The Dump and Chase: It’s NHL 12 day

There are two days on every NHL hockey fan’s calendar in which it is commonly acceptable to use a sick day to enjoy. 1) trade deadline day and 2) the day EA Sports’ new NHL game comes out. This year’s installment in the greatest sports video game franchise of all-time (all-time!) includes the much hyped ‘Legends’ mode, gameplay and AI tweaks too numerous to mention, a Winter Classic mode, goalie fights, a new hitting engine and various other updates intended to build upon last year’s game.

NHL 12 dropped today and here’s what people are saying about it:

NHL 12 is an exceptional game and the improvements easily justify the yearly cycle it is currently running on. [Gaming Union]

The 300 gameplay refinements that EA put into NHL 12 are noticeable as you’re playing, but none will really make you jump out of your gaming chair. They end up being nice tweaks to further polish an already solid game. The anticipation AI, net battles, hitting engine and puck physics add to a more realistic gameplay experience. [Puck Daddy]

The coolest feature, Action Tracker, documents every single thing that can happen in a game and allows the player to play normal when simulating (think SuperSim from Madden). The results and stats that are simulated correlate to how good player ratings are. [Examiner]

One of the most significant gameplay changes comes with a revamped physics engine, which EA is calling the Full Contact Physics Engine. Part of the new engine is the Balance Control System, which takes into consideration the strength and balance of players as they make or take hits. Full Contact also seeks to enhance the game by introducing more varied results in player collisions, like players falling to their knees instead of always going spread-eagled on the ice, and “helicopter hits,” which send players spinning round and round. With time, these nuanced additions will integrate into the player’s total perception of the simulation. [Worth Playing]

And from Down Goes Brown’s annual satirical review: The artificial intelligence needs work, as players still make silly mistakes. For example, some players signed long-term contracts with no-trade clauses with the Flyers, and then reacted like they were actually going to get to stay in Philadelphia. Look, they’re buying houses and everything! [DGB]


Ryan Kesler continues his Kes-lurking campaign. [Canucks]

No deal yet, but Zach Bogosian wants to be in Winnipeg. [Winnipeg Sun]

Patrick Sharps undergoes emergency appendectomy, out 3-4 weeks. [Blackhawks]

Todd Simpson to take Wade Belak’s spot on Battle of the Blades. [CBC]

FakeDanEllis unmasked at last, announces retirement. [BoC]

The St. Louis Blues really run with Don’t Stop Believin’