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aqualizard

Tips for Genesis Rookies

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EDIT: Please read this whole thing: there is great advice from the pros.  I have been playing now for 3 years, and climbed to the top of the B Tier. (Not bragging -- that is nothing to be proud of in 3 years, lol). 

Here are my main two tips now, looking back:

1. take manual goalie often (so you get better at it)
2. clog the center in front of your goalie when defending (as in, don't chase in your own zone)

These two items will take you to mid-B level very quick.  They were actually in my post below, but I wanted to emphasize them, because they are the two keys, IMO.

Below is the original post:
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I have played NHL'94 and I am not bad against my friends here in Toronto. Online I am in the Classic League B1 Level and it is a different story. I am getting my ass handed to me for the most part.

What is the most important advice you can give a rookie paying online for the first time?

So far I have hear people mention:

1. Take goalie control more, even if you suck at it

2. Don't chase the guys on the wings, instead clog up the middle and shut down passing lanes

3. react quicker (this is a tough one, but King Raph sad it will develop naturally as I play more games)

Feel free to elaborate on the items above, or add entirely new items. I figure the quicker rookies like me get competitive, the better it is for everyone.

Also, how important is using a real Gens controller? Right now I am using a Buffalo USB thingy -- I think modeled after a retro Nintendo gamepad -- and I know that isn't helping.

Thanks guys!

Edited by aqualizard

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1: Without the puck, focus on positioning and B checks. Try to B check 95% of the time and C check 5% of the time, it fixes bad habits. C checks are too risky and they force you to worry about the weight difference between players and all that complicated crap. A well placed B check works 100% of the time (except against players with 5 stickhandling, they can withstand some B checks. But even then, it still slows them down a bit). Only C check when you are not in a good enough position to B check them, or when it's your only option ie. when someone has a step on you and you need to bump them off their path to the net. Of course it's okay to go for C checks sometimes against fat players but good coaches won't frequently allow themselves to be in such a vulnerable position with a fatty. Everyone loses to B checks!!!! Note: I don't mean never use the C button without the puck, using it to speed burst around is essential.

2: With the puck, try to learn how to deke around the ice with 1 player a lot. This is not the optimal playing style at all, as good passing and playmaking is essential to winning, but it's great practice to learn how to be dangerous with 1 player. If the other player is threatened by your moves with 1 player they will start to commit to you, opening up easier passes to your other more open players.

94 is a simple game with few buttons, so it seems like there aren't enough options to deke, and this is why I believe people love to pass pass pass in 94 (not top players so much). Another factor I believe is a lack of confidence. Don't be afraid to get C checked, B checked, CB checked, whatever. Just dust yourself off and try again next time. Deking in 94 is very dangerous, and it is my favourite part of the game. 1on1 deking is done through a variety of jukes, which are all very hard to put into words. Pretty much if you think they're gonna go one way, go the other way. Much easier said than done. It's all about positioning and reads. One part of deking that I will say is by far the most important is stopping up. Plabax and I like to call it 'stop n go.' A quick stop up at the right time opens up a massive array of options. Right before you think they're gonna attack you, stop up, and then make your choice from there. You can either do a hard stop, a quick stop and turn 1 way, a quick stop and turn the other way, or a quick stop and then go straight again (a fake stop). There's so freaking much more but idk how to explain it all

3: Become fluent in scoring on computer goalies in all of the possible goal scoring methods. Don't worry about pass shots, you really don't need them, just all of the C button goals. I videos for each individual scoring method if you didn't know that already. If you're interested, I'd be happy to link the thread here. It's called 'how to score on computer goalies' I think. Try to make all of the methods muscle memory, so you can score them 80% of the time or so. The methods are 'backhand forehand dekes', 'forehand backhand dekes', 'crease cuts', 'floaters', 'slap dekes', and 'slapshots'. Other than these all you need is onetimers, and they're more self explanatory.

4: Try to figure out simple mixups for goal scoring strategies. This is necessary when your opponent starts stopping your simple goal scoring methods with manual goalie. If you have simple mixups for each method of scoring on cpu goalies, then it all becomes a guessing game (which is great for you on offense!).

Examples of mixups are

- Cutting to the net diagonally with a lefty from the left (going up). From here the obvious choice is to go for a backhand forehand deke goal. Done right this will pretty much always go in on a cpu goalie. A mixup here would be to keep cutting across instead of going short-side, and hold C at the right time for a nice slap deke. The beauty of this mixup is they both work on cpu goalies, so if they don't take gc then it's a goal either way, and if they do take gc then it's a 50/50 guessing game for them.

- Cutting across the crease horizontally with a lefty from the left (going up). The obvious choice is to go for a crease cut. A mixup here is to turn back as you get near the goalie and do a half spin and float it to the opposite side (the side you came from). They can't cover both options, they gotta commit to one. Another mixup here would be to stop up for a half second just before you'd start holding C for the crease cut, and then go forward again and complete the crease cut. The stop up makes people think that you are faking them out, not going for a crease cut, when really you're doing a double fakout (I think).

That must sound complicated, but it's really not, it's just hard to explain. I'm a stupid man and I can do it, so you can do it too!

There's a hell of a lot more, but I'm tired of typing and thinking and I really don't wanna overwhelm anybody.

Ask any questions you have! Big, small, dumb, whatever. We take them all

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Consider being more patient, both on defence and offence. (I haven't seen you play, so I don't know if this is actually a problem for you).

Don't throw the puck away with low-percent passes into crowds (my worst habit, trying to force a one-timer that isn't there)

Learn and practice the B check and CB check against the CPU. Bourque and Neely could be good with the CB check. In the King of 94 tourney, the B check was devastating against new players. Being able to knock down any player as long as they get close enough is a huge advantage or equalizer. I don't use the CB much because it's still new to me (only played maybe 50 games since learning about it)

Check AJs lines for Boston options.

Learn the weights of the players, so you know who you can C check or CB check. C and CB checks are good because they can be done from farther away than B checks.

If you can, record your games using the kaillera record feature (it's built in to r06, and apparently is an extra download for r07 -- http://p2p.kaillera.ru/ "okai recorder.7z", http://www.7-zip.org/ for unzipping that download)

I don't find there's much of a difference between controllers, unless whatever you're using is uncomfortable.

You're playing against a lot of guys who, while in B league, still have quite a bit more experience than you, so don't feel too bad, and no matter how bad you are, just remember that with 3 wins, you're already better than SSIG ;).

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Oh yeah, and always try to learn from your mistakes :). It's your first season, there will be a lot of learning "moments"

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Holy information overload TK! Haha! If you're new and just want to limit the damage so games are more competitive, I think there are several things that you should focus on and it's all about keeping it simple. I'm sure some will disagree but here goes.

# 1) Screw manual goalie, unless it's a breakaway. You need to get your team defense in order first before worrying about that. If you're getting scored on like crazy, the best way to stop the bleeding is better defense with your players. The low to mid slot in your defensive zone is where you want to wage war and protect.

# 2) Put an agile, (3 or 4 speed) player on center. Your center is like a 3rd defenseman, use him to force players wide, clog the middle of the neutral zone, back-check with and protect the mid slot area. Super fast skaters on center will make it harder for you to control them, you can end up over-skating on the attack and skating in circles.

# 3) Get rid of the puck at the right time. If you're getting pounded, you're probably not getting rid of the puck (passing it) in time and succumbing to checks from the opposition, leading to change of possession. If you wait till the last second to get rid of it, it's risky and may not work. Skate it until you're about to get attacked, then deke or pass.

# 4) Don't skate in a straight line when carrying the puck. Skating in a straight line allows your opposition lots of time to line you up and crush you or just angle you off till you run out of room.

# 5) Shoot the puck and crash the net immediately after. Many of us, regardless of skill level, look to make that perfect one-timer play or highlight reel deke. But ripping a slapper (even if you don't think you can score) or even a decent wrister can cause confusion of the opposition's defensive positioning, and goalies are known to dive all over the place frantically like they're trying to catch a butterfly with their bare hands. In other words, focus on getting ugly goals too.

In terms of checking, I agree with TK here, stick to mostly B-checks in open ice. C checks usually work (regardless of weight) when you're hitting a guy who is up against the boards though. I also agree with his idea of playing (practicing) against the computer goalies. I like what Smoz says about patience on F and D, and also about not passing into crowded areas (forcing it even when a man isn't quite open enough).

I think for practicing 1 on 0 against computer goalies, play shootouts vs the computer and try out lots of different techniques to score. And you also get to play manual goalie in shootouts, which is a great platform for gaining experience with goalie control with no risk.

TK's videos are good also and showcase a lot of reliable scoring methods. Pick one at a time and work on it, in shootouts and games vs computer. When you think you have them down, start incorporating them in games vs humans.

Edited by Uncle Seth

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Yeah you're totally right seth. I shoulda been more basic and clear. You laid out some very simple guidelines that I didn't even think of, stuff that I'd overlook. Great stuff.

One thing tho is imo you should use a 1on1 rom to practice everything. I don't believe in playing against cpu when you have real players to play against, and shootout mode is flawed. It's flawed for 2 reasons:

- One is that it's inefficient. It's slow waiting for your next shot, and most importantly, it forces you to play manual goalie against the computer, which is so bad for you hahaha. The computers don't act like humans whatsoever, and they even do weird shots that wouldn't go in had a human tried the same thing. Shootout mode will ruin your manual goalie skills lol.

Second is that slap dekes and crease cuts don't work in shootout mode! Zeppelin told me this recently (I didn't know because i never tried to use the god awful shootout mode). The goalie just doesn't lay down. Goalies stay on their feet in shootouts, but in regular play they love laying down :wacko:

Here's how you practice anything and everything (aside from exis, which are by far the most important part):

http://forum.nhl94.com/index.php/topic/16507-gdl-practicetryout-rom-set/

Download those roms if you feel like practicing anything. Leave the settings so the second player is 'human controlled' so he just stands there, and leave him standing at center ice. Grab the puck after the faceoff, and line yourself up facing upwards around center ice. Make a savestate there, and then mess around with whatever you want on the ice. Once you try scoring or try whatever, instead of waiting for a faceoff or chasing the loose puck down, just hit F8 and you will load the state standing right back at center ice.

Even better is downloading a program (I use a program called 'JoyToKey') and set F8 to a useless button on your controller (I set it to the 'MODE' button on my 6 button sega controller). Then you don't even have to let go of your controller for endless efficient practice.

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Wow TomKabs, Smozoma and Uncle Seth, thanks for these replies. They are really well thought out and better than I was even expecting! I am going to study the closely.

Also guys (TomKabs) don't worry if your advice is too expert, I would rather see all recommendations and then cherry picks what is do-able for now, with the more advanced stuff in the back of my mind for later. (Who knows, once it is planted there maybe it will be easier tonurture as I get better.)

(Also a shout out to the mod who corrected my spelling of Genesis in the subject! I saw the error myself but saw no way to fix it after submitting. Thx!)

Edited by aqualizard

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One thing: Can I get some clarification on B-checks? I am definitely guilty of overusing C checks (and missing and being out of position) and under using B checks, but that is because B checks don't seem to work that well? (No doubt because I am doing something wrong.)

What is the desired outcome of a good B-Check? (The player gets knocked down, the player cough up the puck, or maybe you just jostle the player and interrupt his skating?)

Can any player do an effective B-check, or are some players more suited? (Please don't let there be some weight bug type of thing.)

How do you execute a good B-check? Are you aiming for the puck? Or treat it like a C-check (try to nail the body) but you use B? Can you do them on angles or from behind?

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B checks only work with penalties turned on, so if you're practicing against the CPU with penalties turned off, it won't work.

To B check, you need to be almost right up against the guy, and you press B while pointing at him. Your guy will extend his arm and stick and basically punch the guy in the nuts. He will go down and you will have the puck. What actually causes him to go down is that you're tripping him, but the refs don't call a penalty 98% of the time.

The B check is the great equalizer. It is effective by any player against any player. Although sometimes the guy will only stumble, usually it works.

You are aiming for the player's body or skates with the B check.

You can do it on angles, but not so much from behind, because the player needs to be close to you, and if he's skating away from you, that's not as likely.

Here is a B check (one that only makes the guy stumble) by #4 on Montreal. Notice that it's good defensive positioning that allows the B check to connect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ3ijY54lCc#t=2m3s

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I think C checks are most effective when using towards someone near the boards. Otherwise I b check 98% of the time. All players b check (it seems) at the same level, but the more agile players can easily get themselves in position for them. I know I aim for the body when B checking but Plabax talks about aiming for the puck too.

I agree with Seth too for defense and that would be to initially focus on the defensive position instead of manual goaltending. Use the manual sparingly to stop crease cuts and slappers, and try to be conservative with your movements with the goalie until you gain more comfort. When first focusing on D I would recommend playing a more passive style. Focus on the passing lanes, either in your zone or when your opponent is breaking out. DONT CHASE THE PUCK!!

For the practice with stickhandling you can use the 1v1 rom and play the computer and they will have a full team that you will have to dangle through. It will allow you to improve your puck positioning when contact comes and patience.

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Don't listen to Seth.. lol. Just play the game against some good players and you will become decent.

Edited by Premium

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Seth is a cb check machine.

Wally, aiming for the puck with b checks is essential although I find myself doing it less than I used to, that is where the timing thing comes in.

One thing: Can I get some clarification on B-checks? I am definitely guilty of overusing C checks (and missing and being out of position) and under using B checks, but that is because B checks don't seem to work that well? (No doubt because I am doing something wrong.)

What is the desired outcome of a good B-Check? (The player gets knocked down, the player cough up the puck, or maybe you just jostle the player and interrupt his skating?)

Can any player do an effective B-check, or are some players more suited? (Please don't let there be some weight bug type of thing.)

How do you execute a good B-check? Are you aiming for the puck? Or treat it like a C-check (try to nail the body) but you use B? Can you do them on angles or from behind?

B checks can go for the puck, the main time I use the puck as a target is when you do 'the dance' where I am defending, but I am facing my own goal (diagonally), to avoid a check a player will skate up my back, now if they have a heavy player and the angles are right, I am screwed because they can skate all the way in, but as long as they have to change direction from the diagonal line, I can turn towards them and b check the puck away.

The desired outcome is to mess up the other player from doing what he wants to do. Ideally it creates a turnover, but it can also stop a goal or just create a loose puck, all which are better than the alternatives.

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Simple way of improving I found is to play 2v2. B and C checks rarely work so it's imperative you play sound positional defense.

You are forced to work on your deking skills too without any peripheral noise of 6 other players on the ice.

Also, it is great practice for your manual GC.

Oh ya and lastly it's fun!!!

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Looks like a lot of the buds around here are saying some pretty helpful things but I think I can still help out a little bit. I've taken a look at the stats you've accumulated so far this season and have made these assumptions based on what I'm reading.

-you have a very direct game style. everything is geared towards passing the puck or skating the puck with the desire of attacking the opposite goal as soon as possible.

-you like to skate up ice and attack directly with your defenders

-you play a very loose style which leads to high event games (lots of shots for and against as well as a lot of goals being scored)

-You're getting abused by B check

-Goalie issues are evident due to the save percentage being under .600

-The forwards don't back check much leaving gaps in your defense and too many responsibilities for your d-men.

These are just guesses on what may be happening. It'll be up to you to determine how much these things occur if at all during your games. I do have some basic suggestions to hopefully help you slow the game down a tad.

Key #1: Delegate more responsibilities to your forwards

Right now I think the defense is being asked too much and because of this they may often be out of position. When you get the puck with a defender the focus should be eluding checks and finding outlet passes to eventually work the puck up the ice. All of these offensive excursions they go on only pull them out of position and leave you prone to being counter attacked. A great way to give up goals is to give up breakaways and odd man breaks. By keeping your defenders home they should do a better job of fending off these counters.

Also the forwards are key to sustaining a good defense. When you lose the puck in the offensive zone don't automatically start throwing random body checks with your forwards or smashing the B button to gain control of a defender. Often, the better choice is to start back checking immediately in an attempt to block off the neutral zone. This may seem counter intuitive because you want to create a turnover right away, unfortunately these chances aren't always there for the taking. Therefore it is usually best to clog the neutral zone by reading passing lanes and attempting to direct the puck carrier out to the boards where he can be isolated from his teammates.

Good players take advantage of over aggressive and out of position defenses. By playing a bit more systematic, getting your forwards to help your defenders, and keeping your defenders in position more often, you should experience better results.

Key #2: Less is more with your goalie

As you learn to GC try to limit your need to control it to slap shots, crease cuts, and breakaways. These situations are typically easy to recognize and if you can learn to read these situations and react appropriately then you will deter the opponent from such rudimentary methods of scoring. Don't go nuts trying to read every play and flopping around with the goalie as that will just lead to a lot of disasters. One thing I also like to recommend is something I've seen a couple other guys do and that is to refrain from using the "C" button to initiate a save animation. While these can be helpful in expanding the goalie hit box (the area he's capable of making a save) it leaves him in a freezed animation and it's really tricky to react to dekes and or rebounds if the goalie is frozen. Essentially what you want to do is to just get your chest protector in front, let the puck hit you and then switch back over to a defender if you think you can get to the loose puck before your opponent.

Key #3 Be patient

This may seem absolutely outlandish because the game is moving at such a fast pace but learning when to push and when to build the play can make all the difference. Like I said above, I sense that your style is very straight forward and while that can work in certain situations it isn't always needed. If you watch NHL games these days you'll notice a lot of good defenders don't just throw the puck up the ice hoping something good comes of it. A lot of them are very adept at eluding a defender by creating space for themselves or by finding their fellow defense partner with a pass to open up the play a bit.

A lot of new players will just chuck the puck up the ice hoping to find a streaking forward or try to go Bobby Orr style and start motoring up the ice recklessly. These are great ways to get the play shoved back into your own zone quickly because there is no possession being held. I personally like to think of it in these terms. It is really hard to get the puck away from the other team, why in the hell am I going to give it back to them so easily?

To help accomplish this you will need to work on eluding checks by not being afraid to skate backward or laterally a bit to where some open ice is. If your d-partner is on the opposite side and wide open, pass it to him and then look to break the puck up the ice. If you have a wing on the half wall wide open, use him. No sense in throwing a cross ice pass through traffic or trying to hit a streaking center with a hail mary if your winger is right there begging for the puck. Not everything needs to be pushed up towards the other teams net as soon as you get the puck. Try to build the play a bit, the AI is remarkable at times when it comes to positioning for an offensive breakout and then working it's way into the zone. Let the puck do the work instead of yourself. Then when you find specific areas to attack, go for the net and put the heat on.

Key #4: Learn from your opponent

Basically what you're doing here is learning on the job. Watch how they play defense, watch how they score, watch their passing, watch how they build the play. When I was learning many years ago the first thing I did was watch how people scored on me and try to learn from it by not just learning how to minimize it but by also learning how to score in that manner myself. When I first came onto the site I only knew how to score crease cuts and one-timers. I made it a focus of mine to learn the ways I was being scored on and use it for myself because if they weren't helpful tactics in which to score with, then I wouldn't be giving up those goals.

Also, by watching your opponent you will learn their tendencies more and learn where to try and slow them down. This will take time and experience, a lot of trial and error because everyone is different and you will evolve as you play more games. Try to break the game down and don't focus on just winning and losing because it's how you get to those results that matter. Start slow, focus on playing better and smarter hockey and the results will come organically.

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Thanks a lot for the many responses! This is truly a great community. Also, I can't believe Smozoma and AngryJay have even looked at my personal record with Boston to help in their answers. That is above and beyond my expectations!

One thing I also like to recommend is something I've seen a couple other guys do and that is to refrain from using the "C" button to initiate a save animation. While these can be helpful in expanding the goalie hit box (the area he's capable of making a save) it leaves him in a freezed animation and it's really tricky to react to dekes and or rebounds if the goalie is frozen. Essentially what you want to do is to just get your chest protector in front, let the puck hit you and then switch back over to a defender if you think you can get to the loose puck before your opponent.

You wrote many pearls of wisdom, and I will re-read and process it all. But this bit about using C button during goalie control is something I have been wondering. I always press C when I go to make a save, which often throws me off because it is just one more thing to worry about as I (try) to push my unwieldy tender in front of a shot. But are you suggesting that I don't even have to press C? That if I am just positioned properly, I can block shots just as effectively?

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You wrote many pearls of wisdom, and I will re-read and process it all. But this bit about using C button during goalie control is something I have been wondering. I always press C when I go to make a save, which often throws me off because it is just one more thing to worry about as I (try) to push my unwieldy tender in front of a shot. But are you suggesting that I don't even have to press C? That if I am just positioned properly, I can block shots just as effectively?

Yes, I would try to press C as little as possible in that scenario. The goalies tend to do well without the save animation and even if they allow a rebound they can react instantly.

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Yes, I would try to press C as little as possible in that scenario. The goalies tend to do well without the save animation and even if they allow a rebound they can react instantly.

I never press anything but the arrow pad with my goalie or an occasional A to dive at a player to mix it up.

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Really good point AJ, using C as goalie is good for the odd scenario but I rarely ever use it. I'm not quite good enough at gc to get much out of it.

For my first year or so playing this game online I never pressed C as the goalie at all.

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I know that pressing the 'C' with goalie control will provide a little animation - but I think it also (if done properly) will glove the puck and prevent a rebound. Anyone?

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I know that pressing the 'C' with goalie control will provide a little animation - but I think it also (if done properly) will glove the puck and prevent a rebound. Anyone?

Yeah. The C button stops rebounds and covers more space (giving you a higher chance at stopping the puck) but it freezes you in place for a short period of time.

I like to use the C button as the goalie to gather the puck and start my counter-attack by passing it down to the opposing blue-line (where one of my forwards will be).

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AngryJay is on point just by looking at the stats. Be careful with over rushing with defensemen, I had a number of breakaways vs you Aqua as the D were MIA quite often.

I also never hit the C button with the goalie. One trick with the G that can work on a breakaway is to warp into the goalie, move him aggressively towards the player on the breakaway. By shortening the ice you can mess up his move or trip him. You can also warp in - move up - then warp out! This can really mess with the opponent's timing. I like to dive occasionally as well, but I wouldn't recommend it!

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AngryJay is on point just by looking at the stats. Be careful with over rushing with defensemen, I had a number of breakaways vs you Aqua as the D were MIA quite often.

I also never hit the C button with the goalie. One trick with the G that can work on a breakaway is to warp into the goalie, move him aggressively towards the player on the breakaway. By shortening the ice you can mess up his move or trip him. You can also warp in - move up - then warp out! This can really mess with the opponent's timing. I like to dive occasionally as well, but I wouldn't recommend it!

When you say warp in, do you mean just as the guy is pulling a deke near the net, or even earlier when he is approaching?

Also, it was all good and fine when AngryJay was speaking hypothetically, but now you have come around and confirmed how crap I am based on actually playing me! Thanks a lot! (Just kidding. I appreciate the advice and hopefully the 2nd half of my season will be improved.)

Anyhoo, these MG tips are great! I am going to try not using C. (And no wonder I was getting frustrated when Moog would stack the pads and freeze -- when I pressed C! -- as a dude casually skated across to shoot on a yawning cage.)

Edited by aqualizard

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When you say warp in, do you mean just as the guy is pulling a deke near the net, or even earlier when he is approaching?

Also, it was all good and fine when AngryJay was speaking hypothetically, but now you have come around and confirmed how crap I am based on actually playing me! Thanks a lot! (Just kidding. I appreciate the tips and hopefully the 2nd half of my season will be improved.)

Anyhoo, these MG tips are great! I am giong to try not using C. (And no wonder I was getting frustrated when Moog would stack the pads and freeze -- when I pressed C! -- as a dude casually skated by to shoot on a yawning cage.)

lol - well your last game was a lot better vs. me, less rushing which helped your D. If it makes you feel better, I played AngryJay once in my life at the Connecticut tourney, and he beat me 10-1! I was probably diving a lot.

Always try to get there with your D or quick forward, but if you know you can't, I would warp in sooner as there's always a bit of a delay. Breakways vs CPU goalies are too easy.

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Been playing since December '93..... joined this site back in Jan of '06.... and I've just learned a ton from this thread!

I've never personally be able to master the B check... I always end up just switching players and looking like a dingus. However I have master the hook (A button) and am curious if anyone else has found it to be effective.

Matt Hurray's defensive strategy:

1. On defense, always occupy a forward, never use a defender as you'll just throw them out of position

2. Sit in the middle as much as possible.

3. If some dude starts scooting into the middle, hook that sumbitch. It slows down the player, prevents shots and passes, and often results in a lose puck.

If the B and BC strategy isn't working... try A!

p.s. I wish I could add advice on offense, but I struggle enough as it is trying to score.

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So much good stuff here, but I can't even start to comment. Basically if there's anything in the first 5 sections in this outline you don't understand, I'm happy to chat:

http://nhl94strategy.com/?page_id=18

In regards to my comment about increasing your reaction time, that is something the top guys do best. Decisions have to be made quicker, changing players quicker, passing quicker, shooting quicker, moving quicker. You'll begin to notice those things on defense too. If I can see your pass before you make it, I will steal the puck or knock down the player ahead of time.

But I also don't think it's worth focusing too much on these things at your level. Nail the basics first (dekes and one-timers!). Then gradually the rest will start to make sense.

I'll be happy to do a video analysis (ala TK suggestion) of at least one period (maybe more if I have time) if you send me a krec of your next Classic match. I think it helps to watch the games with a commentary on action/replays.

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I've played this game a long time myself, but for the most part, I played it WAY more casual than most, and mainly enjoy playing it to get my aggressions out, so POUNDING the C Button is my preferred style!!

That said, IF YOU ARE NEW, and want to upgrade your game, to me the FASTEST way is two points:

#1 Find someone similar or better than you in skill that is able to play around the same time/days as you, and "buddy" up. Switch teams and switch styles as often as you can. The more you EXI, the better you get to a degree. After the initial upgrade, you would need to actually start to "study" the different tendencies you are/ are not doing, and apply techniques and strategies.

#2 PLAY WITH A TOTAL CRAP GOALIE OFTEN!!!

The MORE OFTEN you are forced to learn MANUAL goalie, the more you learn how to STOP them and also how to use them, as you start to "see the game" unfolding. It takes a few seconds to anticipate the manual switch, but it's 99% of upgrading ANY players game.

Go garbage goalie fast & often boys.

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Just wanted to update folks. These tips are awesome! They have greatly changed my play.

When I started this thread I was 3 and 21, which is, well, pretty crap. But since incorporating tips suggested by the pros here, I have gone 3 an 5, and a couple of those losses were in OT. I have also recorded a bunch of my games, or at least I think I have. So I expect to improve even more when I review those.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your knowledge. There are many great points here but three of my favorites are
1. start using B-checks more than C-checks
2. (when without the puck) get a forward back to help on defense and plug the middle (I was usually controlling a D-man before)
3. and just position the goalie in front of pucks without even worrying much about using C.

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Awesome thread, probably one of the best ones on this forum regarding game play.

@sonnoffet

I notice the A button hook often gets penalized, it also leaves you in terrible position if you miss. I think it is rarely used these days. It can be effective in the slot but is actually a risky play quite often.

I think this early in your 94 career the best tip which was said earlier by AJ is to emulate your opponents, and be aware of what's going on.

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I notice the A button hook often gets penalized, it also leaves you in terrible position if you miss. I think it is rarely used these days. It can be effective in the slot but is actually a risky play quite often.

It's also the most annoying thing ever to play against (redwingdevil was the only guy I ever played who used it)

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Simple way of improving I found is to play 2v2. B and C checks rarely work so it's imperative you play sound positional defense.

You are forced to work on your deking skills too without any peripheral noise of 6 other players on the ice.

Also, it is great practice for your manual GC.

Oh ya and lastly it's fun!!!

Totally agree with this. You get to really practice your dekes, goal finishes, and if you are the C you'll get ample opportunity to practice goalie control. I got exponentially better at goalie control from 2on2, and so did freydey who I'd regard as the best at gc. On defence your positioning needs to be sound or its a breakaway.

But most of all its insanely fun. I will invite you next time.

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