Category Archives: Gaming

EASHL – The Virtual Hockey Stars of the Manchester Storm

The chances of playing in the NHL is so slim that you probably have more chance of striking gold in your bathtub, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make it however, it just means that at a 0.16 percent chance of being drafted and then only a 0.02 percent chance of playing, the odds are very much against you.

That’s why most of us choose to stay at home and live out our dreams through video games with our friends and a whole batch of alcohol!

EASHL is a game mode that was implemented on the last generation of consoles and is a way to play with your friends in a similar way to ‘Pro Clubs’ on FIFA.

Each player controls their own custom character and you work together in teams ranging from 2 to 6 (including manual goalkeeper) and go about taking on the worlds best.

Today I have the fortune, or misfortune whichever way you look at it, of interviewing my very own team-mates.

This is the Manchester Storm EASHL (EA Sports Hockey League) team.

Alright boys, behave yourself now we’re read by all ages!

Jamie – Better get that sensor button out then

When did you all start playing NHL and how did you join the Storm?

Kimm – 2013 I think, me and Shaft began the team and ended up with this group of specials.

Smog – I started with NHL 14, teamed up with a group of try-hards and then searched out a Storm team.

Shaft – I started in 2013 and helped start the team with Kimm.

Jamie – I joined in late 2017, was playing hockey a bit as a kid.

Dino – I started playing back on the Megadrive… I’m proper old… I got bored one night while drinking and ended up on the team, I remember Kimm asking me to sniff a rag and then I woke up in a van… I still haven’t seen those puppies.

Jonesy – Wait, this is a team?

What position and role do you play in the team?

Kimm – I’m the fragile glue that holds these idiots together, I skate around and hit as many people as I can.  Instigator I guess would be my role!  I play wing.

Shaft – I play wing.

Smog – I play defense, I build myself as big as I can and I make sure I crush everyone that comes near me.  Revenge is sweet!

Jamie – I play defender with Smog.

Dino – I’m the center, I play both ways because I am greedy.

Kimm- Both ways eh?

Dino – Absolutely, fill the slot.

Jonesy – I play with myself…

How long have you been with the team?

Kimm and Shaft – Since day 1, we co-founded the club!

Smog – I joined up a few weeks after 14 launched, about 4 years ago or so.

Jamie – 2 years, I think I’m the newest member?

Dino – Yeah and we can’t get rid of you now!

Jamie – *expletive*

Dino – I joined up around Christmas 2014, first team I ever played for and wouldn’t go to another… On my main account…

Kimm – What?

Dino – Nothing.

Jonesy – Anyone know what time Tesco shuts?

Who is your favorite player and team?

Kimm – My Favorite player of all-time is Frankie Pietranglo because he’s amazing and he gave me his stick!

Dino – Yeah I bet he gave you his ‘Stick’

Jamie – Did he give you his ‘Wood’?

Smog- Was it long?

Kimm – *expletive*

Shaft – My Favorite team is the Manchester Storm and I absolutely love Thomas the Tank Engine.

**Whole team lets the comment pass**

Smog – Chara is a legend, I model my game around his hitting and the Bruins are my team.

Jamie – Anaheim would have to be my team because I love the Mighty Ducks movies, my favorite player is Phil Kessel, dump truck with pace.

Dino – I’ve been a Blackhawks fan since I was a tiny kid and stay by them through thick and thin… Mostly thick… Favourite player is too hard to choose, I would say Gretzky and Me.  Seriously, I was such a brilliant player, I could teach these young ones a thing or two.

Jonesy – …

Dino – Isn’t your favourite team Philadelphia Jonesy?

Kimm – Yeah don’t you like that Giroux?

Smog – I thought it was Lindros?

Jonesy – I actually hate you all.

Do you have any funny nicknames?

It was at this point in the interview that I took it upon myself to tell you what everyone’s nickname actually is in brackets…

Kimm – My nickname is Kimmadim, there’s no real story behind it (Scoutmaster)

Shaft – Shafty the Tank Engine

Smog – I’m called Smog because we are locally referred to as Smoggies in Middlesbrough.

Dino – Smoggies? Are they like doggers?

Smog – No the town has always been an area of heavy industry, plenty of smoke, hence Smoggies… There’s also plenty of dogging! (The Kahlua Kid)

Jamie – My nickname is the Raccoon but I have a sneaking suspicion there will be something else written (He would be absolutely correct, Father Jamie)

Dino – I’ve got far too many that are unprintable, more friendly ones are The Wedding Crasher / Sherbet / Alcoholic… Nobhead?

Jonesy – Baaaaaaaaaaaabara

What has been your favorite moment playing for the Storm?

Kimm – There are two moments that stand out, the first was back on NHL 14 when we got over 100 hits in a game, we’ve come close a few times but never topped it.  The other is when we beat a fan made team of the Sheffield Steelers and they disbanded after we stuffed them!

Jamie – I remember watching that on YouTube live!  My favorite moment is when we took on an “Overconfident” group and put them to the sword in the first period we had them down by 4 and they were accidentally disconnecting!

Smog – Best moment was winning the playoffs!

Shaft – The best time I ever had was beating the French national team, that was a great match!

Dino – Yeah the banter before the game was almost as good as the game itself!

Jonesy – The night we discussed the most offensive jokes about…

**Group quickly shushes Jonesy and moves on**

Dino – I haven’t really got a favorite moment, I am just really proud of the way we have all come together as a team over the years, we went from winning absolutely nothing and being a laughing-stock that just battered people and got penalties to a division 1 team that takes home titles for fun.  Doesn’t get any better than that really!

Kimm – Yeah that’s pretty cool.

Dino – Although smashing that smug little *expletive* that kept sending me messages was pretty amazing, WHO’S LAUGHING NOW KEVIN_ROMY_88? Not so clever when you’re getting absolutely mullered are you?

Who is your favorite Spice Girl?

Kimm – Mel C because she understands the offside rule!

Dino – And because she’s a man?

Kimm – I still would…

Jamie – I can’t remember the names of them, the one with the ginger hair and the airbags.

Smog – I like a nice bit of Posh!

Dino – I like a bit of baby… Hang on, that came out seriously wrong!

Shaft – I’ll take Beyoncé.

Who is the trouble maker of the team?

Kimm – It’s a tough one because we all like to start trouble, haft does always seem to get into fights though…

Jamie – Yeah we don’t have ONE, we all like to cause grief!

Smog – Trouble maker for the team?  EVERYONE, bunch of animals the lot of them!

Shaft – Definitely Smog, he’s a tank!

Dino – It’s Shaft, without a doubt.  I have never seen anyone get so many fights, he’s a magnet for scrapping!

Jonesy – Jamie, he can’t keep off the kids…

 

Alright, that’s enough of that!!!

Thank you to the Manchester Storm EASHL team, 11-time division 1 champions and all round fantastic blokes.  Without them I wouldn’t have gotten through life as well as I have, this is more a thank you to them for being amazing friends and for always having my back through thick and thin, I know I can always count on you guys.

 

Thank you

 

If you’re interested in playing EASHL or Ice Hockey in general then NHL 19 is currently available for XBox One and Playstation 4, well worth a grab if you want a bit of fun banter!

 

 

 

 

 

What are the Cardiff Devils and Team GB player ratings in NHL 19?

By the time some of you read this, this post might be completely irrelevant. But after playing a couple of hours of NHL 19 as part of the early access before the game launches in full on Friday, I noticed that the Champions Hockey League is still in the game, which I didn’t think it was this year, and I honestly don’t know if it will be when the full game launches.

But let’s hope it still is, because if the CHL remains in the final game, it means one Elite League team will be included in this year’s edition of the EA Sports game.

Continue reading What are the Cardiff Devils and Team GB player ratings in NHL 19?

My NHL 18 Career Game: Episode 2 – Draft Time

 

Welcome back to the second episode of my NHL18 career game on the Xbox One (gamertag – hockeybhoy71 should anyone be interested) which I am going to share with you. What will happen next for our new to the professional ranks player? Only one way to find out. Continue reading My NHL 18 Career Game: Episode 2 – Draft Time

My NHL 18 Career Game: Episode 1 – the CHL experience

nhl18cover

Welcome to another little series I’m going to update from time to time. We’ve all played some kind of hockey game in our lifetimes haven’t we? Whether it be the EA Sports NHL console games, or PC simulations such as Eastside Hockey Manager and Franchise Hockey Manager.

Continue reading My NHL 18 Career Game: Episode 1 – the CHL experience

NHL 19 and the RPM

 

mcjesusWhen you think of RPM you automatically get drawn to images of super-cars blazing down quarter mile tracks, big brooding bald men at the wheel with gruff voices talking about pink slips and how much NOS they can inject into your engine.

What you aren’t likely to be immediately thinking is that  it the new technology that EA have brought to the NHL franchise that will, according to them, revolutionize the way we all play the game.

Real Player Motion‘ technology was first introduced in the latest FIFA title, as a way of breathing life into the stagnant graphics engine that the series has endured for the past few years.

Past few years?

NHL hasn’t really changed since 2003 and a lot of us have come to know the glitches and places to score from like the back of our hands, for EA to finally be updating graphics is like the heavens have just opened and we have been presented with the Holy Grail.

Which, coincidentally, is the Stanley Cup.

This year EA have brought in the league leader in points, Connor McDavid.  Arguably the best handler of the puck since players like Datsyuk and Bure took to the ice in their prime.

With McDavid, the team at EA have managed to give players the option to turn on a dime and change direction with blinding speed thanks to ‘Explosive-Edge‘ skating. Enjoy movement that gives total command and react smoothly on the ice with superior control. Generate speed using edgework and crossover maneuvers to skate with power in all zones of the rink, dominating the game the way McDavid does.

Player sizes and attribute ratings correlate with the kind of skating style you’ll see them move with, giving you a number of ways to take advantage of a skater’s abilities. Utilize speed advantages possessed by smaller players and blow right by the defenders, or work down low in the corners as you use powerful turns to keep the puck with larger players.

Player sizes have been something that the NHL community has been infuriated about for as long as I can remember.  A few years back, all players were given a 99 John Scott card and despite his outrageous speed he never actually felt any quicker than any other player.  Countless YouTube videos have been created on the subject and most recently it has been blown out of the water and we have been left with this huge overhaul to the system.

Thanks to Real Player Movement, you will finally have fluid command over where your player skates with seamless animations that let you decide exactly how you’ll get from point A to B. This level of responsiveness opens a world of possibilities for every single skater based on their skill ratings, physical size, and movement style. Player endurance also plays an important role in NHL 19, as hustling will burn more energy than gliding and maintaining momentum through pivots and wider turns.

One thing that has always triggered me with the series is that the word “Seamless” is used an awful lot, it is almost always backed up with “Puck Pick-up”.  If you have played an NHL game in the past few years you will know exactly what I am talking about, players don’t react to the puck, the puck goes through the players and countless other bugs that are infuriating.

All of these things have now been fixed.

Apparently…

While statistical ratings and size will continue to have the biggest impact on a player’s ability to get around the ice in NHL 19, RPM incorporates skating styles that affect the visual presentation and overall feeling of motion. The difference in attributes combined with unique animations makes player differentiation better than ever before. Players like the legendary Paddy Kane will be seen using quick elusive steps to evade trouble in the corners, while players like big Byfuglien will be able to use more powerful strides and their strength to get past players.

And splash them into a paste on the boards.

Skating when you don’t have the puck is just as important as driving the play when you do, which is why you’ll notice four different stick positions that build upon the authentic skating experience at all ends of the ice. Each stick variation is impacted by multiple motions such as tight carve turns, stops, cycles, crossovers, exits, and starts, applicable in all directions. In combination with skating styles, there are limitless possibilities to unlock each player’s potential in NHL 19, all thanks to the power of RPM.

All this sounds absolutely wonderful, it really does, but I have to admit to being a little bit skeptical this far away from the games launch.  We have only seen a few instances of the game running and I can only presume that what we have seen so far has been heavily vetted by the big-wigs at EA towers.

So far everything is looking phenomenal and the game looks set to being a massive hit for hockey fans when it finally launches around the world September 14th 2018.

NHL 19 Revealed

Hockey is a passion of mine and has been since I was old enough to draw breath, my other true love is video gaming and when you combine the two you have a very happy Dino!

NHL 19 was finally unveiled for all to see last night and it looks at first sight that EA has decided to try a different approach in bringing the sport we love to the masses.

Continue reading NHL 19 Revealed