135 of 146 people found the following review helpful
Look, I love the franchise. I've picked it up like a loyal lad every single year it's been available. Like so many others, every year I have some small amount of misguided faith that perhaps the serious issues that have plagued the title in the past have been addressed. Like so many others, every year I find myself disappointed once I realize that behind some fluff, the same limitations, bugs and flaws are still present.
I suppose that's not entirely fair. Things do get fixed, but for every step in the right direction, new problems (problems that should NEVER get past a reasonable amount of testing and QA) present themselves. So sure, defenders take better angles this year, and now HB screens are only crazily effective rather than unstoppable. Sure, QB sneaks now see the signal callers just sort of slumping forwards like they're having a cardiac event, which has "fixed" rampant abuse of the same in years past. Sure, they don't call the same plays over and over and over again (like a bomb out of shotgun on 4th and short) in modes like Road to Glory anymore. I appreciate all of this work.
What I don't appreciate is that every single time the AI completes a long play and then hurries to snap the ball, I'm called for offsides because my slow plodding DLmen haven't made it across the line of scrimmage yet (in the real world, they can't snap the ball until it's been set by the officials). I don't appreciate that the rosters aren't just hosed, but they're comically hosed, like someone somewhere just assumed that casuals wouldn't care, and the nutty hard-core types would just be tweaking them anyway. I don't appreciate canned animations being stacked on top of canned animations, rather than having real physics introduced.
Another year, and more fluff. Now Erin Andrews follows your career in Road to Glory. Now the Ohio State marching band will run Script Ohio in the Shoe before games. Now you can spend points in dynasty mode to negatively recruit against other schools. Now you can spend real world money on cheats (Want to always be a 5-star recruit? Want to know which recruits will sign with you? Want an extra pipeline state?). Now you can make your own schools/teams (funny, I thought that was a "new" feature like 5-7 years ago). You can find lists all over the place of the changes, my point is not that they don't update the game, it's that most people who play it would really prefer that the core game, the basic play and functionality of the game, be addressed before we load up with sugary video clips of Erin Andrews and various band formations.
I feel a little disingenuous giving the title 2 stars, because I'll play it, and I'll play it often. As a college football fan, I'll get to 'see' teams play that won't in real life, I'll get to right wrongs that happen during the season (at least in my own silly brain), and I'll get to take in some of that camaraderie that comes with immersing in college football with other passionate fans. And, like a good little addict, I'll be sure to line up again next year to secure my copy of NCAA 11 -- which won't have many of the fixes and changes fans have been clamoring for all along, but will introduce new fluff, new bells and whistles, but a whole new chorus of bugs and flaws to go along with them.
To be fair, some of the brand new issues (this year) that have most outraged fans since the games release on July 14th have been addressed with a quick patch. Online league commissioners may now prevent the use of purchased upgrades that would otherwise afford one player an unfair advantage. The rosters have been at least partially adusted. The sliders are fixed (funny how that's been a recurring issue). That's not really the point though. For what little they did from last year to this year, it simply shouldn't have gone to market with the flaws that it did. EA knows they have a captive and passionate customer base, they know people like me are going to plunk down the cash for the title year after year, perhaps there's just no incentive to really break new ground and advance the franchise when you hold a monopoly on it.
It's a great game (and that's not a contradiction of anything else I've said, believe it or not), but every year we pay the same price for it that we would a standalone title developed from the ground up. Are you seeing updates, improvements, and new features worthy of full-game cost? After so many years in development, after the "next-gen" consoles have been out in the market so long, shouldn't there have been a more meaningful and apparent evolution of the game? Season Showdown is a wonderful new feature, so it's not like I don't appreciate some of the aforementioned fluff. It's just not worth that full game price every single year, year after year, which is why I find myself writing this review, and lamenting the fact that I remain addicted, while EA continues to seemingly do the absolute minimum, and with no attention to detail, every single year.
I'll close the way I opened, because I know daring to knock the game and EA isn't going to sit well with some -- I love the franchise, I play the game religiously, and that's not going to change this year. I just wish I felt a little less like a chump with every new annual release.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2009
**I deleted my original review so that I could give a more accurate star rating after further play (original star ratings were 4 stars for fun and 3 stars for overall)**
I will start by saying that the base gameplay is fine. It usually is minus a few annoying glitches, but the glitches have never made the game unplayable.
EA Sports has pushed me to an every other year update purchase plan due to lack of ground breaking features and addons. As others have said, they take away excellent features so they can add them back in later as new. That being said I had never played NCAA Football 09 and therefore do not know what has been updated/fixed from that version.
At first I was really impressed with TeamBuilder. This feature was excellent as it kept me from having to type information with a controller and allowed a lot of customization for a custom team (you can even create your own team logo!). You can also share your custom created teams with whomever you please.
This was a great feature, until I became aware that you have to be connected to the internet in order to use your custom created team. EA is either so adament about combating piracy or is so deep in bed with Microsoft that they add most features to their games that require a Gold subscription on Live to use (features that should have NO reliance on Live [statement is based on a different review]) that they decided to keep all your created teams on their servers. This means that if you don't have an internet connection your team will not be available to play with.
Another major iritant while playing this game was seeing EA's use of DLC. Yet again, they have decided to sell what is essentially cheats as DLC. I do not purchase them, but when I see a feature in a game only to be prompted to pay for that feature it gets annoying and is just...tacky. If EA feels they absolutely MUST sell cheats as addons, they should have a dedicated option on the main screen and only once you have purchased the cheat (or DLC as EA will refer to it as) is the option available from in game screens.
Again, the base gameplay of the game is fine as it has always been. It is enjoyable and entertaining while on the field...well, except for hearing the bland, 4+ year old commentary that seems to never get updated. It's when you start to stray away from the base game to their "New and Exciting FEATURES" that you really begin to see a loss in value of the game.
Thanks to NCAA Football 10, I have adopted a new purchasing plan that will have me skipping the next few releases and MAYBE picking up 14.
Perhaps EA should stop releasing updates to their sports titles every year so they can spend more time creating better games. If they were to just give roster updates every "non-release" year (preferable for free but it is EA)...they could get back to their glory days of great sports titles.
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
My biggest complaint this year is that EA has decided to leave game content disabled until you pay for it online with M$ points. Each page I go into I think "that looks like a cool new feature" but am disappointed to learn it is only a cool new feature for those who want to pay money to unlock it. I pay good money to get the game to begin with and now i have to play a dumbed down version--as if [...] for a game was not enough already!
You can still play the game without the unlocked features, you just won't be as effective in recruiting in dynasty mode. It would definitely give a huge advantage to online dynasties so i would imagine if you want to be competitive online you have to shell out an extra chunk of change.
As far as the game play goes, it appears to be improved. The new animations are much much better than versions in the past find my self enjoying the game when i play. The computer is still almost impossible to stop and your offensive line does nothing for you in way of a running game, but the football portion is still fun.
The rest is still the same as years before. Which again brings me back to why I am upset. Why am I paying [...] for a game that provides little in way of anything really new, other than items you have to pay to unlock? The updated rosters you would think are a step up but as it turns out there was a snafu and they put the wrong rosters on the game disk. So they couldn't even get that right. Though I'm sure this will be patched, it reveals EA's opinion of us their fans. We are nothing more than a dollar sign. With EA it is all about how much extra coin they can squeeze out of us. Examine the review of each of their recent releases and you see the same theme. Spore, Sims 3, and I'm sure Madden 2010 will have much of the same. Each is geared to get you in the door then you are expected to pay more to get full content of the game.
Though I hate to say it, it is time to stop supporting an evil company. They are not all evil but EA is and they have to go.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2009
Much more depth and replay value than Madden.
For starters, the NCAA '10 "career" modes of Dynasty and Online Dynasty are much more fulfilling than Madden's. You can control everything down to recruiting such as who to offer scholarships to.
Also, the Season Showdown feature is awesome. You represent for your favorite school, and compete against gamers representing your school's real-life opponent that week. You earn points for your school by playing and winning, and at the end of the season there will be a playoff and a championship for the schools. That is just awesome.
Another thing is the announcers (Corso and Herbstreit) are a million times better than Tom Hammond in Madden, who just absolutely SUCKS (just look at him being trashed in almost every review).
But the bottom line is the greater variety of teams, stadiums, bowls, playbooks, etc. as opposed to Madden just make it much more worth the money in my opinion.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2009
Please don't buy this game. It's not worth the toll it's going to take on your sanity, blood pressure, game controllers that you'll want to throw, etc. Like other versions of this franchise, it has it's good points and bad points. I do like it better that last year's version. But that's not saying much because I hated the previous version.
The biggest thing I hate about this year's version is that it cheats. When it wants you to lose, you are going to lose and there is nothing you can do about it. Your linemen forget how to block (I have given up sacks out of the shotgun where literally nobody blocked). Your receivers drop passes. Your quarterback all of a sudden can't hit the broadside of a barn. Every pass within 10 yards of a defender will be intercepted, and your QB will fumble every time he is hit. Your defense can't stop anything, even when you have the correct defense called. The opposing running back will break 2-3 tackles on every play while your offensive players will go down on first contact every time.
You might be thinking that I am just somebody who just throws a fit every time I lose. Not at all; I have played and lost several games and was fine with the way I lost -- the other team just played better. It's the games where all of the above happens that I cannot take. I can beat Alabama 42-10 one week and lose to Rutgers the next, and in the game against Rutgers I will fumble four times, throw three interceptions, my receivers will drop several passes, my line won't block anybody, etc. That's just an example. But this has happened every time I have played a game where it was predetermined I would lose.
How do I know it was predetermined? It's called simulating it over and over again hoping that I can win it without the aggrevation of having to play it again. I have simulated -- and lost -- the same game 30+ times before finally just giving up. And it's not like I am a horrible team expecting to simulate and win against a good team. I can be LSU and simulate 30 times against BYU and lose all 30 sims.
That's my #1 biggest complaint. It's been like that in previous versions, but seems especially bad on this version. I just can't deal with having to play a game where the game decides to let the other team win by making my team suddenly horrible. I can deal with the other team just playing better and me not scoring enough points, etc. But I shouldn't have to play a game that makes my good team play terrible so the other team can win. Sure, you'll win your share and have some fun doing it. But who wants to play a game where the outcome is already determined? Not me.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2009
I'll give it to you straight. If you bought one of the previous new gen NCAA games, you'll be wasting your time and money buying this one. Here are the improvements from last years game: They've added a team builder and you've got a few more options with the uniforms. That's about it. Otherwise it's pretty much the same game. The playbooks are woeful, the generic ones are exact hold overs from last year. The graphics haven't really improved (player's still run like they've been riding a bike without a seat). And if anything,the game play at the two highest levels (Heisman and All-American) have gotten worse. The game at those two levels totally favors the AI and the new game plan feature is a total bust because of it. Here's the skinny on game planning: There's no point in using it. Just leave it set at normal and don't bother. The rewards you get from trying to be aggressive are minimal. The punishment you get from trying to be aggressive is over the top. By being aggressive on offense, you don't gain many more, if any, big plays than you do by playing normal, but you do get hordes of holding calls (you can practically count on ringing one up every time you score), tons of clipping calls, bunches of fumbles, countless dropped passes and a slew of interceptions. Defense isn't quite as bad, but you can still count on your aggression paying off in a bunch of missed tackles and big plays for the AI. Like previous EA installments, the game favors the AI to a fault. The AI repeatedly lays crushing slobberknockers on your guys, while in return, your men arm tackle and get dragged. The AI is all over your WRs while theirs run wide open. The AI is all over every play you call, while your guys never have a clue. One new feature they've added on defense is the ability to predict whether the play is going to be a run right, run left, run middle or pass like in Madden. The feature is useless, however, because whatever you tell your team to lay for, the AI automatically does the opposite. Recruiting wise they've also drained this game of it's speed. You can find fast players, and strong armed QBs but they are few and far between. Overall, on a scale of ten, I'd give this game a five or a six. It's more fun for the AI than the human trying to play it. It's also not worth spending fifty dollars on. If you can find it for thirty, buy it. Otherwise don't bother.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2009
NCAA Football has been my favorite game for years, but this year's game just ruined it for me. While EA only marginally improved graphics and gameplay, the completely botched rosters make NCAA 10 WORSE THAN NCAA 09. In NCAA 09, you could count on reasonably accurate rosters, even for teams that weren't top 25. NCAA 10, on the other hand, has some of the most inaccurate rosters I've ever seen in this franchise--we're talking seniors who already graduated the year before, not even knowing who the star players are, and no freshman on teams that had some of the top recruiting classes in the nation!
It's really sad how far this franchise has fallen, even compared to NCAA 09. There was a time when Madden wasn't that great and NCAA was the innovative franchise, but now NCAA just sucks. Please don't buy this product.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2009
I'm a long time fan of the NCAA Football series, but I'm getting tired of buying the same game year after year. There's really nothing new in this year's game that justifies the full price tag. It's the same game they released last year with new player stats and a few bug fixes.
What's worse is that the game has been polluted with an in-game upgrade store that constantly asks the player to purchase upgrades and enhancements to an already overpriced game. For example, for $5 to $10 each, you can buy enhancements that improve your recruiting, player training, and other attributes in dynasty and career modes. And the game is constantly pestering you to purchase them. No thanks.
There's not a single improvement that makes this game stand out to me from last year's game.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2009
I read quite a few of the other reviews and many were from the perspective of 09, 08, 07, etc, owners who seemed to be writing their reviews relative to those other games. That's definitely useful to many readers. But, they weren't useful to me because I've never owned an NCAA FB game and haven't played a console football game since the early Madden days on the PS1.
So, despite the negative reviews, I went out on a limb and bought the game anyway, because I wanted a sports game and have recently gotten interested in college football. I'm glad I did, because this game has been *a lot* of fun for me.
A couple modes, in particular, that I really enjoyed:
- "Road to Glory": You create an athlete and take him from his high school playoffs, through recruitment, to a college career. One somewhat annoying thing, here, is that you really are just the player -- not the coach. So, you don't get to decide what plays to call or even when your 'toon's in the game. I played a QB, though, and got to override with audibles. This actually was a good place to start, for me, because I got tons of practice as a QB finding receivers without having to think about the other stuff (you can simulate when you're not in the game.) It was fun taking my dude to the BCS title and Heisman. I tried as an HB and found the lack of play calling control irritating.
- "Dynasty": You choose a school and not only get to play out a full season, but also get to recruit in between each game and in the off-season, cut players, etc. The recruiting basically works by calling up players and trying to find what they like (there are about 15 defined topics of conversation). You want to talk about stuff your school is good at and they're interested in, thereby boosting their feelings toward your school. I played with Texas for a couple seasons and it was total domination. My second dynasty was more fun, because I chose a 1 star team and had to built it over the course of a few seasons.
Also, during gameplay, as an idiot when it comes to football defense schemes, I found the "Ask Corso" feature very helpful. He seems to do a reasonable job picking appropriate defensive schemes and educating you why he's choosing a play.
The gameplay itself is fun, I thought. There are several pretty annoying things, though, that lead me to give it 4-stars instead of 5:
- I had to set my "strip ball" game plan to conservative, because I've had defensive drives with 5 or 6 facemask penalties called against me in a row, even in situations a player would have to be an idiot to do it (4th and long, going for a sack).
- The CPU can call a "hurry up" offense and trap your D-line offsides before they're able to get on the right side of the ball. Lame.
- The CPU runs back a kick-return for a TD at least once a game unless I squib it, kick it through the end-zone, or intentionally kick it out of bounds.
- There's an annimation for penalties, which is slow, uninteresting, and annoying.
- The announcers sometimes speak at the same time (over one another), which seems like an inexcusably stupid bug.
- The CPU is remarkably good at on-side kicks, even if you correctly guess its going to do one.
- I was surprised at how long the load times are before games.
Overall, however, this game is a lot of fun and has given me hours and hours of entertainment. It's definitely not a bad game, in my opinion, although I can understand that it might be a poor value as an upgrade over earlier versions. If, like me, you don't own those, however, I would definitely recommend this game.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2009
SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!! This game is definitely not worth $[...] let alone $[...]. I've had this game for over a year, it's called NCAA Football 09. This is the exact same game as the year before, except now they are nickeling and diming you for recruiting "enhancements". I actually think they take the fun out of the recruiting process. How much fun is it to go after a 5 star recruit only to see him sign with another school, to me this is how recruiting is supposed to go. Now with these "enhancements" you can see which recruits are gonna sign with you from day 1, where's the suspense in that?
Road to Glory is the same as years before, except now Erin Andrews tells the world how good or bad you played. She also shows in game highlights to go along with her post game analysis, trust me not as exciting as it sounds. You don't have to make a tough decision as to where you want to go to college because yet again every school offers you a scholarship......because we all know how often that happens in life!!!
Just don't buy it, other than the upgrade in graphics it's PRETTY MUCH THE SAME GAME!!!!