NHL 13 Catch-All

Jayhawker wrote:

What's your connection like? Mostly my experience has been fine, but I've had a couple of games like that. But many, many dozens more that have been very good. But I have a pretty good wired connection.

It's fine - we have Charter cable. Way better than the AT&T DSL I used to use. And I haven't noticed it being this bad in the online GWJHL games I've played recently. This game was atrocious, and the only difference was it's a random ranked match vs. a GM Connected match. I wouldn't think that would make any difference at all - online is online. I haven't played a random online game in a long time (blood pressure can't take it) so maybe it was just a really bad night.

The main thing I notice is that there is some slight lag that results in my guy passing the puck when it records my RT to switch to a player late. So I have to be less active in trying to switch to the guy about to grab the puck, and instead wait for him to possess it himself.

Yeah, this happens to me ALL THE TIME. Such that the guy I passed to ends up passing it up to nobody in the opponent's zone. Which is essentially a turnover.

I also make a lot of passes from near my goal up to a skater at my blue line, except that skater decides to leave the ice and hop onto the bench as the puck is coming, so it ends up just sailing off into the defense. Sigh...

So the last time I played a hockey video game was NHL Stanley Cup on the SNES. I like the sport, but I'd say I'm a casual fan. I don't keep up with statistics and player names and etc. I follow the Philadelphia Flyers casually because I'm from Philly, I love Philly, and they also happen to share my college's colors so it's easy to make the change over. This is also one of the reasons I decided I should finally stop thinking "maybe I should try a hockey video game" and just bought NHL 13. It has Giroux on the cover, and I don't mind that.

The game does a decent job of teaching new players, I'll admit that, but it's still information overload. I wish they had developed the game so that if you're new it starts introducing things over time. I don't mean controls, that's fine. I just mean dropping me into some arcade style games, going a few rounds, then slowly introducing the other modes and what they do.

Looking above, it seems other people have issues passing. This is nice to hear, as it felt like my passes were going to the other team more than my own players, or my own players were oblivious the puck is heading their way.

I've also pondered switching to NHL '94 controls, as I imagine those would be more simple. Considering I'm using a PS3 controller that would probably feel more natural somehow.

In any event, first game was 3-6 in favor of Panthers. I started to get a few goals taking more advantage of the deke, but there were a number of events where my primary player was on one side of the net and another player was on the other side and a little back, so I figured "Okay, I'll pass over and have them shoot". NOPE!

I don't know if I'm just bad at aiming with the sticks or I just don't grasp passing, but it's a bit frustrating that I feel the only way I'm going to get a goal is if I try to go after the goalie myself.

Also: in game manual doesn't seem to ever mention how to backwards skate again, which seems like a valuable tool for defense.

Still, I had fun and will play again.

I'm playing Be A Pro, just finished my first season in the OHL. Is it just the very low ratings on my team, or should I expect that even my NHL teammates will be absolutely unable to win a battle for a loose puck? It's getting very frustrating to see that 99% of the time the other team is going to come up with the puck if its bouncing around. I'm not even on the highest difficulty level yet.

I do a bit better job than my teammates in this category, but that's only because I'm actively poking at it. If I leave my player to grab the puck on his own, the opposing player will pick up the puck first 9 times out of 10.

So as this is my first NHL game I started things on Rookie/Casual, and will probably keep some of that stuff. The two Play Now games I was annihilated, but I've played two Season games and thus far I've won 7-3 and just now 10-1.

I like winning, but I also like the thrill of a challenge. This is a bit absurd. Does the game get more challenging as the season goes on? I know that's how NHL Stanley Cup operated on the SNES, but I don't think I should be basing my assumptions on an old game that's not part of a series.

The game will play at a consistent difficulty throughout the season. Some teams tougher, some easier. I'd move to Pro, as Rookie seemed to be designed to kick you out of the next with what seems like a constant barrage of nag messages abut how to play. Of course, if you are new, that might help.

If you want some challenge where the difficulty ramps up, you might give Hockey Ultimate Team a try. It has an offline tournament challenge that will progress you easier to tougher opponents. It is a mode designed to get you to spend real money after awhile, but you can play for longer enough for free. If this mode interests you, I can give you some tips in which you can avoid paying, but you still won;t be building a top team. I find it to be a fun challenge, and one of my favorite ways to play.

One thing you may consider is moving the Human Strategy slider up to match the CPU. This is generally left at 0, but switching up strategies and pressure may not be what you are focused on right now. What will happen is that at the end of the game, the CPU will amp up its pressure and use more aggressive forechecks and breakouts if it is losing. This causes a lot of guys to claim that the game has a "comeback code." I suspect that if you move your strategy slider over, the game will automatically adjust to a more conservative forecheck and breakout in response.

I started on this series with 09 with just a rudimentary understanding of hockey. I didn't even try to change lines at first. but as I got used to different things, I added to my plate of what I would adjust. But I was still learning and adding stuff in 11. Overall the game can do a pretty good job of playing as shallow or deep as you want.

And don't be afraid to go into the sliders and make passing as easy as you want. It can get frustrating, so I would make it as easy as you need to make the game fun. My strategy was to start on default pro. Then, after a game or two or three, if I felt like something about the game was not fun, I'd adjust that slider to help improve. Same goes if something is too easy. But early on, your skills will improve, and it is importnat to adjust sliders along he way. I would always end up with big scores like you had, but I could adjust and get more competitive games. Find the equilibrium you like.

Well I just put it on over to Pro and lost to the Penguins 6 or 7 to 3. That really just seems like a huge gap in difficulty, but at the same time maybe I'm approaching the game wrong. The major issue is I don't know what some of these sliders mean, and while the game provides a tutorial to teach you some of the basics it just counts on you to either already know about hockey or to intuit the more advanced stuff. That's my impression, at least.

I'm not seeing the slider you're discussing, but I figure I'll go back and forth for a bit and figure things out a bit more as I progress. It just seems a bit ridiculous to go from shutting out a team to the exact opposite situation.

Nevermind, found the sliders. Gonna mess around with it and see how things turn out.

Yeah, the jumps are fairly large. And the sliders menus are a bit convoluted when you start. It makes sense after you spend some time with them. Strategy should be under the AI tab.

What I do is kind of make a mental note of what went wrong. Let's say every time you have the puck, the CPU skates up and takes it. Then lower the CPU stick lift. If he's knocking you on your butt, lower checking aggression and hit power. If he's scoring too many goals on too few shots, lower his shot accuracy and/or power.

I also look att my boxscores and see if that clues me in on where I should look to alter sliders. Things like pass % are affected by more than one slider. There is a pass accuracy slider, as well as a pass reception slider.

Yup, I made some adjustments, and I think the biggest is that I need most of my guys to be more accurate with passes. For the most part they're just staring at the puck as it passes by them half the time, which is not what you want when you're passing to someone that has the opportunity to score on an open net. Because then the opposition grabs the puck and they're off and away.

After messing with some sliders I won against the Winnipeg Jets in overtime 5 to 4, and one of the goals they got on me was purely my fault (had the goalie let go of the puck when he was surrounded by opposition, and then BAM puck in the net).

Thanks for the pointers, though. The Jets had a good offense so I'm thinking I'll try a couple more games at this setting, as close scores are very much my preference in hockey.

I'm not sure how passing works on a PS3 controller, but on Xbox 360 it's an analog thing; the harder you press (and, more importantly, the more vigorously you release) the right trigger, the harder your pass is. Hard passes are nice if you're sending the puck halfway across the rink, but in most situations a maximum-strength pass will be too hard for a player with average stats to receive.

I'd think that on a PS3 controller, holding the pass button longer makes for a harder pass. Maybe experiment with tapping versus holding the pass button to see what kind of variation you can get? Note that if you go into game modes -> practice mode -> team practice (or something like this, don't have the game in front of me right now) you can set it up to do 3-on-0s (or 3 on 1s, 3 on 2s, etc...) against a goalie over and over; this is a good way to get a grip on the fundamentals.

Pass speed is based on how long you hold the trigger. If you have held it too long and fear that you are going to rocket it by your teammate, press LB to cancel the pass, so when you release the trigger, you won't pass.

I can't imagine losing the ability to make precise passes of different speeds, but you can turn manual passing off which will then make the speed of the pass based on context and not how long you hold the trigger. This might be helpful to learn how different passes are effective or not effective.

Yeah, I believe I turned manual off for passing. I think it's more passing to the character I want now as well. I imagine the PS3 is basing who to pass it on like it determines where I'm trying to shoot at the net: what direction my left stick is pointing.

In truth, a lot of it is probably simple adjustment. I used to think "man, I liked this a lot better on the Super Nintendo when I just needed a button to shoot instead of all this precision aiming". However, there are a lot more options now and, truth told, the game is more interesting. In NHL Stanley Cup on the SNES you usually only got a goal by passing to another guy and getting a shot off quickly enough, or if you happened to know the glitch in the game that ALWAYS got a score no matter what. This was the last hockey game I had, so this is what I typically go back to in my brain when I think of hockey games.

But NHL 13 is definitely better. I've had some really interesting goals because of the precision elements, including a pass that was deflected skyward by an opposing player trying a poke check and then bounced the puck off the goalie's shoulder and into the net.

I imagine the passing mechanics are the same. Once you get used to the basics of the game you'll have an easier time of passing because you start to learn how to use all the minute details to your advantage.

You also have an additional obstacle, in that NHL 13 introduced a pretty severe momentum factor to skating. It makes stopping and turning harder, as well as the time it takes to get up to speed. Previous versions were much more arcade like in the way you could zip your players around, stop on a dime, and shoot while in motion.

Actually, you may be better off not having to relearn that stuff.

Well, if I ever want I believe I can turn that off as well, though.

In fact, now that I think about it, NHL 13 seems to allow the level of customization I wish nearly every game would have. I like the idea of having base difficulty levels, but then being able to jump into menus to adjust small aspects of enemy A.I. and behavior, as well as damage and other things, granting the player to make the ideal difficulty just for them. The only obstacle I can think of is that the mass audiences don't like things complex.

Yet NHL 13 is not only complex, but it puts everything out there for players to adjust at their own whim. I even have line changes set to automatic, and yet you can eliminate that altogether by removing the need for line changes at all.

I've always had some friends tell me some of the interesting thing about sports games, but now that I'm actually playing one, I have to give the developers of these games a lot more credit than ever.

I just picked this up because I noticed the price had dropped on Amazon.

I have to agree with ccesarono pretty much all around.
The feel of the skating and the general "hockey-ness" of the gameplay is really excellent though I am really struggling with the complexity. I have only played a tiny bit of NHL 11 before, and am not really a console/gamepad kind of guy in general so the amount of button combos is daunting.

I played a game on Rookie/Casual, and just crushed the Blues 7-1 (10 minute periods). I bumped up to Pro/Normal and messed around for a while. After a bunch of restarts while learning the basics I played a full game and lost to the Sharks 2-0 (one of those was an empty netter at the end of the game). I didn't have very many shots on goal because it is clear I don't know how to execute offensively and hold on to the puck. I am looking for a happy medium on face-offs at the moment. I was finding them really tough so I dropped the difficulty down and ended up winning 85%. I think I need to balance that a bit.

I am struggling with a lot of the more complex controls and that is making it tough to set up plays as I would like. The fact that (for example) dump-ins, passes and shots are all different variations of similar commands make things tough to recall in the space of the moments you have to execute. That's not even accounting for fakes, aborting passes, etc. There is just so much going on with that controller.

I haven't found a "scrimmage mode" where you can turn AI on and off to practice certain techniques but that sure would be useful.

Finally, a question - my PS3 game box says something about NHL Arcade being included - does anyone know if this in the menus somewhere, or if there is a code to download or something?

I found the NHL Arcade 3 on 3 code in the game box. It turns out NHL Arcade 3 on 3 is awful.

I was hoping for a fun little game to play with my wife, but I'd be better off playing NHL 13 co-op on Casual.

Feel free to friend me on PS3, username ccesarano. Or I'll just send you a friend request. Maybe the two of us can try and figure out some of the controls in a friendly "we both suck" versus game.

Of course, I've lost track of the games I've been playing and haven't stuck it into my PS3 since I last posted here, so I'll have to relearn it again. Ah well.

ccesarano wrote:

Feel free to friend me on PS3, username ccesarano. Or I'll just send you a friend request. Maybe the two of us can try and figure out some of the controls in a friendly "we both suck" versus game.

Of course, I've lost track of the games I've been playing and haven't stuck it into my PS3 since I last posted here, so I'll have to relearn it again. Ah well.

I think i might actually have you on my friends list. I boot up my PS3 so rarely that I can't quite recall. Plus I have random internet disconnects while in game that have persisted even after setting up a static IP on my router. Very frustrating, that.

I actually had a pretty good game on Pro last night. It took me some failure games but I figured out some better timing on poke checks and how to sweep the stick more effectively, which helped. I managed a 4-2 win against the Coyotes. Both of their goals came in the third period. It's hard to tell how much of that catchup was hockey game desperation vs. video game rubber banding.

I still have a lot of learning to do in terms of offensive zone play.

Necro'ing the thread with a quick question from a PS3 noob. I am planning to get one of the NHL games. The latest one is an obvious choice, but older versions are much cheaper. I don't really care about real names or up-to-date rosters, but the improvements in gameplay are important for me. I am no NHL fan, I simply enjoy a good video game of ice hockey.

So, is 13 the only way to go? Also, what are the changes planned for 14?

If you want to play online, 13 may get you a wider pool of players? I know I won't be upgrading to 14 myself. I just wanted a hockey game that I could sit down and play if the mood strikes me. But for all I know other members here are on the annual circuit.

Nah, I'm not really into online gaming. I play too little, and the role of a whipping boy is not as fun as it sounds.

But I'm curious if 13 brought any major improvements in the control scheme, or the streamlining of GUI? Or perhaps in AI? Basically - what am I losing out on if I get NHL 12 for single player?

MsbS wrote:

Nah, I'm not really into online gaming. I play too little, and the role of a whipping boy is not as fun as it sounds.

But I'm curious if 13 brought any major improvements in the control scheme, or the streamlining of GUI? Or perhaps in AI? Basically - what am I losing out on if I get NHL 12 for single player?

You should at least go back to 12. It added more weight to the players and momentum really affects how it plays. That said, for fun video game hockey, NHL 11 is a blast. Truth be told, there is not a lot of difference from NHL 09 to NHL 13. It might be drastic to go from to the other, but each year's was pretty subtle.

If you want a bit slower and tougher game to move around, NHL12 is great. If you want it to be more fast and furious, NHL 11 is a better choice.

Ah, thanks, Jayhawker. Sounds like 11 should be my cup of tea. Fun is more important than realism. Plus, I can get it for 10 bucks (vs 30 bucks for 13). Yeah, we are getting screwed here in Europe.

I thought 13 added the momentum? I know 13 added something, it said so when I first booted the game up.

ccesarano wrote:

I thought 13 added the momentum? I know 13 added something, it said so when I first booted the game up.

Well, 12 introduced momentum, but 13 improved upon it. Mostly, I just felt like 13 played a more realistic style of hockey.

But I think there is a lot to be said for just enjoying faster hockey that is less realistic. Of al sports games, I think hockey suffers the most when extreme expectations for realism are craved. My wife compares my hockey games to playing Galaga sometimes, which I think it an interesting comparison. and if you make it faster and make stopping and turning on a dime easier, there is still something really fun about that.

The strategy of hockey pretty much holds up under those conditions. But if you make running or passing to easy in football, you lose the strategy of 3rd and short or 3rd and long. In baseball, there is nothing fun about just mashing the ball and swinging at every pitch. I will say that arcade style basketball can be really fun, but I still think the hockey's hitting and skating are just fun, even if you never watch a real life hockey game.

EA tried to match it with their arcade hockey game (and failed miserably), but NHL 2K6's Pond Hockey might be one of my favorite modes ever.

MsbS wrote:

Ah, thanks, Jayhawker. Sounds like 11 should be my cup of tea. Fun is more important than realism. Plus, I can get it for 10 bucks (vs 30 bucks for 13). Yeah, we are getting screwed here in Europe.

Oh, and let me give you one heads up. While using the RS to shoot is intuitive and really cool, aiming is pretty tough to start out. I'd suggest just going to auto-aim. It makes a world of difference. You can't use it online, but it is perfect for offline play.

The catch is, EA, for some unknown reason, made it impossible to set as a standard setting. You literally have to set it each and every game you play in the game set-up screen. It's easy once you find the setting and takes just a second. But if you are playing for fun, this makes a HUGE difference. It's only if you are playing online or the HUT mode that taking time to learn to aim is necessary.