NCAA Football 11 review

There’s a special place in most Americans’ hearts for a particular college or university. Whether it is theirs, their parents’, or even the hot chick they met at a party alma mater, the college sports creates hysteria almost everywhere. In the past few months, the fervor has climbed to new heights in college football as powerhouses such as Nebraska, Boise State, and Utah have all declared that they would be switching conferences in the upcoming years. Sadly, NCAA Football 11 doesn’t allow fans to replicate the gargantuan moves that are set to shake up college football; only 1:1 changes are allowed.

NCAA Football 11 provides an outstanding dynasty mode that is as enthralling as they come. Streamlining the recruiting process while all the while adding new layers, EA Tiburon has delivered one of the more robust dynasty modes offered in the genre. Calling up a potential player and selecting the topic of conversation, the game permits the gamer to get in the head of the recruit and compete against rival schools. Even better is the ability to trash the opposing teams that are in the market for the same player; often, it was beneficial to find the team that had the lower rating (which often turned out to be USC) and convince the recruit that they would be better off not playing for them. This game of one-upmanship turns into an addiction as beating your rivals off the field is almost as satisfying as it is on the field.

Gamers who are ultra-competitive and must brag about their latest win can do so with the Dynasty Wire and Storybuilder. Both all-new modes let players craft recaps of the games they have played through text, pictures and video highlights. All three of these options are capable of being published through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, EA’s community website and much more. This is the ultimate way to boast to the world about the last-second field goal against your friend or foe. Even though there were hiccups with getting this feature to work, we can only imagine how fun it’s going to turn out once players have it in their hands.

On top of all this, the EA community site allows players to search and join online dynasties without logging into the game. This website also provides game recaps, schedules, standings, the ability to keep up on the latest recruit signings and few other minor features to keep gamers hooked on NCAA Football 11. Taking the game to a whole new interactive level – the website is accessible through mobile phones – there is no reason to skip out on online dynasties this year… that is, unless they are afraid of competition.

It’s not all flowers and rainbows though. The tackling mechanics often cause the opposing team to score a touchdown due to how many missed tackles, short dives and slow animations there were. The improved AI during running plays, double-team blocking, and even a pancake or two means the defense is at an all time handicap on the field. Add in the impactful no huddle offense that keeps the defense on the field and on their toes, and the tempo of NCAA Football 11 favors the offense in more ways than one.

The controls of the ball-carrier are assigned to the right stick, with the upper half of the stick for the upper body and the bottom half for the lower body. Improving the right stick has also negated the use of the button controls that perform spins, stiff arms, hurdles and dives. All four maneuvers – especially the stiff arm – didn’t have as big of an impact on a run as flicking the right stick to break tackles or side-step a tackle.

As usual, the presentation of NCAA Football 11 is done with ESPN integration in mind. Hearing that Spain beat Argentina through the ESPN 20/20 Radio Update brought a great sense of realism. Containing pre-game run-outs for 30 teams, the ESPN ticker, ESPN transitions, new mascots and stadiums, Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler on the commentary team, and Erin Andrews as a sideline-reporter, NCAA Football 11 is chocked full of presentation values that other sports titles would die for. Even the menus have been overhauled with simplicity at the forefront.

With exciting sideline tippy-toe catches and little-to-no lag online, NCAA Football 11 is a superb way to kick-start the college football season off early. For online gamers, what more can you ask for than an improved dynasty mode and lag-free gaming?