NCAA Football 12: Hits and Misses

by
Posted July 15th, 2011 at 10:45 am

With NCAA Football 12 EA Sports made some prominent feature additions that were directed primarily at the more hardcore fans of the series while promising some important improvements to gameplay. Following up on Sunday’s full impressions posting what did NCAA Football 12 deliver on and where did it go wrong? Find out in this ‘Hits and Misses’ review. 

Hits

  • Gameplay Enhancements

Though the perception is they are subtle the improvements made on the field are indeed valuable ones. That starts with the new tackling animation system which largely removes suction opening up the field and delivering more sense of control and realism. The defense has been improved making for better balance. Play action can still be questionable at times – varied play fake animations are really needed – but at least it can be inserted back in the gameplan now.

Overall football strategy seems to be rewarded and though there are issues with the CPU’s ability at times they do put up more of an overall challenge. The fun factor in a competitive game against the CPU or head-to-head is considerable and ultimately that can override issues found in other areas at least for a period of time.

  • Dynasty Mode

The NCAA Football series has provided one of the best franchise/dynasty modes over the years. That continues as the mode adds features like Custom Conferences and the Coaching Carousel. Online Dynasty is still brilliantly implemented and extremely rewarding. Pay-for web features promise some expanded accessibility though the main one, being able to advance weeks from the website, has been delayed to August.

Acting as a coordinator makes for an interesting and unique challenge but the SuperSim feature not being fixed wrecks much of the enjoyment by skewing time of possession and making statistical goals easier to reach. Having no multi-team offline Dynasty has irritated those who were looking forward to competing against friends in person (Update: There has since been a way discovered to do offline multi-team dynasty). Online Dynasty’s wait queue to advance from week to week is completely unacceptable.

  • Graphics (replays/screenshots)

Within replays NCAA Football 12 is arguably the best looking sports game to date. The 3D grass makes a huge impact – probably more than most would have expected. The screen capture feature is perfect for snapping the potentially brilliant images and in many cases the results are startlingly life-like. Replays and highlights look great but it’s a shame that once uploaded to the EA Sports website the videos lose a great deal of quality. The progressive lighting is notable and the stadiums hold a strong presence while uniform and field degradation both look great.

  • Online Play

Online Dynasty is the biggest factor when considering the title’s suite of online features but it isn’t alone. Standard ranked and unranked games have been performing admirably (lag is limited to affecting mostly just the kick meter) but options such as playing night games are omitted. Despite not getting any love this year Teambuilder is still a great feature though now begging for some improvements. Teambuilder squads can even be used within Online Dynasty (reportedly that is broken right now however) and for unranked games. The ability to stay in and grab screenshots or highlights following completion of online games is much appreciated. Check out more detailed online impressions here.

Misses

  • Presentation and Atmosphere

This is far and away the area the series needs to most rebuild. There is nothing like stale commentary to give the impression that a game hasn’t made necessary strides from year to year. NCAA Football 12 has very little in the way of new or exciting commentary and even the new ‘Game Tracks’ feature which was meant to spice things up is lackluster at best.

Beyond that it is the post-play scenes where NCAA stumbles the most. The camera tends to focus on individuals and show exactly how detached each is from the true emotion of a team sport. Celebrations (except for some touchdown cut scenes) primarily involve a single player fist pumping or something to that effect. Two particular animations stand out and need to be removed via patch. There is one post-play celebration where a player runs upright in a half circle before settling down. The other is a post-tackle animation that leaves the ball carrier looking like they are seizing up on the ground. Both are ridiculous looking and play far too often.

With Madden NFL 12 making a move to television broadcast camera placement the difference between the two series has become stark. The presentation really shouldn’t feature a bunch of players who can’t seem to walk around without bumping into each other after plays finsh. The lack of emotion in general extends beyond just the field as the crowd noise does not have near the effect that it should.

  • Road to Glory

While additions like Coaches’ Trust have added an RPG element so many other things were overlooked that the mode is largely a disappointment. The senior year at high school was expanded to a full season with the ability to play both ways and the scouting element is at first intriguing but overall the experience is simply dull until reaching college. Coaches’ Trust, which provides incentive for positive performance, is a good step towards what is needed to make the mode enjoyable long-term. Progress is made too quickly however and with ratings too where XP is used to purchase boosts.

The biggest problem is still the mode’s favoritism towards positions that rack up stats. Positions don’t get credit for playing well unless there is something to show for it in the stat line. Making things worse the CPU intentionally limits opportunities by pressing their offense the opposite direction when controlling a defensive player (rarely get thrown at as a corner) and leaning heavily towards a different position in calls and execution when an offensive player. CPU play calling is better but there are times where they make poor choices and they don’t run hurry-up in situations where warranted. SuperSim remains broken in handling the play clock.

With additional RPG elements to provide an emotional investment in a character and users being rewarded for excelling at positions and coming up clutch rather than just putting up stats Road to Glory could be a very compelling mode. It’s made some strides but needs some fundamental changes to make that happen. Check out the expanded impressions of Road to Glory here.

  • Graphics (gameplay) and Loading Times

For as stunning as NCAA Football 12 is within replays and screenshots it stands out even more how flat it is during actual gameplay. The field comes across looking undefined and field art (even more so when using Teambuilder) is anything but crisp. There are a number of uniform and stadium inaccuracies. The crowd has taken a hit which is especially evident in Road to Glory. It should also be pointed out that the first patch for the game had a detrimental effect on some of the graphics and the PS3 version is worse off across the board compared to the 360 version.

Loading times are amongst the worst in sports gaming and this has been consistent for the whole generation. Though installing to the 360 hard drive improves them they lag even behind last year which was already bad. Menu navigation is not crisp either but that also improves slightly with an install. The PS3 doesn’t have the opportunity to receive those same install benefits.

  • Custom Playbooks

Requested by the community for years EA Sports finally delivered Custom Playbooks with NCAA 12 (and upcoming in Madden 12) but many will choose to avoid utilizing the feature. A bug was quickly discovered where the playbooks would display no play art, teams would break the huddle in disarray with a bizarre personnel group, and a time out would have to be spent to prevent a penalty. The problem could recur numerous times in a single game.

The culprit of the problem has yet to be nailed down and some have come across it while others have been lucky enough not to. Still just knowing that issue could present itself during the course of a game will make many decide to avoid the risk altogether.  There is also some real slowdown experienced when using a custom playbook in the post-play scenes and replays and it makes the play call screen laggier to scroll through.

The feature in general is a bit intimidating too. A base playbook must be picked first and then formations and individual plays can be removed or added. It may have been better to provide an option to start a book from scratch. EA should also consider adding something like a ‘PlayBuilder’ to their web features. It could be more comfortable and convenient to shape a playbook on the computer rather than from the console.

NCAA Football 12 is a game packed full of features that delivers some notable on-the-field advancements. Sadly most of the features don’t realize their full potential and a big one is actually broken. It’s a fun game – which may be worth it just to marvel at the visuals in replays and images – with a rich Dynasty mode. Despite that it still feels like too much was overlooked or unaddressed and it will benefit from having an extra three weeks before it ends up being exposed by Madden 12.

Previous Analysis: Full ImpressionsNew Features Lack Follow-ThroughOnline ImpressionsRoad to Glory ImpressionsLoad Time Evaluation

  • HughJardon

    Pasta, you can’t be criticizing anything from EA. Pared from Operation Sports might threaten to ban you from your own site, after ridiculing your opinion, reminding you of how much power he wields and kissing EA’s ass a few more times, just to satisfy the developers that post there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cush2push Geoff Wightman

      i for one is glad pasta has balls the size of footballs to write about EA and how crappy and non progressing their games are i hope the dev’s read this article and choke on said balls    

    • Blackice6137

      Well has anyone heard if ea has taken any steps to come out with another patch ? Or did they go on vacation thinking that this was the best game made.

    • Blackice6137

      Im a strong beleaver in getting your moneys worth, And if ea said its in the game it better b in the game. Last years ncaa was great maybe too great because now the new features they added are bairly noticeable. I understand that it may be a hard job but haveing play the game myself; When i sit down i cant lose myself in this one like last years the crowd needs to be louder to the point where it effects a player on the field. And the lack off dirt on white unis, its little things like that. That takes you out of the game when you try to lose your self in it. But who knows maybe all this is fixable.

  • HughJardon

    Pasta, you can’t be criticizing anything from EA. Pared from Operation Sports might threaten to ban you from your own site, after ridiculing your opinion, reminding you of how much power he wields and kissing EA’s ass a few more times, just to satisfy the developers that post there.

  • alexT

    great review. thanks for saying what everyone is thinking and not just giving it a pass

    • http://www.chris-garman.com SteelByDesign

      lol everyone acts like they’re surprised he’s giving an honest review… Would any of you be here if he just wrote nothing but kiss ass articles?

      • HughJardon

        No, we’d be at Operation Sports if we wanted to read glowing articles about how great everything is  that EA puts out. That site is just a gigantic blow-fest for EA. Talk about selling out to the man.

    • http://www.chris-garman.com SteelByDesign

      lol everyone acts like they’re surprised he’s giving an honest review… Would any of you be here if he just wrote nothing but kiss ass articles?

  • http://twitter.com/WWOFTBBNR Phil

    When I first saw that seizing animation I thought my player had been knocked out, which would have been cool. But it was just a silly animation.

    I’ve been lucky enough not to encounter any of the issues people are having so far (funky custom playbooks, no uniform/field degradation) and I’m wondering if it’s because I installed the game. It’s hard to believe that installing would have that much of an effect on such things, but I’ve used my custom playbook in a few games without issue. I also read that some were having issues with white/light colored uniforms getting dirty, which is another issue I’ve avoided. 

    • darkknight1

      I have mine installed on the hard drive as well and I have experienced the majority of these issues! That has nothing to do with it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000295534671 Jared Baxter

      I still haven’t seen that animation. I am curious to know what it looks like.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Schonger/100000306175444 Bobby Schonger

        it looks like your guy is having a seizure the first time you see it you will think the player is injured.

        • http://twitter.com/WWOFTBBNR Phil

          If you remember what Desean looked like when he got blown up last year, that’s what the animation looks like.

          • ClemsonPoker

            I think that was three years ago. At least two.

          • http://twitter.com/WWOFTBBNR Phil

            No, it was last season when he got hit by Dunta Robinson. 

          • know your facts

            Yeah, it was last year…don’t know dude was talking about, but it happened just this past year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Eugene-Johnson/1511160058 Jeffrey Eugene Johnson

    Good, accurate review. I will still be playing this game for the most part year-round, however the highly touted new features are undeniably lacking. I just wish EA would put in necessary time to fix the easy and avoidable issues (commentary, playbook glitch, etc) and freshen the series up a bit. Recruiting is the same as its been for years and that disappointed me.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Eugene-Johnson/1511160058 Jeffrey Eugene Johnson

    Another thing: how come for the past several years in dynasty people always want to transfer away, but users NEVER have any incoming transfers. This bugs me

    • ballsucker69

      i had SMU last year and got at least 2 transfers. maybe the smaller programs get more transfers

    • ballsucker69

      i had SMU last year and got at least 2 transfers. maybe the smaller programs get more transfers

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zach-Aguiar/100000707805274 Zach Aguiar

      haha. I agree! You could be hosting the top team in college and no one wants to come your team. What the heck right? Spot on Jeffrey!

  • http://www.facebook.com/loupickney Lou Pickney

    I’ve noticed that wind seems to affect the passing game more than in past versions of NCAA Football.  I played as South Carolina at Boise State last night and, at least according to the Weather Channel feed, they had 24 mph wind in Boise when I started the game.  It made passing the ball to Alshon Jeffery and company much more difficult than it normally would have been.  Even on one early deep pass that went for a completion, the wind had taken the throw a little too far to the right and Jeffery stepped out of bounds when he caught it… and the call on the field of a completion ended up being overturned.

  • Monty

    Look I agree with what you are saying about the features, but this is the first EA football game that’s game play is on par with 2k. that’s a huge accomplishment finally I have to give them props. I’m not even a college fan and I can’t play madden 11 ever again. Hopefully madden 12 will play like this. I’ve had to learn from scratch all over again how to play. The CPU is actually decent …and not by clutching or cheating. Running the ball is incredible. The zone defense and pass rush make passing exciting again. Sacks are back. Logical sacks. You don’t have an overload on one side and two olineman somehow blocking 4rushers. If you call the right “football” play the game rewards you .

    Nothing is perfect things could always be improved but this could be the best playing football game ever … That means something I think

    • Guest

      I agree bro.  Now that they have a solid gameplay foundation (finally after 6 years of Next Gen) they really need to start capturing the little details that immerse you in the game.  That’s what separates games like MLB the Show & NBA 2K.  They pay attention to every little detail.  EA can start by upgrading the sidelines.  It might sound petty to some but if they upgraded the sidelines even a little, it would go a long way in the immersion factor.  I’m so tired of having to try not to look at the sidelines during gameplay because it totally kills the realism of the game.  They don’t even have Chaingangs in yet & the sidelines look like cardboard cutouts.  They look like 8 bit Sega Genesis graphics.  I understand that they can’t get the sidelines to look exactly like the players on the field due to framerate issues, but they can at least make them look a little better (At least give them a variety of different style facemasks).  APF2K8 has interactive sidelines so why cant EA?  To me it’s details like this that are really holding the game back from being a truly great Next Gen title. 

  • J. Troy

    hey pasta, have u noticed that at the start of the next season, in any game mode, all the players socks become short? In high school, some games your player would have dreads, and some games he wouldnt? Just some weird things I’ve seen…

    • S_kline00

      My RTG player had a beard at away games and not at home.

    • S_kline00

      My RTG player had a beard at away games and not at home.

  • J. Troy

    hey pasta, have u noticed that at the start of the next season, in any game mode, all the players socks become short? In high school, some games your player would have dreads, and some games he wouldnt? Just some weird things I’ve seen…

  • J. Troy

    hey pasta, have u noticed that at the start of the next season, in any game mode, all the players socks become short? In high school, some games your player would have dreads, and some games he wouldnt? Just some weird things I’ve seen…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500860219 Tino Wallace

    Good overview, I think they also need to look at these points:

    -Offensive/Defensive line interaction needs major work.  Defensive lineman still get pancaked far too much.

    -Defenders knowing whats going on when they have their backs turned…this really stinks, If I have 2 receivers running down field with 1 defender in between them running down field as well.  No matter who I throw to the DB will v-line directly for the ball as soon as it’s thrown and make a play to knock it down.  So in reality, 1 DB is covering 2 receivers running separate lanes.

    -On all american the defensive AI still reads your plays.  This takes the fun out of a lot of the play calling b/c in football most teams rely on trickery and deception.  Making one play look like another to catch the defense off guard.  With that being said, the CPU has pretty much keyed on 90% of the screen plays i’ve tried (WR or RB screens), They seem to key on option plays about 85% of the time, and if you call play action that is just begging to get sacked.  They need to make the AI more human like, no fun in having all these option, screen, and draw plays in the playbook if they RARELY work.

    -Pasta mentioned this but the grass during normal gameplay looks BAD compared to the replays.  Also the lighting during daytime games and in domes looks tons better than night/evening games.

    -Pasta also mentioned commentary/presentation but it can’t be mentioned enough.  It’s not just the same stale lines.  It’s just the structure itself.  I think EA needs to head back to the drawing board all together.  Even scarp Herby and Nessler if they don’t have the time to dedicate to get this thing sounding the way it should.  I’m not talking about adding X amount of new lines/phrases.  These guys need to actually be in the booth TOGETHER…..like they would in a real game, play off each other, tell anecdotes, actually break down the game in detail other than “he’s having a bad game.”  Talk about history between the 2 teams if it’s a rival or conference game.  Stuff like that.  I hate to compare but look at the commentary in 2k’s football/basketball games.  Nuff said.

    • Justin

      I have notice I am struggling greatly passing the ball on All-American, something I have never had trouble before with in past EA Sports titles. What still baffles me is the SUPER JUMP still exists with the linebackers. Is there no way to fix this or is EA just that damn lazy?

      • http://twitter.com/Ether813_IX Ian Ximinies

        glad to hear that, i thought it was just me and these linebackers jumping almost every ball i throw…

        • Monty

                they are not super jumping they are just extending. If an athlete is staring at the qb he should be able to deflect a pass much as a goalie would. I love that its more difficult to pass. You have to guide your passes and wait for the correct opening. sorry 5 yard slants aren’t automatic in real football they shouldn’t be automatic in VG football. You have a small window its up to you to find it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500860219 Tino Wallace

            I have noticed that the passing game in 12 you have to anticipate more.  If you wait a split second too long you’re in danger of a pick.  Often you have to make your pass as soon as a receiver comes out of his break or at times even right before.  Which I have no problem with that.  I just have a problem with defenders being able to know whats going on when their backs are turned.

          • Justin

            Of course not, but there a huge difference between extending to bat down a 5-12 yard pass as opposed to a deeper pass or a jump ball. I try to throw intermediate post routes, wheel routes, and jump balls and my ball gets batted down. It has happened to me in every EA Sports game since NCAA 09. I just want to know why this seems to be a problem that occurs frequently when I play an EA Sports game.

          • Wisley

            agreed. it is making the game almost unplayable.  especially in carousel mode, so you only get to play on offense, and you can only throw stops, digs, slants.  fades, and seam routes get super jumped every single time.  the trajectory of the ball is the problem (madden supposedly will have enhanced ball physics). When a real qb throws the ball, it starts from above his head (around 7 feet high, and on most throws travels up first.  In NCAA it starts from his shoulder and just goes like a dart, so yeah the linebackers can knock it down.  Worst part of the game so far, second worst is supersim never making field goals and not using time off the clock correctly.  basically it means that offensive coordinator carousel is not much fun, and it was the part that seemed like it would be the best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500860219 Tino Wallace

    Good overview, I think they also need to look at these points:

    -Offensive/Defensive line interaction needs major work.  Defensive lineman still get pancaked far too much.

    -Defenders knowing whats going on when they have their backs turned…this really stinks, If I have 2 receivers running down field with 1 defender in between them running down field as well.  No matter who I throw to the DB will v-line directly for the ball as soon as it’s thrown and make a play to knock it down.  So in reality, 1 DB is covering 2 receivers running separate lanes.

    -On all american the defensive AI still reads your plays.  This takes the fun out of a lot of the play calling b/c in football most teams rely on trickery and deception.  Making one play look like another to catch the defense off guard.  With that being said, the CPU has pretty much keyed on 90% of the screen plays i’ve tried (WR or RB screens), They seem to key on option plays about 85% of the time, and if you call play action that is just begging to get sacked.  They need to make the AI more human like, no fun in having all these option, screen, and draw plays in the playbook if they RARELY work.

    -Pasta mentioned this but the grass during normal gameplay looks BAD compared to the replays.  Also the lighting during daytime games and in domes looks tons better than night/evening games.

    -Pasta also mentioned commentary/presentation but it can’t be mentioned enough.  It’s not just the same stale lines.  It’s just the structure itself.  I think EA needs to head back to the drawing board all together.  Even scarp Herby and Nessler if they don’t have the time to dedicate to get this thing sounding the way it should.  I’m not talking about adding X amount of new lines/phrases.  These guys need to actually be in the booth TOGETHER…..like they would in a real game, play off each other, tell anecdotes, actually break down the game in detail other than “he’s having a bad game.”  Talk about history between the 2 teams if it’s a rival or conference game.  Stuff like that.  I hate to compare but look at the commentary in 2k’s football/basketball games.  Nuff said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500860219 Tino Wallace

    Good overview, I think they also need to look at these points:

    -Offensive/Defensive line interaction needs major work.  Defensive lineman still get pancaked far too much.

    -Defenders knowing whats going on when they have their backs turned…this really stinks, If I have 2 receivers running down field with 1 defender in between them running down field as well.  No matter who I throw to the DB will v-line directly for the ball as soon as it’s thrown and make a play to knock it down.  So in reality, 1 DB is covering 2 receivers running separate lanes.

    -On all american the defensive AI still reads your plays.  This takes the fun out of a lot of the play calling b/c in football most teams rely on trickery and deception.  Making one play look like another to catch the defense off guard.  With that being said, the CPU has pretty much keyed on 90% of the screen plays i’ve tried (WR or RB screens), They seem to key on option plays about 85% of the time, and if you call play action that is just begging to get sacked.  They need to make the AI more human like, no fun in having all these option, screen, and draw plays in the playbook if they RARELY work.

    -Pasta mentioned this but the grass during normal gameplay looks BAD compared to the replays.  Also the lighting during daytime games and in domes looks tons better than night/evening games.

    -Pasta also mentioned commentary/presentation but it can’t be mentioned enough.  It’s not just the same stale lines.  It’s just the structure itself.  I think EA needs to head back to the drawing board all together.  Even scarp Herby and Nessler if they don’t have the time to dedicate to get this thing sounding the way it should.  I’m not talking about adding X amount of new lines/phrases.  These guys need to actually be in the booth TOGETHER…..like they would in a real game, play off each other, tell anecdotes, actually break down the game in detail other than “he’s having a bad game.”  Talk about history between the 2 teams if it’s a rival or conference game.  Stuff like that.  I hate to compare but look at the commentary in 2k’s football/basketball games.  Nuff said.

  • Newtonfb22

    pasta when do you think we can get huge making noise crowds? Or how bout full interactive sidelines? I would love to throw a touchdown into the endzone at notre dame and interact with the band? I know 2k8 did this decent but could be way better. Too me thats what i want for atmosphere, i could care less about pregame entrances and whatnot

    • http://twitter.com/WWOFTBBNR Phil

      I’ve found that if you crank up the crowd volume and turn down stuff like announcers and on field sounds the crowds sound a lot better.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      If they can’t get the field to look better than it does right now – which I presume is to keep the framerate stable – I don’t expect interactive sidelines anytime soon.

      • Sdwinder

        I have to disagree with the comment on poor field graphics.  I have played two games, one at USC and one at UCLA, the Rose Bowl.  Both games were late afternoon and transitioned into the evening.  At USC there was a thicker overcast that was awesome looking with the stadium lighting and sunset.  If you have experienced the overcast/fog in SoCal, you would really appreciate how great it looked.  The field and stadium graphics looked great during gameplay as well.  The UCLA game at the Rose Bowl looked great too.  No overcast, just a partly cloudy beautiful sunset.  Field pitch was much differenet from the USC home game, but looked great.  The new stadium lighting is fantastic.  I really enjoyed both of the games played and was really overwhelmed with the overall graphic experience.  Definitely improved from NCAA 11 imho.  I have both a 360 and PS3 and was disappointed in the graphics of the PS3 demo of NCAA 12.  Quite a difference between consoles.  EA seems to make better sports games on the  360 still graphics-wise.

      • Sdwinder

        I have to disagree with the comment on poor field graphics.  I have played two games, one at USC and one at UCLA, the Rose Bowl.  Both games were late afternoon and transitioned into the evening.  At USC there was a thicker overcast that was awesome looking with the stadium lighting and sunset.  If you have experienced the overcast/fog in SoCal, you would really appreciate how great it looked.  The field and stadium graphics looked great during gameplay as well.  The UCLA game at the Rose Bowl looked great too.  No overcast, just a partly cloudy beautiful sunset.  Field pitch was much differenet from the USC home game, but looked great.  The new stadium lighting is fantastic.  I really enjoyed both of the games played and was really overwhelmed with the overall graphic experience.  Definitely improved from NCAA 11 imho.  I have both a 360 and PS3 and was disappointed in the graphics of the PS3 demo of NCAA 12.  Quite a difference between consoles.  EA seems to make better sports games on the  360 still graphics-wise.

  • Pingback: NCAA Football 12: Hits and Misses – Pasta Padre | USA Baseball America

  • Holt_4_mvp

    Pasta you can play multiple users offline dynasty. You have to choose the first school and for each team after you go to I think coach info and select create coach (R1 or RT?) then u pick the next school to be controlled etc.

    • Skyflame21

      Thank you…. I have been doing rosters and this really worried me because playing multiple users offline is one of my favorite things to do.  Sometimes, I’ll just control an entire conference and coach the conference games for a change up.  Glad you pointed this out.

      • Holt_4_mvp

        Yea it took me a lil bit to figure it out. At first I thought it was completely removed which would suck but they just hid it this year. The only thing that sucks is if u wanna be the “real” coach you have to create him instead if using him off a roster or something but nbd

  • Derek_M47

    I agree there are several legitimate issues with this game… but “being exposed by Madden” is a bit of a premature statement. Madden has been lackluster for the past several years. The presentation may be better this year (looks great), but I’m on a believe it when I see it stance when it comes to Madden just as much as NCAA.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Fair enough. I spent a good amount of time with it at E3 though so I’m just going off my experience (and other things I’m hearing). 

      I’m not necessarily saying Madden will blow NCAA away. But its strengths will shine a light on NCAA’s weaknesses. 

  • Okafor11

    Pasta I agree with all of your comments about the hit and misses about the game, my thing is though, the graphics look stunning in replays and screenshots…..But I play the game, I dont buy it for the replay and screen shots how is it they cannot get that look to translate to the actual game play like they do for Madden.When they last made the last college basketball 10 i think it was the espn/cbs tv like presentation was awesome, why can’t they do the same for college football????? If for once EA actually dedicated some real resources to this game they could make real money cause college football has soo many teams and the popularity of the game at schools is off the charts but stale commentry and other problems( missing uniforms, incorrect uniforms, missing some equipment, broken features, still no espn tv like presentation) is doing the game in. They have made some real progress with the game but they have not made that huge leap like they can if they wanted to with the game.

  • Skihawks

    Good write up.

    Pasta,

    Any word from EA on any fixes? The visuals are what they are but the delay after plays and the OD wait time is a concern.

    I watched the making of the game. Interesting stuff.

  • Keith.

    Pasta, are things like lack of realistic penalties and in-game saves not a “miss” to you?  

    • http://twitter.com/WWOFTBBNR Phil

      I actually agree with you for once Keith. The penalty engine needs to be totally revamped.

      Honestly though, what is the point of in-game saves? If you can’t set aside an hour to play a game, why even bother starting it? I understand that sometimes things might come up in the middle of the game, but your love of in-game saves makes it seem like you are the busiest man in the world. Either that or you just like to save the game so if you start to lose you can just restore your last save to keep your all-time perfect record alive.

      • Keith.

        I like a football game that takes over an hour to play…and being able to start a game when the wife goes to sleep and finish it the next night or a couple days later is a great thing. We’ve been able to do the same thing with The Show and NBA2k for years. No excuses — to this point, I’ve never even heard anybody from Tiburon say why, they just ignore the question. Makes me think they don’t have the talent or the know how.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Gibson/622062514 Ryan Gibson

      I am sure you are referring to PI, as there are lots of holds and clippings… things you really have no control over. Has anyone purposely pushed how much they can get away with pass interference? Seems like that may be a good strategy to slow down WRs. 

      Also, I wish they would let you remain in control of your player for a few seconds after the play. I remember way back in the day were in Madden, if you couldn’t keep your cool it was hard not to knock down the ball carrier again after the whistle, resulting in unnecessary roughness. That was always a nice cherry on top after a big play against my big brother.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      I can’t list everything in these write-ups. But yes those both should be addressed in the future. 

      • Keith.

        I can appreciate that. But we’re on the 7th version of this game on next gen. Only reason they still aren’t in the game is because reviewers keep giving them a free pass. They put dreads in, for crying out loud, for some dude at OS. Please use your influence —

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Schonger/100000306175444 Bobby Schonger

          cmon im pretty sure dreads are more important than in game saves

  • BC

    EA dropped the ball again!  They forgot to add in Hubble Space Cam.  There are sooooo many people out there that want to play from the vantage point of outer space.  I want EA to forget about the Broadcast camera that a couple people want in the game and put all your efforts into the Hubble Space Cam. 

  • BC

    EA dropped the ball again!  They forgot to add in Hubble Space Cam.  There are sooooo many people out there that want to play from the vantage point of outer space.  I want EA to forget about the Broadcast camera that a couple people want in the game and put all your efforts into the Hubble Space Cam. 

  • Jz

    If the gameplay looks like garbage especially for most PS3 users than who gives a crap about replays and replay 3d grass. The gameplay is great. Just wish it didnt  look like a PS2 game.

    • Shaundb12

      Where is everyone getting that12 looks horrible in gameplay for PS3. The game looks way better than NCAA 11.

    • Sdwinder

      Yes, my sentiments exactly playing the PS3 demo compared to the 360 one.

  • McNugget

    this may sound stupid but i was wondering if there was any type of thing where ea sports updates ncaa and whatnot after a few months or tweaks anything like COD. if anybody knows please reply

  • McNugget

    this may sound stupid but i was wondering if there was any type of thing where ea sports updates ncaa and whatnot after a few months or tweaks anything like COD. if anybody knows please reply

    • Holt_4_mvp

      they usually put out tuning updates and patches. they have pretty good support after release especially during the first couple months

      • McNugget

        oh ok. thanks. do you just get it off of the live store? does it cost points?

        • Sean

          It will be free…no points.  It will come as a automatic update when get online. 

          • McNugget

            oh cool so i aint gotta do nothin? thanks man

  • Pete23

    How do you know that this game will end up being exposed by Madden? Who said that Madden would be good this year. That development team puts in new stuff that doesn’t work the same as the NCAA team.

  • Pete23

    How do you know that this game will end up being exposed by Madden? Who said that Madden would be good this year. That development team puts in new stuff that doesn’t work the same as the NCAA team.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Going off my experience with the game at E3 and other evidence. But my point isn’t that Madden will necessarily be all around better…instead where it excels will shine a light on NCAA’s weaknesses. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Gibson/622062514 Ryan Gibson

    Does anyone else find it annoying how catch replays use three cameras; always cutting to the next camera right when the WR is going to make the catch?  It seems like the dev team is trying to get creative here, and sacrifice function over form.  I also think the camera work on pregame is painfully slow. Don’t they know that we have been raised on MTV and video games and our attention span is extremely short?

    • Skihawks

      I like it.

      • Monty

         I like it too.

  • Scottyo614

    Seizing up is my favorite animation ever!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brett-Farthing/1365428918 Brett Farthing

    There’s no multiplayer offline dynasty? How am I controlling 3 teams in mine then?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Noriega/100000211977500 Jesus Noriega

    I agree pasta but its also a big improvement from last year. I also think it might be better then Madden if its the same from last year… I Hated Madden, its so fake… I was playing the Vikings and I Had the Cowboys and Bret Favre outranned Terrance Newman… I ws winning and I turned the game off and traded that crap in… But Keep up with your work man

    • Shaundb12

      Its weird because everyone is making it seem like 12 isn’t better than 11. Its not only better but way better. In gameplay alone you feel the difference. And nobody is talking about how special teams are back. Last year it was impossible to have a kick return or punt return. Have been having success with both. Also, gameplay wise, if you setup playaction like in real life it works well. I run the ball a lot, and once I go to playaction the computer bites on it. Dynasty mode is the best its ever been. It breaks down your pipeline states, so you can see when you are reaching one or about to lose a pipeline. The supersim feature is the same as its always been and if you start using a lower ranked team it is hard to achieve goals. Custom conferences is a nice addition and is implemented well. The fact that it went back to giving you a numeric value for how your team is rated and not just a letter value is good. Overall this was a nice upgrade.

      • Halvbot

        I agree. They also did a great with all the new helmets and facemasks as well as the dreadlock addition. Great game and will be even better when a few of the bugs get patched out.

  • HULKGREENE

    I’M NOT GOING TO BUY THIS GAME. THE GAME LOOKS LIKE CRAP. MADDEN 11 IS FAR BETTER. NCAA IS FADED AND BORING LOOKING!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Schonger/100000306175444 Bobby Schonger

      HULK ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • S117

        HULK SMASH!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fluffybass Brandon Fluffy Baker

    I like the new physics, I hope madden has the same. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/fluffybass Brandon Fluffy Baker

    I like the new physics, I hope madden has the same. 

  • dje1123

    How is Teambuilder not on the list of misses???

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Its still a great feature even though they didn’t put any work into making it better. 

      • dje1123

        I suppose, but it’s been the same for basically 3 years now, which is a little inexcusable don’t you think? They haven’t come close to cracking it’s potential. The issues with are not just the fact they haven’t added much to it as far as more design choices, uniform options, and logo slots go. All of which the gaming community who use the feature have been asking for since it’s inception. But there are also many little things that add and eventually takes what should be a great feature and leaves it as just an average to good feature. Things such as the inability to assign team colored accessories to players on a TB team, white helmets turning gray in games played in domes or at night, choosing certain stadiums for your home stadium and getting a 50/50 split in fans, the inability to edit your TB roster on the console without having to start a dynasty, the inability to really customize your roster (it is a team creation feature right?), and so on and so forth. So much potential for it, but it’s one of the biggest “tease” features I’ve seen in a while. Obviously the developers are okay with the way it is now, and apparently so are the fans.

  • http://twitter.com/Starfoxleon The Great Leon

    I have only played RTG an some quick play so far since the OS rosters are not up. I find RTG to be quite fun I never cared much about it before. DB is the hardest spot, but you just have to make the best of it. I did a full 11 games and lost in semis with a corner I could have went to three 5 star school(Mich, Georgia who I chose, and forgot the third. I was at best a 3rd string when I signed. 

    Quick play matches I play on Heisman. The 1st half is usually challenging for me then I catch a groove. Running seems really easy for me and passing I do well after I establish run. Defensive side I get around 6 sacks a game 7 min qtrs. All around I think the game is better than last year. The problems that make shrug can be fixed in patch. 

    The game looks great, I stopped caring about realistic graphics when I was 16. But I still look at some parts an say damn that looked nice.

    • Guest

      when will the os rosters be ready?

      • http://twitter.com/Starfoxleon The Great Leon

        They said Sunday since they had a major problem an lost about 18 hrs of roster work. It was suppose to be done Saturday but now late Sunday.

  • CrankDispatch

    Well this sucks– I can’t advance my offline dynasty past week 15. When I go to the ‘advance week’ tab I click on “advance to conference champ” and I get looped back to week 15 which is a bye. What a piece of crap. Does this have anything to do with the servers being down? I was able to advance other weeks while it was down….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPIDKJ3RLFKILY5LFFCUUSRLBQ Curtis

    pasta how do you do a offline dynasty controling all the team within your conf. and can you tell me if you can control all 32 team in madden 12 franchise mode if you cant then ill cancel my madden12

    • Holt_4_mvp

      pick the first team and for each team after that go to coach info in your dynasty then press R1 for PS3 or RT for 360 to create new coach and pick your next school you want to control. do this for as many teams as you want to control. im not sure what the max amount of teams to control is but i think its usually 12

  • http://twitter.com/paekman Eric

    Anyone else having an issue where your recruiting board doesn’t stay the same ranking order week to week? I initially reordered by interest, then switched a few players around. The next week (and has happened for the next 3 weeks with 2 different teams) the order went back to only interests forgetting my customizations..

    • http://twitter.com/WWOFTBBNR Phil

      You probably forgot to turn off your AI recruiting assist.

  • Ninomarley

    anyone having issues with promo codes from gamestop for the ps3?

  • chicken rib

    this game is too hard I gave up 84 points on varisty

    • Halvbot

      Well you are just awful then!

      • chicken rib

        im good at it

    • http://twitter.com/Starfoxleon The Great Leon

      Is this your first time playing NCAA ever or in a long time? If you have played every year then that is terrible, but being a beginner an if you try 10-12 min qtrs it is understandable. I play on heisman I find it a bit more challenging than last year but still pretty easy. I only play on that level because I have been playing NCAA since 2002 and am use to it.

  • Xcef2008

    I skipped on NCAA 11 so I’m actually enjoying this game. However I think if I bought 11 and then bough 12 I would feel a little ripped off. 

  • Cory Boyette

    HIt: Better & More Wrap Tackling.  
    Miss: Too Much “Tackle Stealing” and Not Enough ProTak IMO

  • http://twitter.com/paekman Eric

    Also had issues a few times where  the clock runs after an incompletion in the 4th qtr. 

  • Blackice6137

    Is it me or is the online play better thaan the offline play? The graphice looked a little better to me too in online play why is that ? When you pick off a pass it zoomed in but offfline play dose not do this. Is there a patch  comming out here in the next few days, because this game though fun needs to be tuned up a bit

  • Dezgreen2011

    why doesn’t dynasty mode have 2 players now

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Schonger/100000306175444 Bobby Schonger

    who has two thumb’s and is the #1 ranked receiver in TCU and their conference… this guy!!!

  • John G

    What do you have to do to get scholarship points as a FS? I had a bunch of tackles for losses and a fumble recovery for a TD and still only got 49 points. :( 9 more points than a game where I just get 2 tackles or something.

  • Ch3vyboy252

    Pasta I dont know if you notice but they don’t call facemask penalty when people play with strip ball on all game I have did it several games myself and they dnt call penaltys at all its hard to run the ball when every tackle is a strip has anybody eles notice

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