Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: [Reviewed: XBOX 360], PlayStation 3
Rated: E for Everyone
It’s been a full year and once again, we are circling back to one of the most loved sports titles around; NCAA Football. We have to take a brief pause to remember the times when EA seemed to treat the NCAA franchise like an unwanted step child.
When, though plenty of fans express their love for the game, graphics never quite matched with what big brother, Madden NFL had to offer. Then NCAA 12 hit shelves and it completely elevated the title, overshadowing Madden NFL 12 and making a spot in the trophy case for itself.
So, now Tiburon presents to us the latest game in the NCAA series; NCAA 13. For the overall product, you’re looking at NCAA 12 with major updates and it all begins with your quarterback. When dropping back you’ll notice new animations kick into gear. No longer can you run back within the pocket searching for your open look. The QB is now limited on the drop back to time up with the play that’s in motion. Before you can throw your pass off, however, you’ll need to study the field a bit more as your receivers can no longer make miracle catches.
Timing is everything . When your teammate is open and ready to make the intended play, he will look back to you for the ball. If you take too long, you run the risk of the defending team reading your play. If they can see the play in motion, they will react; taking the A.I. skill set to the next level with more realism than ever before.
This leads to the 430+ catch animations that are available. After a few sessions, seldom did I see the same animation performed twice within the same game. What I did see were some amazing touchdown passes as players either dived or made some spectacular catches over defenders.
When looking for other game modes, you can choose to play “Coach a Game” which puts you in the coaches role calling play by-play as the game progresses in real-time.
Road to Glory sees minor updates around challenges for your player in-game and drills to hold on to first string through practice.
The key highlight of NCAA 13 is the Heisman Challenge. Play as some of the greatest to grace the field and recreate their moments with the original team or on your favorite team. Just to name a few, you can expect Barry Sanders, Herschel Walker, Tim Brown, and Carson Palmer.
During gameplay on both Road to Glory and the Heisman Challenge, you’ll be able to initiate reaction time which allows you to slow down movement on the field and increases your overall awareness.
Graphically, NCAA Football 13 looks amazing. However, motion blur doesn’t always look as good as advertised. At times, like when the camera is on the coach, motion blur seems to blob around the character rather than display a blurry image. Other than that, there are times when the motion blur adds finesse.
Rece Davis is one of the new voices this year as he discusses the studio scoreboard. Happily, it’s not as saturated as it was in the early demo. The other new addition to the presentation feel is the ticker displayed at the bottom of the screen, highlighting other games scores. Together, they smoothly touch on authenticity from a live broadcast perspective
EA keeps all football fans entertained as some mini-game favorites have returned, Mascot Mash Up and 1-button mode. If you’re unfamiliar with what these two modes offer, Mascot Mash Up literally throws you in a game full of Mascots while 1-Button mode allows to control the entire game with one button. Both of these arcade type game modes will definitely entertain friends and family.
NCAA Football 13 definitely earns recognition for stepping up gameplay. With new key elements like read and react and reaction time increasing game value, NCAA 13 is definitely worth picking up and taking your favorite teams and players down championship lane.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5