NCAA Football 13 is, by most measures, a somewhat iterative release building on last year's substantial overhaul of this dependable franchise. This isn't criticism -- in fact, the game feels more realistic and demands more strategy than ever -- but it might be a little underwhelming to those who purchase the game year after year. The biggest functional change in the game is the passing and receiving mechanism, which requires a much more considered hand than ever before. The days of having a go-to unbeatable play (mine was a split/tight end slant pass play that worked much more often than it should) are probably over, as receivers and pass defenders now have awareness of the ball conditional with their actually turning their heads to be ready for it. It's a simple change, but it dramatically alters the rhythms of the game and makes throwing off-balance while on-the-run a much more dangerous option. There are tons of new receiving and pitching animations and the addition of automatic quarterback dropbacks to liven things up as well. Small graphics glitches -- including some seen in years past -- pop up, but usually just in cutscenes. For the most part, the on-field action looks phenomenally realistic with smooth tackling animations and only the occasional "Mario running" problems with running backs. Playcalling AI is mostly solid, though the computer isn't always as adept at clock management as a human would be, and invariably will make the occasional head-scratching call. The always fun Road to Glory RPG-style mode which lets you work your way from college to pros, has added a Matrix-style Reaction Time function that lets you slow down the action during big plays. The new Heisman Mode lets players add former winners, including Doug Flutie, Herschel Walker and Barry Sanders (with more via preorder and demo DLC), to existing teams as well as Road to Glory. NCAA 13 is a huge, well-tuned package with a ton of content here that college football fans are likely to enjoy for months to come, even if the overall effec
2 of 5Tengen
A Collection To Envy
Ever wonder what your game collection is worth? A 32-yeard-old man from France found out when he put a massive 7,000 game collection on eBay. The winning auction bid, from an unidentified person, came in at a whopping $1,230,699.99. However, this was no ordinary collection: it featured more than 20 complete sets of games for systems including all Nintendo consoles from the NES (R.B.I. Baseball for NES pictured) to GameCube, as well as all NEC and Sega console titles. Many of the games were factory sealed and all had boxes and manuals. Payment is still pending on the transaction.
3 of 5Microsoft
Live Action Halo
Good news for Halo fans waiting for the November 6 launch of Halo 4 on the Xbox 360. Microsoft and developer 343 Studios are rolling out a live-action series to whet your whistle. The first installment of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will air on Machinima's YouTube channel on October 5. The five episode series details the origins of the human-Covenant war and serves as background story for the events of Halo 4. An extended 90-minute version of the series will be available with the Halo 4 limited edition and through some on-demand services. View the Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn trailer here.
4 of 5Activision
The Amazing Spider-Man
It's perhaps unfair that every superhero game released from here on out has to be compared to the two recent Batman games, which were both at the top of their genre. On the other hand, when a game like The Amazing Spider-Man borrows from the Arkham Asylum legacy so often, it's impossible not to make the comparison. This latest Spider-Man game borrows elements that have become familiar to every recent Spider-Man game -- in particular the more-or-less open world Web-swinging -- and marries it with a very Arkham-esque fighting engine. The story picks up a soon after the events of the recent movie (yes, there are spoilers; no, none of them are actually surprising) and expands the Spider-Man universe to include numerous other modernized Spider-Man villains. Unfortunately, most of the combat takes place indoors, where camera issues are at their worst, but the gameplay is forgiving enough that players will rarely feel particularly overwhelmed. The graphics are acceptable, though animation transitions during fights are much less fluid than in Batman. There's an absurd number of collectables, but only the most dedicated will be motivated to search for them. For Spider-Man fans, particularly those who enjoyed the movie, the game is probably an enjoyable playthrough, though there's very little that stands out about it. Score: 6 out of 10
5 of 5Activision
Call of Duty Headed To China
Activision isn't standing pat on the strong domestic sales of its' popular third-person shooter. The company has unveiled plans to export Call of Duty to China, where it hopes to expand its international footprint later this year. Unlike the market in the United States, where consumers are used to dropping $60 on games, in China there's isn't a large installed base of consoles. Instead, Activision is targeting audiences at Internet Cafés by making Call of Duty free-to-play and online only. The game will feature a different storyline designed to appeal to Chinese consumers. Activision will look to profit by offering in-game purchases -- which have proven successful in China -- potentially for additional content like weapons, maps and gear.
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