NCAA Football 12 Review

Gameplay

Pros: Tackling is better this year, the running game is fairly realistic, and it seems as if the defense tries to react to your playing habits.

Cons: Quarterbacks take too long to release the ball, defensive players still drop too many easy picks, and certain plays always work while others never work.

Game Modes

a) Dynasty Mode

Dynasty mode is decent.  There’s nothing spectacular about it, but there’s no major issues that will completely ruin your experience.  I’ve encountered a glitch or two and occasional freezing, but that’s about it.  The Top 25 ranking system works very well in the game, which is a huge positive.

One issue I had was that the in-game Supersim doesn’t work as well as you’d want it to.  I’ve had instances where simming defensive drives would always result in a touchdown for the other team.  However, it worked decently in Road to Glory, so perhaps it was just an issue with my specific team.

b) Road to Glory

Road to Glory has so much potential, but it falls short in a number of areas.  Let me tell you the story of two players.

My first Road to Glory player was a quarterback who went to USC.  In a matter of a few weeks, I upgraded him to a 99 overall.  How is that realistic at all?  And the funny thing is that I only played a handful of games a season.  I did it all through mediocre performances in practice.

My main issue with my quarterback was injuries.  My injury rating was in the 80s, but he was injured way too often and for too long.  I never had an injury lasting more than a quarter or two, but that’s a lot of time in a crucial game.  I once watched a 21-0 Pac-12 Championship Game lead against Oregon slip away because I was out for the fourth quarter.

Another problem was coaching and playcalling.  Since I simmed a lot of games, I didn’t get to use most of my player’s hot route and audible abilities until later on.  It’s pretty pathetic that I could be a 99 overall, yet I couldn’t audible out of a play.  What type of coach wouldn’t give that power to a star player?  It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it weren’t for the ridiculous plays my coach would call in various situations.  I don’t have time to list them all, but trust me when I tell you they were bad.

I’m currently in another Road to Glory with a linebacker from Notre Dame.  It’s a lot harder to upgrade my player, and everything seems pretty fair and balanced so far.  I’m starting to think the main issues with Road to Glory all revolve around the quarterback position, as I’ve seen others complain about their quarterbacks as well.  I wish the mode included off-the-field aspects of a player’s life, but the mode is decent enough that you probably won’t mind.  An interview mode or something similar would have capped off this mode very nicely.

Sound

Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler are a very solid duo.  They don’t make any outrageously stupid comments, but they also don’t say anything really too insightful.  They’re just there, minding their own business and doing their thing.  Personally, I like to see that.  I hate Cris Collinsworth’s ridiculous lines in Madden.

As far as crowd sounds, they could be better.  What’s more important is each team’s fight song, which NCAA nails pretty well.

Visuals

The stadiums are decent.  Everything seems very realistic except for the crowd.  The crowd is probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen in any sports game.  The grass is also an issue, as it is extremely blurry at times.  However, games in the snow look really cool, so I guess that makes up for it.

Extras

The menus are ok, the Team Builder feature is good as always, and the game’s presentation is solid.  I do wish there were some mini-games to play, however.  I have no idea why EA took the ones from NCAA Football 10 out.

The Verdict: 7.75/10

If you’re a die-hard college football fan, this game is for you.  If not, wait until Madden next month.

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