Friday, March 28, 2014

The Agony of Defeat

The Olympics upped my interest in hockey, so I've been trying to improve my relationship with the sport and the NHL.  I'm a gamer, so I thought snagging a copy of NHL 14 would be a step in the right direction.

Well, it is, and it isn't.  Truthfully, I love the game.  The presentation is incredible, the action comes fast and furious, and the score is great.  It's a nice product, to be sure.  However, either I really suck or this game is really freaking hard.  I've been playing Madden for decades (true story) and I'm a dominant force in that realm.  This is an entirely different story.  I'm too old for the kiddie pool, so I jumped right into All-Star gameplay.  And I'm apparently not an All-Star when it comes to NHL 14.  Not even close.

I bet I played seven or eight games before I scored my first goal.  I've probably played somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 or 60 games, and I may have won five of them.  Honestly, I'm still having a blast with the game, and I'm in every game I play, but I'm not winning many of them and I have to wonder: is it just me?  Some of the rules still don't make sense for me--I thought the game would be a learning tool in this regard, but offsides and icing penalties seem to come in so many different situations that I can't figure out just what the common denominator is.  That's part of it.  And apparently I can't shoot for shit.  I say that because while I'm steadily losing to the CPU, I'm taking way more shots.

I don't have a favorite team, not yet anyway, so I'm trying lots of different clubs out and playing lots of different opponents.  I seem to enjoy playing with Washington more than anyone else, but I've used most of the teams available and the difference has certainly been negligible so far as my record is concerned. 

Most contests are two or three goal affairs, but in the rare event that I manage to score more, the computer doubles up on me.  And I seem to have an uncanny knack for giving up a winner in the closing seconds.  Overtime has not been kind to me, and neither have shootouts.  My boy P-Rod wants me to dial down the difficulty, but it's too late for that.  I'm all in, and I'm going to sort this out.

Until then, I'm having a good time getting my ass kicked, and that doesn't happen often. 

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