NCAA Football 2010 Review

I picked this up the afternoon it came out (this past Tuesday for the non obsessed).  I have to admit that I wasn’t as excited for this year’s version as I had been in the past.  I wasn’t even planning on buying it Monday afternoon, but then I hopped online to see what people’s impressions were.

To my surprise, a lot of people seemed to really like the changes. No one even had posted their extended descent into madness and meditated as to why they always drop $60 when nothing ever changes and everything is wrong in the world and what is the point of it all anyway?  Well, considering I’ve been buying this game since 2002 came, it didn’t take too much to convince me to get it.

So I ran out, picked up and threw it in the XBox360 (Paul VBlue is my gamertag in case anyone cares). My friend came over and we did an exhibition on Heisman difficulty between a couple ACC teams (I can’t quite remember at this point).

I could have really done without the marching bands at the beginning of the game. I doubt any band is actually going to form the EA Sports logo. Once we got into the game play I started to notice the differences right away.  The movements are all much smoother and more realistic feeling. While there are some animations that don’t always quite work, most of the gameplay looks and feels very good.  A big change is your QB’s throws as he’s being hit. My offense in 2009 involved sitting in the pocket, stepping up and launching a perfect pass 40 yards downfield just before getting leveled. Try to do that in 2010 and it barely gets to the offensive line. More realistic, sure, but a little tough for me to get used to. Another thing is that the CPU defense actually takes rational pursuit angles that you can’t throw off with a wiggle of the control stick. I could shake almost any defender just by running slightly towards the post and then cutting hard to the sideline.

The defenses are pretty similar, but your defensive AI doesn’t seem quite as incompetent as last year and you can even get a bit of a pass rush at times (!). I freely admit that I generally SuperSim (best feature ever) the defense, so I may not be the best judge.

The game was going fairly well until midway through the third quarter. The game just up and froze. Alright, maybe this is a bad sign, but it happens right? It could just be a freak chance.

We restart the XBox and start the Michigan dynasty. I try to download rosters, but unfortunately, EA shipped beta rosters with the retail version of the game, so the standard people who get the game 2 weeks early weren’t able to put together rosters by the release day, and there likely won’t be a complete one for another few weeks or so.  We decided to just with number, since HB #4 seems more like Minor than have him be called Darius Simmons or something.

First thing I saw when we got started was “Add a new pipeline state.” This is new so I click it, and apparently you can now buy “Dynasty Accelerators” which give you benefits in recruiting and whatnot. These cost points/money. Will people actually buy these? I hope none of you do. I mean, really. Just don’t do it.

Anyway, I like the new recruiting lay out (grid vs. list is generally a good UI choice if you have quite a few options). You can also numerically and graphically see how much your pitch is affecting a recruit which is nice. I always got frustrated when it would take 90 minutes to pitch a guy and you really don’t know if it’s doing anything.  Besides that and the new lay out, recruiting seems fairly similar to last year.

The last big, new thing is the inclusion of Erin Andrews.  I started a Road to Glory, but got bored pretty quickly, since it’s just a repackaged Campus Legend mode (which I knew, but was hopeful for something more). The injury reports, which happen with much more frequently*, are a nice break to the standard Nessler, Corso, Herbstreet booth, and aren’t even quite as generic as I would have thought.

Overall, I really enjoy most of the changes made to the game. The more aesthetic things (marching band, 3d “dorm room” in RtG, etc.) I could have lived without, but overall, they fixed a lot of things that were really annoying, and the game play is much, much better.

The bad parts:

  • The menus are slow – I move really quickly in the play selection menu, but  sometimes it doesn’t load a submenu by the time I try to select something.
  • No full rosters – It seems really weird to me that a mistake that huge could make it through, but it is EA. You can get the updated rosters here.
  • The game crashes all the damn time – This is the big one. I tried loading it to my HDD, I’ve wiped the disc, but no matter what I do, it will usually end up freezing before I decide I want to turn it off. This has caused some annoyances and lost data, and I have to assume there’ll be a patch for it, but for right now it just really makes me want to write EA strongly worded letter. They get so much right in the gameplay, but a lot of the time I can’t even get to it.

I’m sure the more I play, I’ll find things that are annoying, but it’s definitely one of the best versions I’ve played in a while. Hopefully, EA will add some patches to make this game as good as it can be. What do you guys think?

*4 games into the 2009 and my QB #5 has been knocked out of the game on 3 separate occasions.

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6 Comments so far

  1. Joe says...

    I noticed in Madden 2009 that they took the juke move away. It totally killed the game for me. Does NCAA still have the juke move?

  2. Nate says...

    I agree that this is one of the better versions of the game to date. The gameplay is much, MUCH smoother. The stiffarms work so much better as does the trucking. I also appreciate the new spin and powermove system. Now you can actually perform those moves whereas they very rarely worked before. I also enjoy the new pass and catch system. Much more realistic. Harder, b/c it’s harder to get open and the press coverage actually works, but easier b/c you can actually throw over a receiver’s head and to the outside when he’s being tightly covered on the inside. I’ve been buying these games for a while but I was never aware you could actually download the rosters. How do you do this and how do you actually get them functioning with the game? This is totally new to me. Also, I agree with you that it is ridiculous that they try and make u buy more things for the game, like recruiting pipelines and better training in the offseason. I did the exact same thing you did and thought the exact same thing you did when I realized what these thigns were. Hopefully NO ONE buys them so EA realizes what a stupid idea it was.

  3. Kevin says...

    In the Road to Glory mode, I hate the supersim. I like playing both offense and defense, and have the opportunity to call my plays. It sucks that the fact that I’m a RB, and about 1 out of every 10 plays is a running play, even if that. It’s rediculous the goals they have for certain games that I can’t accomplish because of the lack of carries. I can’t get 210 yards if I only carry the ball 8 times. That really sucks.

  4. Mario says...

    The lack of recruits is the biggest drawback here….not the in-game recruiting process….but the original rosters. I play primarily with Michigan State and the creators have left off 13 recruits from this past class….3 of which are in the top 5 of our class….that’s just ridiculous.

  5. yanni says...

    Ok, so i just dropped $60 of my federally subsidized student loan dollars on this thing- huge disappointment. My buddy and i did an Ohio State/Michigan game and we each had 3 injured players- I knocked Pryor out for 6 weeks in the middle of the 2nd Quarter and he took my receiver and halfback out in the third quarter. He also had an injured cornerback. I don’t know, but i don’t remember any NCAA game where 4 people were injured to the extent they were done for the game and even the season! And the rosters are WEAK but hopefully they can fix it.

  6. grey tucker says...


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