Dec 31, 2013
Big Win NHL Hockey continues the somewhat popular Big Win series of managerial sports games. Is it worth playing?
Big Win NHL Hockey is somewhat like a sports management game, without the sharp edges. Players gain control of a team of very poor players and are given a little money and attempt to build a world class team. For the first time in a Big Win game, Big Win NHL is officially licensed by the NHL and features real players.
Big Win NHL Hockey is based around cards. New players and stat boosters for them come in packs of cards the player can buy. Many card packs are available for both in game and premium currency. There are also power up cards that can be played during a match, and boost certain attributes of your team, such as shot power.
During a match the player has no control at all. Games can be skipped with no penalty. Like other management games such as Football Manager Handheld 2014, Big Win NHL is about management, not playing hockey.
However, the management side of the game is nearly non-existent. The only managerial feature is ensuring the team has good chemistry. Chemistry makes the whole team play better and can only be raised by recruiting players from the same real life team into your team. Unfortunately the completely random method of player acquisition makes this complete luck.
Like other Big Win games, the fun of Big Win NHL Hockey comes from finding the next great player or card and watching the team wipe out the opposition with it. The slow burning nature of the game makes acquiring new players satisfying.
Big Win NHL Hockey suffers from the same major downside of other games in the Big Win series, namely that players often make poor tactical decisions and thereâ€™s nothing to be done about it. Whenever itâ€™s forwards screwing up the simplest passes or defenders taking shots from half the rink away, there are a lot of times when players just give away possession or otherwise mess up any chance of winning. This is frustrating to watch.
There also seems to be a problem with matchmaking. Nearly every time I attempted to find a game I was matched up with players who were level 70 or above and unbeatable with my lv 5 team. The Rivals at War series by the same developer had great matchmaking, so itâ€™s a mystery why this is the case here. This is a real problem in Big Win NHL because levels are only gained by winning games.
The game’s presentation is rather dull as well. Players are small and poorly animated in game and while the sound gets the job done, some effects such as body checks lack impact.
Big Win NHL Hockey is really not worth playing. While having real players is a big step for the series, the oppressive microtransactions and some poorly implemented mechanics make it a very poor game.