Monday, July 18, 2005

NCAA '06 Online

I guess I'll start my series of reviews on my newest bundle joy delivered from the game stork a few weeks ago, since my last post left my colleagues so dumbfounded and worthless feeling that they haven't so much as viewed this site other than to - well, you know...get an image after dark if you know what I'm saying. I plan to cover every aspect of the game in a series of rants and rave articles (all done accordingly), from the gameplay itself, the game modes and the online features.

First thing I want to cover is the online stuff. Now every year for the past 3 years I've bought NCAA with the belief that online play was going to be this flawless, smooth-running flagship of online games that would revolutionize online football - you know, everything they build Madden up for every year. Unfortunately, just like the others - NCAA failed in this respect again.

The current thing that's pissing me off the most is that Boz and I can't connect - it pits us on the matchup screen and then taunts us by saying "connecting" instead of placing us inside the game. After sitting there several minutes talking about how maybe this time it's going to be different, we're both promptly tossed out to do our bitching over AIM instead. If that's not enough, my man from down around N'awlins has disconnected on me 2 out of 4 times - both times the disconnection has come when he's been beating me, so you'd think I'd be happy...but no, both of us get a loss and a disconnect percentage.

How am I supposed to tell Teebee he's a lazy fucker for not blogging when I can't connect to him online?

The online interface this year is neat, however laggy as hell. Upon logging into the EA servers you're met with the fast-beating menu noises as your screen loads, and trying to scroll thru the online lobbies can best be compared to old people screwing. You still have all the options such as your own leaderboards, the ability to incorporate a seemingly endless friends list and the feedback feature is still in place (hopefully it's taken seriously) as well as the ever-revolving EA ticker. Nothing like keeping NCAA up to check on the Reds when they're not on TV.

So connection issues aside, the game has a few issues in itself. For one, again EA did not give you the option to play a ranked game on any other setting then the one it's always been on, All-American. This year the consensus is that Heisman provides a better game, but you're likely never to know that - especially if you enjoy viewing your user stats on the EA Sports site that's touted to track your progress online. Basically reminiscent of MVP '05 and Madden '04 - you get dicked out of a good game in a sense. Not sure why different levels would be an issue, if MVP '04 played any difficulty and Madden '05 can give the option to play ranked on All-Madden - then I don't understand the revolving door surrounding the game settings for every EA online game. You're still playing an opponent regardless of the level - and isn't that what online play is all about? Does the fact that "GRNDRNR 34" averages 600 rushing yards a game mean that much to you that you can't overlap statistics whether the game is played on JV or Heisman?

And to boot, every stat is outrageous on account of some prick plugging in another PS2 to drive his record up...his passing stats up...his rushing stats up...see what I'm getting at here? Ever wonder how one guy is 110-0? It's because he plays his right hand and has a prejudice for the left. So I ask again...what's more important? Me enjoying my experience on whatever gaming level best suits the version of the game or someone's outrageous statistics that I'll never come close to?

Few other things - deep ball, impact HB's and Vince Young. They all suck. My man Rhombic has uploaded a video depicting exactly why the free world will hate him this year.

All that said, I'm still plugging away. For my online forum at Maddenmania I'm still working at coming up with a list of certifiable simulation-type ballers to insure quality online games, and to date my list is some 40-strong. I'm 14-3 so far online and I've played with 8 of the top 25 (won with 6 of 'em), so I'm getting there in terms of getting that all-important (/sarcasm) top #25 teams trophy as well. My goal this year is at least recording 100 ranked wins, as I missed by 12 or so in '04 and then quit prematurely in '05 after recording a DaONE league championship.


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