I'm part of the problem.

#1 Posted by WVUEers (110 posts) -

I'm a die hard college football fan, even when my team isn't playing I can watch two of the scrubiest teams play and have a ball, I have no idea why. Not an NFL fan, but damn do I love college ball. So it goes with out saying that I buy this game pretty much every year. I have purchased every next gen version the year of release, I have at least 3 PS2 NCAA games, I'm that guy who knows the game is exactly the same every year but those slight tweaks to the uniforms or the update in rosters push me over the edge. This year though? I'm having serious doubts. When I booted up the demo and began to play I had to pause to make sure I wasn't playing NCAA 12. The game looks identical, it handles fairly the same only maybe they've played with how much weight each player feels like they have when they shift while running (but I've long since suspected this is a superficial touch they put on every next year gen to give the illusion of changing the gameplay), but for the most part it remains an identical game save for a few presentational differences. Honestly perhaps the most angering "feature" they've added is the Heisman mode, it is in all honestly Road to Glory chopped with a few bits of video added into it, a nice small feature on its own, certainly not the big addition fans were waiting for. This mode feels like it could have been completed in two weeks, it's not adding anything to the game aside from film. When NHL 12 added a similar mode it was on the bottom of a list of a dozen other things.

It just it doesn't feel like they did anything this off season with this game. Typically you here people claim sports games are just roster updates but true fans can see the little nuances they worked on that are huge to the experience, or that the features they added are actually big things. This game though? I don't get it. This is probably my favorite game franchise I'm just at a loss for what they did all year.

#2 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

It takes a long time to enter numbers dude, especially if your union. Right? Right?

#3 Posted by MightyDuck (1523 posts) -

@WVUEers: I know how you feel. I'm debating whether or not NHL 13 will be worth it this year.

I still have NCAA 11 and have been content with that one for a while. It seems like since this "generation" is reaching it's end the sports games are offering fewer and fewer new modes and ideas. I can only hope when the new systems come out, they come up with some new ideas. Unlike in the past where the first few years for 360 and PS3 were stripped down games.

#4 Posted by GorillaMoPena (2210 posts) -

It seems like not buying it is easier to get away with in college games if online play isn't a big deal.

I'm sure someone has this year's rosters up for download right?

#5 Posted by Positrark (316 posts) -

I feel your pain. I'm firmly in the Madden camp. As a Norwegian I've become a huge fan of the exotic game you Americans call football. I've bought every one since 09. Didn't really want to buy 12, because my close friend and regular opponent went to USA for a year, but he convinced me we could play online (hasn't really happened). Every year you read these amazing blog post from the developers about the revolutionary ....... they've implemented. You think that's really rad, but then you get the game and it always ends up feeling underwhelming. However Madden 13 just won best E3 sports game at GameTrailers, so if the reviews fall in line with that praise, I'll probably wind up with a copy this year as well.

#6 Posted by WVUEers (110 posts) -

One of my biggest gripes is that things that were in last generation were stripped from the first few games this time around then re-added to grand fanfare.

Road to Glory- Last generation it was called Race for the Heisman, a good amount of changes have been made but the basis of it remains the same. In fact I'd say that the non-gameplay elements were better then.

Teambuilder/D1-AA- Took them a while to add this. On the one hand teambuilder is awesome even though they've been horrible at updating it. But really what other reason aside from laziness is there to not have FCS teams? I mean FIFA has practically every league, NHL has every league they can (KHL probably will never sign on). At one point it was feasible for them to put these teams in the game why isn't it now? I remember when the first generation jump happened this question was brought up and the developers gave this excuse about how previously they just reskinned teams or some shit and now they had to go in and individually design them, clearly this is bullshit though since now we have teambuilder. And fuck, teambuilder even give us all the logos and shit so licensing isn't an issue. Ugh.

#7 Posted by SpartyOn (500 posts) -

@WVUEers: Seeing as you and I are two of the people repping our schools in our avatar, I can tell you we were on the same page. The demo felt exactly like last year's game to me too, until I started playing a few more games. First let's talk about the things that are the same or suck:

  • Crowds look terrible...still
  • Grass is only 3D in replays....what?! This was the case last year too when 3D grass was touted as a feature, and I guess they didn't feel the need to change it
  • You can't challenge plays in the demo. I really hope this isn't the case in the full game. As I'm sure you know, every play is reviewed in college so often time coaches will call a timeout when a play is close in order to give time for the booth to review it, even though they are given one challenge per game. The NCAA videogames have never been good at calling a booth review consistently when it needs to be called, and it sucks to loose a game because the booth AI screwed up and let a bad play go, so I really hope the challenge option is in the full game.
  • Commentary is....*sigh*...it's just boring. Even the ESPN "feel" is just off, and the score updates and such just sound so forced an unenthusiastic that I found myself skipping them after the first time. This could change in the retail version maybe, but I doubt it. It's a shame too because I read somewhere that FIFA's commentary system would be included, and FIFA has amazing commentary, second only to the recent entries in the NBA 2K series.

Those are just a few of the things I didn't like, now on to the good parts:

  • Animations look great. It really feels like they've beefed up the number of animations as well as the seamlessness of their transitions. Tackles, catches, and even running all look significantly better than they did in previous games, especially in replays. They clearly added some visual effects to the replays (like that damn 3D grass) that are absent in the actual game, making the replays look fantastic, although I do wish the in-game action looked as good.
  • Defense isn't as psychic. D-backs aren't picking off passes left and right now. They seem to only make picks that they should make, unlike last year when they could catch a ball that they had no way of seeing.
  • FOOTING AFFECTS PASSING ACCURACY!!!!!! This is totally the best feature ever, and it's about damn time. Finally you can't just scramble to the outside with a QB and throw a 50 yard bomb on the run with perfect accuracy. This is really going to make the blitz more effective and force people to think about throwing the ball away or taking a sack, and I couldn't be happier about that.
  • It's still college football...honestly we're getting it either way because it's good enough. As much as I hate to admit it, EA doesn't need to do that much to get guys like us to buy these games, because even if you skip the game on release, do you really think you can watch College Gameday this fall and not immediately run to the store and pick it up? I certainly can't, so at least I can tell myself that the gameplay does feel better this year than in years past....however minor the additions/improvements may be.
#8 Posted by The_EDJ (53 posts) -

In my mind, 12 was just too buggy to be worth my time. NCAA 11 was near perfect, minus an unbalanced offense that made power running games strong. NCAA 13 will be what 12 should've been. And that's why I ultimately pulled the trigger. The $45 pre-order deal didn't hurt either.

What separates Madden from NCAA is the unique offensive and defensive play-styles. I love me some option (Nebraska fan and all...). I like the NFL more, which is why Madden is ALWAYS a guaranteed buy. NCAA was always an every other year buy until my league started an Online Dynasty and it's just too fun to leave that environment.

If you follow the Game Changers regularly, they drop minor bits of info that make you realize how much EA puts into each game. The revolutionary features aren't necessarily there. But the game is rebuilt on top of a base code. The old producers of these games were content to hid behind the old code. When all of them jumped ship to Zynga and other companies, the new producers came in and are ready to make their mark on it. It won't be this generation. EA won't invest in a brand new game. But the new teams won't rest on their laurels. Expect a bigger, but not insane jump for next year. And come next generation, we should be in for a treat.

#9 Posted by DukesT3 (1928 posts) -

The fact that they took out NCAA sanctions against your program if you didn't keep your players in check and in road to glory where you actually had to take tests and keep your GPA up really bummed me out... yet.. I still buy it every goddamn year... *sigh..* seriously its like a drug for me.

I think after NCAA 13 I might be done with sports games until the next hardware comes out but then again.. Madden 06 for the 360 was a fucking burning pile of trash... so theres that possibility.

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