By Michael Lafferty,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fast, fun, and realistic hockey game shoots and scores.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about the rules of the NHL and the skills and tactics employed during a professional hockey game. Team work is a vital part of the sport and kids learn about it through participating on a team in an NHL 13 game. Kids can also learn about front-office management, including budgeting, drafting, and trading players to fit a team's needs. This hockey sim does a good job of introducing kids to the sport and business of professional hockey.
NHL 13 awards points to players for exceptional play, both on an individual level and inside the team concept. There are three graded areas -- position score, team play, and stats -- and by playing well in those areas, players are awarded points that can be spent to upgrade their players. In addition, the play-by-play duo of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement are encouraging and complimentary to players who perform well during a game.
Positive Role Models
Players can choose their role in NHL 13 from being a sniper (shooter) to playmaker to enforcer. Bumping and pushing on the ice against other players can often result in opportunities to drop the gloves and fight, and players can also choose whether to take that path or steer clear of it. In an online game, there may be many opportunities to fight, but unless players choose to do so, there is not much another player can do. Penalties are another way to govern player's actions. Get too many penalties and you can hurt your team and affect your grading.
Ease of Play
NHL 13 has a bit of a learning curve. The fundamentals are easy enough to remember, but some skills (performing a deke, and targeting areas of the goal while skating at high speed and then pulling off either a wrist shot or slap shot), take some time to perfect. The menus are easy enough to navigate. Within the game, finding the puck up against boards at the bottom of the screen can be elusive at times.
Violence & Scariness
This is player-versus-player violence, either through body checking, swinging the stick, or actual fights. The animations for the violence look real enough, but there is no blood, cuts, or bruising shown, and the consequences can run from major penalties to missing games with injuries. When in a fistfight with another player, the perspective shifts to first person to show the fight happening up close.
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Products & Purchases
The EA Sports logo is in evidence throughout the game, gear is branded, and the boards of the arenas have advertising on them, from sports companies to commercial vendors of other products. Nothing is actually pushed in that regard, but players can unlock skills and then buy them through EA Sports with Microsoft points (360 platform), or Station Cash (PS3). To have those points, or cash, players spend real-world money to buy platform-specific equivalents.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that EA Sports NHL 13 is a sports simulation game that attempts to realistically replicate the action of the professional sport of hockey. The game requires an online account to play online as well as to update rosters and access some of the elements of the game, such as the multiplayer leagues. There is also fighting in the game, and players incur penalties by tripping, slashing, and performing dangerous hits along the boards. There are a variety of difficulty levels, so the game can be made accessible to younger players.
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What’s It About?
In NHL 13, players can take on the role of manager, coach, or player and guide the team or career of the individual through the 13 modes available in the game. The game features both an online and offline component. As a career player, gamers can create and then guide a player from the low-level professional leagues up to the NHL and to an all-star career. From the coach's perspective, they can set lines and tactics while directing a team through the season. The general manager will be responsible for budgeting, drafting, and trading for players.
Is It Any Good?
NHL 13 features a new skating physics dynamic that makes the game faster and more entertaining. It also can present some challenges, especially when skating at top speed and then trying to alter the direction while handling the puck. The wealth of modes gives something to every hockey fan. EA Sports has introduced female characters in the create-a-pro mode, although female characters are still referred to as "he" by the announcers. There are a few issues, like pucks left unattended on the boards while players stand around (your player merely skates in, snags the puck, and play resumes), but overall, this is a great hockey game.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in sports and the ramifications of that violence.
They can also talk about what it takes to be a professional athlete. What sacrifices must a player make to meet his or her goals?
Talk about how to stay safe when interacting online.
Families can also talk about the different roles within the professional sport arena, from the athlete up to the managers who make the decisions about player personnel and how to use those players. Giving children a bigger view of the sports world may hold value apart from merely focusing on the most visible element of sports, which is the athlete.
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Math: arithmetic, money, statistics, Hobbies: sports, Social Studies: the economy
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, Health & Fitness: fitness, Collaboration: teamwork
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: EA Sports
- Release date: September 11, 2012
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild violence
- Last updated: August 26, 2016
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