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NCAA Football 13: The Tradition of Traditions

<LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css">The reason people flock to EA's NCAA Football series is tradition. The whole reason we love college sports is because there's a team, stadium or a rivalry anchored in our memory. Perhaps it was an annual trip to Memorial Stadium with your dad, four years spent in the stands or just a friend's passion that you found infectious, but there's something that makes us nostalgic for the 50-yard line and want to run out of the tunnel as the team we love. College football is all about emotion, and that's what NCAA Football 13 is trying to capture. Again.<br/><br/><DIV CLASS="IGNE_quote">College football is all about emotion, and that's what NCAA Football 13 is trying to capture. Again.</DIV>Frankly, the developers did <a target="_blank" href="http://ps3.ign.com/articles/118/1181529p1.html">a pretty awesome job of nailing down nostalgia last year</a>. Suddenly, teams like LSU has their tiger on the sidelines and Notre Dame really beat the hell out of that "Play like a champion" sign. ESPN was integrated into the experience from the main menu, and the games packed scorebars and instant replay wipes that made it feel like Saturday afternoon television.<br/><br/> <object id="vid_8aa85acbe2ec2d9ee75f2bbecf0f0a41" class="ign-videoplayer" width="468" height="263" data="http://oystatic.ignimgs.com/src/core/js/../swf/IGNPlayer.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="movie" value="http://oystatic.ignimgs.com/src/core/js/../swf/IGNPlayer.swf"/><param name="" value="true"/><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"/><param name="flashvars" value="url=http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/04/02/ncaa-football-13-sights-and-sounds"/><param name="wmode" value="opaque"/></object> <br/><br/><center><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/04/02/ncaa-football-13-sights-and-sounds">NCAA Football 13: Sights and Sounds</center></a><br/><br/>NCAA Football 13 keeps all of that and adds more. Rather than get caught off guard like they did last year with Oregon's constant stream of brand new jerseys, EA is working with colleges under nondisclosure agreements so that the uniforms you don't even know about yet will be in the video game. When you win a conference championship game or a big bowl game, you'll get to see your team hoist that specific trophy -- the Little Brown Jug, Paul Bunyan's axe, and the oranges in that damn bowl. <br/><br/>EA's taking what it did last year and refining it. If your team had its <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ign.com/videos/2011/07/08/ncaa-football-12-all-the-traditions">signature tradition </a>, it's probably untouched (but look for new love letters such as unique cheerleaders for USC and Texas). However, if you were overlooked last year, expect some bells and whistles -- Purdue enters with its train and Texas A&M with Reveille. There are even Battlefield 3 paratroopers (or para-mascots) for insane celebrations and a slew of FIFA heads to make create-a-player more diverse. <br/><br/>All the polish isn't getting wasted on the accoutrements, though. In-game action now features motion blur to mimic how speed looks on TV and to give you a better idea of "Holy crap, that guy's moving." Audio is also seeing an overhaul. EA went to 24 different games last season to record ambient noise and in-stadium chants so that Seminoles war chant sounds like 30,000 people rather than 30 dudes on a soundstage. <br/><br/>The most interesting thing -- although I only heard about it and didn't hear it in action -- is that there's a brand new commentary system in NCAA Football 13. Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreit are back, but this year, all of their dialogue was ad-libbed. EA gave the duo situations or themes, and the two spun out quips and lines. Supposedly, the commentators will remember stories from the game, too, so look for first-quarter decisions to be referenced in the fourth. <br/><br/><img src="http://ps3media.ign.com/ps3/image/article/122/1222148/ncaa-football-13-20120402114737091-000.jpg" /><br/>Swing the axe.<br/><br/><br/><br/>I know, I know, I know -- there's no gameplay description in this preview. Sadly, EA has embargoed those impressions for later this month. For now, you're going to have to live with knowing that the time of day now changes on a play-by-play basis so there isn't that dramatic switch between quarters and that the North Texas and Florida Atlantic stadiums were created for the game via a new pinpoint-accurate system. It's not much, but if gives you an idea of the problems the developers have looked at and addressed.<br/><br/>I'm an admitted NCAA Football fan. These changes aren't drastic, but they are interesting and intriguing. The "feel" of college football is what I love, so making the game even more like a Saturday broadcast -- even more like the memories fans have -- is exciting to me. Look for more NCAA news soon, including a Madden vs. NCAA video next week.<br/><br/><DIV CLASS="IGNE_divider"></DIV><br/><br/><i>Greg is the executive editor of IGN PlayStation, cohost of <a target="_blank" href="http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=276268070">Podcast Beyond</a> and host of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/show/upatnoon?s=1">Up at Noon</a>. Follow <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/#!/IGN">IGN on Twitter</a>, and keep track of Greg's shenanigans on <a target="_blank" href="http://people.ign.com/greggy-ign">IGN</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://twitter.com/gameovergreggy">Twitter</a>. Beyond!</i><br/><br/><br><br/><br/>&#169;2012-04-02, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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