Madden ’08 Is For Pansies: Hardcore Video Gamers Know NHL ’08 Is Where It’s At

Old School Hockey Vid

Unless you live in a shack out in the middle of nowhere or you have been banned from internet access at your local library for reasons we do not need to get into here, most of you are undoubtedly aware that Madden 2008 was released yesterday. Wee-frickin-hoo. Every year the hype surrounding the release borders on the absurd and usually the only thing you get out of spending your hard-earned 60 bucks is an updated roster.

That is why I am here to remind all you video gamers out there that EA Sports NHL ’08 is slotted for release September 11th (to see the offical trailer, click here). I know, I know, I know. NHL ’95 for the Sega Genesis was the hockey video game to end all hockey video games. I will not argue with that claim. To this day, I still have to call it one of my favorites of all-time (the Rangers ruled!). Nevertheless, we cannot dwell on the past forever and some of the improvements in NHL ’08 do merit a cursory look.

Create A Play Feature

Create a Play. Possibly the most intriguing new tweak of NHL ’08 is the create a play feature. Although this may be enjoyable for some folks, I will personally stick with Jacques Lemaire’s “Dump The Puck And Chase” play; not only for it’s dynamic scoring possibilities but also for its entertaining game play. If you think it’s riveting to watch it in live action, just wait until you sit in awe watching Marian Gaborik chase the puck into the corner after Pavol Demitra dumps it in the zone in a video game. Now that’s living.

Authentic Presentation

Authentic Presentation. EA Sports has gone all-out in its attempts to create the most realistic gaming experience possible. According to EA Sports NHL ’08 website:

From player likeness, to the signature jersey tucks and sock preferences – each athlete is rendered with a meticulous attention to detail to create a truly authentic on-ice experience.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? It is so realistic the Staal brothers actually appear hungover when they play road games in Minnesota. Nevertheless, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that despite his arrest, Eric Staal is still the cover boy for NHL ’08, further providing the NHL the “street cred” it so desperately covets.

Changes We Would Like to See. Although there are many new entertaining features to NHL ’08, from skill stick movements, the all-new skating engine and development of AHL players, there are still some features we would like to see added:

BettmanCommissioner Mode. Who wouldn’t want to climb into the pants shoes of Gary Bettman? He’s only the finest commissioner of any sport in North America (suck on it, Selig, Stern and Goodell). Options would include alienating your fan base, discovering new ways to make your game even more irrelevant and negotiating multi-year television deals with wildlife cable channels.

Expansion Mode. Who wants an NHL team? Boise, you say? Sure. Austin? Why not? Fargo? You betcha. Expansion is a good thing. It means the league is growing. Am I wrong? Prove it.

Rule Tweaking. Who likes fighting in hockey? No one that matters, that’s who! Simply get rid of the rules that make hockey “boring”. For example, hockey needs more scoring. Use “Rule Tweaking” to make the goals the size of those in soccer and create a rule that goalies only can wear jorts, Members Only jackets and those funny gloves soccer goalies wear. You could even create a rule where only three guys on the ice per team are allowed to have a stick. It’s up to you.

Get Rid Of Those Silly Teams From Canada. Does anyone really care about Canadian teams anymore? Montreal? Toronto? Edmonton? Those places sound almost made up! Additionally, cheat codes will allow you to integrate this feature with “Expansion Mode”.

Classic Mode“. Go back to a bygone era when there were teams in such poor hockey markets like Hartford, Winnipeg and Quebec. An organization like the NHL knows exactly when to get out of a market that ain’t carrying its weight. That’s why once the NHL leaves your town, it’s gone for good. It’s not like the NHL would place a team in a market that has already had an NHL team. Hey, wait a second. The NHL has done this before. Why would they go and do something like that?

So there you have it. Overall, it appears NHL ’08 is going to be a fine way to spend your time when you should be looking for a job or sharpening your knives. Just remember, as Sammy Sosa once said about his ultra-realistic video game Sammy Sosa’s High Heat, do not be intimidated by NHL ’08 appearing “so reeeeeeal”.

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11 Comments

  1. In Commish mode, can I comment on blog threads about raping my wife?

  2. The funny thing is, when I play NHL ’94/’95, my three favorite teams are Hartford (just because of the Whale), Winnipeg (73 goal Teemu), and Quebec (JOE FUCKING SAKIC!)

    Calgary (with Theo “I Drink Vodka Out Of My Water Bottle” Fleury) is a close 4th.

  3. 76 goal Teemu*

    I’m a dumbass.

  4. AHL players?!?!?

    Petr Nedved bolted the country one year too late.

  5. Interestingly enough, even the Deluxe Expansion Mode will not allow you to place a team in Kansas City.

  6. Since I just came back to the NHL series last year on 360, I’m looking forward to NHL 08. 07 was one of the biggest changes to a sports video game in years. It took me away from 2k’s series and now 2k is copying NHL 08 this year.

    I would definitely like full control of the league. Say I only want 20 teams, I should be able to pick and choose who I want, and what divisions those teams are in.

    If you ever played All Star Baseball a few years ago, it had a fantastic expansion mode. Although I think the NHL should CONtract rather than expand, it would be a great option to NHL 08.

    More options is always a good thing, but as long as there are gameplay sliders, especially the one to lower game speed down to 0 because EA doesn’t understand that hockey players don’t wear jets on their skates, I’ll be content.

    I’m glad you are looking forward to this game as much as I am.

  7. lenoceur, I think you meant to say Hamilton instead of KC.

    And I’m glad to see that the EA curse now includes threats of deportation.

  8. My favourite part of watching the video was the number of times New York Islander players showed up on the screen, haven’t they been irreverent for years now… why not mix in a New York Ranger in the screen shot.

  9. I would love to see EA or someone else create a college hockey game. Something similar to the NCAA football games would be pretty sweet, especially if you could import draft classes into the NHL series.

  10. who needs fancy graphics, i’ll stick with my EHM 07. Screw stick control if i can be GM of MODO.

  11. You can suck my canadaian DI** you FU**ING bastar*, you go to hell.


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