EA Sports NCAA Football 12 Review
Author Clayton Crooks
Sun 17 Jul 11
With Fall quickly approaching, football is just around the corner. Actually, college footaball might take on an even more important role this year as the NFL is still struggling coming up with a collective bargaining agreement. Fans of NCAA Football undoubtedly line up for the new version each and every year, something we do as well. For those on the fence, read on about the improvements in NCAA Football 12 to decide if they are worth it.
Many of the changes in NCAA Football 12 are the aesthetics, and the improvements are fantastic. Across the board, our single favorite addition is the addition of "HDR" lighting which changes the game just like the real life stadium counterparts. So, for example, if the game you are playing is at noon, and their are shadows in the stadium, they will also be present in the game. This can affect your gameplay, especially when you are on offense. The lighting alone is enough of a reason to upgrade as the games feels so much more authentic, but that's not the only visual changes. The addition of 3D grass is a nice step up from the old "carpet" look from previous versions. There are also a number of changes with uniforms and players with dreadlocks.
Dynasty Mode Enhancements
NCAA 12's big ticket item for many of its hardcore gaming base is probably the dynasty mode. If you have never played the dynasty mode in an NCAA game, you are definitely missing out. You begin by searching for recruits to get them to come to your school. The recruiting, for the most part, is the same as the 2011 version. You have a certain amount of time and allot that time to players you would like to attract. The new addtion to the NCAA 12 Dyansty Mode is the Coaching Carousel where you can now start out as an offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator along with the normal ability to be a head coach. It's not totally realistic, but a nice improvement. For example, you won't get offered new jobs while under contract, something that is obviously happening all the time in the world of college and professional sports. Road to Glory has also been changed with things like allowing you to play an entire highschool season to build up your stats.
While visuals are important, gameplay is often underapreciated until you get invested in a game. Sports games seem as guilty as every other genre in this problem as developers seem to focus on getting better visuals out of their 3D engines more than the gameplay itself. Thankfully, this version of NCAA seems to improve in its gameplay as well. Defenders communicate better, which is a significant update so that you don't seem to have so many busted coverages. If you are one of those players that finds a play that seems almost unstoppable (you know who you are), and continue to run it each and every play, you probably won't like that this has been fixed as well. If you run the same things again and again, you will not be very successful on offense or defense. Hopefully the Madden developers are paying attention.
There's also a new tackle button that allows players to lunge at the ball carrier and gone are the days where players seem to have magic powers to change the ball in flight so that it could be caught by a receiver who also uses magic to catch it. Controllers everywhere are thanking EA for making this fix as they were the ones getting the brunt of the frustration when that happened last year.
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At the end of the day, the most important aspect of any game review is to help you decide if the game is worth forking over your hard earned cash. For NCAA 12, the improvements make this a necessary upgrade. The visuals are greatly improved, and just as importantly, the gameplay is a lot more realistic.
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