As I have been working my way back into a steady diet of gaming, I have been pulling down the various demos available on the Playstaion Network. Sony and the various third party publishers are finally starting to get serious about the availability of PS3 demos. Or are they?
I have spent a decent amount of time with NHL 08 and FIFA 08 demos, and the common theme for both is that EA did not make the demos long enough to convince me one way or another to buy or avoid each title.
NHL 08 certainly looks pretty, but I have never been a fan of hockey, no matter how often I try, so something other than nice graphics has to convince me to make a purchase. I think the last hockey game I owned was the original Sony FaceOff game for the PSX, which was something like 2-3 kids ago. At any rate, I just cannot get into NHL 08. I probably just need to learn the controls (I am seriously lost on the ice), but the five minute timeline is just not long enough to get into any sort of rhythm. While I have won a few games, my scoring efforts seem to be a random act of luck, and defense is all CPU AI; I have no idea how to play defense.
Bottom line is that EA did not make the demo compelling enough for this sports fan (and sports gamer) that knows next to nothing about hockey. I have read that NHL 08 is a wonderful game, but I just do not see me picking this one up for $59.99. Not sure what I was really expecting, but I guess I was holding out hope that something was going to draw me in and to me to buy this game.
The FIFA 08 demo suffers the same fate as NHL 08. While I actually understand soccer, the four minute demo is much too short for me to make any sort of judgments. It sucks having to start over and over and over, just to try to figure out if I want to pick up the game. I guess having a short demo is better than not having any demos, but the FIFA demo is borderline not worth the effort.
FIFA 08 did not do anything to make me not pick it up, but the field seemed a little too narrow, I seemed to lose most one-on-one battles for possession. I hate it when games have AI that can do things I cannot, which is a trait for may EA Sports titles (to be fair, mostly thinking NCAA Football and Madden). Common tread this week has been controls; maybe I have to learn FIFA better before saying that the AI is doing some shady things, but I figured I would throw it out there.
I will probably wait a while on FIFA. Maybe read some reviews, check out some forums to see how the game is holding up. The bottom line is that I did not find anything compelling enough in the demo to make me feel like I have to buy this one right away.