With Fall on the horizon, it will soon be time for collegiates all over the nation to gear up for fierce gridiron combat. In NCAA Football 10 by EA Sports, fans can get into the action in style. Playing on my Playstation 3 with the Dual Shock 3 control, I was easily able to setup and start the game. Off the bat I knew this was different from previous versions as I was given a live update feed of ESPN news as I setup the game. The menu was easy to navigate and offered plenty of choices once I picked the team that I was going to assign to be my team, which was the University of Washington.

I noted there are game modes that will allow me to update the gameplay and do a full on battle to determine a national champ, and much of this will begin when the season does. I chose to go online and play a ranked match against another opponent who selected Georgia State. This proved to be a mistake as I was trounced by a person who clearly has spent a lot of time playing the various football games EA Sports offers. Thankfully the controls of the game were easy to figure out, so at least I was able to throw a few variations at him, ranging from fake kicks, bootlegs, and slants. After the match, I took part in the mini games that are included as they are a great way to practice. There is a bowling game, where you get two cracks at the end zone from roughly the 10 yard line, and whatever yardage you get counts as your pin total. Get a touchdown on the first try, strike, on the second spare. This was a lot of fun, and allowed me to get a handle on signal calling. The other mini game that I enjoyed was a HORSE game which instead used kicking where you had to pick angle and distance and force Your A.I. opponent to match.

I was amazed at the ease of kicking which is often very tricky in sports game of this type. A simple nudge of the left stick selected angle and power and a push of the right stick sent the ball soaring.
The final mini game I played was called tug of war and it allowed you one play to get as much distance as you could. Once downed, the other side took over from where you were downed, and this continued until someone ended up in the endzone. Not only was the game compelling, the action was a great way to learn strategy and fast execution.

I was able to select from a number of offensive and defensive formations as well as listen to commentary from ESPN announcer. Control of the players was easy and I loved the way I was able to slip tackles, flip, and leap to snag passes or knock them away. As happy as I was with intercepting two passes, I sadly through several of my own, mainly in the Red Zone that killed drives. There are a ton of options for plays and should you need help, ESPN’s Lee Corso is able to suggest plays for you.

The game still offered the enjoyable mascot mode where you can pit two schools against one another with each side being represented by their mascots.

The game also has several nice touches to the detail of the game down to the classic siren playing whenever I managed to get the UW team on the board.

There is also a great teambuilding mode where players can create their own team and the updated ability for the running plays to add jukes and spins has some nice touches. There is also a nice online scoring system where players earn points for sportsman ship as well.

The game supports solo and online play and allows two players to face each other online. I enjoyed the way the designers loaded up the fun factor of the game rather than forcing me to focus on so much micro management which I believe bogs down to many sports game. When I play a sports game I want fun, and action, not a lesson in frustration in dealing with blocking schemes, passing angles, and so on. If I pick the right play, and execute correctly, then I can expect to succeed.

My only issue was with the A.I as at times they failed to run the proper routes, or stood around when a player changed field and allowed long gains mainly through their inactivity. That being said, with sharp graphics and sound, and tons of details and options NCAA 10 is as close to the game as you can get without suiting up and taking the field.

Developer EA Sports