Thursday, September 28, 2006

NHL 07 (360): Some Additional Notes

In response to a forum discussion at Digital Sportspage about NHL 07, I tried a different set of sliders today to see if it would make a significant playability difference in what I saw (and wrote about) earlier this week.

Basically, the theory was to increase every defensive slider to the max setting, so Hook Effectiveness, Poke Check, and Shot Block were all set to max (the sliders are on a 0-6 scale, so they should be set to 6). Aggressiveness, which you think would improve defense, actually doesn't appear to, so that was reset from max to zero.

On the offensive end, Puck Control was set to zero.

Those aren't the only sliders I've adjusted, but they were the only ones adjusted for the retest.

So what happened? Well, I couldn't skate laps in the offensive end nearly as easily, because if another player even bumped me, I almost always lost the puck. That's more of a kluge for bad defensive A.I. than a solution, but it definitely was an improvement.

It was still far, far too easy to generate point-blank shots. In general, the defensive awareness is just very poor--there's no other way to put it.

The CPU offense was not affected by the slider changes--they still almost always use the "grip it and rip it" offense.

Now I will say this about the game: shooting is so much fun (because of the right analog stick controls), and the goalie animations are so excellent, that the game has moments where it feels great--primarily, when you're shooting. And if the A.I. doesn't bother you, then I think you'd really enjoy this game--it's very pretty and the commentary is fantastic. It certainly has its moments.

As for me, the A.I. is a gamekiller. I didn't lose a dollar, though, thanks to Gamefly.

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