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Published on July 14th, 2009 | by Brian Browne

NCAA Football 10 Review

The moment is finally here. Well, did NCAA Football 10 answer the call of the fans this year? The answer is a resounding YES! This game delivers on multiple levels and will have college football fans engaged for a while to come. Previous titles have been always been referred to as “Madden Lite”, but NCAA Football 10 sheds that tackle and keeps it moving for the end zone.

It is very apparent that gameplay was the main focus in the game this year with a ton of new animations. The pursuit angles have been improved to stop the ridiculous amount of big play runs and giving love to the O-Line this year, EA actually created a pocket for the QB to step up and throw in. One of the most impressive features, was the Player Lock. This allows you to control any player at any point in the game and attempt to single-handily take over. While this feature is nice on option plays, it can bite you in the butt on defense, if you don’t play in the right zone. Strategy is more prominent in this installment with “setup” plays on offense to lull the defense to sleep and then bust them out on the big play when needed. The key is to link these plays with a 100% setup rating.

While gameplay was a major difference noticed right off the back, EA had more things to offer in NCAA Football 10. Road to Glory mode takes the Campus Legend feature from last year and adds a more interactive presentation feel. Erin Andrews and Kirk Herbstreit take you through from your high school playoffs to the end of your college career. While you might feel that your created player might be the greatest on the gridiron, the online leaderboards feature lets you see where he stands among the rest. You can easily review your accomplishments in the overhauled dorm room interface complete with photos, trophies, and news.

TeamBuilder was another feature that was included in this year’s title and should never be removed from the title. The idea of team creation is old hat for this title, but NCAA Football 10 steps it up big time compared to past attempts. The initial creation of the team is done on the computer and can be updated as frequent as you choose and allows you to share your team with others free of charge. EA has even given the user freedom to take custom logos and upload them and put them on stadiums, helmets, and even the uniforms themselves. Creating players can be done on the console and the PC giving the user freedom to play a game while updating their rosters on the server. The only negative part to this, is that playbooks remain untouched. I hope for next year’s installment, they will give us playbook creator.

The feature sure to snag hardcore college football fans is Season Showdown. This allows the user to rep their school and gain points over other teams, but be careful because once you pick your school, there is no going back. This enters you into a tournament to see which team can rack up the most points throughout the season. Points are awarded for skills (tackles and touchdowns), sportsmanship (kicking an onside kick takes you down a notch), loyalty (staying true to your college roots by playing with your team frequently), and even trivia. When the regular season gears up August 31st, you will be able to gain credits for playing your team’s actual opponent for that week. I feel this feature will develop a huge following and will have users playing massive amounts of games to get their school to the top.

NCAA Football 10 is the game I spent the year waiting for and will play even after Madden 10 drops next month. While the title isn’t 100% perfect, it is the most impressive college football title to date and leaves this writer very optimistic for the future of the series. Do yourself a favor, don’t skip on this title this year and become reacquainted with an old friend known as NCAA Football.

Rating: 9.8

(+)New and upgraded features (Road to Glory, Season Showdown, and TeamBuilder)
(+) Authentic College Football atmosphere
(-) No playbook customization

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