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April 3, 2010

Getting pumped for some College Football

I've been a fan of EA Sports' NCAA Football series for the last couple of years, and I will probably be getting this year's version as well.  I used to be a fan of the Madden NFL football franchise, but I got tired of having to deal with things like the salary cap and all of that.  Last year's edition was supposed to be awesome, so maybe I will break down and buy this year's.

But NCAA Football is almost a definite.

Looking at the EA developers' blog about the game, I'm starting to drool already (which I'm sure is the intent, and I wish my MET program blogs at work would engender the same response).

Take a look at this:

(click on image to enlarge)

That's a shot from within the game.  Look at how real that looks!  And take a look at the screenshots on the blog I got this from!  Especially noteworthy is the comparison to NCAA Football 10 and then this year's game.  They are night and day.

However, there will need to be some changes to the game before I will automatically buy it.

Last year's edition just didn't change enough from the year before, as I noted here.  The presentation was, let's face it, boring.  Especially if you played the year before.  The announcers said the same thing as they did the year before.  There's still no half-time show or weekly wrap-up show.  They have both ESPN and CBS licenses for their basketball game, so why not their football game too?  Use them!

NCAA Basketball 11 used both, and from what I've heard, it was brilliant (the game itself, not so much which is why I didn't buy it).   This year's football edition really needs to make the presentation better.  Turf the announcers, or at least make them record much more new dialogue.  Get a weekly show of some kind, and even a half-time show would be cool, though not mandatory.

The "Road to Glory" mode also needs some work done on it, as I mentioned here.  It was fun playing myself into the #1 quarterback role on Iowa State, but it got dreadfully dull after a while.  Everything was the same, you only had a few options on what to do during the week before the game, and the play-calling was atrocious.  A limited number of plays would be called all the time, which was just silly.  Third and long with less than a minute to go in the game, down by 3?  Yeah, let's run it up the middle.  WTF?

The worst thing, though, was that you couldn't spike the ball or call a hurry-up offense!  Talk about throwing you out of the immersion of the game.  Who doesn't dream about leading the game-winning drive down the field?  Ok, not you, Mom, but others?  Nope, can't do that here.  Ok, you can, but it is much harder because you can't do the standard 2-minute drill.

I started this post talking about how this should be an automatic "buy" for me, and I'm still leaning that way.  However, if I read that NO substantive changes have been made into the presentation of the game, then I may very well pass.  Maybe I'll get Madden instead.  Or something else, as this year has a TON of great-looking games coming out.  User-generated rosters can't really be finalized until the real football season starts (or at least a couple of weeks before), so I usually hold off on getting it until that happens anyway.  There's no way I'm starting a dynasty with players who don't have names (or worse yet, have made-up names).  This will give me time to evaluate.

Here's hoping that, in September, I'll be beginning the road to Iowa State's dominance of the football world!


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