How to survive the latest NHL 09 update without damaging your dignity (or controller)

Earlier this week, I had it.

After playing approximately one billion versus games in NHL ’09, the most recent update appeared to be way too frustrating to deal with. Every goal I allowed sent my blood pressure to Zdeno Chara heights and even prompted my immature (and unintended) semi-destruction of an X-Box controller. Bad times.

Somewhere along the way, one of two things happened:

a) I figured out how to play under the new restrictions

-or-

b) Subtle tweaks were made to avoid the first polygonal hockey-based homicide.

Whatever the case may be, aside from losing an OT game I went on a 7-game winning streak (and a conversely unimpressive vagina-less streak, but fuck you for saying that). While you cannot teach pure, sublime irrelevant video game talent (ugh), here are a few tips for adapting to the latest update:

1. Zen hockey

My winning streak began while chastising my friend for giving up an opportunity for bowling and poontang. Despite being partially distracted by aimless telephone banter, things just started to click.

It made me realize that a Buddhist-like detachment is necessary to get any level of enjoyment out of the latest edition of the game (since EA decided to be dicks and suck all the fun out of playing online). This also goes for winning strategy, though: it’s best to summon your inner- Jacques Lemaire and play snooze-fest hockey. You know that urge to turn Dan Boyle into Bobby Orr? Might want to pick your spots there, champ.

2. Avoid using defensemen whenever possible

Perhaps this is just me, but damn if I don’t get burned by cheap shit whenever I try to play defense … with defensemen. It’s much better to miss a check/clog a passing lane with a forward, I’ve found.

Of course, that strategy’s great until the game decides that you’re not going to be able to switch to a forward no matter how many times you press the button, swear at children or throw dogs at the TV. You made me do it, EA.

3. Fear stick-lifts more than unwanted pregnancies

In the world of NHL 09, every ham-and-egger can stick lift like Pavel Datsyuk. When I was first getting used to the latest update, I’d say that 80 percent of the goals I allowed were based on my opponent lifting my D’s stick and scoring a vein-popping-out-in-your-head type goal.

Every time there’s going to be an obvious puck battle, get ready for some button “A” mashing. It’s lift or be lifted, folks.

4. Cheap behind the net deke moves > too-perfect one timers

For a while, my one timer abilities were absurd enough that I’d often score goals off what seemed like passes. It’s kind of like how Gretzky would score off the back of a goalie’s pad/legs/skates, only I wouldn’t get to bang some Canadian supermodel after the game.

ANYWAY, EA must have read a lot of message board bitching because the one-timer has been rendered somewhat irrelevant. Now it seems like it’s all about waltzing around defenseman and cheap shit like that.

***

So, hopefully those four guidelines will help you re-claim your game (or compete instead of the typical shellacking you suffer from). If you want to “put these rules to the test” or just want to play a game of versus, my X-Box gamertag is jimbobri (creative, I know).

Warning: I am ruthless and probably cheap as hell. But at least you know my strategy, right?

Crap, this was a mistake.

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