NCAA Football 11 – Another Year on the Sidelines

While NCAA Football 11 looks to be an improved gaming experience, as I mentioned a few weeks back, I am once again skipping out on NCAA Football. I am sure it is a fine game, and the metacritic scores reflect this (17 critic scores average to 85%), based on deeper analysis** I think the franchises needs another year to properly bake.

It sounds like the gameplay is solid; much improved over recent years. The glaring problem looks to be that the Dynasty Mode is full of cracks, and the deep Dynasty experience from the PSOne glory days is the reason I fell in love with NCAA Football in the first place!

Another reality is that I just do not have enough time to really dive into two football games. I guess if Madden 11 stinks, I could swap it out for NCAA Football 11; I need at least one football game to make it through football season!

Best NCAA Football 11 Review Honors …
As always, William Abner (GameShark) does a great job of taking a sports game and breaking it down into a nice enjoyable summary of the “important stuff” that majority of gamers can use to determine if a sports game should be on their purchase, rent, or skip list.

Reviewing Sports Games is a Rat Hole
Speaking of Mr. Abner, his colleague Todd Brakke over at The Nut and the Feisty Weasel, hit the nail on the head with his recent comments about the difficulty with reviewing sports games.

In other words, you have to spend time researching instead of just playing and I think that’s where a lot of reviewers, and the editors who assign them, fail when it comes to handling sports games. It’s not fun work to review these games and the time investment to do it is probably not worth what a reviewer is getting paid to do it, if they’re getting paid at all. And even for the guys (or gals) who do a credible job of attempting to thoroughly play and test a sports game, you are sure to miss something big that someone buying and playing the game for fun will catch inside of a week. There’s just too much stuff.

The business of sports game reviewing is really a thankless task. I’m glad I finally gave up the ghost and just turned to gaming first, and writing as a secondary way to enjoy gaming.

** Deeper Analysis is JC speak for a few trusted reviewers and op-eds, and blogs that are generally in line with my gaming expectations.


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