Turn off the Lights

NCAA Football 2011 Review

NCAA Football 2011 isn’t a drastic change from NCAA Football 2010 in any way. Their obvious game plan for NCAA 2011 was to make slight, yet meaningful changes that in the end, makes the game much more accessible for newcomers while still being one of the most fun football games on the market. And thankfully, EA Sports did just that.

When firing up your first solo, one-on-one match, you notice a few tweaks if you’ve been with the series for a while. First of all, the game looks even better than last year’s already good game. Though at points during kick-offs, I did run into slight frame-rate drops which was very odd to see in this game.  One of the other changes to the gameplay is different animations when running. I never noticed how odd the old running animation was until I saw a game that actually did running correctly. No longer does your player just have one solid, stilted animation to do throughout the game. Depending on his location on the field (In the middle of a pile, navigating around players, or just in the open-field), the sprinting animation will change. This may not mix up the outcome of the run but it gives the game a much more realistic feel.

On the defensive side of things, I honestly feel nothing that has changed. The press O and use the right stick to navigate around your players is still very helpful but that was in last year’s game. I do know interceptions are a lot less prevalent. Instead, when you knock away a ball, it becomes an awkward juggling contest between the three nearest players that ends with the ball on the ground and you yelling at your own fake players.

There are a few glitches scattered throughout the game, I once had my punter not line up correctly, instead lining up directly in front of the center, and then being called for an offsides penalty, my quarterback going for a roll-out then when faking the hand-off, just continuously running backwards, the score occasionally not popping up on the scoreboard’s post-quarter, and the camera not being correctly aligned on PAT’s. I’m not for sure if this is a PS3 thing or not but not even that can excuse the surprising amount of glitches I’ve found. Very rarely would I find a glitch in any previous EA Sports title so seeing all these is shocking. Especially seeing as the “Score not popping up on the scoreboard” and “PAT’s camera not aligning” glitch happens very often, usually once or twice per every two games.

The sound design of players’ bodies crashing against one-another is bone-chillingly accurate. The amount of absolutely vicious hits I’ve seen (and heard) throughout the game are uncountable. With all the crushing hits made, it’s no surprise that there are quite a bit of fumbles in a game of NCAA 2011. Most of which do come from the computer thankfully though I did at one time lose a game because I fumbled the ball. And after looking at the replay, my knees were down, meaning my drive should’ve continued.

That wasn’t the only error that made me completely lose a game. In College Football, once you get a first down, the clock is supposed to stop immediately when the player who has the ball’s knees touch the ground. And the clock should stay that way until the team that is currently on offense is at the line of scrimmage. Well, I had a game, 15-17 (Me being 15), and the clock had around 8 seconds left on it. I say hut, toss the ball down field, my guy catches it at the opposing team’s 20 yard-line and is down with two seconds left on the clock. Though it kept going, and didn’t stop. So I lost the game. I know this does happen in real life but come on, there’s nothing more frustrating than losing a game because the video game was too stupid to realize I was down with two seconds to go.

Apart from the sounds that happen during the game, the commentary is mostly lackluster and not at all improved from last year apart from the fact that one Lee Corso is gone. Finally. He was possibly the most abysmal and annoying announcer ever in a sport’s videogame. Despite that act from God, I found the commentators repeating themselves quite a bit and sometimes saying things such as “And the defender really got a hand in on that pass” although the receiver was wide open and just dropped the ball.

One thing I noticed that was “added” to NCAA 2011 was the one-button mode, which is the same exact thing as last year’s “Family Play” mode. Where, apart from using the stick to move, everything is done by simply pressing X. The player’s sprint automatically, kicking field-goals is all dependant on the skill of your kicker, and when throwing the ball, it auto targets a receiver. I would say it auto-targets the best choice of who to throw it to but there were a few times when playing this mode where it would target the man with coverage all around him while my other receiver sprints downfield, completely un-touched. This seems like an excellent way to introduce children to the game but I really wish there was a way to make it to where you could pit normal controls vs. One-Button controls.

Of course, the place where you’ll spend most of your time, the Dynasty mode is still there and still as fun and addicting as ever. It’s not an incredibly large leap from last year’s Dynasty mode in any means but playing through a season never ceases to be fun. During NCAA 2010’s Dynasty, there was a new Recruiting system thrown in that was supposed to make finding, then signing high-school kid’s a bit easier though it didn’t do all I wanted it to. This year around they took the decent ideas from last year and ran with it, the UI is top-notch with only a few hitches here and there and very rarely would I not look forward to the recruiting process.

Not only have the Recruiting menu’s UI changed, all the menus have been completely redone and they all look wonderful. It has a very Xbox Dashboard feel and look to it but after having to barrel through the slow and horribly tedious menus in previous football games, I’ll take any other menu they’ll give me as long as it doesn’t take 4 minutes to navigate from the quick playoption to the Dynasty mode option.

Sadly but not surprisingly, the Road to Glory mode remains unchanged. This mode is an excellent idea, and still fun to play, but not as fun as it used to be. Apart from Erin Andrews randomly appearing, the mode hasn’t changed whatsoever in multiple years. I respect and enjoy the tweaks they do to the Dynasty feature but is it such a hard thing to do to just put some extra stuff into Road to Glory?

I had a few problems with NCAA Football 2011, but in the end, NCAA Football 2011 is similar to all the previous games in the series, it’s very good. The Dynasty mode remains the most addicting and possibly most fun mode in a sports video game. The EA Sports guy’s have become an absolute master at making slight improvement that make a good game, even better.



Meet the Author

About / Bio
I am the Co-Founder and CTO of Entertainment Fuse. Thank you for viewing my profile. If you have any questions, comments or if you found any bugs with the website, contact me anytime. I love chatting with our community!

Follow Us