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NCAA 2014....the only saving grace? Play with people here!


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8 replies to this topic

#1
AgentMoos

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NCAA 14 is NCAA 13 with even less defense, graphics that are more colorful but remind me of say NCAA 2008 or 2009 and a few new camera angles.

 

Online (which is the only mode I fine worthwhile, including Dynasty - which is the only thing I am looking forward to on this game, online Dynasty with reputable players is the only reason to own this title) is a hot mess of laggy games, mysterious freezes and glitch-fest '14 idiocy.

 

The single best game I have played online was with afrsucks (from this site and MW league) and in that game I saw more punts than in any of the other 9 online games COMBINED. Let me summarize a random game online for you:

 

1) opening kick off is a line-drive/squib (thankfully my KR does not dive on the ground this year - yet...but have no fear, the onside kick is still ridiculously over powered and easy to recover).

 

2) call no-huddle - off incomplete passes, off any and everything, on 2nd, 3rd and 4th down...then sit at the line on defense in frustration as you cannot audible until the offense is at the line...giving them even MORE tactical advantage on the constant no-huddle....cannot even CALL a defense until they are at the line...seriously, if EA wanted to nerf the defense this badly they really should just come out with a 7-on-7 offense only game and be done with it...

 

3) Either a) watch the opponent march down the field and score before trying the 25-30% of the time onside kicks or see 4 straight incomplete passes by some fool who can't play anyway and then quits or freezes the game by pausing on a no-huddle play (it SEEMS that there is an online glitch - hopefully only day one due to shitty servers - that allows a player to call a no huddle play, then immediately pause the game and it locks up on the pause screen until someone gets pissed and quits...which for those of you who know me will immediately recognize the guy getting pissed and quitting on a freeze first is gonna be me 100 out of 100 times!)

 

4) Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Random games with random asshats has gotten exponentially worse in this game over the years, but this year is REALLY bad Defense (such that it is) is about as useless as can be once some 12-yr old asshat finds out that DBs have ZERO closing ability on the ball.

 

Zone defense is pointless as guys stand in a spot and make no effort to play the ball unless its about to hit them in the face...

 

Man is vulnerable to slants, crosses, hitches, outs and the ever present fly route, where it seems even highly rated safeties are unwilling or unable to recognize that 2-man under is supposed to be 2 DEEP SAFETIES protecting against the deep passes while giving up the underneath routes...instead, they give up EVERYTHING...deep, short, intermediate.

 

Since pass defense is ineffectual, the logic thing to do is bring the heat....which for all its flaws, NCAA '13 actually did a nice job of providing realistic overload blitzes that could get home before a QB could launch a 55-yd lob/bomb off one foot while being hit and STILL maintain accuracy. I don't advocate for glitchy nano blitzes or cheating, and maybe in day 2 or 3 I will find something that is marginally effective, but I have tried about 2 dozen different blitzes and found almost all of them to be comically inept at getting realistic pressure.

 

Sure, you could find ways to glitch the O-line eventually, but in terms of disguising coverage and sending heat from the edges or up the middle, its pointless.

 

Offensively, the running game and running back moves are nice, but they create a MASSIVE imbalance in the gameplay that skews the offense over the defense in a game that has historically favored offense to begin with...in a lot of ways, I feel like the transition from Madden NFL 2005 (BEST defense in series EVER) to 2006 (where the hit stick was nerfed, and the D was castrated).

 

The separation on WRs when they break to the outside or corner is ludicrous. CBs and Safeties routinely get torched over and over and over and the offense will also get that annoying speed cheat for the offense as well. There are very few exceptions to this unless you try to force the ball into streaks up the seam.

 

There is enough here to have fun with the guys that CHOOSE to play the way we here have always enjoyed. The games in our online Dynasty will be fun and should be enough to make the title worth owning for many of us...throw in the fact that the new systems this year will have no NCAA game at all and the decision to own this is justified for me...but I cannot recommend playing it online in other settings (which is really very little difference from say the last 6-8 years!)...

 

 

Positives:

- graphics and colors are not as ugly as they were in '13

- new moves and acceleration burst is actually fun to use

- interior running game is crazy good at times, much less Mario-running than ever before in the series...

 

- Negatives:

- online outside of friends is a complete wasteland...its like a mutated version of Madden with an added element of dickish-ness thrown in for good measure...it seems likely that I would rather quit and move on than play it out against 1 of every 3 random games - and the the 67% of games that I WOULD like to finish have about a 3 in 4 chance of ending with the other guy quitting before the end anyway...if you like constant (and I do mean CONSTANT) no-huddle offense and a high degree of repetition, then this is for you...if not, avoid it like the plague!

 

 

(Aside...I have been an old curmudgeon for years anyway, but something about NCAA's no-huddle really bugs the shit out of me...at least in Madden, if you force a guy OB or an incomplete pass, the no-huddle option is off. In NCAA, the non-stop nature of the no-huddle (combined with the 'catch' button and "no-huddle" button being overly sensitive and forcing no-huddle even in cases where you do not want it) is over the top annoying.

 

 

Why the NCAA team felt it was necessary to further hinder the defense by making them wait for the offense to line up before they can even make an adjustment is totally baffling. Offense is so advantaged in this game that it makes me sick. EA...if you guys want to shock the videogame world, PLEASE go back to the balance of Offense-Defense of Madden 2005!!!



#2
AgentMoos

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Damn....that entire post lost ALL of its formatting...there WERE spaces in it when I typed it! LOL

#3
FEDZNAKEZ

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Nice review....maybe you will haven bit more fun with it when I beat you senseless with a straight up game. Hah


I'm excited to try running e ball. Seems like they did improve that by your rant above.

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#4
AgentMoos

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No question Pat...the running game is greatly improved...in fact, that's even more of the imbalance between Offense and Defense this year.   The RB moves result in a lot more broken tackles and yards out of the run game with an already overpowered QB lead passing and bad CPU defense (just watch a LB try to cover ANY TE on the corner route without manual assistance for example)...the game is not all bad, it just lends itself to habitual abuse online and without disciplined, voluntary straight players (who will actually punt and [TRY to] play defense). 
 

Madden '13 was very similar.  The game against straight players was a blast...get into the wild and its frustrating as hell...pretty much the same story as many years.  Its just hard to separate the wheat from the chaffe until more reputable players get online.



#5
ShopJonalan34

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Problem is they try do same kind fast pace offense as in real NCAA but in NCAA we won't have enough time to set up defense against fast pace/no huddle offense. CPU would move too quickly before I finish find defense playbook.

Read option qb like sf team in pro is getting on my nerves! I bite my butt too many times with my defense against miss state and LSU. Lol but I like some new run attacks with qb, wr, fb with auburn playbook but I don't like that auburn playbook limited to wild cat, shotguns, and goalline formations. I did tried read option few times.

I hear ya Moostache. I know afrsucks is a good guy.

Sorry that I wasn't available to get game with you and you messages me when I was in offline dynasty Auburn vs LSU game earlier today.

Prehap next time I have time we will get one in. Bro.
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#6
AgentMoos

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After Day 2, my thoughts are a little more tempered, but not much...

 

The defense is still waaaaaaaaaaay too easy to exploit and the best (and most of the time ONLY) defense is a good ball control offense that keeps the clock running and limits the number of possessions per game for the opponent. 

 

Some further observations:

 

- There are in fact a couple of blitzes that bring some heat, but the key thing is that it is only if you change the alignment of the players manually - ie. set up a nano!  If the blitzes cannot be used with simple line shifts and slants, then they are useless to anyone but a cheeser or glitch-based player.  I can come up with tons of ways to fuck up the AI and get results, but to play the game without abusing the AI is the key and I cannot do that in this year's game yet.  Now, I have not used every single blitz or option in the game yet, so its possible there are blitz plays that can work without setting up a nano, but I have not found them...

 

Will update later...



#7
FEDZNAKEZ

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Ok I'm confused , you have to admit there has never been a defense before.....why is it such a problem now? Is it because the offense is that much more improved ? Throughout the years NCAA has always been geared towards offense, why is this year any different. .

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#8
AgentMoos

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Ok I'm confused , you have to admit there has never been a defense before.....why is it such a problem now? Is it because the offense is that much more improved ? Throughout the years NCAA has always been geared towards offense, why is this year any different. .

 

Well, NCAA 13 actually DID have some defense in it (at least compared to previous years, IMO).  Granted, there was still an imbalance towards the offense, but I felt like I had a chance to occasionally make a play on D in that game...

 

In NCAA 14, I relly feel that the toolbox for the offense is so vast compared to the defense that its not a fair game at times.  There is still the effects of wild momentum swings in the game (I know EA denies this up and down, but it is really in the game because if you are the road team and make a single mistake, it snowballs FAST), but the thing I have seen mostly that makes me cringe is the spotty DB and LB pass coverage from CPU controlled players.  You can "user" only one man in coverage (though you can try to move some of them into better positions with shifts and BnR coverage)....and the other 5-6 defenders in pass coverage that you are NOT controlling are dumber than ever and it seems to stand out more to me this year.

 

Maybe its also having the options for Pass Defense (Aggressive, Balanced, Conservative) taken out of the game this year that makes it seem worse as well...I don't know exactly.  I have started to find a couple more formations that get decent pass rushes without nanos, but they really depend on the opponent not making quick timing throws on a receiver's cut...if they DO make those throws, then the separation the receivers get is really pronounced this year, at times almost like training wheels or a big flashing icon that says "THROW IT HERE!!!!"

 

Then again, you are correct to say that NCAA has historically been a game that favored the offense....its just in my favorite versions of the NCAA series....NCAA 2004, NCAA 2006 and NCAA 2012....there seemed to be a better balance of offense-to-defense in the games than in other years.  It is important to point out though that the opponent's quality (or utter lack thereof in random games) makes all the difference in the world.  I played 24 games in the early release version...went 16-8 overall with 4 different "freezes" where the entire system locked up and I had to power down to get out of it...of those games I think I got about 8 versus MW-style players (Sooner, AJ, afrsucks).   Those 8 games were more fun than the other 16 by a MILE....so the game is not utterly hopeless...just a little more frustrating on defense than usual...
 



#9
ram29jackson

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I did notice over time that even though guys threw for a million yards  that once they got to the red zone it got a little harder for them and they didn't score quite so often...you have to admit, it kind of really did mimic the real game of wide open football







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