A Tale of Two Football Games<ADMINNICENAME>

Posted on July 23rd, 2007 in Gaming, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Opinion by

Last week, two high-profile football titles were released: the latest iteration of NCAA Football, by EA Sports, and the new All-Pro Football - an unlicensed game with over 200 former NFL greats - by 2K Sports.

We’ve been playing both titles since the day they came out, and after untold hours on the couch, we decided to pull ourselves away from the TV and talk about them. Feel free to pull up a chair.

***

Shawn Drotar: Let’s talk about NCAA Football 08 and All-Pro Football 2K8. After too many late nights with it already, I think that NCAA 08 is probably the best in the series at this point; it’s faster, more responsive, and much deeper than it’s predecessors. That said, the play-calling screens are odd - not necessarily bad, just odd - there are still stutters throughout the game, the defenders still have a sixth sense for the ball, and players still walk right through one another. Some people have had severe problems with online play. In my experience, the play has been fine, with the exception of some “kicking lag”, which is a bear.

Mark Fossen: The kicking lag is certainly a beast, and one I can’t seem to puzzle out. Otherwise, the online lag seems minimal. I suppose if you have to short-change one area of the game, kickers are a fair target. I agree on your overall assessment, though: this is the best NCAA yet, and is one of the best football experiences to grace a console. I say “experiences”, because the on-the-field play is just one part of a huge platter that’s being brought to the table.

Shawn Drotar: Recruiting in NCAA is just short of amazing. The “phone call” system, which forces you to constantly stay on top of your prospects - not to pester them, but to learn about them, is clever - I found one prospect’s biggest preference right away, invited him for a campus visit, and then realized that I had to plan events for him on the trip - but I knew nothing else about him. I had to guess, guessed wrong, and lost a prospect that I would have otherwise landed had I been more careful. It’s really a game within a game. Text-sim guys could have a blast here without ever setting foot on the field.

Mark Fossen: Though we’ve seen this type of sports/RPG gameplay before, this seems its natural extension. It is truly an immersive experience all the way through… unlike another football title that shipped last week.

Shawn Drotar: Yes, on to that. All-Pro Football 2K8 is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s not god-awful, but it’s certainly not great. The game’s graphics are far below 2K’s high standards, and the gameplay is straight out of 2004. That’s not all that bad in and of itself, but the game feels like warmed-over table scraps. As a person who thought that pro football gaming reached it’s zenith with NFL 2K5, APF 2K8 has me feeling empty inside.

Mark Fossen: If I can borrow a term from manga and comics… it’s “Fan Service”. 2K Sports realized they had a hardcore element that was pining for a new installment of the game, and that had turned it into a holy mission. They slopped out something to appease that limited audience, without much thought for how it plays in a wider scheme. For Pete’s sake… there’s not even any menu music when you boot the game! Like the intro movies, it’s not a make-or-break element, but if you want me to take you seriously, you need to at least try to deliver a full experience outside the core gameplay - especially if you want me to take you $60 worth of seriously. This game screams “budget title” from it’s every pore, and my reaction might be different if it admitted what it was: an incomplete game designed to test the waters.

Shawn Drotar: I think that’s the biggest part of it. APF 2K8 isn’t a game that should be avoided, per se, but it should be avoided at $60. Now, if 2K Sports wanted to publish it for $20-$30, I think it may have been much better received, but honestly, while playing it, I couldn’t help but think that it seemed more like an Xbox Live Arcade title - a bite-sized gaming snack.

Mark Fossen: I will say this though: I do love their football. Once I get on the field, my concerns trickle away because it just plays some incredible pigskin. It still feels the more responsive and immediate of the two titles, the one where I am in control.

Shawn Drotar: That’s interesting, because I haven’t felt that way. Perhaps too much time has passed, or perhaps EA Sports has caught up to them, but I don’t feel like what’s happening on the field is happening naturally in APF. That’s a difficult statement to quantify, but let me try… There’s an ebb and flow in NCAA 08; on one play, the D-lineman may get pancaked by the O-line, but in the next play, he may slip through, or he may get tangled up and clog the middle. There’s an inconsistency from play to play that makes the game seem more human. APF, in contrast, feels more cold, more by-the-numbers, and therefore less alive, if that makes sense. There’s a chess match in APF, with moves and counter-moves, and that’s a credit to the AI. But a game of NCAA seems more vital because even the best players make mistakes. In real football, there’s two stages to the game: planning and execution. In APF, both are rock-solid, but in NCAA, the execution can be lacking at times, which means you could do everything right and still lose - or have a bad game and still win. That realistic unpredictability keeps me coming back for more.

Mark Fossen: I think I see your point, but I’m referring more to mechanics and control. There’s much more depth in the 2K control scheme, and I feel like it is much more dependent on my input than on stats and animations and algorithms.

Shawn Drotar: That’s probably true… but I think the weight and heft of NCAA’s players adds to that feeling of less control. But I don’t necessarily think that’s bad, or it’s truly indicative of inferior control. Like a real running back, you have to find a hole before it opens, because if you wait until it does, it’ll be too late. I think it’s more of a difference in style - and I’m not sure that one’s better so much as one will be preferable to different kinds of gamers.

Mark Fossen: I think NCAA creates a better end-product football game on the field, but I feel a bit more that I’m watching it unfold, instead of making it unfold. It’s a minor difference, though. I suppose I just feel that 2K still has a damn good engine under the hood, but they’ve put it in a golf cart.

Shawn Drotar: That’s a fair assessment, I think. I still like the concept of All-Pro Football, but it does feel like 2K never fully committed themselves to it.

Mark Fossen: Whereas it feels like EA pulled out all the stops in creating the what is truly the first next-gen football game. And that next-gen has more than a bit of Web 2.0 in it. Maybe it’s too early to tell, but I think the simple addition of a YouTube-style element will be one of the next steps in the evolution of sports gaming. I already feel empty when playing APF and have a great play, but can’t do anything with it.

Shawn Drotar: It’s a brilliant idea that EA never marketed at all, which is curious. Of course, this could really be special if EA would finally get off their keisters and provide online leagues. Can you imagine? Leagues sprouting up everywhere, complete with their little mini-SportsCenter-type recaps?

Mark Fossen: Exactly - this is just the initial stages of what could become a real evolution of how we play our games, and how we tell stories about them.

Shawn Drotar: I truly believe that 2K Sports’ online leagues, and their success (when they worked, that is) is a large part of what made APF possible. I think EA underestimates how badly the gaming community wants online leagues. Now, they’ve provided the tools - give us somewhere to use them! This type of innovation from EA Sports is both refreshing… and completely out of character. But I like it.

Mark Fossen: True. Something lit a fire this year under NCAA, and I’m sure not complaining.

Shawn Drotar: Where do you think APF goes next? There’s no clear evolutionary path - even if it makes enough money to deserve a sequel. After playing NCAA 08’s “Campus Legend” mode, I’m no longer certain that a high-school football game would be a pariah on the store shelves. It would certainly be less expensive to make - just turn the customization knob to 11 and off you go.

Mark Fossen: I honestly don’t know that APF goes anywhere next. I know the future of the game was dependent on the success of this installment, and I can’t see this title succeeding with any audience other than the “2K Defense Force”. Obviously, what they’d need to do is expand: more athletes, more customization, more replayability through Franchise modes. Unfortunately, they are the underdog, and need to deliver more than EA is bringing to the table.

Shawn Drotar: How could they do that without a license? Certainly, that’s money they don’t have to spend for licensing, but that licensing comes with a built-in audience. Are we doomed to have only exclusively-licensed games on store shelves?

Mark Fossen: Winning Eleven. It’s a short answer, but that’s the model for a non-licensed game that seems to be selling enough to stay a viable option.

Shawn Drotar: So, in other words… make a better game than this one, sell it for less than the competition and hope it somehow catches on?

Mark Fossen: No one ever said it would be easy…

Shawn Drotar: Unless you’re EA Sports and their exclusive licenses, that is. The Beatles were wrong - money can buy you love.

34 Responses to 'A Tale of Two Football Games'

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  1. SoMiss2000 said,

    on July 23rd, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Nice write up guys. APF left me with an “empty” feeling too. I sold it on ebay Friday. It’s true, it very well may play a good game of football but it didn’t have enough to justify the price tag. In a month when it’s advertised in the Best Buy/Circuit City circulars for 29.99, I may be tempted to pick it up for the long haul.

  2. Wowser said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 5:36 am

    I couldn’t agree more guys. I was very disappointed with APF.

  3. Sully said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Excellent article, guys. I couldn’t agree more with everything stated. APF is not a bad game, by any means, but I expected much more. I also think I have plenty of reasons to expect more. In the end, it just doesn’t deliver in the way I had hoped.

  4. Scott said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 10:15 am

    2k Defense Force - funniest thing I’ve read in a while, and to quote Homer (Simpson, not the Greek poet) “It’s funny because it’s true”

  5. Carl said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I disagree with you guys hold heartily. APF plays a great game of football and IMO is much more fun and challenging then NCAA 08. Playing NCAA 08 just feels old and stale. Contrary to popular belief there are plenty of people who prefer it over APF over NCAA 08.

    http://forums.operationsports.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=213183

    Sure there are a couple of extra things in NCAA 08 but after the game is over I don’t get the nagging urge to play again like I do with APF. This is 2K’s first attempt at a Next Gen football title and you are already counting it out. This is EA’s 2nd attempt with NCAA & their 3rd with Madden. There will be another APF and there will be plenty of people in line to pick it up when it’s released. So while you enjoy the no atmosphere, no refs, paper cut out sidelines, sorry crowd noise NCAA08, I’m going back to playing APF where the real challenge and fun is. Lets’ roll Montana and Sanders!!

  6. Carl said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Some more APF love………….

    http://forums.operationsports.com/vBulletin/showthread.php
    ?t=213440

  7. Shawn Drotar said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Here’s what I find odd. Yesterday, I’m writing that I thought that NFL 2K5 was the best football game I ever played, and Mark’s talking about how wonderfully APF 2K8 controls - and we knew that somehow, someone (and probably lots of someones) would start going after us as “2K bashers”. It’s gotten to be reflexive at this point.

    If you don’t claim that any 2K football product is anything less than the best game ever created by man or God, these people come crawling out of the woodwork. It’s all well and good to support any product you like, but when it’s done blindly, you’re not helping to advance the genre or the developer in question.

    And for the record - our point was not that APF 2K8 is a bad game. Our point was that it wasn’t worth $60.

  8. Carl said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I hear what you are saying… but is NCAA 08 worth $60.00? Sure APF is missing lots of game modes and I’m sure they will be included in future releases but NCAA 08 is still missing plenty of things as well I but I never hear anyone complaining that NCAA or the terrible Madden games wasn’t worth $60.00. No game is perfect and we all strive for sports games as close to the real thing as possible. The main thing if you are having fun with the game then to me its worth the price regardless if its APF or NCAA.

  9. Mark Fossen said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    “This is 2K’s first attempt at a Next Gen football title and you are already counting it out. This is EA’s 2nd attempt with NCAA & their 3rd with Madden.”

    That’s very true.

    But as a consumer, I don’t really care. They sit next to each other on store shelves at the same price, and I’m not particularly interested in their backstory.

    I understand the desire to support 2K, but you need to look at it from the perspective of the average consumer who doesn’t have a rooting interest.

  10. Sully said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Carl, whether NCAA is worth $60 or not, it’s much easier to make the case for NCAA, than it is for APF2K8.

    Shawn, you nailed it. Obviously, I don’t think VC or 2K would ever do this, but I mentioned on the OS forums that they could package 10 Yard Fight with a APF 2K8 label on it, and people would love it simply because it isn’t Madden or NCAA.

    Speaking of APF, it’s not a bad game. I don’t think anyone is claiming that it is. I posted in a review thread over there that I’d put the game in the 6 or 7 range, despite finding some enjoyment with it. Not many are questioning what’s in the game, though there are some nagging issues. I’m most disappointed with what isn’t in the game. A 6 or 7 doesn’t mean I hate the game, it just means that I think there is plenty of room for improvement. Actually, scratch that. There is A LOT of room for improvement, especially if I’m expected to pay $60.

    APF 2K8 has discount title written all over it. From the lack of gameplay options, to the very familiar feel of a football game I played 3 years ago.

  11. Skerik said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Nice article, guys. Very fair and balanced, as it were. The amazing thing to me is how much like the Madden crowd the 2K crowd has become. For the past few years we’ve heard about how EA will now rest on their laurels and cease to innovate from year to year because they have no competition. For years we heard gamers reminisce about the good old days when they could buy a superior game for $20.

    If there’s anything that 2K doesn’t feel like, it’s innovative. And it isn’t cheap, either. The gameplay feels like it did three years ago. The commentary is largely reused from three years ago. I’m hitting on the same corner routes for long gains that I was hitting three years ago. I know they “only” had one year of development time on this, but that’s what EA gets every year and their game changes more from year to year than this one did in three years.

    Not only that, but we’re missing features like franchise mode that have been staples of prominent football titles for 5+ years. Now we’re getting an NFL Blitz-style season mode, some admittedly cool NFL legends, and not much more. The game feels empty to me. Empty, stale, and….kind of lazy, I guess.

    People seem eager to paint 2K as this upstart company who works their tails off to supply us with a quality product and undercut their big, bad competitors. That may have been true once, but it isn’t anymore. I don’t think 2K was “testing the waters” with this title so much as they were seeking to capitalize on all the pro-2K sentiment they see on the internet forums. Most of those people would pay $60 for a 2K5 roster update and I think 2K is using their allegiance to make money off of what I think was a pretty lackluster and empty effort this year.

    But they knew this would sell because of the way 2K5 is so revered throughout the internet world.

  12. Carl said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Obviously this is a Pro EA forum and that’s cool….. There are many people who would disagree with you. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I purchased both games and I prefer APF hands down, no comparison too me. APF is much more atmospheric and realistic IMO. You guys obviously feel differently. It’s true the game could be much much better with more modes but what game couldn’t? People are losing sleep over this game..lol.

    http://forums.operationsports.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=213440

    I’m a gamer from wayyyyy back. I think I may have purchased EVERY major sporting title made since Atari and Commodore 64 days. I’ve seen them all and this is one of the best!! Defiantly an 8 or 8.5 in my book!!

  13. Scott said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    you can keep posting links to threads in a 2k8 site (where the 2k Defense Force is based out of) all you want - the game is marketed directly towards the 2k5 fans that kept clamoring for an updated version. it won’t sell well because it’s such a niche market and, if future versions are based on current sales, you probably won’t see another version.

    ncaa is worth $60 in my book - the recruiting model is awesome and it’s deep enough to play many seasons. you don’t have to just end a season and start over again like you do with apf. come to think of it , how would apf EVER be able to offer franchise as long as they stay tethered to the legends? they need to go generic and lose the legends AND allow customized rosters to someone can create an nfl mod - hell you can’t even have a 32 team league in apf.

  14. Sully said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Let me get this straight, because we’re listing some issues we have with APF 2K8, that makes us Pro-EA? I’m sorry, Carl, but that’s ridiculous. I have too many responsibilities in my life to sit and defend a company for which I have no affiliation with.

    I want what’s best for the gaming community. 2K releasing a football game this year is indeed what’s best for us. Not only does it give us another choice, but it creates competition for EA as well. Neither is a bad thing.

    Does that mean 2K gets a free pass? Not in the least. If we’re going hammer EA for their lack of innovation, stale gameplay, tiring engine, etc. Shouldn’t 2K be examined under the same microscope?

  15. Mark Fossen said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    “Obviously this is a Pro EA forum and that’s cool….. ”
    “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

    Carl, can you see the contradiction there?

    You are entitled to your opinion … we are EA fanboys. If everyone is entitled to their opinion, we’re included in that.

    At no point am I trying to tell anyone else they shouldn’t like the game. I am, however, trying to put into words my reaction to how the two compare.

  16. Dan said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    I see why Carl is defending the product. “I couldn’t help but think that it seemed more like an Xbox Live Arcade title - a bite-sized gaming snack.” Shawn Drotar.
    Bit of a stretch there I think. The only negative thing that was brought up about the EA game was kicking lag. There are so many other faults. Where are the Ref’s? Where are the online leagues (after all this is the 4th EA Football game on next gen)? Why is there is alot of people walking through other palyers? Why do the players nerver appear wet when it’s raining? Why no pre-game,halftime or post game show? they have the deal with ESPN but I never see it “in the game”, although the ESPN highlights and info is a very cool feature.
    I think they both play out very well but 2K8 goes the extra mile for atmosphere whereas EA goes for mini games and recruiting. The effects in 2K8 are great. Water splashing on the helmets, after a hard hit the water sprays off, the chatter between players, slipping down in bad weather, ect these all add to draw you into the game as your playing it. 2K8 may not be loaded with extra features but on the field it’s an overall better experience.
    Yes I did notice you both had positive statements for 2K8. The overall tone just seemed more of what’s wrong with it.

  17. Shawn Drotar said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I also said that NFL 2K5 was the best football game I ever played, and before you play the fanboy card, check out the rest of the content on this site.

    Pro-EA? Hardly. Pro-consumer? You betcha.

    I don’t consider on-field referees a huge part of my gaming experience. Online leagues, however - I do, and I quote:
    “I think EA underestimates how badly the gaming community wants online leagues. Now, they’ve provided the tools - give us somewhere to use them!”

    “There are still stutters throughout the game, the defenders still have a sixth sense for the ball, and players still walk right through one another. Some people have had severe problems with online play.” If you think we didn’t point out some flaws with NCAA 08, then you simply haven’t read the article fully… or are seeing what you wish to see - I can’t help you there.

    There’s no question that 2K Sports has lights-out presentation; they always have. But frankly, I don’t buy a game for its presentation. It’s a nice bonus, but not a raison d’etre.

    As for the tone regarding what’s wrong with it - that’s fair. It’s constructive criticism - that’s what we do here. I know people like it, and that’s great - but believe me, the sales numbers are not going to be huge for this title. I’d like them to be - I’ve always wanted a strong competitor and despise exclusivity. So we’re trying to explain how 2K can make things better by pointing out what isn’t getting the job done.

    Muscles don’t get bigger by telling them how nice they look - you have to work them out.

  18. Carl said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I agree Dan, I couldn’t have said it better. I’m not knocking NCAA 08. I’m stating my opinion just like they are. Their slant is like NCAA 08 is so great and miles ahead with out seing ALL of the negatives with the game. If you gonna point out negatives then do it for both games, not just one. And to Scott, NCAA 08 is not worth $60 to me, glad it is to you!!

  19. Ashok Das said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    I think you both work for EA because All-Pro 2k8 gameplay is the most realistic football ever made. NCAA is a great game, but The animations in ALL-Pro 2k8 are far superior to NCAA and Madden. I enjoy both games and I will buy Madden 2008 as well. If only ALL-Pro had the NFL license.

  20. Shawn Drotar said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Ashok Das said,
    “I think you both work for EA…”

    Now I know what it’s like to write for Kotaku…

  21. Sully said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Well, unfortunately, this discussion has taken a turn for the worse…

  22. Carl said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    I feel we can all state our opinions in a civil way. Some people like Coke and others Pepsi. It’s all a matter of preference. At the end of the day it’s what you like the most that counts. For you its NCAA 08 and Madden for me it’s APF. Either way it’s a good year for video football!! That God we have choices this year!!

  23. Skerik said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Is there nowhere on the internet safe from the 2K Defense Force?

  24. Carl said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Nope….. its out there, everywhere….lol

  25. Dan said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    I understand that your pro-consumer and that’s great. I wish more people were. I also understand the fact that your pointing out what is wrong so that it can be fixed. It would have been nice to see something more about the presentation in the article. For me it’s very important to see that stuff in the game. I’m not going to take some C- team 10 years into some dynasty and with recruiting make them a powerhouse, you may. It seems like once I get to the second year the new title is coming out. Now if you could carry over your dynasty to the new game then that might be a different story. Some of us “season guys” like the on field presentation more than trying to get a blue-chip player to our school.
    I see what your saying but the article didn’t feel balanced to me.

  26. Ron said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    After reading the article, I was disapppointed in the comparison between the two games. IMO NCAA 08 is boring like all of the EA games. BTW, don’t have a lot of faith in Madden either although in all fairness we’ll see in a few weeks. APF2K8 by no means is perfect and was released with several flaws such as limitations in customization, some cheesy on the field chatter, three year old rehashed commentary from announcers DAN and Peter. However, I am ecstatic to have 2K back. This game although a three old engine is still the most immersive video football experience ever besides 2K5. The animations are superb and the attention to detail is outstanding. For instance, you see officials being bowled over from time to time. THIS FEELS LIKE REAL FOOTBALL. I have both games right now. NCAA 08 is a rental and found it stale although the player models look very good. But I guess it depends on what an individual likes. If you value gameplay, fun and some realism APF2K8 perhaps is your game. On the other hand if you value pretty graphics maybe NCAA 08 is your game of choice. As a consumer, I choose the former, since I’ve had APF2K8 I’m fully engaged in the overall football experience. Room for improvement is definitely warranted with APF2K8 but I hope 2K makes a sequel next year.

  27. Sigma4Life said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    A big point you ignored is NCAA has NO CONCEPT of a passing pocket while APF does it with near perfection. I love both games but the OLine - DLine interaction on pass plays in NCAA is still horrible.

  28. SoMiss2000 said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    The “2K Defense Force”…write it and they will come…

    I can’t believe that words like “stale” are thrown around for NCAA. The moment I played my first game of APF, I thought, “I’ve played this before”. Yeah, I had, 3 years ago.

  29. rj said,

    on July 24th, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    I’ve played a bunch of both games and agree with most of what you’ve said.

    NCAA has more issues on the field but it is so unbelievably deep overall that it’s the winner for me in this very limited comparison.

    That said … it was nice to get some 2K-style gameplay back, even if it wasn’t all I was hoping it would be. And you never know … All Pro could end up being more “timeless” because as far as I know there hasn’t been a legends-style football game before and it’s very possible that there won’t be another one in the future.

    If 2K does decide to make a football game next year or the year after, I think we can all agree that a Winning Eleven approach is what people are looking for. Legends are an interesting sideshow but certainly not worthy of a full-price main attraction.

    (PS - NFL 2K5 is my favorite sports game of all time. Please don’t attack me!!)

  30. Sean said,

    on July 25th, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    I’m going to have to disagree with the premise that NCAA provides more value. The team creation element of APF is far more interesting to me than any franchise or dynasty mode. Partly that’s because I’m intrigued by the notion of meshing different legends from different eras, partly because it’s so easy to pursue different team building concepts, and partly (and most importantly) because it takes five minutes. Because at the end of the day, what I’m interested in is the game engine. If you find yourself spending most of your time doing all the off-field things that supposedly add “value,” that tells me that the game is a failure. I play for the quality of the game engine. With a few exceptions, I think the APF 2K8 game engine is superior to EA’s across the board (and I say that as someone who has traditionally enjoyed both Madden and NCAA). So I come away thinking that APF is a better value than NCAA, simply because it plays a better game of football. But that’s me.

  31. Sean said,

    on July 25th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Jrod posted this over at DSP, but I thought it did such a good job of explaining how APF brings it in the important ways that I took the liberty of cutting and pasting it. (With your permission, Jrod-)

    “I find myself spending more time in the replay mode every game. I will sit a watch a 5 yard out play because of how my QB evaded the defense and found the WR.

    The one thing I love in APF is the feeling of space. NCAA/Madden is too cramped. You have no space between the line and the LBs and from the LBs to the safeties. And there’s horizontal spacing that feels right. You aren’t going to see a LB playing the rush run straight back and tip a pass in front of your WR.

    All in all, APF has ruined NCAA for me. I just can’t play it. Seeing Okoye slam throw a line fighting off two guys for a 5 yard gain is amazing satisfying.

    Oh the pass engine is incredible. I made a quick team so I could edit the jerseys, and on one team it had Rice Montana. Another had Elway and Rice. Here’s what blew my mind, Montana’s passing always seem to be pinpoint accurate. I’m not talking that its to the WR. It’s to the correct side of the WR, or it leads the WR so he doesn’t have to stop a catch the ball. On the flip side, Elway guns the ball. But his passes are all over the place. Again it’s not like the miss the WR but he’ll throw it slightly off forcing the receiver to make an adjustment.

    APF is like WE, it organic football. Anything can happen. Just don’t play the LA Legends. Woodson is a damn f’n monster. Think two Champ Bailey’s covering one guy.”

  32. DXZeke said,

    on July 26th, 2007 at 9:08 am

    I’ve played both games and I like both games.

    My opinion is that both games kind of play some what similar in some regards. They both have great animations… the only problem is that NCAA’s animations happen kind of FAST where as the animations in 2k are a tad bit slower so it feels like it’s more natural. On the flip side, NCAA play so damn smooth that some of the herky jerky motions that are in APF stand out (even though the animations are great).

    I think $60 is to much for games anyways.

    I do agree however that APF is overpriced, but they had to due to the money the spent on getting players rights.

    BUT… for my tastes APF plays really good and it keeps pulling me back in.

    That said. I’ve always liked the Passing game in NCAA/Madden better. I liked the Rushing game in 2k Football better. Since the jump to “next gen” EA’s running games is slowly getting more and more like 2k’s.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the final retail copy of Madden 2008 turns out.

  33. Jordan said,

    on July 29th, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    I am in a small minority of gamers who only play football games online. That is it. EA’s next gen online servers are atrocious. APF 2k8 thankfully is lag free online. No lie, that is the one reason I bought 2k8 instead of NCAA. Fortunately I have fallen in love with the gameplay of 2k8. I never played 2k5 so I guess I am lucky that it is all new to me.


  34. on August 13th, 2007 at 9:33 am

    […] It’s been circled on my calendar for months. For anyone that’s been living under a rock, August 14th is the day that Madden NFL 08 officially hits store shelves.  As Mark and Shawn witnessed just a few weeks back,  us internet folk are passionate about our football gaming. In fact, our views of the Madden series tend to fall within one of these 3 categories: […]

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