So my favorite video game came out a week or two ago, and even though it drives me crazy at times, I still keep coming back to it. I, the abused girlfriend, thinking that the game, my abusive boyfriend, will someday change its ways, it nevertheless keeps beating me senseless.
Anyway, my quick rundown of the good and the bad:
-Running the ball seems better this time. They are supposedly using some new graphics thing that doesn't initiate a tackle until two players actually touch each other, as opposed to have a certain tackle graphic automatically happen once the players are close, and it has made a difference. The running and tackling physics do seem better. There are still issues though, like doing a spin move that causes you to go backwards five yards and or point your momentum the wrong direction, but still, it's better.
-It's now possible to actually hit a deep receiver in stride sometimes, which is great. Every once in a while you'll actually throw a deep ball to a receiver who has a step on his man and glory, glory, hallelujah he will catch it without slowing down. Also some of the catching animations are pretty cool. Jeff Fuller for Texas A&M sometimes looks insanely realistic as he fights for and catches a pass over the middle.
-Customizable playbooks and conferences are included. I like the playbook feature. I've always enjoyed trying to find the perfect combination of plays and formations, and now you can control that 100%. And if you're a college fan who always has ideas about how each conference should look, you can now mix them up as much as you want.
-This has been an issue for years, but the magical jumping linebackers and psychic safeties are still a major problem. Almost so much so that it makes me not want to play the dumb game. You can throw to a wide open receiver 30 yards down the field, and a linebacker halfway between you will jump 5 feet in the air and deflect it. And this happens numerous times per game. If the linebacker doesn't get you, you're still not safe because even if you've made the right read and found the open receiver, the nearest safety on defense may decide to magically speed burst his way over, around, or even right through you to deflect or intercept the pass. Again, a major problem and almost annoying enough to just throw the game in the trash, and I'm a patient guy.
-Another problem in the passing game is the fact that your QB takes so long to wind up when he is throwing that he ends up getting sacked way too much. He gets sacked in completely unrealistic situations, situations where you "threw" the ball when the defender was still five yards away from you... except that your quarterback hasn't thrown the ball and instead is doing an exaggerated Nolan Ryan pitcher's windup which gets him sacked.
-Fatigue is still really, really stupid. They'll have your quarterback get so fatigued that he has to leave the game if you happen to scramble a few times on one drive. Riiiight, because these guys are so unathletic, they can't play football for 5 minutes without needing a break. The fatigue aspect of this game needs to be completely re-done so that it basically never shows up until the fourth quarter. Cumulative fatigue, in other words. No college athlete would be tired in the first quarter.
There are other good and bad aspects, but those are the big ones for me. Otherwise, the game is basically identical to what it's been in the past several years, just with new player ratings and the addition of some new traditions for basically every team in America besides Texas A&M. And trust me, I could go on for a long time about that one, but I better not get started...