First Impressions of NCAA 12

With NCAA 12 being on the market for just over a week now, I figure it's a good time to analyze the game.  The loyalist that I am, I only play with Purdue.  This article will be heavily based around my impressions of Purdue, and might have some tips on how to play well with the Boilers.

Out of the last three games, I have NCAA 12 rated best.  It has a more realistic feel than 11 did, and the graphics overwhelm 10.   I actually like being able to return kicks past the 15 yard-line with a chance to break a big one.  In 11, you were lucky if you made it to the 20.  The injuries also seemed to be toned down.  In 11, injuries were way too common, especially to stars.  It seems to have dissipated in 12, but that could have been a couple game fluke.  Anyways, let's get into some Purdue review.

I play the majority of my games against friends, so my style of play will seem a bit weird.  In the first game, I was able to knock of South Carolina.  A somewhat difficult challenge, this game allowed me to get a feel for the good and the bad.

Good:

Antavian Edison:  In just the third play from scrimmage, Edison scored on a 78 yard catch and run.  He isn't the faster player on the game, but he does have good hands.  Much better than OJ Ross or Gary Bush, who seem to have the dropsies.  Although he got hurt early, he still put up big numbers.  He should be your number one target.

Logan Link:  For me, Link was all over the field.  He notched 12 tackles and had numerous big stops.  He's extremely fast on the game and covers a lot of ground.  I like to control the middle linebacker, and Link was able to cover for me if I guessed on a run play.  Expect to see him around the ball a ton if you play.

Carson Wiggs:  Every kickoff was a touchback, and he nailed the game-winning 49 yarder for me.  His leg strength should be higher on the game, but he was consistent with getting the ball to the endzone.  A lot of this depends on the person controlling the game, but Carson will do big things for you in close games.

Team Speed:  This team is FAST.  F-A-S-T.  There were numerous times were the defense saved me by chasing down a breakaway running back.  The CPU will be able to cover a lot of your mistakes on defense with the speed.  This allows you to gamble for user picks, which is one of my favorite things to do.

Bad:

Justin Siller:  For whatever reason, Siller just doesn't make a good receiver on the game (at least when I played).  His route running wasn't very good, and it allowed for a couple of big INTs.  His hands weren't as bad as Ross or Bush, but he still struggled.  My receiver play made Robert Marve look bad for a couple of quarters.

Blocking:  My guess has this as an anomaly, but the blocking was poor for me in multiple games.  Ralph Bolden really struggled to get going, as there was no room in the middle on the edges.  I'm sure others found success, but I didn't.

Playbook:  I wasn't really a fan of the playbook either.  This might be because the actual playbook isn't real fun, but I struggled to find a bunch of plays that worked.  There wasn't a lot of variety, but more games played should help in that department.

Overall, I enjoy this game.  If you play with Purdue, stick to the base 4-3 or nickel packages.   Cover 3 Press, and any zone blitz call will work wonders for your defense.  Even with the bad rating, Kawaan Short disrupts a lot of plays and the linebacking trio covers good ground.  On offense, work with the quick routes.  Slants and flood patterns work well with the players Purdue has.  One play I found to be quite awesome involves the running back running a fly pattern.  When I used it, Bolden was hurt.  That meant the immortal Al-Tarek McBurse was the back and he actually hauled in a 60 yard pass.

If you are the fence about buying NCAA 12, do it.  It's a perfect way to kill time, and it's fun for any sport fan.  It might be a struggle to play with Purdue, but good strategy can overcome most talent deficits.  If this article has good reception, I plan on doing more articles breaking down more aspects of the Purdue team on the game.  Thanks for reading.

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