Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tackling College Game Great Fun

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tackling College Game Great Fun

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT McGINTY

You know, they say that just putting "Tim Tebow" in the headline will guarantee traffic to your Web page. I suppose Electronic Arts was thinking the same thing when they placed Jacksonville's favorite son on the cover of "NCAA Football 11."

What they're selling: From EA Sports - "NCAA football fans are some of the most devoted fans out there, and that's why the NCAA Football 11 team has made every effort to provide the excitement and emotion of an authentic college football game."

What we're telling: Not sure what would be an inauthentic game ... maybe a Pac 10 defensive struggle?

The nut graph: You need a little perspective here. If you can ignore the fact that basically the same game is released every year, then you can appreciate it for what it is ... a complete package with solid gameplay and enough depth to play for a year.

Even though there were plenty of tweaks and the online dynasty mode is really nice, most of the offline game - single-player Road to Glory and the regular dynasty mode - is barely changed.

The main difference is in the gameplay itself. The running game feels more realistic; you rely less on outlandish jukes and more on following your blocks. And receivers will catch the ball near the sideline and turn upfield where, on older versions, they would just sprint out of bounds for no apparent reason. The animations are more fluid and the replays look more realistic. It's top-notch all around.

You can customize the rules and difficulty in a million different directions, so with a little effort you can tailor the experience to something you will enjoy. Everything runs smoothly and looks great.

And since you don't get any other video game choices for college football you have to hope that EA Sports will put out a great game every year. Fortunately they do.

Reason to smile: Recruiting for fictional recruits online seems like it would be a little weird, but it is a fantastic addition. You can manage your dynasty with your PC or phone and publish updates with video on Facebook.

Reason to growl: Most of the commentary is just rehashed from earlier games, and sometimes has a hard time matching up with what is happening on the field. …

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