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Thats what keeps geeks from getting old

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Can Online Dynasty Save Sporting Games?

Since 1996, I have played every yearly version of Madden football as well as many of the NCAA titles. Over a decade of playing these games has left me with diminishing returns on how much I enjoy these games. It had gotten so bad that last year I didn’t even complete a single season on Madden. I sold my copy a month after buying it. It had gotten uninteresting for me.

A few years ago I tried to play some games online. There wasn’t much there for me as it was always one game verses one player. Sure you could climb the leader board with a good win/loss record but more often than not this was a exercise in frustration. If you were winning people would quit the game on you, or you would play some one who would exploit some flaw in the game. It was never fun for me.

This year has brought the much needed change. Now I know online dynasty was around last year, but NCAA Football 11 has taken online play to the next level. You and up to 11 other people can now play a whole dynasty week after week for multiple seasons. They have also included a online hub for your dynasty’s so that you can keep track of all your leagues.http://www.easports.com/dynasty
Here is my hub:

The hub is a interesting concept in the social networking age. You can write stories about your team, comment on other teams, or talk smack, all while posting to face book or twitter. You can also manage the calling of your recruits from here. Stuck at work? You can make the in game calls on your PC. Friends made you go out? Hope on your iphone and get to dialing. EA is making a bold move here incorporating smart phones and social networks into the console gaming world. It’s a transition that was inevitable and I think EA has done a good job of utilizing it.

As someone who has moved around quite a bit in the last few years, I have friends in many different states. Online dynasty allows me to continue playing against them as we once did . I have a dynasty with my first roommate after college and it’s a lot of fun and helping to keep us in touch.

Having the human competition not only helps to make recruiting prospects to your school more challenging, but it also makes it more fun. Recruiting against the computer provides little challenge. Against a human requires completely different strategies. When you and another player go for the same player it can get a little heated, and someone is coming away with bragging rights.

I highly recommend this mode for any long time sports franchise player who is feeling the games have gotten old. I look forward to the day when I can get in a full 32 league Madden. The off-season will be more entertaining than the games.

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