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The W - Video Games - NCAA 2006
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Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 75 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
Anyone picked this up yet? The new features don't particularly impress me, but I'm curious as to whether or not gameplay is better. Also, are PS2 load times improved? 2005 is mind numbingly slow.

Thoughts/early impressions?



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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.54
I was pretty non-plussed about "Race for the Heisman" mode. It starts out cool enough...you pick a position and run a drill, the better you do you get a rating, then you are offered three scholarships or you can walk on somewhere. The sad thing is that they immediately install you as a starter, seemingly no matter what. I went to Notre Dame with a 76 as a QB and was put in as the starter over Quinn who is an 86. WTF?

You also play the entire game, offense, defense, and special teams, despite the fact that your guy plays one position. Well, I could ALREADY put myself in on a team and play the entire game, so that, to me, added ZERO.



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thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 1 day
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
PS2 load times seem a little better.

The time it takes to sim each game is a bit down, but there's still the long pause at the end while they CPU teams do their thing and they figure out which games get TV.

Saving seems a little longer.

Race for a Heisman is basically a skimmed down Dynasty, with little bonuses to try and make it worthwhile. As a player, you've got no control over the roster, recruiting, scheduling, redshirting or any other coach/AD option, so if you don't want to deal with that stuff, you're in luck.

You're automatically installed as starter, and there's no way to change the depth chart in between games, but you can make those changes when you play each game (which of course could be simmed as well).

The drills, to set up your character, I've tried haven't been that fun, though. I've been told the Scrambling (Option) QB drill is pretty good.

It remains to be seen if the extras involved are worth going thru the effort. I'm guessing no, but I'll probably try and see.

The big Dynasty addition, In Season recuriting is fun and easier than normal recruiting. You tend to get better guys than guys than in the off season (we were playing around with **/*** Tulane last night and could sign **** guys during the season, but had massive trouble getting *** out of it), and they're done some work on making all the recruitment easier to manage.

I haven't played much NCAA in the past, so just comparing notes with people who had, we found that gameplay seemed a little bit more swayed to the offense. You're more likely to hit someone, but be stonewalled and knocked down then in previous seasons. Using the Hit Stick (ported over from Madden) when the other player has the size advantage is a very bad move.

Passing seems slightly better in years past, though you'll throw many balls away before you get used to the old "pull down the ball and run" button now being the "throw the ball away." X is always sprint, no matter the situation, and while that's great, it's got a cascade effect on the other buttons which take some retraining. There's similiar problems with them moving the juke button to the R-Trigger (They do have the old controller config, if desired.)

Haven't played enough to get a feel for the Impact Player stuff, but they do seem to have a strong effect on the game.

Graphically, the players seem thinner and smaller than previous years, though that may be a zoom thing. They've added new animations, which is always nice.

I like it. It feels like a slightly bigger upgrade than normal, though I don't think it's a big enough difference for those who buy every other year to break the habit.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Sector 7 Slums

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
What, if anything, do they place the AP poll with in the BCS rankings?
thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 1 day
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
IIRC, you've got

"Coach Poll"
"Media Poll"
"Strength of Schedule"

The new replacement poll is sorta a media poll, so that works. But I think they were just working off last year's setup (and not putting in actualy names unless they get paid for it), and it just worked out okay.






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mattsledge
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Since: 10.4.02
From: Cincinnati, Ohio

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.00
FWIW, you can change the default controller settings to 2005's settings in the Settings menu. I like it better that way.

Settings. That's a funny word.



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Reverend J Shaft
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Since: 25.6.03
From: Home of The Big House

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.60
Haven't played it yet, but I picked it up yesterday (almost) purely based on the cover.



Awesome.

(edited by Reverend J Shaft on 18.7.05 0825)
Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
From: The Moon

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.87
I have to agree that the new Heisman Race isn't that big a deal. I tried it once to see how it was. Started off as an option QB and as my drill I had to run an option. You got about 10 reps or so and it was so extremely easy that I Didn't score a touchdwon on only 2 reps. I had my choice between the #2, 3, and 6 ranked teams in the nation and was immediately the starter. So it wasn't all that difficult and will probably never play it again.

I do think there is a change in the defense's AI though. The defense seems to be tougher, although I'm sure with some practice you'll learn how to beat it eventually. Also I remember in the last NCAA game that the defense would deflect or knock down passes, but would often not catch the ball when it should've been an easier interception, they definitely fixed that as I have had a ton more passes intercepted as usual.

Also I guess I should mention that they no longer play team's fight songs as the music but went the Madden route of playing actual music. I was never a big fan of the fight songs but I think the song selections are pretty bad.

It's still a great game because all the NCAA games are, but if you have the last one you don't necessarily need to get this one too unless you just really want the updated rosters.



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Doc_whiskey
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Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
    Originally posted by Quezzy
    br>
    Also I guess I should mention that they no longer play team's fight songs as the music but went the Madden route of playing actual music. I was never a big fan of the fight songs but I think the song selections are pretty bad.

    .


You can actually switch that back to the fight songs in the set up menu.

I enjoy the game, though I am having one helluva time stopping the computer from passing on me. The Heisman mode is OK, but I would rathar play the classic game scenarios like in years past instead (those are no longer there).



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mattsledge
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Since: 10.4.02
From: Cincinnati, Ohio

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.00
    Originally posted by Quezzy
    ... but I think the song selections are pretty bad.

Personally, I thought the tunes were pretty good.

But then, a lot of it isn't 'mainstream' stuff.



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Alpha Dog
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Since: 10.2.03

Since last post: 1804 days
Last activity: 55 min.
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.74
    Originally posted by mattsledge
    Personally, I thought the tunes were pretty good.


Oh, I don't know, I could listen to that De La Soul song all day. "De La Soul is from the soul" indeed. But like any true college fan, I have switched back to the fight songs.

Anyways, this is the only game that I buy, and is the sole reason I even own a videogame system (although I will buy Madden once every few years). I love this game with a love that is irrational. I usually take the following two days after it comes out off work (I feel so dirty admitting that).

That said, many of the additions in this year's game are not really anything special. The Heisman Race seems a little half-baked, and I have given up on it for now, as I'd rather play the real game than waste time with the sideshow. The option QB training camp drill is a lot of fun, though.

My favorite new feature is the In-Season recruiting, which has added some nice depth to the Dynasty mode. Some added incentive for big conference games when you have recruits on their official visits, ratcheting up the pressure for those games. When this feature gets fleshed out better (remember recruiting when the Dynasty mode first started?), this is going to add a lot of depth. Potentially, this feature could eventually become a fascinating "game within the game" bonanza, with the coach's time allocation between recruiting, game-planning, time spent on the practice fields coaching fundamentals, meeting with boosters, etc. This leads to an eventual possibility of the coach delegating some of this to assistants, and then with larger staffs for more successful schools, and with larger staffs comes the bigger possibility of improprieties of the assistants, keeping boosters under control, the mind boggles at the depth they could create here.

I'm not totally sold on all the changes with the post-season recruiting, but the allocation of resources rather than merely allocating points intuitively makes more sense - there is no way in reality to "split the difference" between phone calls from coaches and visits, it must be one or the other. I like the expanded pitches though, inclusive of academics. I haven't played it yet to see if it gives the Dukes and the Stanfords of the world an advantage or a disadvantage, but realism there would be another point forward.

The new pre-game spiel is different, but does not make much sense. It is worth the suspension of disbelief to see Corso with the goofy mascot heads; if that doesn't make you smile, then you've forgotten what fun means.

The gameplay remains mostly the same, with a few minor changes. The game's run defense has gotten tougher at higher levels; I have noticed the linebackers and safeties are quicker at cutting off rush lanes and bouncing the ball outside, which is a tremendous plus. The AI on the option (the bread and butter of the game) has gotten better on both sides of the ball; offensively, the run lanes become clearer and all three options of the triple option have keys that can be read to maximize effectiveness, but not overwhelmingly so. In the game, much like real life, defensive speed can contain and stifle the option game.

A few of the plays have been improved, most notably the "Option Choice" play, which is now a staple in the new spread offenses of today's game, and NCAA 2K6 reflects it accordingly. The screen pass, while still not perfect, is not unusable like it has been the past few seasons (when they dialed it down after the way it was unstoppable all the way back in the 98 game or so).

The best improvement to the gameplay is in the kickoff return game, where wedges actually form in front of the returner, just like reality. Reading blocks, hitting the right spot to accelerate or cut back or to the sideline, all of this is now in the game, whereas in the past it has been all "race to the sideline" and defenders easily shot gaps in the returning blocking scheme.

I don't know if the learning curve is just sharper than it has been in the past, but Heisman level is extremely difficult to move the ball, especially through the air. The routes seem to have a nice balance this year, which is a nice step up from the salad days of "all out-routes and flag-routes, all the time" from 2K3.

Suffice to say, I am rather passionate about this game, and 2K6 carries on the tradition.



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mountinman44
Sujuk








Since: 8.5.02
From: San Diego, CA

Since last post: 1219 days
Last activity: 1066 days
Y!:
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.98
I'm with Alpha Dog. I've bought every single version of this game since 2000, and I can't get enough of it. I haven't even bothered with buying Madden in three years because I've found NCAA to be such a superior game.



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