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Summer of Sports: NCAA Football 14 Demo Impressions

Posted by: Sean Cahill at 6/23/2013 11:28 AM
Just a few days ago, NCAA Football 14 hit the home stretch in the long road of development with the availability of the demo version of the game being released.  While there is a giant black cloud looming over this year's release and the rumors that suggest that, because of that cloud, this could be the last version of the franchise, that still isn't enough to detract from all of the new additions to this year's title.

Nike Sparq Institute

A tutorial is included in the demo to show off all of the new gameplay and features in the form of the Nike Sparq Institute, which is basically a black and gold field where the player will get to try out different drills, plays, and mechanics.  The primary additions to this year on offense are new forms of the option offense.  After a few years of lobbying by fans all around, specifically those who love the spread option offense, the Inverted Veer and Shovel Option have been included.  The Inverted Veer is also known in the football world as the delayed option.  Anyone who watched Ohio State nowadays will see this play in the Buckeyes' playbook.  A running back or wide receive comes across the quarterback's body and the two converge in what is essentially the longest handoff you will see.  The quarterback will basically slide with the running back and make a decision to either hand it off on a jet sweep, or to pull it out of the running back's hands and bolt straight upfield.  The shovel option is a lot less complicated in description in that the quarterback will bolt one direction with a running back for the long-used speed option, but now a running back or receiver will be running in front and give the option to shovel pass forward to the receiver.  The tutorial in this mode helps a player understand when they need to make the proper read and either pitch the ball or keep it with the quarterback.  Beyond these additions, most of the tutorial is refreshing a player's mind of mechanics of the game.


NCAA Ultimate Team

I was very intrigued when I heard that EA Sports and Tiburon were bringing one of the most popular game modes in their franchises to the college ranks.  When it was announced that legends of the past would be used, it made plenty of sense.  There are so many possibilities at every position over all the years of the game.  I will hope that every single school out there will have the ability to pick up nothing but the best from their team's history. As an Ohio State fan, dreams of having an offense led by Troy Smith at quarterback, Eddie George at running back, and Cris Carter and David Boston at wide receiver are going to become a reality.

For those who aren't familiar with Ultimate Team, it is an online mode where a player pieces together their own players in the way of trading cards.  Players earn coins through playing games against opponents online and can then redeem those coins for card packs.  Points can also be used to buy packs via MS Points or PSN Transactions as well.  Players are rated, usually, by bronze, silver, and gold levels, and sometimes higher when it comes to other games such as FIFA, who releases Team of the Week cards and, eventually, Team of the Season cards, though it doesn't look like that will be occurring in NCAA since legends of the past will be used and not current players.

We will hold off on all talk of gameplay until the final product comes out, but from what I have seen, I like what I'm playing and expect this year's version of NCAA Football 14 to be a solid entry....and hopefully not the last.