I am a PC gamer first. At least I was. About the only time I ever played on a console was when Electronic Arts released a new version of Madden NFL. I was extremely disappointed in Madden 09 and even more so with Madden NFL 10 and figured my console playing days were over. Then EA sent over a copy of NCAA Football 10 and I was instantly hooked. So much so that I ended up buying a 360, which probably made Khaotic Rage happy since I had borrowed his while reviewing the game (I gave it a 9 out of 10, but you should still read the review).
Well, it is that time of the year again. The start of college football season is right around the corner and that means there’s a new NCAA Football game coming out (July 9, 2013). Spotting a tweet announcing the demo being released, I jumped on the 360 and clicked download. As the game loaded for the first time, I had a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. Gone was the beautifully rendered opening from 2013’s game. That sickening feeling intensified when I saw the lack of playable options. Three match-ups (another year without Boise State, damn you EA!) of teams I don’t care about (two of which, the Ducks & the Buckeyes, that I despise). Once I was in the game, that sickening feeling went away.
Team entrances are beautiful, not generic “slap a different uniform on the same player models as every team.” The defensive A.I. is a hell of a lot smarter this year too! I watched as my Linebacker actually hurdled my lineman, who had pushed his offensive opponent to the ground, and tackled the Ohio State running back. Mid-way through the second quarter, the OSU quarterback dropped back for a pass releasing the ball just before my pass rush collapsed the pocket. Hitting the “B” button to select the defender covering OSU’s receiver, I was actually in shock when it selected the correct defender! In fact, it worked so well, I was able to go for the INT and pick off the ball. Seeing the OSU offense closing in on my DB, I tried to lateral the ball to my Free Safety. I actually cheered out loud when it worked flawlessly. In fact, it was so flawless, I had a flashback of Deion Sanders and Tim McKyer of the Atlanta Falcons doing the same thing (I’ve cued up the highlight below). When all was said and done, Michigan drubbed Ohio State 20 – 0.
Not being able to see first hand the new features I was teased about in the demo and on the NCAA Football 14 web site (I am a proud member of Bronco Nation, but my heart belongs in Tallahassee, Florida and the thought of hearing the War Chant by real Seminole fans makes me giddy like a school-girl) is a disappointment, but without a doubt, unless EA wants to send me an early copy for review, I will be grabbing NCAA Football 14 at 12:01 A.M. July 9, 2013.