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Claimed:Edwin Encarnacion's PIM Simulator 2015 Review [6/6]


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With NHL 15 ultimately being a huge unfinished mess of a game, it looked very much like hockey fans were going to find themselves disappointed with their options this year. However, seemingly out of nowhere, a new hockey franchise has entered the fray and unless EA Sports brings their A game for 2015, we may well see one of their historically strong franchises bite the dust.


Edwin Encarnacion’s PIM Simulator 2015 is developed by SCS Software, the team that created one of the only good games with Simulator in their title in Euro Truck Simulator 2, and their pedigree with the simulator genre is evident as soon as the puck drops on the ice. Since the game only focuses on the ten teams in the Victory Hockey League, it allows the developer to go into an incredible amount of detail on each individual player’s look and mannerisms. So for example, Tom Slaughter literally spends every minute of the ice trying to avoid contact with other players while you can hear goalie Niklaus Mikaelson darkly mutter about his “next victim” if you get too close to his net.



That's not a player in pain, that's Tom Slaughter cowering in fear


Where PIM Simulator 2015 handles differently from the NHL series is that you never control the player with the puck, allowing you to focus on the more important task of racking up the penalty minutes. The controls are incredibly easy to get used to, however there is also an incredible amount of depth to them as well; the left stick controls your player movement while the right stick controls your hockey stick movement in a manner very similar to the Fight Night series (A straight forward motion will poke your stick at the opposing player while a quarter circle motion will have your player move his stick in a hooking motion), Left Bumper and Left Trigger swings your stick high and low respectively and the Right Trigger is a speed boost. The most spectacular moments are reserved for the face buttons in Quick Time Events that are triggered by pressing the Right Bumper button once the player’s special meter is full, and successfully completing these events will lead to your player performing a signature ejection penalty. So for example, Xin Xie Xiao will repeatedly ram an opponent’s head into the glass while cover boy Edwin Encarnacion will pull down his pants and take a shit on the ice.


While there is a full VHL season mode for players to engage in, the mode that I found the most entertaining was the “Encarnacion Era” mode, which has you recreate the greatest PIMing moments from the current generation’s greatest enforcer.  This mode handles completely differently to the rest of the modes in this game, as the control scheme used in the other game modes is replaced with QWOP-like controls, with each button controlling a different limb to better simulate the difficulties that Edwin has on the ice. It all culminates into a final challenge that is sure to become the new “Tyson on Punch-Out”, where you have to recreate the infamous moment from Season 39 versus the Helsinki Titans where Encarnacion got ejected for bringing a hooker out to the ice and penetrating her from behind in less than 39 seconds. Trust me, it will have you screaming “WHY CAN’T I GET IT UP?!” for several days on end!



The player in blue is inevitably how you'll end up in "The Encarnacion Era".


While this game is unquestionably better than NHL 15, the game is not without its flaws. A lot of the achievements seem to be near unattainable, especially the ones for getting as many penalty minutes in a season as historic players such as Da’Brickashaw O’Neal for example. The reason for this seems to be that the achievements were written before the announcement that there would be no more rivalry games in Season 41, whereas the game itself was programmed without rivalry games. Also in season mode, there is supposed to be an in-game version of the Laichly Rift Pajodcast to accurately reflect what’s happening in your game, however it seems that there was a recording failure on a massive scale as you can only hear the host Ryan Power. If you can look past these small flaws though, you will find the best hockey game this year.

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Content 3/3 - This was a fun article to read! I like creative stuff like this that can actually be molded into a readable article. For that, I salute you.


Grammar 2/2 -


So for example, Tom Slaughter - I would probably drop the "So". You did this twice.


Appearance 1/1 - It's got everything I need. Well done.


Final: 6/6

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