The NCAA Football series (and really Madden NFL as well) have had some glaring problems with its gameplay for years now. As I said in my Madden review, EA football is the most unrealistic realistic game on the market. The core football tenets are so completely ridiculous at times that I have a hard time swallowing my pride to keep playing. However, the game tends to get realistic results based on it's method.
And not that there's anything wrong with that for most, I'm a simulation guy at heart. I want to at least see the series evolve into something better.
As I did yesterday, I want to do another four point wish list for NCAA's gameplay. Again I want to focus on what can be done to the game in a year's time. So NCAA team, if you are listening (and I know you are) here are the four things you should focus on for next year -- you'd potentially look like geniuses for doing this:
1)Remember, it's not your game you are making. It's ours. If you ever take a psych 101, or even sociology, or any ology that focuses on human behavior -- you'll instantly realize these are a bunch of diverse people trying to talk about human behavior. You get a bunch of ideas, but humans are a very diverse lot.
Developing a game for humans shouldn't be a one way affair. You shouldn't define a game based upon one set of rules.
Simply put: it's time to focus on customization.
The best sports games have it, you can tune NBA 2K from a completely unrealistic arcade three fest to a highly realistic game. Ditto for MLB: The Show. Even to a certain extent, you can do this in FIFA and NHL as well. But not in NCAA. Not in Madden. You play how the developers decide you play.
A solution is easily implementable -- get more sliders, don't leave anything missing. Put them out there and allow users to customize the game. Madden NFL 2005 was the greatest playing football game ever after a small group of Maddenites got together and redid the whole way the game was played. Trust the community.
2)Completely re-do how DB/WR interactions take place. This is a no brainer, it's been broken since the dawn of time. Wideouts and DBs don't interact how your football simulation shows they do, and it's time this aspect of football is finally brought to life. Again, go with my suggestion of yesterday and sit down and watch a Saturday of football. Watch what the DBs do to the WRs and the WRs to the DBs. Ask yourself: is this in our game?
When you answer no, then focus in on the next step: what do I do to get that in our game? I think you'll like what it becomes.
3)The lines are still not there. Pass Blocking AI isn't what it should be and run blocking AI can be maddeningly frustrating at times (pulling guards not blocking anyone half the time). What we have is a completely frustrating mess of a problem that needs help. I propose that the AI is finally fixed, pass blocking is finally done right, and that suction is finally (and actually) eliminated from the game. Who's with me?!?!
But yeah seriously, just fix the AI and the still present suction.
4)Attributes mean more, but not enough. I can understand why the EA Football crew doesn't want attributes to matter all that much, it's more competitive online for everyone. But it's time to just say, "if you want to go online as UL Monroe and face a bunch of guys playing as Alabama and Oklahoma then you deserve to get beat over and over again."
No offense to Warhawks fans of course -- but even under the best care they should never compete with Oklahoma, LSU, or Alabama week in and week out.
The reason this occurs is because ratings aren't quite right. How they are done is like how game reviews are done: the 0-100 point scale is actually more like a 55-100 point scale. Either use a 50 point scale or use an actual 100 point scale. You aren't exactly using FCS or Division II or III teams in the game -- there's no need to have a 10 or 20 ovr when the lowest you can even get is a 44 in most cases anyways!
I'll leave it to the creative whims of the NCAA team on how to fix this mess, but it's one that needs fixing.
So what do you think? What else can be fixed in NCAA/Madden's gameplay in the next year? Let me know in the comments!