Message boards and forums are livid at EA and NCAA Football 09, whose problems apparently go well beyond EA Locker corrupting the roster files. AOL Fanhouse went through the boards and made a full accounting, and it's grim.

• Sliders are borked. The CPU sliders do nothing. Human sliders affect both CPU and human. Level playing field!

• Online dynasty mode is borked. It sometimes simulates games that have been played by humans.

• Super-sim is borked: Using it to fast-forward through a blowout can add many more plays than would actually happen in the football game, and produce extremely lopsided final scores.

• Kick returns are borked.

• The new player speed model is causing huge problems with pursuit angles by CPU-controlled players.

I have the game but I have not played it intensively enough to discover these issues. But if these issues are on the level and, worse, if some gameplay mechanics are not patchable, then it's an almost unforgivable shame. Especially regarding sliders - how can something like that get through QA? How can the super-sim glitch go unnoticed?


And that's to say nothing of the rosters fiasco, for which EA says a patch is coming soon. The roster editing community is equal parts anxious and furious. Two for-profit sellers have put out files that they say are workable, but there is a good chance EA's patch could invalidate any file that predates it, screwing both the sellers and anyone who bought it.

While not Madden, I've always felt NCAA Football was in many ways a better game, because of the deeper catalog of teams and the richer offseason activity of recruiting. But on the next-gen titles it's been a wipeout, starting with versions that had fewer features than the Xbox and PS2 versions, and today still have nowhere near the level of cinematic detail that made it such an immersive game. Following that with a game that has this many bugs is, for devotees of the series, frustrating to no end.


NCAA 09 Plagued with Bugs [AOL Fanhouse]