It’s 2014 now, meaning that we’re two years from electing a new President, we’re probably going to see like three new iPhones hit the shelf this year, and we’re one year closer to paper being obsolete. More important than all of those, however, is that it has been five years since the last college basketball game was released. FIVE. And it has been almost seven years since the last quality college basketball game was released, but that’s beside the point. I’m tired of playing NCAA Basketball 10. I want something fresh in the world of college basketball gaming.
For the past five years, I’ve been subjected to the same routine when I get a hankering for playing college basketball:
- I have to log in to a separate Playstation account because there’s some glitch in the game where it won’t let me load any saved dynasty files after I played it for so long.
- I have to open the case and retrieve/insert the disc. Notice that the cover art for NCAA 10 is Blake Griffin, a player who has been in the pros for what is currently his fourth season.
- Honestly, I don’t know why I even bother logging in with my “college hoops account”. The servers have been off for about 3-4 years, meaning that you can no longer play online or download a current roster, something that would make this game playable. Instead, I use the latest rosters that I was able to download, meaning that the NCAA Basketball landscape is still graced with the presence of Mike Marra, Brandon Knight, Josh Harrellson, Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry, Kalin Lucas, Jarvis Varnardo, Kenneth Faried, Tyler Zeller, David Lighty, Brad Wannamaker, Talor Battle, Robbie Hummel, Omar Samhan, Dexter Pittman, Jon Leuer, Shelvin Mack, Gordon Hayward, Kemba Walker, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Jeremy Lin, etc. You get the picture. There’s only a handful of players in this game that still currently play in the NCAA, and they will be gone after this season. After that, I’ll be relishing in the good old days of a Mississippi State team that was an SEC contender.
- I start a new dynasty. When I start one, I have to save over one because for some reason, the game only allows me five dynasty saves. I go to create my coach, and there are only 8 clothing options, and 3 of those are different Hawaiian shirts, something I’m sure that nobody who ever played this game has selected for their wardrobe. Then I select what my coach looks like, and every single coach model looks like they’re over 45 years old. Not many young selections to pick from.
- Now I go to pick a school. Conference realignment has really taken away even the school selection, as even the earliest moves in conference realignment haven’t taken place because of this game’s age, i.e. Colorado and Utah to the PAC-12, etc. I settle on a small school (Elon), as I normally do when starting out, and I must say that the graphics in this game are good. The colors pop and are crisp and clear.
- I start the season and I start recruiting, perhaps one of the worst parts of this game. It’s much worse than its 2K8 counterpart, as there are no world recruits, no shot of getting any recruit who isn’t highly interested in your school, and the fact that recruiting can be over in three weeks, as they can sign whenever they want.
- Finally, I start playing a game, and I have the option of picking between an ESPN broadcast with terrible 2009 graphics and a commentating duo of Nessler/Vitale or a CBS broadcast with the 2009 graphics that I dearly miss and a great pair of Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery. I pick CBS every time. Perhaps the worst thing about this game is the gameplay itself. One of the big compliments that 2K receives is that its gameplay is fantastic and fluid. This game is nowhere near fluid. This game makes it incredibly easy to steal and hit threes, taking all of the difficulty and challenge out of the game. It’s bad that in this game, one has a better chance of hitting a contested three than a layup, as you simply press square and hope that the right animation starts, signaling that you’ve made a shot.
Yet, here I am playing this wretched game. The thing is, I’m making this cry, yet it shouldn’t have to be made. No other sports fan has to endure what college basketball fans have to endure when it comes to video games. Every year, EA and/or 2K puts out another NFL, NHL, MLB, or NBA game. They even update the wrestling and golf franchises annually! Yet, here I am playing this wretched game.
The worst part about all of this is that no matter how much I whine and complain, no new college basketball game will ever be made. 2K made the best games, but once they lost the license and made their last game in 2007, EA had the monopoly and still closed up shop because of poor sales, probably because of the product, not the popularity of the sport itself. I will continue to suffer on, and perhaps the college football fan will feel my pain in a few years when NCAA 14 is outdated since there will be no new college football games. Maybe then, and only then, will something change. Until then, I’m going to keep playing NCAA 10 on mute because I can’t stand the soundtrack that is only college drumlines. At least 2K had catchy and homemade rap tunes to keep me entertained.