And maybe it was just in my head, but game momentum seems more tangible in "NCAA 14" than it's been in past versions. When I got on a roll with the Mountaineers, everything would seemingly go my way -- whether it was completing a pass in tight coverage or intercepting a pass. And when the momentum shifted, I could feel it, as the AI would easily reel off big play after big play. As a result, most of my games were either tightly contested with multiple momentum swings or blowouts where one team was never able to get on track.
College football is as much about pageantry as it is pigskin, and "NCAA 14" does its best to capture the emotion of the games. New crowd audio adds several school-specific chants -- even if the Miami Heat has forever ruined "Seven Nation Army" for me. New cutscenes and pre-game vignettes showcase players and teams in fresh ways. The commentary of Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreit is still lacking, but the halftime show featuring Chris Fowler and David Pollack is a
welcome addition. The new menus and interface not only make navigating through "NCAA 14" easier, but they look better, too.
I believe that "NCAA 14" is an outstanding game. But reviewing a sports title is never easy, because no two players are likely to approach the game the same way. Something that I don't consider a flaw may drive you up the wall. Beauty -- and game-killing bugs -- is often in the eye of the beholder. I bring this up not to imply that there's anything wrong with "NCAA 14" --there's nothing wrong as far as I'm concerned -- but rather to offer a piece of advice. Don't let reviews -- this or any other -- be the sole determining factor in whether you purchase "NCAA 14" (or any game, for that matter.) Take advantage of EA's Season Ticket program, try the game for yourself and decide if its worth your hard-earned $60.
I'm now going to get down from my soapbox and get back to loving "NCAA 14." There's a five-star receiver from Florida that's just begging to wear the Old Gold and Blue next season.
"NCAA Football 14"
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Available for: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 ($59.99)
Rating: E for everyone
Reach Jeff Rider at 304-348-5122 or jri...@wvgazette.com or follow him at