NCAA Football 13 Review
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NCAA Football 13 adds an exciting Heisman Challenge mode and some solid gameplay tweaks to make it one of the best games in the franchise's 20-year history.
- Playing the Heisman Challenges
- Solid passing mechanic upgrades
- Upgraded dynasty mode
- Graphic and audio glitches
- Missed Heisman opportunities
- Long load times
(continued from previous page) ...playing with college athletes, not pros.
Dynasty mode got a healthy update this year. You get new player scouting, dynamic pitch grades, and triple threat athletes. You now have devoted time in preseason and during each week for scouting, adding a realistic sense of urgency. It is easy to get invested into a prospect and then feeling your heart sink with busts. Phone calls also feel more realistic—or so I imagine, I’ve never actually recruited an athlete. Players will now talk about their highest interest. There is a lot to explore in recruiting, and those who like the micromanagement of building a team will probably love the changes.
If you are at all casual, you probably won’t want to bother with recruitment as load times on game menus are simply terrible. Load times throughout the entire game are extremely slow, so moving through the multiple menu process of acquiring new athletes feels like a chore.
There are some missed opportunities in NCAA Football 13. I would have liked to play Heisman Challenges during their actual seasons, with retro stadiums and a different broadcast depending on the era. The videos of the legends talking about their seasons are great, but let us experience it. Also, several of the Heisman Challenge athletes are locked for pre-order bonuses or DLC. That simply stinks. This is a new mode, something exciting, something fresh. Why not give it to us in one shot? In addition, the commentary is strong throughout the game, except during Heisman Challenges. They can’t keep up with the actual game and spout the same stats regardless of how you choose to play your Heisman winner.
The presentation remains strong, with plenty of authentic stadiums, traditions, and mascots. Lighting is strong and real-to-life stadium sounds are great. There are some new addition this year, including North Florida Atlantic University Stadium, USC Song Girls, and the Military parachutists. Unfortunately I experienced some sound clipping and graphic glitches. Players run through refs like they are simply shadows. Fans seem to disappear sometimes, and players bounce off one another after a play ends. Still, the presentation feels like a regular gameday, and we’ll probably need next-gen to see much different.
NCAA Football 13 is a strong entry now in the franchise’s 20th year. It’s probably one of the better NCAA games in recent history, but not a huge upgrade over last year’s edition. Online is strong and there is little delay or lag during gameplay. If EA Tiburon can make some tweaks to Heisman Challenges, improve load times, and fix some of the basic presentation glitches, we could be in a for a real champion next year.
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