When I purchased NCAA 12 Football for my PS3 recently, the guy that helped me at the game store said (yes, I quote) “This is the best football game I’ve ever played. If you’re a Madden addict, you won’t be anymore”. While I was skeptical, I thought to myself … Hmmmm, if this game is better than any Madden game, it’s must be REALLY good.

I could hardly wait to get home to play it. I have to say … I’m a little disappointed that he said that because it did nothing but raise my expectation to a level that were way too high. Don’t get me wrong, I think the game is good and I enjoy playing it. BUT, gameplay-wise, the game is very much equivalent to what NCAA Football ‘11 was.

EA did do some cool things with the graphics. Supposedly the grass on the field is 3D … but I honestly couldn’t tell a huge difference. There is a huge addition in adding in each school’s traditional game day routines, the LSU tiger in its cage for example. While that stuff is cool and overall they’re good additions to the game, it obviously doesn’t add anything to the gameplay itself.

When reading about the upcoming release of Madden, they’re seems to be a focus on a new tackling system. Playing NCAA 12 gave me a preview of that system, and I think it’s pretty cool. They’re calling it a collision system, but really it’s about making tackling/blocking/etc more lifelike. It definitely does that, but doesn’t take the game to the next level.

If you’ve read any of my other sports games reviews, you know I’m a fan of the Franchise mode in any game. Become a coach, and in this case, recruit players all while still playing the games. The big difference in this year’s Franchise mode is you have the ability to start off like most coaches do in real life, and that’s as an offensive or defensive coordinator. I haven’t played an entire season yet so I don’t know how it’ll play out, but it does add to the “cool” factor. If there is a downside to that, it would be that you then only get to play offense or defense, whichever coordinator you are. But in my eyes, that’s not much of a downside.

Overall, I’d give the game 4 stars on a 5 star scale, and that’s saying a lot. I guess I just expected more…..thanks a lot guy that helped me at the store!!

Maybe the most exciting part of my game buying experience … I gave my $5 to reserve a copy of Madden and CAN NOT wait until August 30th so I can get my copy!! Check here often for my review … because I am expecting BIG things.





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Bob Inferapels partners with Cheri Nobel to write a weekly column on entertainment and recreational activities. Read all of Bob’s articles in The Playground.

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