NCAA game is heaven for Hog fans

Review: NCAA Football 12

By Mark Taliaferro

TFW Contributing Writer

The NCAA Football franchise by EA Sports is a best-seller every year in every city, but it gets a little extra attention in cities like Fayetteville when the local team has high expectations.

With the University of Arkansas having a loaded offense and a real shot at a second-straight BCS bowl game, Razorback fans have more reason than usual to pick up this year’s college football game. It also helps that this year’s game might be the best one yet.

EA’s two football franchises, NCAA and Madden, have been both wildly popular and very frustrating over the years. The games sell millions of copies, but fans have grown tired of seeing the same problems pop up year after year.

One of those chronic problems has been solved. Suction blocking is gone. The term refers to the way the game engine deals with contact between two players on the field. The best example is when the ball is snapped and two opposing linemen begin to engage.

In all the previous games, the two linemen would appear to automatically be drawn together by an invisible magnetic field. Any time two players got within a certain distance from one another, the suction effect took over and then become engaged in some kind of blocking animation.

It was always an awkward way to deal with blocking, and it led to strange animations and frustrating situations when a linemen should head for a hole to block for his running back, but instead he was drawn the opposite direction because a defensive lineman triggered the suction animation.

The problem is now gone and linemen interact in a much more natural way. It leads to an overall better experience. The running game is not easier, but it plays out more realistically.

The improvements make it the best NCAA to date, but Arkansas’ loaded offense will be what Hog fans enjoy the most. You’ll have to download a user-made roster to get all the players’ names on your screen, but the ridiculous talent is already there.

The Hogs have four players rated 92: Knile Davis, Jerry Franklin, Joe Adams and Greg Childs. After that is a large group in the upper-80s, mostly on offense. You’re going to put points on the board with this team.

One final tip for getting the most out of this game is to make sure you download a patch that is already available. There were some gameplay issues that EA recognized before release day and already fixed. If your game system is not hooked up to the Internet, try to get it online at least temporarily so you can get the patch installed.

Categories: Family Friendly
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