View Full Version : My Rant Concerning NCAA '07 for the 360

05-01-2006, 01:47 PM
Over at Operation Sports I became really upset when the two preview articles for both Current-Gen NCAA '07 and Next-Gen NCAA '07 came out over at IGN.

My biggest gripe was about the new updated playbooks only being avaliable on the current-gen versions and not the 360. It made me wonder what elseEA would leave off the next-gen version and where their priorities are in game design. So here is my rant...

There is no excuse for the 360 version not including the updated playbooks.

But if you're looking for maybe the biggest change in the series, all you need to do is open the playbooks. I'm talking about the biggest playbook overhaul in the history of the series. Tiburon hired two offensive gurus who watched at least three games of every team, then went in and personalized each and every playbook. There are 102 new formations in the game (86 on offense, 16 on defense), including the spread offense that includes option runs to the WR, the double slant and go, the post stop, the Nevada Pistol formation (QB stands 3 yards deep with a RB directly behind him)…there are so many new plays, it's almost overwhelming (to the point you'll get called for delay of game while cycling through all the new hotness). There is also greater variety in the formations you already know. Just because USC and Texas both have I formations, that doesn't mean they both run the same plays out of the I. Now USC's I looks more like a pro setup, while Texas uses the I to run more options.

There are approximately 17 formations per team, including 270 plays.

To me this was going to be one of the biggest steps forward that the series has taken in years. How can that be apart of a "curent gen" game and left out of a "next-gen game?" Isn't that bass ackwards? I am just so disapointed, I thought that NCAA '07 wouldn't be stripped down like Madden '06 due to the added developmental time.

To me nothing says next gen more than 102 new formations and personalized playbooks for each team. I feel totally cheated.

Who cares if you can see the swoosh on player's gloves? Who cares is the shadows correspond to the time of day? Who was the producer or game designer that made the choice to leave out the upgraded playbooks? To me that is a huge mistake and stripps the game of its next gen label.

I was also extremely disapointed to miss out on the stadium pulse, slightly disapointed to miss out on ESPN the magazine covers, and was flat out glad to miss out on the "campus legend" feature. But what other features are we going to miss out on?

Another little feature that has been added could end up paying huge dividends as quarterbacks finally have the option to throw the ball away from the pocket. This way, if you're feeling the rush, you no longer have to try and scramble before launching the ball out of bounds. The new option actually looks like you're trying to complete the pass, throwing the ball toward a receiver, but it will bounce at his feet. It's a nice safety valve to have, especially if your QB isn't fleet of cleat. You have to be responsible with this new ability, though, especially because you're throwing the ball in the field of play. A bad throw is always liable to get picked off if the defense is in the right position or if you are throwing off balance.

One of the big AI fixes is aimed at stopping scrambling quarterbacks. Last year's game in particular was ruled by running QBs as the defense failed to recognize when he was scrambling. The improved AI logic now sees the defense react faster to quarterbacks looking to run, including spies, and even zone defenses who will use more realistic pursuit logic.

There is also a new run commit feature to help turn every down into more of a chess match as the defense tries to anticipate the offense's next move. Before the snap, if you sense the offense is going to run straight ahead, you can flick the right analog stick straight down to send your defenders toward the middle of the line (great for stopping the QB sneak). Press the right stick to the right or left to anticipate a direction for the option or sweep, or press up to make sure that nobody bites on play-action. Then again, if you guess wrong, you're in trouble, as a defense selling out to the right while the blockers are rushing left are going to get blown off the ball so bad, there might only be one guy left to beat as the ball carrier sprints toward the sidelines.

They are incorporating the pass blocking logic from Madden that eliminated nano blitzing into NCAA, along with adding slide protection. Precision passing (throwing the ball high/low, right/left) has also made the jump, even if (thankfully) the vision cone system did not. Also look for defensive hot routes to make the jump to the amateur ranks.

Other gameplay tweaks include more accurate throwing power (you can finally see the difference in velocity between a star QB from USC and some scrub from D2), along with less broken tackles throughout the game. Last year, there were too many small running backs who could all break through the line no problem. This year, it depends more on rating, with the smaller guys slipping tackles instead of trucking over everyone in their way.

The new addition to Dynasty is the Spring game. This is your chance at evaluating your talent before the season and working out certain players, as the better they perform in the Spring game, the better their rating will be next year. This enables you to focus on the passing game to help young quarterbacks progress, or watch as your linebacker intercepts a pass and increases his awareness +2. That's why the Spring game isn't focused on your seniors who are already maxed out. It's about building for the future, and that's what laying the foundation for a successful dynasty is all about.

EA how are you going to disapoint us next? Which one of those features will you also take away? Inexcusable!

05-01-2006, 09:26 PM
I had the same feeling and argument as you did, when I first read the preview and posted it here http://www.finheaven.com/boardvb2/showthread.php?t=137823

I agree with all your points. Why in the F*CK are they not including these features to the next-gen versions, yet their in the current-gen. One user who posted in my thread proved a point. Remember when Madden first hit for PS2 and Xbox? When a game such as these is introduced to a new system, the features are somewhat limited. In this case, limited compared to it's current-gen version. The games are built from the ground up all over again, thus leaving out a lot of the features already implemented. I'm assuming Madden this year on 360 will have an abundance of MORE features than it did this past season, but no where near as much as it's current-gen. I think in their 3rd release on next-gen is when we will really see a complete game with all the features we crave.

Some things I do hope for on NCAA and Madden 360 this year:

-Completely edit your players (towels/long hair and dreadlocks/position/body/uniform/information/jersey #) EVERYTHING!

-Don't let it run and feel like Madden 360 did this past season (choppy/not fluid/and crappy)

-Draft Class

-All teams uniforms (alternates and throwbacks)

-MOST IMPORTANT, Gus Frerotte shouldn't be the same size as a LB, in Madden 360, all players looked identical in body size and build. Fix this please. I don't want to be looking at the body of Vernon Davis, only white and with Matt Leinarts face on it. YOU LAZY F@CKS!

05-01-2006, 10:49 PM
I too am fearfull of this title along with Madden being barebones. This has got to stop. It's not just EA either. I'm a big fan of 2K Sports, but they gave us a very unpolished baseball game. We keep hearing by this fall we should be seeing games true to "next-gen," but with games like NCAA Football lacking key features, I am not buying such claims.

05-02-2006, 05:06 AM
We're in a transition period right now. Because the PS2 is still powerful, next-gen hasn't kicked up the dust yet. Companies need to find a way to cater at both levels like they had to with PS2 and PS1 before they fazed out PS1.

Once the PS3 comes out, more focus will be on both the 360 and PS3 cold-shouldering the current-gen titles and focusing more on next-gen. As theP PS3 got pushed back, the whole next-gen campaign kinda got stalled but they still had to meet the needs of hungry X-Bocks customers.