Over the past week you've probably seen advertisements or ran out and bought EA's NCAA Football 13. That's all grand and dandy, as it's always a fun game to play and build up your school's team for domination. But you're a die-hard lacrosse fan. That's probably why you're reading this. And that's probably why you've run into at least one "WHY ISN'T THERE A COLLEGE LACROSSE VIDEO GAME BESIDES COLLEGE LACROSSE 2012 ON XBOX I HAVE A PLAYSTATION WHY CAN'T I PLAY AS MY (Duke Blue Devils/Syracuse Orange/Johns Hopkins Blue Jays) WHY WHY WHY?!?" thread on the Inside Lacrosse message boards per week.
Well I've got news for you. Good news even! I've come from the FUTURE to share my review for the new video game NCAA Lacrosse 201X (I'm not giving away the year, sillyheads, that ruins the surprise) by EA/2K/Whatever else just not THQ. For this review I'll make you all assume it's an EA Sports product because they make NCAA Football. Anyway it's got a super sick cover with some guy on it. Like, he probably hasn't even committed yet in 2012 but he put up huge numbers at ACC school/Hopkins/Princeton/Cornell/Denver in the FUTURE so you'll know who I'm talking about soon.
Everybody's talking about NCAA Football 13's new feature where you get to put Heisman winners on any team. So like you can do things like put Desmond Howard on Ohio State or Tim Tebow on Georgia or something like that. Well, NCAA Lacrosse 1X right off the bat has something like that for you, Mr. Sadist. So yeah, you can do ridiculously sacrilegious things like putting Paul Rabil on Maryland, Casey and Mikey Powell on Princeton (if I go back into my time machine to 2002 Central New York's so gonna nuke Central New Jersey when I tell them that thought), or Matt Danowski on Virginia. So yeah, fun times all around.
So when I popped in the game into my Playstation 4, they have a cool little intro with lacrosse highlights from the past, which is cool. It uses an oldish song in "Written in the Stars" because that became a requirement to have in sports montages by the year 2014. Then you hit the main menu. It's the first time around so the game modes are a little thin. You've got a standard exhibition mode, an online mode, a dynasty mode, and a tournament mode (which allows you to jump into the NCAA Tournament and play that out). No, there's no mascot mode, so you can't have Touchdown the Bear doing backflip goals on Raider (come on and pick a better mascot name, Colgate) just yet (SIDE NOTE: If the Cornell Lacrosse Twitter feed can tweet some graphic like this, I'll be in heaven). Complain about it and (company who made game) will focus on that instead of gameplay improvements and then the next year you can complain how they put in mascot mode.
Diving into the gameplay, it's pretty awesome for a first year game. It's basically like the College Lacrosse game you guys in the past have on XBOX Live Arcade except a little more refined in terms of controls and with advanced graphics and stuff. If you haven't played it, think NHL meets FIFA meets NBA 2K a bit. There's stuff to be tinkered with but it's great for a first time effort. Also teams don't stall in the game. That's because in 201X the NCAA forced to beat up every team that stalls and thus got rid of it from the sport. There was much rejoicing.
Enough about gameplay, let's get into something superficial: UNIFORMS AND STADIUMS. Now it is year one, so about 1/3 of the NCAA has their stadiums in; mainly the major programs have them in. UMass fans will be a bit disappointed as their astro turf o'fun is not in the game and is rather a generic field turf field. Hofstra also somehow doesn't have Shuart Stadium in the game, considering that stadium would probably take 2 hours to do. Questionably enough, they have Rutgers' field in the game... as High Point Solutions at Rutgers Stadium presented by PSE&G freshly prepared by Wawa instead of their dedicated lacrosse field. That may irk some of the schools who got omitted. The stadiums that made the cut are very nicely done though. You'll get chills playing at Homewood, Klockner, and Koskinen. As expected, Army, Maryland, Navy, and Syracuse have their stadiums imported from NCAA Football and still look their awesome selves. Playing at Cornell and Princeton gives you special "find your ball in the woods" mini-games if the ball goes out of bounds. Next year once they add Shuart Stadium you'll be able to cross Hempstead Turnpike if a ball goes out of bounds (LONG ISLANDER PRO-TIP: This is borderline impossible).
As for uniforms, most of the uniforms from the previous season are in with a couple new ones for the major programs. An odd thing is apparently Nike and their LAXER BATTLE GEAR uniforms they made for Duke, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, UNC, and Cornell made the game, but Warrior's COOL BRO MEGA OUTFIT uniforms for Denver, Hofstra, Princeton, and Rutgers did not. I guess Nike ponied up the money and Warrior didn't (all the jerseys were ugly anyway. Oh, and just wait till you see what Under Armour has Maryland wearing in 201X). Other than that you'll be pretty happy with the accuracy to uniforms in the game, aside from Wagner accidently having black numbers instead of green on one of their jerseys, but considering they've won 6 games since 2012 I'm not sure EA/2K/whatever knows they exist. We here at College Crosse sure do, though!
Later on I'll talk about the feature you're probably waiting on me to talk about... DYNASTY MODE. Stay tuned for Part II of my NCAA Lacrosse video game review FROM THE FUTURE.