Wednesday, July 16, 2008

NCAA Football 09 (360)

Here's the ironclad, 100% guarantee on Tiburon, who developed this game: they don't finish. They've never been able to completely finish a game on a next-gen console in their history, and they won't this time. That means that there will be plenty to like about this game--in NCAA, there always has been--but there will also be enough boneheaded development gaffes that you want to throw your controller through the window. Guaranteed.

Here's what I've seen so far, and I'm very, very early in the evaluation process:
--animations are improved
--the new field textures look very, very good
--CPU vs CPU mode is back, and if you develop sliders, that's huge
--kickoff and punt coverage is incredibly bad
--penalty distribution is (still) very poor
--the passing game has a much higher concentration of short passes than it should
--maybe related to the above note about short passes, completion percentages are way, way too high
--the framerate is excellent, but the speed of the game itself seems a bit sluggish

The one thing I've seen so far that is absolutely going to drive me crazy is pursuit angles. I've seen several plays where a running back was 5-10 yards away from a linebacker who was dead straight ahead. Instead of the linebacker closing the gap (as he should), though, he started running at a 45-degree angle AWAY from the ballcarrier.

Sound crazy? Yes, unless the linebackers have psychic knowledge of where running backs are headed, and (big surprise) they apparently do, because the running backs never seem to take advantage of this by changing direction.

It looks totally ridiculous, unfortunately. Not a gamekiller, but glaringly obvious.

I'll have more impressions as I get more time with the game.

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