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My Quick NCAA '13 Review / Impressions 
Posted on July 15, 2012 at 09:50 PM.
I thought I would compile all of my thoughts into one post.. It's a long read and there is probably some poor grammar, so just overlook that.

It's a new year and we have a new college football game on our hands.

NCAA Football '13 is receiving some mixed reviews, but the online community as a whole, seems to view the game as if it hasn't had any real upgrades. It's no secret, the online community has and always will be outspoken, but the real question is: How many of these complaints are legitimate and how many of them are being blown out of proportion ?

Let's break the game down a little further and see if we can get to the bottom of it.

How the game plays:

I'm thoroughly impressed with the upgrades to the passing game. The defensive back/wide receiver interactions look good and the upgrades to the passing game are noticeable, immediately. For the first time in a while, I feel like I have control over where my quarterback places the ball. When my receiver runs a perfect route against zone coverage, it is no longer near impossible to split the defenders with a good quarterback.
The running game has its ups and downs. The biggest problem is the offensive line animations and interactions with the defense. There are often times, while running up the middle on a half back dive or a quarterback draw that a lineman will stand in the way of the running back and the back can't seem to get around them. The linemen have no real sense of awareness. Running from the shotgun is enjoyable. The read option works well against the quarterbacks because it is finally possible to read whether or not the defensive end will stay at home or pursue the running back on the hand off. There is concern about the defensive end's awareness, though. It's few and far between that they actually stay home and wait on the quarterback. That could be easily fixed with a patch.
Outside of the upgrades to the passing game, there is not a whole lot of improvements. Those upgrades along should breathe enough new life into the offensive side of the ball to make the game enjoyable for a lot of people.

The defensive side of the ball feels almost exactly the same as it has since NCAA '11. There isn't a feel of anything new. I think this is where the online community should be the most vocal. The defensive side of the ball needs a major facelift. There are numerous people out there, who won't take a job as a head coach in their dynasty or they choose to simulate the defense, just because it is so boring to play.
There are no new additions notable or worth talking about other than the elimination of psychic dbs and linebackers, which was a welcome change.

Special Teams:

Special Teams have almost no feel of their real life counterpart. There's no anxious feel of how any play could result in a returned punt or kick. I have seen a few returned kicks, but punts are not even returnable. The gunners are ALWAYS to the return man before he can even get the ball and plant a foot. This is something that needs to be changed. It doesn't get mentioned anywhere near as much as it should, which is surprising considering a lot of the complaints that people have.


The commentary still feels a little stale, but there are some new lines that have been added and they are noticeable. The stat overlays are few and far between and we need more of them, I enjoy seeing. I also like the addition of Reece Davis and the updates. I only get one a game, if I'm lucky. Along with the ESPN ticker, the presentation feels a little better.

I like the team entrances, but they feel the same as they did last year.. a few new camera angles would do wonders.

Overall, I think the presentation is better, but it still has a long way to go.
Let's face it, there is no way for EA Sports to monitor or tell people how they should play the game. I try my best to be a "sim" guy, but I can't expect everyone else to be. When someone spends $60 for a game, they have the right to play it how they want to.
Season Showdown may be the most useless feature in the game. It can't be calculated or judged accurately and I have been questioning it's purpose for several years.
The shining star continues to be the Online Dynasty mode. There are very few changes to it, but there isn't a real need for it. The mode is a mirror image of the offline dynasty mode which in itself, is a solid portion of the game.
There are really no changes to the online aspect of the game. If people want to always be guaranteed a good, simulation style game, they should stick to Online Dynasty.

Career Modes

Offline Dynasty:

This may be the game's best feature. The Dynasty mode will always be the most played aspect of the game and it's awesome to finally see some improvements being made. The addition of scouting, gems, and busts to the recruiting really brings a sense of realism. Real life recruiting will never be completely simulated in a video game, but it's nice to see EA improving on it. I have always found recruiting to be stale, but I am an avid recruiter now.
My biggest gripe is the lack of changes to the Coaching Carousel.
It would be awesome to have some additions being made, such as contract negotiations and having to answer questions for the local and national media.

Outside of that, it's as solid as ever.
Road to Glory:

This game mode has always had so much potential, but the lack of changes and upgrades has been turning people off from it for a few years. There's not much to review here. It's the same old song and dance.

Heisman Challenge:
It's a nice gesture from EA to add a completely different game mode for people to play, but this won't appeal to many people. I'm sure a casual fan of the series may play it avidly, but the hardcore fans won't find much use for it. They may play it to say they have tried it or to get the trophies/achievements involved, but outside of that, this game mode has no effect on the value of the game. I'm not even sure why the intro to the game focuses on the Heisman so much.

From top to bottom, this is a solid game. The problem is, NCAA set the bar very high for themselves with the release of NCAA '11. It was leaps and bounds better than NCAA 10 and since it's release, fans have been screaming for more major improvements. For those who are fans of college football, there are enough changes to the game to warrant a purchase, but for those who were just going to trade it in for Madden anyways, I would stay away and not waste any money on it. My biggest fear is that I think we have seen about as good as we are going to see, until we get the next generation consoles.

The few real "glitches" that do exists could all be patched out relatively easy. We just have to wait it out.

I would give this game a 7.5/10
# 1 RUFFNREADY @ Jul 16
Nice review, but i would give the game a 6.5 out of 10.
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