NHL 19: 6 Reasons We Are Hyped
Being a ‘good Canadian kid’ (I am saying that in my best Don Cherry voice) I love my hockey. I play ice hockey with the boys once per week, I participate in NHL fantasy leagues, collect hockey cards and watch as many NHL games as humanly possible. Yet, for one reason or another, I don’t play EA Sports NHL franchise all that much anymore. There was a time I played every waking moment (I am looking at you NHL 94 and NHL 07, the year the skill stick was introduced) but over the years other games, and other interests have taken over. Also, a part of me feels like the game has outgrown me. It just seems so complex. Every time I pick it up and play NHL with friends I get worked. Sure, I can pull off the basics no problem but if I need to execute a one-timer or a fancy clapper into the top left corner, forget about it. It ain’t happening. While at the EA Sports Summer Showcase last week I jumped back into the virtual rink and much to my surprise, I was much better than I expected and for the first time in years, the game seems much more accessible. Here are 6 reasons why I am super hyped to get back into NHL 19.
If you read my Madden NFL 19 preview, you’ll see that I talk about Real Motion Tech which is all about making the game look and feel more authentic. In NHL 19, the development team wanted to replicate the way some of the best skaters in the NHL turn on a dime and work out of tight corners. They found the skating in NHL 18 was a bit stiff and wanted to do something about that. I absolutely loved the skating in NHL 19. It felt great, like I was in total control. The player’s crossovers and carving look close to the real thing. Turning and cutting is easier than ever. Fans should notice a significant difference this year, especially when it comes to accelerating.
“CHEL” is Short for NHL
There is a lot of meat on ‘The World of CHEL’ bone. This robust mode expands the way players play against each other and it is definitely an area I’ll be spending a lot of time in when the game is released this September. For starters, this social hub includes EASHL, Threes pick-up games, an NHL Pro-Am mode and Ones. Threes was introduced last year, so I don’t need to get into that mode but NHL Pro-Am allows players to hone their skills against A.I. before jumping into real competition. This mode offers 40 3 on 3 challenges that will keep you busy for weeks. Ones is an absolute shit-show and a total blast. In this mode, you can showcase your talents against others in a three-for-all where the player who scores the most goals in 3-minutes wins. Ones is such a great mode, it deserves a section all alone.
There Can Be Only One
Considering my NHL skills are a little less than stellar, I struggled playing this mode. That being said, I had a blast and had a hard time putting it down. As you win these 1v1v1 competitions, you earn points that contribute towards your rating. This progressions system has you jumping back in over and over. The games themselves are f-king bananas. There are no penalties, no stoppages and it’s essentially a free for all. So if you are good at smashing folks into the boards and dangling past opponents, this mode is for you. Another slick element to this mode is how you start playing in a parking lot rink, and as you rank up you’ll play in better rinks. All the way to the resort-style rink equipped with massive stands, set in a pretty cool Red Bull-like festival atmosphere.
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Top 6 Reasons We’re Excited for NHL 19