20 July 2011

Mizzou on NCAA 12

Old traditions into new game
by MizzMatt 7/20/11
For those who are video game enthusiasts, and for those who privy sports games, one game that you need to check out is the newest edition of the NCAA Football series from EA Sports- NCAA 12. The graphics are unreal and the gameplay is a vast improvement from that of 11. More fluid tackling, realistic running and player motion makes for the best NCAA Football thus far. The Road to Glory mode is touted as the greatest game mode to be played, but the old favorites of Dynasty and Exhibition are also available for play. For the second year, Lee Corso is absent from the broadcasting booth as Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreit bring you the play-by-play, and Erin Andrews brings you more realistic sideline reports on injuries and after the half. They've incorporated Gametracker, which helps make it feel more realistic.

Some old traditions make their way to the game, too. The Mizzou ROTC Cannon Crew with "Little Joe" and the "MIZZOU" formation by Marching Mizzou prior to the kickoff for instance. New cutaways of the marching band and more close ups of the coaches and the option of editing the head coach as well as the offensive and defensive coordinators are also incorporated into the game, as well as the depth of the stadiums make it more like a live broadcast rather than a video game.

Other traditions that have made their way into the game is the "GO BLUE" banner at Michigan, the running of the buffalo at Colorado, the "Tunnel Walk" at Nebraska, Chief Osceola at Florida State, the Gator head at Florida, the Longhorn at Texas, the Purdue Marching Drum and the "Play like a champion today" sign at Notre Dame. Other school-specific traditions, such as Little Joe, have been thrown into the mix as well.

There are drawbacks that mainly center around a lack of attention to detail. First, as you can see in the picture above, the Tiger heads on the shirts of the Cannon Crew. While it is awesome that they incorporated Little Joe, it would be even better if they were in more accurate shirts. Beggars can't be choosers though. Secondly, the inaccuracy of player appearance. James Franklin and Wes Kemp both had dreadlocks until they were edited. Another drawback is there is a slight discretion in the rosters. DT Dominique Hamilton is absent for some reason of this version, and all indications are he IS returning next year. One other drawback is that with the new conference structure, there is no longer a Big 12 championship to be played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, and there is still a lack of the neutral site game between Mizzou and Kansas while they include Army-Navy, Colorado-Colorado State and Georgia-Georgia Tech neutral sites.

Overall, NCAA Football 12 is an outstanding game that has minor drawbacks and flaws. The gameplay is the best I've encountered (I've owned every version since '99) and the new traditions make it more like a real game experience. There was a cannon at Mizzou on previous editions, but it was an old style cannon operated by cheerleaders rather than current Pack-75mm Howitzer operated by the ROTC. They've come a long way with the game, but they still have a little more tweaking to do before it can be considered perfect. Perhaps in NCAA 13 they'll get it all sorted out? Perhaps.

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