- Publisher: EA
- Developer: EA Tiburon
- Also On: PS3
- ESRB Rating: “E” For Everyone
- Genre: Football
- Pros: More challenging; Season Showdown; nice presentation; plenty of modes
- Cons: Getting facemask penalties 4 plays in a row; questionable A.I.
The features list is pretty much what you would expect. Play Now, Dynasty, Road to Glory (replaces Campus Legend from previous games), and online gameplay modes are all present and accounted for and work just like they did last year. Road to Glory has been polished up with nice presentation including a video highlight show hosted by ESPN’s Erin Andrews, but still suffers from Campus Legend drawbacks such as QB is the only really fun position and the playcalling (you are just a player and have to do what coach says) is pretty darn terrible. On the online front, you can play in online dynasty mode with up to 12 people, and even use custom teams created with the nifty new teambuilder feature.
Our favorite new feature is the Season Showdown. In Season Showdown, you pick a school (it is a permanent choice, so think carefully) and then you earn points based on how you play the game. These points contribute to an overall score and ranking for your school that people all over the country are contributing to. By using the right strategies, playing well, and playing fair, you earn more points. It is utterly meaningless for anything other than bragging rights (and we University of Idaho alums will take any victories we can get over Boise State …), but it is a fun and very addictive mode that is a welcome addition.
There is also an issue with the A.I. of your offensive players. I mostly only noticed this in Road to Glory mode (where you only play at one position and can’t switch players), but they pop up occasionally in normal gameplay as well. Frankly, they don’t always do what they are supposed to. First off, the lineman don’t always block correctly, but your A.I. HB (if you are the QB in Road to Glory, for example) only hits the right hole maybe once in five tries. Also, the A.I.’s route running is just plain off. You’ll be standing there as QB waiting for them to finish their route, but they’ll get halfway to where they’re supposed to be and stop and not move again. It could just be the effect of the unpredictable nature of college football and the players’ lack of experience, but it seems to happen way too consistently for that to be a realistic excuse. These things don’t happen all the time, but often enough that it seems like a problem and not a design choice.
The graphics are pretty darn nice overall. The stadiums look good and the real time lighting and weather changes really make a big difference as they change the way everything looks through the course of a game. The player models are nice and the animation is silky smooth and well done.
The sound is on par with the last few NCAA Football games. The same college fight song music. The same sound effects. And the same commentary from Corso, Herbstreit, and Nessler. Not bad, just not spectacular, either.
Overall, NCAA Football 10 is the most well-rounded game of college football on the Xbox 360. It plays pretty darn well, and even though we do have some complaints here and there, it is still crazy fun and well put together and the improved defense along with the awesome gameday atmosphere more than make up for some occasional A.I. and penalty issues. There are plenty of modes both online and off to keep you busy, and the Season Showdown is such an incredibly addictive addition it should be illegal. If you have an ounce of school spirit, Season Showdown will own your soul. NCAA Football 10 is just plain fun and is highly recommended.