It’s that time again as we near the beginning of NHL Training Camp our favorite tradition is also once again upon us and that is the new EA Sports NHL game. NHL 20 comes out this Friday, September 13th to all retail outlets, but if you pre-ordered it you were able to pick it up last night like I did.
So everyone knows about the EA Sports NHL franchise so I’m not really going to go over all of the stuff that we do know, but more really talk about the new features, and might possibly go on a rant or two over a couple of things with the game.
So to start something new for NHL 20 we have Alumni Teams, where all 31 teams got an alumni team including the return of the Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers, and Minnesota North Stars. However, as great as this is, there are many missteps as well. For instance some of the rosters are not as exciting as some others are, and there also many notable players missing as well that would be more respectable for their franchise’s alumni team.
For instance, take a look at the Washington Capitals Alumni roster and lineup:
So for those who aren’t able to see the lineup here it is (with jersey number and ratings):
#44 Randy Burridge (80) – #77 Adam Oates (89) – #11 Mike Gartner (89)
#57 Danius Zubrus (81) – #21 Dennis Maruk (86) – #17 Chris Clark (81)
#18 Craig Laughlin (82) – #2 Michal Pivonka (80) – #68 Jaromir Jagr (93)
#23 Brian Bellows (85) – #10 Bobby Carpenter (80) – #20 Mike Knuble (83)
#5 Rod Langway (84) – #8 Larry Murphy (89)
#34 Al Iafrate (85) – #55 Sergei Gonchar (89)
#9 Brian Engblom (84) – #15 Dmitri Mironov (81)
#1 Ron Low (82)
#31 Michael Luit (82)
#32 Nick Kypreos (79)
#24* Bob Kelly (82)
#30 Bill Ranford (87)
So first why is Bill Ranford a scratch and not the starting goalie (and yes this lineup is the default by EA)? Also why is Knuble wearing 20 instead of 22, and Pivonka wearing 2 instead of 20? Seems like those are some huge oversights there. For Zubrus wearing #57 so Engblom can wear #9, which he did from 1982-84, that can be forgiven. Also a lack of Dale Hunter, Peter Bondra, and Olaf Kolzig (who has been in past EA NHL games) who are legitimate Capitals legends, and would have been better additions than Craig Laughlin, Chris Clark, and Bill Ranford. On defense I’m pretty satisfied with who we got, but maybe Joe Reekie, Mark Tinordi, or even Sylvan Cote would have been better than Mironov, but it still a solid defense corp.
The Capitals are not the only ones that have this issue with their alumni team, but in the short time I’ve had the game I have not had the opportunity to go over all of the rosters. Overall it’s a cool addition to the game, but how often it will get used will be seen.
As for the World of CHEL, it is a still very fun concept that adds to the replay value of the game, especially with the additions of Threes and Ones Eliminator. Talk about some heavy and fun competition. Hockey Ultimate Team is still my main go to as I get to build the perfect team to my liking.
In regards to gameplay it still has a very solid foundation, but when it comes to penalties it’s still very rough. Tripping is still a main concern for me as in the games I have played so far I have taken about 30 tripping penalties, and atleast 70 percent of them would qualify for embellishment or diving and has been a major flaw for the last few years, and obviously still needs to be fixed.
Overall NHL 20 is a solid and fun game to play with very high replay value throughout the year, and I would recommend it to any hockey fan. We will be Twitch streaming the game from time to time throughout the year on X75 Unsanctioned which you can see live on Twitch.tv/themichaelx75.