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PlayStation 3 Review: NCAA Football 12

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NCAA Football 12 for PS3 gives college football fans the chance to experience real sports action right in their own living rooms. This game offers plenty of options for both skilled and unskilled players that will keep them busy for quite some time. There are plenty of new features and updates to this newest incarnation of NCAA Football including new mascots, new entrances and touchdown traditions, enhanced ESPN presentation, audio and video upgrades, more gameplay options, a coach mode, custom playbooks… the list goes on.

Users can choose from division one teams with representations of each conference as well as the independent Army, Navy, Notre Dame, and Brigham Young. The custom playbooks are created from the base playbook of individual schools. Users can create up to 15 custom offensive and defensive playbooks by adding plays from other schools, adding or removing plays from formations, and editing audibles.

One of the more interesting aspects of NCAA Football 12 is that users can play an entire career as either a player or as a coach (they can even create their own coach). These features are really the main modes of this game. They both allow the user to play an entire career as one or the other. This gives users two complete games to play. In the coach mode players call all the plays, hot routes, audibles, make depth chart changes, and pre-snap adjustments. In the Dynasty Coaching Carousel, the user must secure the first coaching job, sign contracts, and hire and fire their own personnel. When a coach joins a particular school the gameplay of that school will adapt to the style of that coach. Users can take on different coaching positions while working through their career. The Dynasty mode allows coaches to customize conference membership, conference rules, and bowl tie-ins.

Users can also play in Road to Glory mode, which takes a player from high school through college. Players earn or loose points which determines the amount of control the player has. If the player earns more points, he can flip the play, call hot routes, and choose additional plays. Points can also be used to boost stats. In this mode, users can create their own player, choosing everything from physical stats to the color wrist band they wear. Overall this game allows for a lot of interactivity and customization, which enhances the playing experience.

There are several other modes also included in this game. One is the Just One Button mode. This mode allows players to control the entire game by just using the movement controls and the X button on the controller. This is great for players who don’t have much football gaming experience. It allows you to jump in a play a complete game without having to worry about learning a bunch of complex controls. Another fun mode is the Mascot Matchup. This pits two teams comprised entirely of their mascot, as in 11 Harry the Huskys against 11 Benny Beavers (the two teams I played). This is not a mode likely to be played often but it adds some extra fun to the title as a whole.

Visually, the game looks excellent. Movement is realistic, the stadiums look great, and the action is very detailed. Gameplay is fairly fluid. There are, however,  a few delays here and there. For instance, I noticed the player sometimes freezes for about a half second when the ball is intercepted. There are a few other issues as well, such as images being cut in half due to colliding graphics, but overall there are no real complaints.  

The controls are typical of sports games and those with familiarity of these titles will have no problem picking this one up and playing.  People who are new to NCAA Football will probably have some difficulty figuring out what to do right away, but there is a practice mode to hone skills and learn how to make the plays.

NCAA Football 12 also features a collision based tackling system, which means the animations don’t start until contact is actually made. This allows for a more immersive game playing experience. 

This game is a recommended update for anyone who is a fan of NCAA Football or who want a good college football videogame. All the teams are well represented and it’s fun to pit your favorite school up against their rivals or up against teams they rarely get to play. This game is full of great detail from the commentary to the cheerleaders and the team mascots. The game will provide users a complete football experience.

NCAA Football 12 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB This game can also be found on: Xbox 360.

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About Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp is an entertainment and food writer who specializes in film and television reviews. She has published the gluten and grain-free cookbook Don't Skip Dessert.