Review: NHL 19 : Old Dogs can learn new tricks. XBOX

Its been a while…

I haven’t played a Hockey game since Original Xbox, prior to that I recall playing on a PlayStation 1 and finally on a Sega mega-drive, my relationship with hockey games goes back over 26 years, and honestly its a relationship I near forgot about, having not touched them in around 15 years, upon seeing NHL 2019 listed as one of the free “games with gold” a few months ago I thought, lets give it a go!

It’s gorgeous, and the same.

Hockey games like all sports games rarely change mechanically, as sports themselves rarely change, so muscle memory kicked in, and I slaughtered my first online opponent 7-0, followed by a 5-2 and finally a 2-1 win over the next opponents.

Think of it, over 1.5 decades since last playing an NHL title and my skillset carried over enough to win three straight matches upon my return, and I am not the greatest player I assure you!

Looks much better.

The graphic improvement since 2004 is impressive, and it looks and sounds gorgeous, it would be a lie to say otherwise, but honestly… I didn’t mind the 2004 version either, to my games like this live or die based on the smoothness of their controls, and once again NHL offers a smooth as butter control scheme that is easy to pick up.

More to do.

Now one thing that has changed for sure is the array of modes and sub-modes, back when I played in 2004, we had almost no options except vs AI or VS player, now we have too many modes to list and honestly I kinda found it a little overwhelming, not being a hardcore fan of NHL games most of the mode names meant nothing to me, so I picked a simple match up and played as my beloved Mighty Ducks!

The Career style mode does appeal to me, and I will most likely give that a go before uninstalling and moving onto NHL 20 (when it becomes part of the EA Pass!)

Worth a buy?

If you are a fan of NHL games or sports games, in general, I feel you will get a lot of enjoyment if you can snag it at a decent discount, with NHL 20 due out in under 1 month, it wouldn’t be worth paying full retail at this stage in its lifespan, it is also currently part of EA Access for Xbox!

A great value game subscription service for fans of EA games!

 

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