College football fans and sports video game enthusiasts can now get the latest edition of EA Sports' college football series, NCAA Football 13. I have played it on my Xbox 360, and I consider it an excellent football game.
NCAA Football 13 is available for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. It became available on July 10 and retails for $59.99. Fans who do not want to wait may find a free downloadable demo version for their consoles. See download instructions here. The demo will serve as a great game trial or provide a fix while awaiting the opportunity to purchase the full game.
Learning the controls is easy. The indicated button selects the play. I found out quickly that choosing the wrong defensive play will lead to an opponent's big gain or touchdown, but choosing wisely can lead to a big defensive play such as a sack or an interception. Choose from either the formation type or play type lists. I like the play type the best because I know when I want to run or pass, but I may not always know how. I also like the Ask Coach feature for suggestions for choosing either offensive or defensive plays.
The game allows for setting the controls to automatic passing and running. In this case, once the ball is snapped, the computer will run the play automatically until a button is pressed. This setting gives me a chance to see how each play works before trying it myself.
The computer gives no mercy. Timing is crucial to complete the pass, and the wide open receivers may drop the ball with no apparent reason. In addition, if the quarterback throws off his back foot or while running, he may not make the most accurate throw. Although these instances can frustrate me when they happen, they make the game much more challenging and realistic.
Graphics and sounds
I like realistic-looking graphics, and NCAA 13 fulfills my requirement. The fields and stadiums look very sharp, and the close-ups of the players show their facial expressions with very nice detail. Mascots show off their moves, and opposing players may stare each other down after big plays and even bigger hits.
Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler call the play by play and commentary. Rece Davis breaks in periodically with score updates of the biggest matches from around the NCAA. Erin Andrews provides occasional sideline reports. The announcing sounds natural and conversational, giving the game the sound of authenticity similar to a regular television broadcast, right up to the winning team's fight song as the final gun sounds.
Heisman Challenge and other features
NCAA Football 13 includes a Heisman Challenge. In this mode, players can insert former Heisman Trophy winners into their favorite team's lineup. Players may choose from such stars as Marcus Allen, Doug Flutie, Desmond Howard, Tim Tebow, and many more and try to get them to win the Heisman again. Other features include Dynasty mode and Road to Glory. These let players use scouting reports to prepare for games and try their hand at recruiting.
NCAA Football 13 is an excellent football game for either casual or more-serious college football fans. It is challenging but lots of fun. I give it 4.5 footballs out of five. I look forward to the next great EA Sports video game.
EA Sports, NCAA Football 13, easports.com.
Raymond grew up in the days of Atari and watched the progression of home video game consoles. He has played sports games on most consoles and personal computers as they became available. He now owns multiple game systems and enjoys most professional sports games. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau
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