Week in Gaming (40? Not so old after all)

NCAA Football 12, what else? It is actually growing on me as I continue to fine tune some of the sliders, but the reality is that under the covers this is still the same NCAA Football that I turned my back on several years ago. Sure, there are improvements, small little niggles that any simulation fan will pick up on, but casual fans are going to wonder why they should continue to “upgrade” yearly.

I have not started farting around with Dynasty mode yet; mostly because of time commitments, and secondly because the developers have taken Dynasty mode in a forgettable direction. Is it really so hard to get this right? Just throw a couple of dedicated NCAA football fans at the helm as “consultants,” find some decent software engineers that understand progression modeling, standard deviation (from walk-ons to blue chip prospects), make it adjustable via various slider settings, and tie it all up with a pretty interface (hire a UI consultant) and we would have the killer experience that we have been longing for since we first fell in love with NCAA Football during the heydays of the 2000-2001 releases.

One can dream, right? Instead, according to Bill Abner at nohighscores, we get recruiting run amuck.

In 2013 we see…

42 quarterbacks rated 90 or higher

41 running backs rated 90 or higher

The country is filled with B+ to A+ rated teams, as progression has simply gone insane. You can make the case that the overall score for these players doesn’t matter, that it is the individual ratings that carry more weight and this argument would hold more water if EA shipped rosters that reflected this. They didn’t. This CLEARLY can’t be how it’s meant to work. EA can’t possibly mean for Ohio U (not Ohio State, but the Bobcats of Athens) to finish 12-0 in 2013 and have an 81 rated HB win the Heisman. That can’t be right.

What this does is effectively make your NCAA Dynasty a crap shoot when games are simmed as truly great programs are likely to go 6-6 because everyone is rated so closely together (unless you are truly a bottom feeder team.) A team might go 11-1 one year, still have a great team the next and lose 5 or 6 games due to randomness.

Is this harsh? Not at all if you admit to yourself that …

(A) NCAA Football is a niche title, which a simulation fan base and mass market appeal. The former demands a decent (that is really the mark at this point – decent) simulation, while that later just wants their beloved team to beat the shit out of everyone else.

(B) While my gaming habits these days are still rooted in simulation experiences, I have shifted (kicking and screaming) into the realm of a semi-casual gamer. This has an interesting impact on my gaming because I can really appreciate the full spectrum more so than at any prior point in my gaming life.

Catherine Demo
I spent a little time with the strange and curious Catherine; what will those crazy Japanese developers think of next? After watching this game for a while, I was interested to get my hands on the demo. It is really just a block pulling/pushing/manipulating puzzle type game, with an interesting story. While I like interesting (i.e. different) games, I am not so sure that I am going to keep this one on pre-order. I would actually like to see how the story plays out; could probably save $60 and just wait for the eventual youtube videos to make an appearance.

The Sly Collection: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus
Still working my way through this one; currently in the Mesa City section. I missed these games the first time around (PS2 releases) and am glad I am giving the HD versions a go. The Sly games, at least the first one, are all about classic platform gaming action; however a little on the easy side. The cartoon cell-shaded graphic style makes the game appear to be a kiddie outing, but I think adults that grew up in the Mario world should enjoy the Sly games.

Where to from here?
Any gaming time this coming week will probably be spent with NCAA 12, exploring the broken Dynasty mode, looking to see if it is really as bad as has been reported. I’ll probably also turn back to LBP some; have given it a rest the last couple of weeks in order to recharge my appreciation for this true gem.

I also need to decide if I am going to take the plunge on any of the PSN Summer Sale games. I have such a huge backlog of games that I will probably pass; have to admit that Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is tempting me.

40 is just a number … although a scary one!
Speaking of 40, while it’s really not so old, it’s darn hard to believe that my household now features a 40 year-old better half. Cheers to Tonya; 40 is really just a starting point, a silly number if you will.


4 thoughts on “Week in Gaming (40? Not so old after all)”

  1. NCAA 12 is really bugging me. I’m a trophy whore. And I played the full road to glory. Should have unlocked all the rtg trophies but I have got none. Breeders. I haven’t tried dynasty yet. Figured I would give it a go tommorow.

    Damn auto correct on iPad. I think I wrote grrrr not breeders. But seems funny so I’m leaving it in

  2. I haven’t tried Road to Glory yet; looks like a fair number of trophies are dedicated to this mode. In Dynasty you can pick up a few easy/quick ones – so if you are whoring, give Dynasty a go!

  3. I just turned 40 July 10th! Tonya and I are officially “old,” LOL… Please tell her I said “Happy Birthday!”

    Take Care,


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