features of ESPN 3, like winner, victory type, historical information.  This is a very interesting move in the way that MS plans to replace cable and provide competition to a direct competitor just recently made available, HULU Plus.  There were two additional announcements related to HALO – the first being the HALO Anniversary title.  Which is a remastered version of the first HALO done in the reach engine.  The second is that they announced HALO 4, 5, and  6.  Well technically it was just HALO 4, however they did say it was the beginning of a new trilogy so the extrapolation was easy enough.  There it is a hour and thirty minute press conference summed up in one paragraph.  All in all it was not all that impressive.  There were some key movements with some neat features, however it seemed to be lacking some flair.

Next up was the EA press conference.  They announced a few titles, nothing that was unexpected or already known about.  There was Need for Speed: The Run, Battlefield 3 – Which featured a tank battle and looked very well put together.  They teased all the Star Wars and MMO fans out there with another CG trailer, but again, there was no launch or open beta date.  Which honestly is extremely disappointing.  EA also pimped their new online portal called www.origin.com.  This has some exclusive trailers.   They also showed more Mass Effect 3, which looks more and more impressive.  They also tagged its release date as March 3, 2012.  There was some Madden, FIFA, a really big Curt Schilling (like I’m one to talk).  Again, there was nothing here we had not seen or known about before.  SSX was also shown again, this time much more care-free and fun like the original, rather then that pseudo military snowboarding game shown at the VGA’s.  Aside from Battlefield and Mass Effect, there was little here to be excited about – SSX does make me smile though.

The day continued with the UbiSoft Presser.  That started out with a big smile.  They introduced a simple traditional two player plat-former – Rayman 4.  This brings a smile to anyone new or old that likes a good side scroller.  There was a fun augmented reality Raving Rabbits game.  The MC then went a little off the rails.  There was a demo of Ghost Recon, which with all honesty looked pretty boring.  There was some Driver: San Francisco, then a mostly expletive demo of Far Cry 3.  The Inglorious Bastards made an appearance in Brother in Arms: Furious Four.  There were some other less memorable announcements.  Although it ended with the coup de grace – Assassin’s Creed Revelations.  Which was epic.  It definitely looks better.  There are some new take downs and it all looks real good.  I found somethings I was impressed with, like Rayman, AC, Raving Rabbits, however there was one missing item, Beyond Good and Evil 2.

The long day of talking ended with Sony.  Normally, they are the first real day of E3, this year though they made a change.  Jack Trenton took the stage and apologized for the PSN outage and security breach.  He asked those who have given up on Sony to please stick around and listen to the future they have planned for their platform(s) in the future.  There was more move this and move that.  A untimely trailer for a game coming out tomorrow.  Seemed like a waste of a few minutes.  There was the attempt to bring more 3d home, which includes a Sony PS branded TV that does 3D.  There was an amazing game play footage trailer of Bioshock Infinite, along with a weird announcement of a non-descript NGP title.  Kobe Bryant was on stage, looking really out of place trying to play a basket ball game.  Uncharted 3 was shown and looked as expected – polished, beautiful, and full of Nolan North.    We finally got some announcements for the HD remake of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus.   Added to that was the PSP God of War ports to HD ion the PS3.  Both of which are due out in September.  There were a bunch of exclusives that seemed wedged in, or back room deals made because they are so odd.  Like Bioshock be packed with Bioshock Infinite and  Star Trek having a downloadable prequel, then the 1943 pack-in with Battlefield 3;  all PS3 exclusives.  Some dungeon running social game called Ruin.  Looked like everything else dungeon crawler out there,  except other people build the dungeon you invade.  There was some mention of a unified experience across the PS3 and NGP version.  I also forgot to mention, they announced the NGP, officially named the PSVita; I’m just going to stick with the NGP though.  There will be two versions, a WI-Fi version and a Wi-Fi/3G version, powered by ATT (the crowed had boos and mocking laughter at this moment.  The wi-fi only version will be $250, the 3g version $300.  Which honestly seems reasonable.  They mentioned something called Playstation Suite, which aside from the Xperia, no one seems to know anything about.  All in all it was another forced presentation.   Aside from Uncharted 3, NGP price point, and the BioShock tailer it was another flat conference.

Microsoft unfortunately announced somethings in their press release that should have been mentioned in the press conference – Cloud and ID saved to cloud for a truly portable XBOX live experience.  This is huge.  Sony has had this feature for Plus users since the Summer, so this is a competing feature.  One thing to take away from this is again, they seem to be leaving their core gamers in the dust, pushing peripherals. It seems Microsoft wants everyone to use the Kinect, Sony wants everyone to have a 3D TV, so I wonder what Nintendo be pushing tomorrow.  I am hoping the floor shows and private demos have more to offer.  Right now the start seems pretty flat.  There are some shining surprises, Rayman and Raving Rabbits to start, but there was little from the big two to start the show.  Luckily we know that there are plenty of good games on the horizon this year and next.  I look forward to seeing those and Nintendo tomorrow and how innovative their new console will be.

EP15: Portal Kombat

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After a long, really long break the guys come back with a huge episode.  After some quick catching up they get to the meat, an exclusive first look and review of the new Mortal Kombat!

This week the guys talked about:

Enslave: An Odyssey to the West

Mirror’s Edge

Bioshock 2 DLC – Minerva’s Den

Fable 3

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

and

Mortal Kombat


Check out this episode
Download the mp3 here