NCAA Football 12

Despite the flaws, NCAA 12 is another solid year of college football.

By King, Posted 12 Aug 2011

Another year, another season of college football. EA Sports, without recreating their formula that has proven succesful for the last few iterations, plan to come back and put together another solid year of NCAA football. 2012's version holds back from adding many new features, and aims to refine the experience and make for the best game in the series to date. So what has been added that you couldn't find last year?

Well to start with the most noticeable addition out of the gates, EA has finally gotten to the point of taking full advantage of their deal with ESPN. Presentation has seen a big improvement, with all of the graphics and special effects you would see on your T.V. on Saturday's has been inserted into the game this year, giving the impression that your playing a game live on television. There's also a big focus on team traditions with just about every school having a unique introduction when they're the home team. You'll see the Fighting Irish players slap their iconic sign before each game, and LSU come out with Mike VI the live tiger. However, every single QB seems to do this disturbing dance before games. Weird.

Dynasty mode remains mostly the same as it did in the previous version, apart from the new coaching carousel. If you don't want to take the easy road and just pick to become head coach of your favorite big name school, you can work your way up to earning that position and getting offered a contract. How it works is you'll create your own coach, then select a job position. You can pick to be the head coach, offensive coordinator, or defensive coordinator of any school you want. However for the biggest challenge, you can choose to start at one of the coordinator positions at a one-star school.

NCAA Football 12, Review, EA

If you choose offensive coordinator, you'll only be responsible for what happens on the offensive side of the ball, and defensive coordinator only plays defensive snaps. The rest of the possessions will be super simmed. When you get to the end of each season, you'll be able to see all the coaching changes around the NCAA and see if your name is in the discussion for any of the openings. It's a great way to spice up Dynasty mode, and feels extremely rewarding when you've worked your way up from OC at the lack-luster Akron, to being offered your dream job as the head man at Ohio State.

However, the biggest difference in the game this year versus the previous, is the new collision system. Straying from the old tackling animations that were based on pre-determined animations, the new collision technology makes it so each tackle feels different and flows more realistically. It's a great enhancement to the gameplay, although after a few games of getting used to the new system you'll have adapted to it and see that it functions basically the same as it did in the past. Oh, and one more new feature added that I almost forgot about. There is now 3D grass!

Since much of the game remains virtually untouched, that means it feels extremely similar to NCAA 11, for better or for worse. While the things you may have loved last year are back again, those things you hated have almost gone unfixed. I don't want to start off on the wrong foot, NCAA 12's gameplay does offer some great fun. When the game is playing fair, you'll feel great as you pull off a slew of great plays leading to six points. Even if you make a mistake, and scramble around before throwing an off balance pass, you can understand that it was a stupid mistake and you deserved to be punished.

It's unfortunate that so many times it feels like you're absolutely being ripped off by the computer's cheap moves. I love for a close game that comes down to the wire, with my opponent matching my moves and adapting to my play style. Most of the time that isn't how it works. Some serious bugs are plauging NCAA 12 from reaching its full potential. Where should we start?

NCAA Football 12, Review, EA

The passing game could use a serious overhaul. Super linebackers have made their return, with everyone that has a pass coming in the vicinity of them becoming a high jump champion and deflecting the pass. DBs will be in pursuit of your receivers when you throw a bomb to an open man, only to see the DB, with his back still turned to you, psychically feel the path of the ball and jump in to swat it away, or worse intercept it, sometimes even morphing through your man. DBs are also able to bump your men all the way through their routes without it being a pass inference, so long as a tackle animation isn't involved while the pass is in the air.

Defensive backs, scratch that, the computer's whole defense seems to know your routes, and even your whole play from the moment you select it on the play calling screen. Don't even bother trying to run a play-action pass. The defense won't fall for it 99 times out of 100. Not because your QB does a poor job of selling it, but because the defenders are programed to know that he isn't actually going to hand it off. The running game feels smoother, thankfully, but also has its share of issues.

Many times like in the passing game, it seems the defense knows which way you're going before you snap it, and maybe it's just me, but when the computer is down I feel like they have a lot easier time with stripping the ball away from my carrier. In order to eliminate people scrambling too much with their QBs, now when you even touch the turbo button the linebackers seem to become glued to you. Of course, if you lower the difficulty you'll see less and less of these cheap flaws, but blowing out your opponent every game gets old quickly. I want a good, fair challenge. Eventually you'll figure out that certain plays will work against the CPU's cheap tactics, but then it just becomes a game of who can cheat the other more, the human or the computer?

One thing, and really one thing only keeps me coming back to NCAA 12. Online Dynasties, while nothing new, still remain perhaps the most entertaining mode in sports gaming. There is nothing like battling it out against other users against the world with every option from the offline mode at your disposal in the online counterpart. Steal recruits from your rivals and battle it out to become the best team in the nation, while being able to rub it in your friend's face.

Does NCAA 12 have faults? Yes, and many at that. There are various grievances that make the on-field action seriously frustrating, and Road to Glory is still held back by terrible camera angles and stupid coaches that make anything but a quarterback boring. However, through all of this NCAA 12 still manages to provide plenty of entertaining oppurtunities, with Online Dynasty being a saving grace. If you love college football and can get over some unavoidable bugs, you'll create some great memories with NCAA 12.

Logan Smithson, NoobFeed

comments powered by Disqus

  • It's funny because I saw an advertisement for this game with the line "Believe the reviews". I will.

    Posted Aug 12, 2011

  • Only if I would understand this game! It's always fun reading your articles King.

    Posted Aug 13, 2011

  • @Sleven : Maybe someday you'll understand the rules of American football. :P

    Posted Aug 13, 2011


General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher(s): EA Sports
Developer(s): EA Sports
Genres: Sports
Themes: Football Sim
Release Date: 2011-07-12

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