Sunday, December 18, 2005

Just When You Think You Know Yourself

I'm a guy, and I like sports, so it's not going to be very shocking to anyone that reads this to find out that I play video games as well. Lately, I've been playing NCAA2006 by EASports, which is EA's College Football game, on the PlayStation2. I'm a huge fan of college football, and love the video game. In many ways, I think it's a better 'football engine' (the programming that controls the football gameplay for you non-nerds) than EA's NFL counterpart, Madden2006.

But since I know how a "review" of a video game is for the blogging ratings, that's not what I'm here to show you. I noticed something in the programming of the games that I thought I'd share.

In NCAA06, you can create 'yourself', and take that player through his college career and play out the seasons, with the ultimate goal to win the Heisman Trophy at the end of each season. This is a new feature for the game. Previous years never had this type of gameplay available. They added this gameplay, because in the NFL Madden game, there is a "Superstar" mode, which is similar to the "Race for the Heisman" game, in that you just play out the season as a player, and don't have the coaching and GM controls of your team.

It's a wonderful concept in each game, and it was made better by the fact that you can "export" your college player by saving him on the memory card, and then having that exact player be 'drafted' into the Madden game, and continue playing with that virtual person.

Just like real life.

Well, almost like real life. I created myself as a quaterback, and in the college game, enrolled at the University of Wisconsin. Here's a picture of my virtual self at the end of my senior year:
Apparently, the bitches at UW wouldn't make available number 9 for me, so I had to settle on number 4.

After that game pictured above, I finished my college career, and saved the character to the memory card. I fired up NFLMadden2006, and loaded my player into the "Superstar" mode. I was drafted with the eleventh pick in the second round by the New York Giants. Your "Superstar" career begins with you participating in Training Camp, practicing various plays. So imagine my surprise when I hit the field and got to look at myself for the first time as an NFL player:
Although, while the Giants were kind enough to let me wear number nine, the programmers of the game forgot to make sure ALL the details of your virtual self carried over from the college game. I left college as a 6'3", 218lb WHITE quarterback, and entered the NFL as a 6'2", 218lb BLACK quarterback.

While I'm enjoying my newfound race status, I find it hard to believe that a glitch like this made it all the way through to the launch of the game. Didn't anyone actually TEST the game to look for stuff like this? I know jack sh*t about game programming, but wouldn't the race value be the same from game to game? Unless someone did it just for fun, knowing that no one else would pick it up on the code side - and if that's the case, give that man a raise.


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