Current impressions: NCAA Football 12

by: Sean Cahill -
I have had the chance to spend some quality time with NCAA Football 12 since it launched just two weeks ago.  While I have noticed some minor changes between the demo and the final product, most of what I saw has remained largely the same.  You can expect a full review upcoming in the next couple of weeks, but here are some impressions that I have in the mean time.
- EA has acknowledged the problem with modified rosters creating havoc with player tendencies and will have it fixed.  I won't ding them for that, as bugs will happen.  I just never expected changing a player's name would take him from "Balanced QB" to "Scrambler"

- Gameplay is quite smooth.  I was noticing some of the routine "super-backer" plays from last year, but apparently that was affected by the glitch with naming players above.  Not sure how, but just going off of what the developers have told us.

- Road to Glory mode is completely revamped and very enjoyable.  I was able to fully edit all of the teams to play in the Senior Year of my high school player as well as jersey colors, nicknames, and how good they were.  A very nice addition.

- Dynasty mode has gone through some changes as well, and I love the coaching carousel.  However, the slot machine for recruiting really needs to go away.  It was annoying last year, and it's just as annoying this year.

- I've noticed some changes with the right analog stick.  Quarterbacks won't do that ridiculously quick pump fake anymore.  You will have to drop back a couple of steps before flicking the analog stick to pull off a pump fake.

- Tackles are far more realistic this time around.  I'm noticing a lot of improvements with momentum and the way runners break tackles.  It's really hard to tell if your player will succumb to a tackle or break free from it now.

- Custom playbooks are fantastic.  You can go through every single formation and pick and choose what you want.  Thank you, EA.  Your fans have been clamoring for it ever since Madden 2004.

- Some plays simply do not work, still.  Wishbone/Flexbone QB Isos are still near impossible to pull off.  Play action is still the fastest way to get your quarterback destroyed.

- Online play seems smooth as ever, though the lack of good players that play straight is just as skimpy as ever.  Newsflash:  A team will not go for it on 4th and 30 from their own ten unless its the last play of the game and they can still win.

- I was hoping for more player face models than last year, but I didn't get my wish.  A lot of the facial models are really generic.  I know there is a reason for it in the name of NCAA bylaws, but give us a bit more variety.

- Teambuilder is just as slick and is incorporated into Road to Glory.  If you are really sick, you can create your entire high school lineup of teams and set it up for that Senior season.  That's entering obsession mode, though.

- The menu system is a little weird.  EA has never really been the type to go over the top with such gigantic icons, but that enormous "PRESS START BUTTON" at the beginning really creeps me out.
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