This part of the country really only has two seasons.
There is football season and waiting-for-football season.
We are now at the tail end of the latter, as high school football is a little more than a month away with college and pro football starting up shortly thereafter.
For those searching for that football fix, EA Sports’ annual college football bonanza “NCAA Football 11” hit store shelves Tuesday.
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If you have played games in the series before, then you know that not much changes from year to year. Each game has its own new tweaks and additions, but much of the enjoyment with each year’s version is the new, updated rosters.
The biggest aesthetic change in this year’s game is the integration of the ESPN broadcast package. Games have the ESPN graphics package and include the ESPN broadcast team of Kirk Herbstreit, Brad Nessler and Erin Andrews. The broadcast package included an in-game scores ticker, a scheduled SportsCenter radio update every 20 minutes and the ability to view on-demand streaming video from ESPN.
The ESPN integration adds a true college football feel for those accustomed to watching games on the network.
EA made the gameplay considerably smoother with new running mechanics. The “NCAA Football” series always feels like a poor man’s “Madden NFL” game when it comes to gameplay. But for the first time in a while, the college football game seems to run just as smoothly as its professional counterpart.
EA now allows more synergy with the Web and “NCAA Football 11.”
You can control your dynasty online at EA’s Web site. That means recruiting can be completely handled online for those who don’t want to spend that time staring at the console.
Another new addition to the dynasty mode is the StoryBuilder feature. The addition allows you to play journalist, writing stories for a game recap that goes along with photos and videos. In the age of social media, you can also post your game summaries on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, according to EA.
The developers included the TeamBuilder feature again this year. The option allows you to create your own school, uniforms and stadiums. Your created teams from last year’s game carry over to this year’s game.
The way annual games are constructed, rarely does the newest game in a series fall behind the previous games. This is particularly the case with the sports games. Developers usually keep what works and add new features to keep the game fresh. But this year’s version has gone further than the usual annual improvements, and EA has created its best game yet in the series.