View Full Version : Madden 12 vs NCAA 12

09-23-2011, 04:48 PM
This is long winded but it's just my opinion. Feel free to post your comparisons and which one you like better.

As someone who has grown to love college football more than the pros, I havenít played Madden significantly since Madden í05. Madden í03 was the last game I truly loved with 2K4 taking the crown the following year. Then NCAA í06 then swooped in on the PS2 and I fell in love with NCAA Football. I did try Madden 10 after hating NCAA 10 but was disappointed in both for a variety of reasons. This year NCAA 12 disappointed me so I turned to Madden 12 and have been having a lot of fun. I want to contrast the differences between the games and highlight why I believe Madden is significantly better than NCAA this year.

Presentation involves the announcers as well as replays, cut scenes and everything that goes into the game production. I personally feel the Madden package is better. Both games have pre-game intros although Iíll give a slight edge to Madden here as I like the stadium flyover and intros better. Not a big deal as many will skip past this anyways. Madden does cut scenes better and unlike the past, they donít feel forced but a natural part of the action. The entire production just seems smoother and more professional than NCAA 12. After every play you get a stat whether itís the current play result (1 rush for 5 yards, 1 sack) or a game accumulation while NCAA completely ignores this area. You also get far more stat overlays in Madden while NCAA only uses 50 or 100 yard milestones to trigger this. Madden gives you plenty of replays, even while you pick your next play. NCAA does have custom stadium sounds which is a big plus but when will they let you import last yearís sounds so you donít have to go through the same tedious process every time? I will give credit to NCAA for Game Track highlights but they are so rarely seen itís not much of an improvement. And the one time it pops up in your game you accidentally skip past it as you hit X to get to the play call screen. Itís like spotting Sasquatch and your camera is turned off. How about making you hit triangle to skip the Game Track so we donít accidentally do it?

Madden also gives you four camera choices to play with although I would say all are inferior to the default NCAA camera. NCAA also has a fan favourite defensive player camera which allows you to lock onto your player in a pseudo-first person camera. Iím not a fan of it but Madden doesnít give people this option. The half time highlights in Madden need to have more highlights and less cut scenes. Maybe they feel people just skip this stuff but it can be done better.

The commentary needs to be better in both games. The NCAA team is completely stale. What used to be strength five years ago is a weakness today. Nessler does a good job but I find myself just tuning out the commentary because Iíve either heard it all before or it is uninteresting. I really miss the spark and humour Corso used to provide. Herbstreit is just boring and they need to replace him or add another person to the booth. What also hurts the action is the player likeness issue as there is no player specific commentary. Most comments are so generic they can fit almost any player. Even without the rights to player names this can be improved.

Madden has horrible audio in many ways simply because of the lousy production. It sounds like the audio team hired George Costanza to edit the stuff together and he just prettied up the file folder. The sound bites are clearly spliced together at different levels and sometimes your speaker will pop (or my ears when wearing headphones) due to an audio glitch. Gus Johnson doesnít even say the names of every player and Iím not just talking scrubs. Guys like Tim Tebow and Josh Cribbs are referred to by number only. Some of these guys are running out of the tunnel in the pre-game warm up and Gus as well as the PA guy donít know their names! Another oddity is when Gus tells me the Dolphins are a tough team on the road and just calls them the visiting team in the next sentence. Why not add team specific commentary there? I just heard it so I know you can do it!

Iím not a fan of Gus Johnson. I donít think heís a great football announcer. He gets too excited and pushes his voice too much. You get the same stuff in Madden. At least Iím aware of what he is saying although that may not be a good thing. I like Collinsworth in real life and I like him in the game. He can get repetitive as you will find yourself hearing a lot of the same things every game but I think he does a good job and is significantly better than Herbstreit who has jumped the shark. I do like the Madden commentary better than NCAA, which is like picking a winner in a beauty contest of ugly chicks.

Overall the presentation package is better in Madden. It resembles an NFL broadcast more than NCAA 12 resembles a college football broadcast.

Winner Ė Madden

I personally think this is where Madden kicks NCAAís ass. I have always felt that the players lack weight and momentum ever since we went to next gen. I think Madden does this a little better than NCAA although I would still like to see more of it or a slider to adjust it to my liking. Because of the ability of defenders to change directions so quickly the NCAA games in the past had super juke moves that allowed you to beat the defender in one on one situations. Admittedly these moves were overblown and also too easy to pull off with mediocre running backs rather than tie them more to backs with elite agility. Well NCAA 12 got rid of that for everyone. In fact, all of the special moves other than the spin move have been neutered imo. They rarely work. Even with quick RBs the right stick juke sucks. Every RB feels the same. Hole opens, run through hole, get tackled. Rinse and repeat. The r-stick juke, stiff arm and truck moves all suck. The cpu seems completely ineffective as well and rarely tries to use a move to get past defenders unless you consider running into a tackle a move. With the special moves neutered there isnít much point anyways. It leaves the running game without any personality.

Thankfully this isnít the case in Madden 12. While the juke move isnít as effective as NCAA 11 it is still effective and realistic with the right players. With a guy like Reggie Bush I can make a defender miss in the open field. I can stiff arm and truck defenders with guys like Hillis and Rice and the computer will do it too. The cpu runners are more patient in Madden and will wait for openings and cut back to open areas. They really punish you for over pursuing. The cpu isnít as good at executing with the smaller, faster backs like Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles but it is still a good improvement over NCAA 12. There are a lot of small animations and natural spins off of contact that give the running game a fun and organic feeling.

Winner Ė Madden by a large margin

I am not a good passer. I would even settle for mediocre but unfortunately Iím the video game version of David Carr in football games. I should be better but Iím not and I take a ton of sacks. I find the passing game in Madden to be a lot less frustrating for me and more realistic at the same time.

Zone defences got a huge boost in NCAA while not quite the same boost in Madden. Cpu LBs in NCAA 12 are very frustrating as they knock down quite a few balls if you try to throw over the middle. Given the fact that NCAA cpu defences seem to call zones 80% of the time these LBs become a real source of frustration. The NCAA games have always made it easier to throw to the slot receivers and TEs as DBs tend to jump curl and out routes where pick 6ís are a high risk when trying. That means the outside WRs donít get as many balls as they should. With the super LB in NCAA 12 the passing game just feels cheap, frustrating and unrealistic. The cpu passing attacks are generally good but they make no effort to throw the ball to a great receiver. Play against any of the top WRs in the game and the cpu treats them no differently than the 5th WR on the depth chart. This again leads to a massive lack of personality. Quarterbacks do scramble a lot more this year and itís a welcome change.

The super LB is really toned down in Madden compared to NCAA. You might see the occasional annoyance but nowhere near what NCAA is. Madden also makes it much easier to throw curl routes and get the ball to your outside WRs. When Iíve played with Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or any other great WR I can make an effort at getting them the ball and actually be successful. The cpu will also try to get their great players the ball more although I think it could be still be improved. What helps Madden are the player traits. You have go-to players who make clutch plays and certain WRs will be designated to drop open passes vs. guys who make the tough catch in traffic. Quarterbacks have tuck and run tendencies and you have to pay attention to a mobile QB. Other traits like consistently throwing a spiral along with many separate QB ratings that NCAA does not have add to the personality of the game keeping it fresh. One negative is that the cpu passing game really struggles on the default levels. It needs significant boosts to the sliders to make them competent.

I would still love to see a true route based passing system where I can release the ball before the break and not have the WR continue a streak pattern but actually execute a comeback route or something like that. Neither game has this but it is needed for this area to take the next step in both fun and realism.

Winner Ė Madden by a large margin

One of the things I like better in Madden is the slightly heavier weight of the players. It gives you a little more control over your player in pass coverage. Passing speeds are toned down compared to NCAA 12 and you have a greater chance at making a play on the ball. These are things I like as I generally feel useless in pass coverage in NCAA. If you like the defensive lock camera you will no doubt prefer NCAA but Iím not a fan.

One issue in Madden is the pass rush is too dominant for DTs. Run stuffing slugs that may be great against the run but shouldnít sniff the QB get pressure way too often. I donít think this is necessarily a problem with the game engine but rather the power move ratings in the game. They are WAY too high for DTs and that gives them too big of an advantage in the pass rush department over guards and centers. A guy like Paul Soliai that gets removed in pass rushing situations should not have a power move in the upper 80s. It shouldnít be in the 80s period. Maybe a tuning file (better for me since my franchise is started) or roster update could fix this. The r-stick moves on defence also seem fishy. Sometimes a bull rush or power move with a DE ends up a finesse move. You need to hit the stick just once and let the move execute! Hitting it multiple times seems to negate your moves. Once you get used to it the system can be fun even if it has flaws. My OLBs in the 3-4 do get pressure.

Overall I prefer Madden just because I feel I can be a bigger factor on pass coverage but Iíd like to see more player weight and momentum in the future for both games. NCAA needs to tone down its passing speeds as well although this may hurt the cpu QB play as it does in Madden where too many floaters get knocked down. Both games need to have better man alignment, especially Madden where you can take advantage of mismatches.

Winner Ė Madden although if you like the defensive lock camera it will be NCAA.

In the past I would have clearly given the edge to NCAA Football. Not this year. NCAA Football has a built in advantage. College football teams run a ton of different offences. They can run a conventional offence, which every team in the NFL runs a version of, or they can run a pass happy offence like SMU or Texas Tech, a spread-option offence like Oregon or Mississippi St., a run based option offence like Navy or GT. The problem is the developers at EA only seem to know how to get the pro-style offences or pass happy offences to run correctly. The cpu struggles to run a spread-option offence which is a real shame. When teams like Oregon play Auburn in the National Championship game and when Denard Robinson is the most exciting player in college football, why is this area still programmed poorly? EA canít get the cpu to replicate mobile QBs in the game and they arenít even close. Then you add in the neutered RBs of NCAA 12 and a cpu QB who makes no effort to get the playmakers the ball and all of the built in advantages disappear.

Madden took a big step forward with player traits. Guys like Aaron Rodgers throw tight spirals and take off if pressured. Some QBs may be labelled trigger happy or only stay in the pocket. Each QB has ratings for short, medium and deep accuracy as well as throwing on the run and play action. It adds a lot to the game. NCAA has none of this. When I play against certain teams I really do adjust my gameplay based on the opposing talent. Try passing against the Jets and feel that defence suffocate you. I canít say my playing style changed much in NCAA. Too many games had a generic feel to them.

Winner Ė Surprisingly Madden

NCAA has always smoked Madden in this argument. Madden has taken some nice strides in offline franchise but NCAA still wins and will probably always win. Itís just a ton of fun to build a program in NCAA Football. Recruiting is fun and with your roster turning over every four years as kids graduate each year feels new and fresh. Itís something Madden can never compete against. You simply canít add as much new talent to a roster in the pros. Unfortunately the dynasty and recruiting options were the only thing bringing me back to playing NCAA 12 until I sold it. If the gameplay is subpar, a dynasty wonít last long.

Madden has added rookies to your preseason in an expanded 75 man roster. Rookies have hidden potential along with some hidden ratings at the start of preseason. I admit to actually playing parts of each of my four preseason games and checking out the ratings of each rookie as they slowly unlocked after each cut week. This was interesting. They also added in season scouting to Madden. After week one I picked 15 draft prospects to scout. This is a nice touch but since you donít have to allocate time to this, why not let me pick more players? You only scout players 3-4 times during franchise so itís not a lot of extra work but it does add interest. Iím in the middle of my franchise so I havenít experienced the free agent bidding process which many describe as fun and unrealistic at the same time. I canít comment a whole lot more on franchise other than the menu system is horrible. NCAA lays out all the options really well including slider options, stats and other news. Madden doesnít seem to have much of anything but a bad sub menu system that isnít very informative or intuitive.

There are no weekly wrap-ups or information in Madden in franchise. NCAA isnít a lot better either. 2K5 remains the king with Bermanís wrap up show featuring fake highlights and stats. That was a ton of fun and itís hard to believe EA canít come up with something like that. Or in game saves. The thing that brings me back to Madden in franchise is the gameplay, not the extra stuff.

Winner Ė NCAA Football, still by a wide margin

Despite preferring college football over the pros and being a dedicated NCAA fan since NCAA 06, Madden 12 has won me over. Other than the addicting dynasty mode of NCAA or the better default camera, I prefer almost everything else in Madden. Madden 12 is fun to play while NCAA 12 was frustrating and stale. Itís going to take a lot of improving for me to buy NCAA 13 next year.

09-23-2011, 05:00 PM
I prefer everything that NCAA is supposed to be...but right now, Madden is better(( for obvious botched patch reasons ))))

Madden is just complete eye candy...sure, theres plenty of dumb/stupid/flaws/stuff in it, buts a good sports game.

and like i said, if you havent yet, when you play an entire game, let it finish completely and see the very end when they do the copy rights disclaimer like a real telecast LOL

but not having the NFL films music in this year is a tragedy

09-23-2011, 06:50 PM
I enjoy madden as well as NCAA.But I'm more of a college fan so I play it a lot more.

09-25-2011, 07:52 PM
I've always been more of an NCAA guy, one thing I really miss from the PS2 days in NCAA was playing online and being able to see your stats. They really broke it down, you win/loss % with EVERY team on the game, your 3rd and 4th down conversion %s, all types of stats.

I have no clue why NCAA for PS3 doesn't have this.

I was happy to see Madden 12 for PS3 does. I like that stats, I'm a stats junkie, I look at them and it gives me one more thing to do with the game. I see that I haven't played and won a game with Detroit for example so I then use them. It would be nice if NCAA brought this back.

I OU a Beatn
09-25-2011, 09:04 PM
I think they both suck immensely, Madden slightly less and only because it has more features online(way more) than NCAA does. Gameplay wise, they both leave a LOT to be desired.

09-26-2011, 05:28 AM
There are some things in Madden that I would like fixed but overall I'm very happy with it this year. As an offline player this is the best football game ever made for the PS3 imo.

09-26-2011, 09:22 AM
Madden easily for me for reasons I have already posted

09-26-2011, 06:33 PM
There are some things in Madden that I would like fixed but overall I'm very happy with it this year. As an offline player this is the best football game ever made for the PS3 imo.

Agreed. Commentary and a highlight show would put this in the running for one of the best football games ever.

09-30-2011, 07:37 AM
DPP has a huge affect on gameplay. I can face an average team with alot of players on Hot Streaks and have a great close game compared to a good team early in a season with no HS. i just faced a Jags defense full of Hot Streaks and threw 5 INTs. If I face a RB on a Hot Streak(even one just with speed or BCV), it is almost a guarenteed 100+ yard game.
Shotgun running is more successful and useful in Madden than in NCAA. Out of the 10 times that I run out of the gun, I had 3 TDs and few first downs.
If only the games had good commentary. Lack of good commentary really makes it hard for me to immerse myself in games. I feel commentary is better in NCAA.

09-30-2011, 03:52 PM
The cpu shotgun's running game is pretty crappy in Madden imo.

09-30-2011, 04:01 PM
The cpu shotgun's running game is pretty crappy in Madden imo.
I guess it was because most of the RBs I face are on Hot Streaks. They constantly break tackles.

09-30-2011, 04:16 PM
NCAA will always be my number one in this category. I just prefer everything about the college game and while Madden does many things well, most of my time will be spent playing NCAA.