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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I've recently been playing update September edition

Welp, it's almost September (I mean, it's the 31st of August, which is almost September.) I have not said anything about what I have been playing since July or so. SO AWAY WE GO

NCAA Football 12(XBOX 360)- This is an excellent game from Electronic Arts. Seriously. I know I don't seem like the guy who is going to spend sixty dollars on a football game in August, a full month before the season even starts, but I actually am. College Football doesn't start until later this week, but I have already played three full seasons in the Dynasty mode, and I feel like I have definitely not wasted my money on this game.

Now, one of the main complaints about this entire series of games is the fact that between two yearly editions, there is minimal change, if any at all. But honestly, there are several changes between NCAA Football 11 and NCAA Football 12. Likely, you don't believe me. So here's a list of bullet points.

-Expanded Dynasty Mode- Dynasty mode is the heart of the NCAA franchise, and the expansion from 2011 to 2012 is very big. The biggest change involves the actual progression of the job of a coach in NCAA football. In this year's dynasty mode, you can actually choose to start your job at a school at the offensive or defensive coordinator positions. This opens up a whole new level of the dynasty mode. You can go through the progression from an offensive coordinator at a school, and then keep getting better until you eventually get a job leading a traditional national power. It makes dynasty even more enjoyable, and I seriously feel like I could keep playing this game up through the fall and winter.

-Conference Realignment- If you have been paying as much attention to college football this off season as I have, you may have noticed the huge moves made by Colorado, Nebraska, BYU, and Utah this year. Since conference realignment is a popular trend currently happening in the NCAA, this game has added the ability to switch around conferences as much as you please. Hell, the game even recommends ideas like recreating the Big 8 and Southwest conference, or making a sixteen team "superconference". This idea makes dynasty mode even more enjoyable, as you can switch around conferences as much as you want, and one can change the entire landscape of football as it currently in if they want.

-Improved "Road to Glory" mode-
Last year's Road to Glory mode was an interesting one, allowing any player to create a college football player's entire career, starting from high school. It was similar to the Madden series' Superstar mode, which allowed one to play a career while controlling only one player. The idea of playing a high school football game has always been intriguing (Well, semi-intriguing to me, for what that's worth...), and NCAA 11 was one of the first football games to actively attempt to create a high school career mode. NCAA 12 expands on this part of the game with many new features. First, you have the ability to play an entire Senior season, rather than just the state championship tournament. Second, you can import teams from EA's Teambuilder into your schedule. This means that anyone who downloads fan-created versions of high school teams in your region from Teambuilder (and, after a brief search, I have seen already 6 or 7 creations of my own school's football team) can create your own school's entire schedule in Road to Glory, and play through the entire season of a football player in high school.

I likely won't do that, however, because that would be really, really depressing. I mean, I've always talked about how the old "Why play football video games when you can go out and play football with your friends" argument is nonsensical, for there is certainly a difference between playing football in your backyard with friends, and wearing a helmet and pads, and going out on Sunday to play as one of the elite athletes in America. But a High School football video game? I can actually go and try out for the football team at my school, and experience exactly what I would feel in the video game, except I might actually be accomplishing something.

Are these three reasons enough for you? If they aren't, then go do not buy NCAA 12. If you personally think they are, then I wholeheartedly recommend spending the money on it.

Donkey Kong(Game Boy)-
With the new 3DS Virtual Console, Nintendo now has an opportunity to re-release several of their old Game Boy and Game Boy Color classics. One of the first classic games to get a Virtual Console release is Donkey Kong. This version of Donkey Kong contains both the original arcade stages, as well as an expanded new mode. While the original game focused more on the control of Mario, jumping over barrels and avoiding obstacles, this new game is very puzzle based. The puzzles in Donkey Kong are excellent, for the most part. The later you go in the game, the more and more frustrating the puzzles become. Thankfully, I have only had to get online help on one of these puzzles, and they feel like the good kind of video game puzzles, such as puzzles in MYST, which give you a feeling of accomplishment after you have figured them out, rather than the asinine puzzles found in some games. I have had nothing but satisfaction from this game, and I certainly recommend spending the four dollars on the 3DS eShop.

Those two games have been the main two games that I have been playing. Of course, tomorrow, we get to download the 10 free NES games on the 3DS, and I will play all of them, and then probably review them. (Likely, I'll try to make video reviews of them.)

Until next month, thanks for reading.

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