Fans of the EA Sports NHL franchise have grown accustomed to enjoying new improvements to each game, year by year. Whether there is new game modes one year or enhanced player models the next year or even more animations the year after that, it seems like EA Sports makes it their duty to continuously improve their NHL simulation until their game is as close to the real thing as it can get.
Unfortunately, yet again EA Sports has apparently overlooked the team closest to my heart, the Florida Panthers. For yet another year, EA has pretty much screwed the Panthers within their own game. This year, it has to do with the player ratings, but it hasn’t been limited to that in recent years.
Consider last year’s game, NHL 12. The Panthers’ uniforms looked like an absolute joke. For some reason beyond me, the numbers, letters, and logos were all too small. How small? This small. Compared to teams like the Rangers, Bruins, or even the Jets (whose uniforms were released later than the Panthers’), our jerseys looked flat-out ridiculous. All the little numbers just ate at my head until I could no longer play the game as my favorite team.
This year, hopefully EA got the uniforms right. But they already screwed up the player ratings. Case in point was the absolute snubbing of two different players: Brian Campbell and Jose Theodore. Brian Campbell last year was tied for second in the league for scoring by defensemen, with 53 points. He was given a measly 83 overall rating. Players with a better rating? Zach Bogosian, Adam Larsson, Fedor Tyutin, Nick Schultz, Ian White. Huh?
Another example is Jose Theodore. With a .917 save percentage and a 2,46 GAA, Theodore had a very above-average year for an NHL goalie. His NHL 13 rating is only 78. Roberto Luongo, with very similar statistics last year while simultaneously losing his starting job to Cory Schneider as the season wore on, is ranked an 89. Where is the justice?
There could be some sort of conspiracy afoot, where EA makes the Panthers terrible so the average player can go against the Rangers and Penguins and Bruins in the playoffs. There could also be a programmer for the game who is the biggest Capitals fan in the world, and nobody checks him. Or maybe nobody even looked to see how much the Panthers improved from two years ago to now, and assumed the team was still one of the bottom-feeders of the East. These are the only reasons I can think of as to why we get shafted so much by EA Sports. Add these injuries to suspect AI, poor game modes, too frequent one-time goals, and constant freezing of the screen, and I’m just about done with EA Sports and their NHL franchise.
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