When I reviewed last year’s entry in EA Sports’ “NCAA Basketball” series, I wrote that the game took substantial steps forward after years of falling behind the company’s NBA-licensed games.
“NCAA Basketball 10” is just standing still, which, I guess, is better than moving backwards.
The game, which was released Nov. 17, adds some nice presentation elements and adds a different way to play offense, but doesn’t offer much else in terms of upgrades from last year’s game.
The developers put much of their production time into adding the “college basketball feel,” with the inclusion of the CBS and ESPN broadcast templates. The in-game graphics are truly what you see when watching a game on the networks. The CBS intro has that familiar black background with the network’s logo and the heartbeat. Then, the famous music kicks in.
Announcers Gus Johnson, who is awesome, and Bill Rafterty call the action, while ESPN’s team is Brad Nessler, Dick Vitale and Erin Andrews. There’s no doubt this adds a cool feel to the game, particularly because I never get tired of CBS’ college basketball theme.
But after a while, the graphics and the presentation elements are no longer unique. They become just another part of the game and, seeing as they have no affect on gameplay, become less noticeable the more you play the game.
Considering how much developmental time was spent on this, I would have rather had more time spent on the dynasty mode, which is virtually the same.
The other new addition is the inclusion of the motion offense, which is the lifeblood of many high school and college basketball teams. Again, it’s a cool new addition, but I don’t know how many people will actually use it. I know I played a few different people online, and they used the jack-up-a-3-pointer-as-soon-as-you-cross-midcourt offense quite a bit.
The computer’s AI is extremely inconsistent. The computer players will rarely, if ever, miss an open jump shot. And they often commit backcourt violations for no reason.
The new additions are nothing to complain about, but they should be standard new additions rather than selling points for an entire game. While I can always appreciate developers implementing a specific feel or style, I also appreciate when they take care of gameplay shortcomings.