Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NCAA 09 -- Sliders Are Needed

And how.

I am in no position to say whether or not NCAA 09 is going to suck or end up being great but out of the box this game needs a lot of tweaks.

It's weird because I can see how this could be pretty good. The game flow and spacing when compared to CH2K8 is actually quite good. You see OPEN shots, which is what college hoops is all about and you rarely see that in CH2k8.

Problem is, there's a TON of pass interceptions, player ratings and rosters are terrible, and teams shoot 70% from the floor.

I created Dallas Lauderdale and made him the defensive stopper that he is. High blocks, high D ratings, etc.

Well the "center" for Delaware State just schooled me to the tune of 26 points and was hitting reverse under hand flips, 12 foot fade aways, baby hooks , you name it. Good luck stopping the AI on the block one on one.

Graphics and animation is very average. The animations are herky-jerky but the pace feels so good that I am willing to give it a fair shake by tweaking some settings. Too many shots go in plain and simple.


Jeff said...

Bill, you've pretty much summed up my impressions after playing this weekend. I'm not sure the game is worth $60 at this point (largely given that CH2k8 still plays a good brand of basketball), but with some slider tweaks, it was showing some promise.

The BIGGEST change to make, IMO, is to reduce the speed slider by about 10 clicks from the default. Then, you can really see the animations, player interactions, and off the ball movement start to shine. At regular speed, it often seems like frames are skipping as players frenetically chase one another around the court. I reduced the shooting sliders for me and the CPU by about 20 clicks or so and dropped layups by at least 10 points. I also increased shot blocking and increased "change shot probability" by about 15-20 clicks.

After making these minor tweaks and using the overhead camera, I was able to see some pretty realistic, fun games on AA difficulty.

I didn't scratch the surface of Dynasty mode or the sim engine at all, so I'm curious as to what you'll find there. If it's anything like NCAA Football 09, there might be some issues there.

Jeff said...

Forgot to mention - obviously, I also reduced interceptions and steals by about half and increased all fouls by about +10 clicks. The CPU will throw the ball away wayyy to frequently if you leave the sliders at default, even if you don't press at all and play a pretty vanilla defense.