NCAA Football 13 is nothing more than a minor update to NCAA 12 and could be labelled NCAA 12.5.
Chris Sanner: Fact.This year was a lame duck year for the franchise, and it showed. While there were gameplay enhancements, they were masked in a package that looked all too familiar. While the presentation saw some pretty significant upgrades, in the end a lot of the upgrades ended up feeling cheap and cheesy (e.g. Studio Updates). I'm sure with the infinity engine coming, NCAA 14 will feel a lot better and advanced -- or it could just feel old hat after we play Madden this year. The franchise needs something though.
Dustin Toms: Fact. The one thing I hate most when it comes to sports gaming are those (somewhat) rare moments when the ".5" label has some legit merit. This year, with NCAA Football 13, that ".5" describes what you get out of the box. There are some very amazing additions, specifically the recruiting updates, but when it comes to gameplay I feel nothing more than disappointment.
Total Control Passing was not a great addition to the game.
Chris Sanner: Fiction.I believe that, when push comes to shove, Total Control Passing was probably the biggest addition to the game/series this year along with the new approach to icon based passing. The passing game in and of itself took a big leap forward and with some tweaking and tuning, total control passing could be a permanent and impactful new feature of the franchise.
Dustin Toms: Fiction. Though not noticeable to just any gamer, the TCP has really elevated the passing game in NCAA Football 13. It's one of those big upgrades that is tough to notice, but when you do, there is a definite feel of accomplishment.
Dynasty mode is stale.
Chris Sanner: Fact. Let's see, you still don't get to run a program like a coach, the recruiting interface is quickly out-wearing its welcome, the process of Dynasty mode seems to hold your hand and play it safe, and the whole experience feels artificial and half-hearted with no real dynamicness to it. You still don't feel a part of a digital college football world, big things like Top 25 polls and stories, and such are hidden away. Simply put: Dynasty mode needs an overhaul.
Dustin Toms: Faction. I don't necessarily disagree with Chris on this, but I can't make myself say that Dyansty Mode is stale. Yes it is still lacking that something to draw you in (Connected Careers please?), but as I mentioned earlier, the recruiting system should be enough to keep you around for a bit longer. It might not be the biggest upgrade in the world, but being able to choose call topics and find gems/busts has really elevated this game to a whole new level for me. I practically sim through seasons without playing a game.
The studio updates are poorly executed and weren't worth the time to implement.
Chris Sanner: Fiction. The studio updates weren't done right, that's for sure, Reece is too jumpy and there are a lot of repeated lines. But that type of immersiveness and attempt at a dynamic feel to a dynasty game, is worthy of applause. I loved the attempt at trying to make the game simulate a Saturday, unfortunately there wasn't much out of the box thinking applied to the presentation or game design. But the studio updates are a good first step.
Dustin Toms: Faction, again. There are two questions here: one is fact, the other is fiction. The updates are terrible. I hate them. They are living proof that sports games are scripted. I've started a handful of dynasties and have yet to see any other outcome to the UW-LSU game other than a 31-14 Huskie win. But, on the other hand, the idea is fantastic. But let's be honest, what's the point of taking an innovative idea and poorly executing it?
No football game will ever correctly simulate penalties.
Chris Sanner: Fiction.This is me hoping that EA will get it right. This is me betting against the grain. This is me basically saying...it probably won't happen this generation. Why? I don't know, but penalties just need to be called in football games. But alas, maybe next year.
Dustin Toms: Fact. I've said it a million times and I'll say it again: These are video games, and with sim gaming nothing will ever be perfect. Going into these EA Sports and 2K titles with these kind of expectations create an enjoyable gaming experience for me. If I went into each game expecting the best of the best, like the vocal minority, then I'd have my panties in a bundle, too.