NCAA Football 12 SuperSim on the Web

Posted July 21st, 2011 at 8:45 am

As one of the new web-based features in NCAA Football 12 the SuperSim feature comes as part of the ‘Commissioner Pack’ DLC for $7. That pack also provides for the ability to run five Online Dynasties and advance the week via the web – though that feature has been delayed to sometime in August. SuperSim can also be purchased separately for $2.

After being down for several days the web SuperSim appears now to be fully functional so I took it for a spin. The feature is impressive in some respects but also lacks in others.

SuperSim has been the subject of quite a bit of angst in NCAA 12 considering the way its flaws (which have been known for years) affect modes such as Dynasty (particularly as coordinators) and Road to Glory. While it carries some of those same issues to the web interface there will have to be further testing to determine how proper the results are being represented.

When selecting the SuperSim option from the main Online Dynasty site tab a new window is opened. Keep in mind that some music and sounds will play when using the feature. Once loaded up the sound can be muted.

One of the first things to be noticed comes with the full team playbooks being available. I did not have an opportunity to see if custom playbooks would transfer over for web SuperSim however. Still having so many plays available is great even if not actually physically running them alters the way one might call a game.

Big plays such as scores, sacks, and turnovers will prompt a graphic display with some additional sounds. It caught me off guard at first – make sure the speakers are down or the entire thing has been muted if in a place where the noise would not be welcome.

The feature in general seems to have been designed well. For the most part it felt as though strategy could be applied but not seeing the results on the field makes it especially difficult to get a feel for things meaning those results end up seeming as though they are random.

The biggest problem is that the opposing offense’s personnel packages are not displayed. That makes calling plays on defense pretty much just a situational crapshoot. That is no more realized then on 4th downs where it is not known whether the team will be punting, attempting a field goal, or going for the first down. How is someone expected to call a defense without knowing things like that?

Actually lets add to that another critical omission. There is no ability to call time outs or push for no huddle. That means scenarios where it becomes necessary to conserve clock – particularly late in the half or game – the coaches are left helpless. An attempt at a late game drive in my run through was fruitless considering the clock ran out after a reception.

It would be welcome to have the option to sim ahead. The idea behind web SuperSim is to have the control over the play-by-play but it would become tedious in situations where the game was out of reach. It’s also not clear what difficulty level the SuperSim is running at – whether it is the difficulty being used for the Dynasty or if there is just a standard set of levels that the feature utilizes.

Other (more minor) issues that were spotted: Often after a change of possession no play art appears. Instead it is just a giant empty black box. The only way I found to return the play art is to use “Ask Coach”. The wrong yard line may be displayed as well. Starting in OT it stated the ball was on the 36 yard line in one case and the 35 yard line in the other. When a play was run though it did reflect properly that the play had actually been spotted at the 25. The ‘big play’ graphics showed the wrong team’s logo and colors on several occasions.

For five minute quarters and the number of plays the stats were meager. I was Wake and the game went 2OTs.

Web SuperSim is a feature of convenience and not necessity. If one wants to look at running an Online Dynasty via web SuperSim and recruiting as a browser-based game then it is a great one at a very reasonable cost. However the SuperSim is no replacement for actually playing the games as the finer details and level of control just isn’t there in this release.