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NHL 15 does not have everything in sync just yet

While NHL 15 does add new innovations to the franchise, particularly a  new physics engine that changes how players interact with one another, more intelligent AI and a new graphics engine, it seems strange EA is almost releasing half a game with NHL 15. “The biggest changes are our gameplay and presentation to start with. We have a brand new player model this year that’s been build from the ground up. We have a brand new Super Star Skill Stick system that separates the lower and upper body. Brand new puck physics, rebuilt from the ground up that gives us more realistic puck physics. When you mix the physics of puck with the new player models, you’ll see the puck hit the goalie’s jersey and slide underneath it like you’d expect. The [new puck physics] have changed the flow of the game,” said Ramjagsingh.
 
Other game modes in NHL 15 included are Play-offs (your standard offline tournament mode), Be a GM and Be a Pro. Be a GM is similar to Ultimate Team, minus the “card game” like marketplace, where you manage an already established team, overseeing its salary cap, making player trades with other teams, and generally just being awesome enough to bring your team to victory. This was a little too hands-on for my liking, since I preferred just jumping straight into the action, but I’m sure more die-hard fans will get a kick out of it. This accomplishes two things. First of all, it increases the market value for these cards at that specific time by removing cheaper options and replacing them with your own, more expensive cards. Second, it earns you about a 500 Puck profit for each card. Sell 10 of them and you're looking at about a 5,000 Puck profit, minus the five percent the auction house keeps for itself. The beauty of it, you can apply this very technique to dozens of different cards across the entire game mode. Boardplay also remains limited by its outdated, one-on-one interactions, plus it continues to be abused by online players who are intentionally pinning themselves against the wall to “ghost” through incoming body checks.

 
As someone who plays every NHL yearly release all year long, it is unfortunate to see just how badly this has gone. I can somewhat understand taking out 6v6 online play if it wasn’t ready, but taking out features in Be a GM or making Be a Pro completely unplayable is just ridiculous. If you are not a hockey fan at all but you want to slap around a few pucks, this might be the game for you. However, with all the lost features and left out modes, NHL fans might want to wait until everything is patched in to jump on this ship. EA Sports: it’s in the game… eventually.
 
“Be a Pro” mode in NHL 15 offers the opportunity to play season-by-season as part of a team through the career of a skater or goalie. This mode suffers from the “rebuilding” effect as well, as the ability to simulate to the next shift for skaters is missing entirely, resulting in a type of play resembling the mode’s debut a few years back. Skaters will be on the ice for the majority of the game, and sit on the bench only as long as they’re willing, as a simple button press overrides the coach and puts them back on the ice. The core elements remain that made the mode a hit in the past. There is a basic story element to help player progression, and the leveling mechanics are complete and function well, however the overall experience lacks the polish and convenience that previous iterations enjoyed from its years of progress. But hey, don't take my word for it. Just take a gander at this post from EA's official NHL blog, which outlines the content the developers plan on adding to the game over the next couple of months via free patches. If you don't feel like reading through all of that, here's a bullet-pointed list. Beyond the missing features and modes exists the potential for a great hockey simulation. Unfortunately, NHL 15 doesn't have everything in sync just yet. Peppered with moments of greatness, there's no place to go from here but up.
 
I must mention the player cards themselves. 2014 player cards are big bright and easily readable, except for the players name. No biggie you say? Try flying through tons of player cards and reading the names by tilting your head to the left. NHL 15 has fixed that problem, perhaps a very minor issue to some, but it makes a big difference if you are trading lots. With almost every mode missing at least one thing or another, there's only one that has remained intact through the console transition: NHL Moments Live. Here, you can step into some of the more famous scenarios from the 2013-2014 season and try to re-create those pivotal moments. You also have the chance to play around with history and alter a few of those moments for a completely different outcome. For NHL fans, this is a nice bonus mode, and the promise of more moments from the upcoming 2014-2015 season ensures that the game will have new content for some time.