NEWS - Thursday, April 3, 2008

NCAA 09 New Features Announced

EA’s detailed what fans should expect to see with regards to new features in the upcoming NCAA Football 09, the twelfth iteration of EA’s college football simulation.

The primary focus of the game appears to be on refining the mechanics of the running game, obviously a more significant part of the college game than in the pros when you consider the prevalence of the option. The game’s new Break Away Animation Engine is designed to create more opportunities for guys in the clear to stay there, while the offensive line play has been designed to create bigger holes and larger cutback lanes.

As with college games across all sports, there’s going to be a continued focus on making the experience of being in the stadium more authentic, a difficult thing to do without giving the user a beer bong and a university sweatshirt. Either way, the game features a new dynamic crowd system, user-customizable stadium music and sounds, reactions to breakaways, as well as more confusion and difficulty in making changes when the user is playing in a particularly boisterous stadium.

The visuals of those stadiums have been improved as well. Sidelines include more backup players, cheerleaders, and mascots, while the fields are designed to degrade more accurately and look more genuine through new textures and lighting.

The most curious new feature is a new "Mascot Mode", which allows the user to do custom celebrations following a touchdown. No word on whether this will be like Euro 2008, where the celebrations are button combinations, or a Wii control where the mascot responds to your movements. NCAA 09 will also have mascot games, which just sounds wrong.

Finally, there’s been improvements to online play that should make NCAA 09 a more exciting online experience; namely, online dynasties and roster file sharing have arrived. No more paying a guy on the Internet $10 for real names. Now, only for love.

Other new features in the game include:

    * A refined and improved recruiting system
    * New post-game presentation and play-by-play
    * Offline cooperative play with up to four players
    * The ability to return missed field goals
    * Bluffed play art to prevent people from looking at your playcalls when sitting next to you


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