Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

If there’s one game that does Career Mode right, it’s the NBA 2K series. Not only do you have to perform well on the court, but there’s a ton of stuff you’re able to manage off the court that will affect your career. It’s good to see that EA’s NHL team has implemented some of these options in their new “Live the Life” mode. Trailer above, details from EA Sports below below.


Player Interviews

As you progress through your pro’s career, certain events trigger interviews with media or management. These interviews include either a single question or a series of  questions with four available answers. Your answer affects your Likeability rating with fans, teammates, family, and management.


When do Interviews occur and what are they focused on?

  • Pre-Draft Interviews: Pre-Draft Interviews occur a few days prior to the NHL entry draft. These interviews give the user a chance to move up or down in the draft based on whether or not a team likes the answers provided. Three teams, all within your projected draft range, will interview you.
  • Pre-game: These interviews focus on the team you’re about to play, your recent performance, or any upcoming career milestones.
  • Post-game: These interviews focus on the outcome of the game you just played, your performance, or the milestones you’ve recently reached..
  • News: Interviews can be triggered by events and news from around the league, such as a player signing with your team or being traded to another team.


Off-Ice Events

Off-ice events can occur at any time throughout the season. These events put you in a scenario that forces you to make a key decision that can affect the future of your career.

One scenario might be that after a big game your teammates ask you to join them for a night on the town. You’ll probably get back late and if your coaches find out, they might not be too pleased. What do you do? These are the tough choices you’ll have to make to become an NHL Superstar.


Remember each action you take may produce a positive or negative reaction that can affect ratings and likeability, so make sure to choose carefully.



Playing well on the ice and interacting with your teammates and the media off the ice leads to a positive Likeability rating.

The higher your Likeability rating, the greater the chance endorsement offers will come your way. Endorsements allow you to get extra cash as well as cool looking images for the trophy case.


Likeability Meters

Likeability meters increase or decrease based on actions on and off the ice. They track how you are perceived by fans, teammates, management and your family.

These meters go from -100 to +100 and will produce consequences (positive and negative) based on how much the meter is filled.

Fan Likeability

The Fan Likeability meter defines your relationship with the fans of your team and the league.

  • A high Fan Likeability meter will increase your chances of receiving high-quality endorsements. On the ice, fans will cheer you on and you may even notice the flash from cameras when you touch the puck.
  • A low Fan Likeability meter will lead to boos by fans both locally and around the league. If your Fan Likeability meter is low enough, it may result in you being traded to another team.

Teammate Likeability

The Teammate Likeability meter defines your relationship with members of your team.

  • A high Teammate Likeability meter increases your chances of attending off-ice events. If your teammates like you enough, you might become the team’s captain. Factors such as age, player rating and Management plays into these kinds of decisions, as well. Management will have a say in who becomes captain (see below).
  • Players with a low Teammate Likeability meter will be presented with fewer off-ice event opportunities. If your Teammate Likeability meter is drastically low, teammates may stop passing you the puck when you call for it.

Management Likeability

The Management Likeability meter defines your relationship with the GM and Coaching staff.

  • A high Management Likeability meter makes it harder to be demoted to the minors and makes it easier to get to the NHL. As you develop on as a pro, a high enough Management Likeability rating can reward you with other incentives, such as earning the “C” on your jersey.
  • A low Management Likeability meter makes it harder to progress to the NHL and makes it easier to be demoted to the minors. If your Management Likeability meter is low enough you can be put on the trade block and potentially moved to a new team.

Family Likeability

The Family Likeability meter defines your relationship with your family and has a positive or negative effect on your on-ice attributes.


On-Ice Performance

Your on-ice performance modifier gives you more leeway to act unprofessionally. The better you perform on the ice, the more your fans, teammates, management and  family will be willing to put up with your off-ice antics.

EA Sports is back with another developer diary, this time explaining in full detail how the A.I. in the game has been improved. In this year’s game, you’ll be able to provide better puck support with a greater understanding of developing plays. You’ll be able to read plays better on both sides of the puck, and use smarter shooting analysis to spot scoring opportunities.

Here’s the full info from EA Sports:


Offensive AI

  • Player Facing: Players will do a much better job opening up for passes/shooting opportunities.  You will notice that they will better position themselves to let their own team’s shots through, and get ready for deflections and/or resulting rebounds.
  • Keeping the Puck In: Players are now more aware when they are close to the blueline and will take the extra care needed in ensuring they keep the puck in the offensive zone.
  • Avoiding Offsides: Players will do a better job of adjusting their route to ensure they remain onside as the play enters the zone.
  • Shooting Analysis: Smarter decision making based on where the goalie is and the situation. Affects the types of shots they take and the location of the shot. For example: If they see someone on their team driving the net on an odd-man rush, they’re more likely to shoot low at the pads to produce a rebound.


Defensive AI

  • Gap Control: Defenders will be more aware of the gap between themselves and the forwards as they breakout, progress through the neutral zone and into the defensive end. They will also make smarter decisions in selecting whether they should play loose or to tighten the gap by recognizing their opponent’s offensive ability versus their own defensive capabilities.
  • Blueline Entry: A.I.defenders do a better job of recognizing the approach of an incoming offensive attack and will pick their moments to step up and lay a hit at the blueline, get a stick towards the puck or in the passing lane, or drop back into a more controlled gap. This will result in the need to read the defense when entering the zone and to vary the approach accordingly.
  • Player Facing: A.I.defenders will do a better job of ensuring they’re facing the proper direction and are aware of where the puck is when covering point-men and forwards in front of the net.


Line Change Logic

  • Players now have more awareness of the right time to change. They’ll do a better job of understanding the risks and rewards when determining whether they should come off or stay on for a critical situation, based on the opportunity vs. pressure and/or time of game.


Special Teams

  • Power play logic has been improved to ensure that a team on the Power Play isn’t overly committed to attacking. This ensures that the PP team can still be defensive minded when they need to be.

Not gonna lie, I thought that this was going to be a bit more of a throwback to the classic game we grew up on 20 years ago… Seems as though they just added in some music, blue ice and stars underneath the players. Anyway, here’s a lengthy run-through of the NHL 94 mode in the upcoming NHL 14.

The NHL 14 team is back with another Developer Diary, this time talking about the goal scoring balance improvements in the game. They posted a video on their site that for some reason cannot be embedded, so check out these GIFs with explanations under ‘em.

Shots from the Point

  • Shots can now be flush against the ice (in previous years, there was always at least some height to the shot)
  • Teammates Avoid – AI players will recognize shooting scenarios (they will move earlier to positions for deflections/rebounds and do a better job avoiding shots on way to the net).


  • Shots that are flush to the ice can now be deflected up off the ice and over the goalie.
  • Players recognize their own position in front of the net and will take that angle into account when trying for a deflection. (For example: They may try to pop it up more when closer to the net)
  • Players will try and deflect the puck to a location on the net that gives them a higher chance to score rather than just a random angle:
    • A shot to the top half of the net will be deflected downwards
    • When cheating to one side, players will try to deflect the puck to the opposite side of the goalie.
    • Players will try to gather the puck after a deflection in front of the net if they are in a bad spot to attempt a shot.


  • Goalies are less likely to get over and cover a one-timer if a player sells the shot before making a pass.
  • If a goalie has to move, or if a shooter is far outside of their original vision path, the less effective a goalie will be at reading the shot trajectory or velocity of a one-timer.

Puck Possession Intelligence:

  • In setup situations, offensive players will have more urgency going after rebounds and won’t consider the puck turned over as quickly (especially when using an aggressive offensive strategy).

Shots from the slot

  • When you’re taking shots from the slot, the goalie will be unable to cover the entire net.


  • Goalies are now much more aware of the player’s body, the puck’s position and the handedness of the attacking player.  They can now favor a player’s forehand, understanding what a player is capable of based on their current momentum.
  • If a goalie is reading deke from an attacking player he will sit deeper in net and it will be easier to beat him with a shot. However, he is also less likely to bite as much on a first move.
  • A quick shot can catch a goalie off-guard,especially if they are thinking pass or deke).

EA SPORTS celebrates the 20th anniversary of the most iconic title in the history of the NHL franchise with the inclusion of NHL® 94 Anniversary Mode in NHL® 14. Built using the NHL 14 game engine, NHL 94 Anniversary Mode takes uses classic button controls to deliver big goals, bigger hits and spectacular speed, taking fun to a whole new level. The mode also offers nods to its hockey video gaming roots through a retro presentation style including blue ice, classic star-shaped player indicators, organ music and a few more surprises. Recognized as one of the most popular games of its era and the title that put the NHL videogame franchise on the map, NHL 94 Anniversary Mode gives another generation of players a new way to play old school hockey.


This is pretty big for the retro gamers out there. The EA Sports NHL team posted the pic above to Twitter with the message “Why is the ice blue in this NHL 14 screenshot? Find out July 11.” So three things here: the ice is blue, the font is retro, and it’s now 20 years since the iconic NHL 94 dropped. So you gotta figure there’s gonna be some sort of implementation of NHL 94 coming to this year’s game.

And just for laughs, footage from our NHL 94 tournament from earlier this year:


NHL 14 is working on improving the intelligence of goalies in the game, and adding realistic traits to featured goaltenders. So you’ll be seeing that massive space through Corey Crawford’s glove side, and goalies will be more aware of scoring situations (if a player is on his forehand or backhand). Here’s the trailer vid to explain it all:


  • Goalies intelligence was improved to increase their ability to read the play and determine if the player is likely to deke, pass or shoot based on the scoring situation.
  • Goalies will stay out and challenge on shots rather than pulling the puck back in with them (also fixes the issue where goalies would pull slower shots in with them as they moved backwards when saving.)
  • Goalies will stay in a save/position if they are aware they are going to be hit by the puck that is on its way. The goalie will no longer blend to another save if not necessary which was sometimes a disadvantage.
  • Goalies show more urgency in getting back to cover open parts of the net, part of heightened awareness.
  • Goalies react more realistically to deflections based upon whether they can see the initial shot cleanly or  if they need to square up and make a save with one of their limbs.
  • Goalies will react more realistically to shot fakes, opening up areas of the net and creating more goal-scoring possibilities if the move is used correctly.

Animations & Movement

  • Fixed saves where it appeared that the goalie was able to move back up against their momentum/gravity when making a save (again, no more “Spider-Man” Goalies).
  • Improved butterfly save space – goalie won’t be locked in butterfly on dekes and will be more conscious of moves to the forehand and consider them more dangerous.
  • Added more saves out of Vertical-Horizontal and Butterfly styles so that the goalie can stay in those poses and react to pucks that are going to hit them (makes staying big and cutting off an angle more effective).

Fighting Through Screens

  • Goalies’ field of vision and puck awareness were corrected to be more realistic. If a puck is out of sight, the goaltender will work harder to fight through screens.

Against One-Timers

  • Goalies won’t give up the short side if they have defensive help and are more likely to cheat to the short side if the attacking player is on their forehand. True to real-life.
  • Goalies will anticipate a pass on a two-on-one if the puck carrier is on their backhand or doesn’t put themselves in a good shooting position (winding back, gliding, sells shot).
  • The closer the shooter is to the net, goalies will try to take away more of the bottom of the net. The further out shooters are, the more they try to get a limb half way up the net to be able to move up/down since the shooter now has a better chance to get height on the shot. The negative to this is exposing more holes and not creating as good of a solid wall like they can when the shooter is close.
  • The more a goalie has to move and the less he can see the puck both have effects on his ability to make a direct save compared to when they are squared up for a shot and reading the release right off the stick. In these cases, the goalie will try to slide across and take away the shooters best chance and then react to the puck once they can see it.


  • AI & animation improvements were made to allow goalies to better handle rebounds and second-chance opportunities off the rush. Goalies can now recover more quickly to handle a bad rebound, especially if they lose the puck within their body/equipment.
  • Goalies will recognize low shots better and attempt to kick the rebound to the corner more often.