Rented NCAA07 last night and played a bit. Bottom line: Yay, updated rosters.
* Onside kickoff interface is finally different than the regular kickoff. Congrats, EA. Got that one on the nose.
* Better skills test to determine how good your "Race for the Heisman" virtual self will be (though I believe the name for RftH has changed). The reception drill and kick return drills were very good.
* GPA added to replacement to "Race for the Heisman".
What's a GPA doing in a video game? This year you pick a major, can visit with a tutor, and have to prepare for midterms. There are "easy" majors, like NCAA mascots, "medium", and "hard" ones, like English, apparently. The difficult questions so far have been ones like, "Which sentence uses assonance?" (really not a horrible question for high schoolers) and...
Which author wrote in the "Roaring 20s"?
B. Walt Whitman
C. F. Scott Fitzgerald
D. Edgar Allen Poe
Um, whew. Close one. Nearly picked Plato.
Regardless, putting the "student" back into "student athelete", even virtual ones, is appreciated by this player.
* What happened to my EA Sports Bio? This many years into playing on the same system (ie, PS2) , you'd think they'd continue to capitalize on my extended patronige. Why? I want them to be able to pull a few things from there, like my favorite teams, my approximate chosen appearance for my avatar, and, most of all, what level of game I need for it to stay challenging. By this time, I should be jumping into the game without having to track down "Classic controller setup", "All-Star" skill level, my name's Dudey Dude, etc. This should be part of an online feature with next gen.
And even if they don't grab these values from Bio, the game should figure out from my performance at the opening skills test that I've played before. Up the level, please.
* Instructions for the 40 yard dash weren't real clear. The pause before "Ready" much less "Ready. [crickets] Set..." was much too long. I figured I was supposed to start running. Fault!
* Absolute speed still kills absolutely. My Dudey Dude got a fair number of points to allocate to his stats from the RftH skills tests, and I immediately sunk as many as I needed for a Speed of 99. Dudey's Acceleration is 62, by the way, so he gathers speed like a train, not a Yamaha. My first game, Dudey has 527 all-purpose yards and 11 TDs, and that was just over half the points. Sure, the opponent was creampuff, but give me a break. See also my complaint about the underuse of the Bio.
* Same money plays. Options, for example, still kill easily with enough speed. And once you option a few times, well, play-action your way to another TD. (First game won 115-0. See above complaint. See Bio complaint about skill level selection.)
* I don't know why, but I've been returning kicks for TD like mad with the new kick return camera angle.
That's enough for now. Many new bits are a wash. The "3rd person view" on kicks has yet to pay off, but it's a neat angle. Use for D-line selections too, please, EA! New kicking setup (aside from onsides) is a wash. The "unique playbook" for each school is nice, but not a real big improvement. I wish they'd do with playbooks what they do for RftH and either test or ask me what kind of coach I am, and adjust plays accordingly if I don't wish to use the default.
Not a bad update, but simply that so far.