Survivor from VirtualSportsDaily composed a great Top 10 Wish list for features he wants to see in NCAA Football 13. Let’s take a look at them and see how it stacks up with our own wishes.
1. Getting it Right
It might sound ridiculous, but it has to be addressed. Last year the retail game was arguably broken if not patched thanks to issues with progression, pump fakes, and uniform degradation (among other things). This year it seems two of those three problems found their way into the game AGAIN, as well as the blank custom playbooks bug. How about releasing a game that is polished for the most part? Maybe it isn’t a feature, but it would certainly speak to EA’s professionalism if half the players in the game weren’t 99s by season 5 in dynasties.
While they’re at it, take the features added this year and spend a while polishing them up. Conference Realignment should have an AI system that doesn’t put all the power in the Users hands. How do I know when my FAU Owls are worthy of an ACC invite? (psssst; I don’t) The 3D grass looks good in most situations but in replays you can clearly tell it is just on a grid and, it’s ruined many screenshots for me.
P.S. Ben, your dreads look like shit. If you are going to do something, don’t half-ass it.
2. Gameplay Physics
Reading early reports had me excited that the new tackling and momentum system would take player’s physical attributes into consideration for the first time in franchise history. That doesn’t seem to be the case as my 240 lbs halfback still acts like a ballerina and my 6’6 tight end is getting jacked by 5’9 corners on the daily. If they can just ATTEMPT to implement a physics system (ala FIFA or NHL) then I’m sure most people here would respect that and be patient with them.
This addition seems the most likely out of this year’s list as they seemed to already experiment with a physics engine on the pylons.
3. Graphical Depth
Now this year they took some strides with the lighting and the game looks absolutely phenomenal on my 1080p HDTV. I can’t complain one bit about how replays look or how I feel about the graphics as a whole. Granted, sometimes I feel the graphics don’t seem all too improved in actual gameplay, but I’m probably being nitpicky. That being said I think they could add variety to what we see on the field. I think they could definitely work on the textures in the game as players just seem to have a generic feel to me. Last year I put “Graphical Perfection” as #5 on my list, and they made things look pretty good, but still there are about 40 faces in the game.
For the love of God, give us a face editor and enable GameFace to work for RTG or created prospects. Allow for the players to display their discounted tattoos with pride as they play in primetime rivalries year in and year out. Give us more than a t-shirt, sweatervest, and suit when we lead our players out on the field. When each team has 70 players and there are 120 teams, there should be more variety with these sort of things. Seriously.
4. Dynamic Depth Charts
Each team has different plays, formations, and strategies; no team plays the same way. Likewise, few teams organize their depth charts the same way either. Dynamic Depth Charts would give users the ability to change positions to fit how they play. For example, some teams designate positions by left or right, but others by strong and weak. This would give you the ability to designate strong/weak-side linebackers, offensive lineman, defensive backs, etc. who would line up differently each play based on what is called or how the offense lines up.
Dynamic Depth Charts could also be organized by series or situation. Imagine being able to alternate starting halfbacks by every other series, or creating a defensive line rotation. I know I would love to have this for when my players are getting tired and I just need that extra kick, or when I need that pass rushing specialist on 3rd and long.
“Coverage Matchups” could also be a part of this expanded depth chart idea.
5. College Football has Sidelines?
This might be a personal beef, but everytime I look at a sideline in NCAA I want to vomit. Nothing is moving at all, besides the cheerleaders and the three #65s that are jumping and clapping in unison. I want to see the sideline players all doing different things. I want to see the camera crews and photographers following the play. I want it to seem like everyone is absorbed in what is happening on the field. It might not seem worth the effort to most people, but to me I’d rather them scrap something like RTG and focus more on believable sidelines, gameplay, and dynasty.
6. Presentation Perfection
Honestly, this should probably be higher, but all of these additions seem so necessary that a well-thought out ordering of them would have been a waste of time. The bottom line is Erin Andrew’s sweet sweet voice can only do so much for a commentary crew that hasn’t changed in ten years or so. Let’s mix it up and start from scratch. Bring back untelevised games, and bring in another crew for less significant displays. How about having an ABC, ESPN, and CBS all with their own crews and presentation? What? That’s too much? Well the least you can do is give us a lot more commentary that relates to the situation and the significance of games in dynasties.
And while we are at it, I love the custom entrances but I skip them after the first week on the game and so does everyone else. Ben, again, you need to think these things through. Spend more time on cutscenes that are unavoidable like injuries, timeouts, celebrations, etc. etc. These are what will bring the game to life moreso than hitting a sign before the game.
7. Weather that Matters
Weather can make close games into legendary games… and rain never comes down at the same strength without stopping for three hours straight. Start a game in the sunshine and end it with gusts of wind and spotty showers. Have a first half during a hurricane and let the second half be played on a calm, muddy field.
8. Mini Games
Mini-games are back on my wish-list this year as well. It was so much fun practicing with my quarterbacks by throwing in those rings on last-gen NCAA, or even coffincorner punts. Those mini-games were a great success and it’s a shame that Madden took them out for the combine style games (which suck). NCAA can bring them back and even use them in my 9th feature:
9. Spring Ball
Yep, another old feature we need back, and we need it back in the biggest way. At this point we have no control over progression or how our players are developing in the offseason. Bringing back the spring game, but also integrating the minigames in and a few more scrimmages would help us shape our team, albeit slightly, to how we want to play. Suggestions for gaining/losing weight could be brought back in and all the games/scrimmages could culminate with a fun spring game and spring awards presentation at halftime. Suddenly the offseason is fun again.
Another fun part of this would be letting freshman come in early and participate before their first season with the team.
10. Sliders for Everything
The only way for NCAA to make everyone happy is to make the game fit for everyone through customization. This doesn’t just have to be with the current gameplay sliders but could encompass so much more. A new player fatigue system with sliders could add so much to the game in terms of a need for player depth at certain positions, as well as sliders for how the CPU recruits or how hard it is to be invited into a new conference or how hard it is to change prestige/progress/etc. etc. Think about it, or if you are Ben, make it happen.
As always, I’ll put my Dynasty Honerable Mentions now:
- Put the Student back in Student Athlete by giving recruits GPAs, and hidden student ratings that could affect their eligibility going forward. Once on campus give each student a major that might be mentioned by the commentators in-game. It could be integrated into the Coaching Goals for schools with high prestige requiring you to hold your team to higher standards/higher graduation rates/etc.
- As stated briefly in the sliders wish, a fatigue system would benefit the game tremendously. Defensive lineman do not last in college football and you absolutely have to have depth in the trenches. In this game there really is no need for significant depth. Allow fatigue to play a part in every game and effect different positions differently. Allow there to be more disparities between stamina ratings, but allow it to go up and down easier than other ratings. Allow for season-long fatigue and integrate injuries/fatigue together.
- Scouting should be part of the recruiting process. Use the high school fields and send scouts out each week so that the user can play high school games with the recruits they are interested in.