STAFF REVIEW of NCAA Football 08 (Xbox 360)


Friday, August 17, 2007.
by Longball77

NCAA Football 08 Box art EA Sports Presents NCAA 08 Football

What drives your choices? Tradition, hard work, your favorite school, once you have made your choice, imagine a packed stadium of your closest 70 thousand friends, a Tail gate party that started New Year?s Eve? It?s now New Year?s Day. Which of the Bowl games do you find yourself in? Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl?. The clock shows 13 seconds left, you are at the 50 yard line, down by 3, you are the quarterback, the game is in your hands, the fame notoriety and the huge NFL contract is on the line. Take the snap or keep them guessing, pass, run, a quarter back sneak or hand it off to the NCAA leading rusher. You could lead by example and go for the Hail Mary. The coach has set the play for a quick pass down the sideline taking a quick step out of bounds stopping the clock and giving you a chance at a field goal to tie. You go for the quick snap, take a couple steps back; you read defense and the blitz and go for the Hail Mary. There is a hush in the crowd as you release the ball ?.


I have played every sports game out there. From the very first hand held football game, I believe it was called ?Quarterback?, to the very first Madden football. EA has lead all others in game play, graphics, sounds and listening to what the end users want. We want it all. No disappointments here, with the all new skill performance, Campus legend mode, being able to capture your unbelievable 100 yard punt return, to the last second Hail Mary for glory, its all here. You even get a real college authenticity, with updates from the weather channel on real life conditions. Every game can have the same feeling in this new release of NCAA 08 Football. The flexibility of choosing your games, the way you want them. Picking your two favorite colleges, head to head over and over, or select the dynasty mode and build your alma mater in the same manner you fell in love with or start a new tradition of actually winning every year. Add yourself as the next great quarterback and spend the next season trying to recruit yourself as the number 1 prospect. In football you have heard the term going deep. The dynasty mode has no equal.


EA has revolutionized once again the most fun and time consuming aspect of console sports gaming. College football is all about the next great player. Who is he; where is he and how do I get him to come to my school? Is it campus life, Tradition, Coaching legends? What is important to the prospects? If you have ever wanted to know what a college coach, assistant coach or training staff goes through during recruiting, check this out. This is more in-depth than any other dynasty mode I have ever played. We have all wanted to create ourselves as the ultimate player, and in most games we can just put him on our roster, no cost, no recruiting, no draft pick. In this mode, you have to spend a whole season without this player, assuming you send him the right messages in recruiting. You have to choose the players you want to recruit at the beginning of the season; you get one phone call a week to identify what is most important to this player. When the time is right you offer the scholarship. Oh by the way don?t make promises you can?t keep! If you do it can result in players walking away and heading to another school.


Graphics have played a more important role in the console gaming experience than any other platform. Computers you can upgrade at a seconds notice, more ram, faster video card etc... You get my drift. But with console we are limited to what is first produced. EA for the first time in a long time concentrated there efforts on faster, more accurate and ultimately the best graphics they have produced to date in a sports simulation game. Faster refresh rates, less loading time, definitely the most respectable graphics of the sports year. In sports gaming it is very hard to comment on the sounds of a game, unless they are horrible or really unbelievably great. The sports announcers that are chosen are generally the best in the game and other than a few repeat phrases (until games think for themselves we live with this). The sounds are good, not over the top and not disappointing, just good for the game.


Suggestions:
In closing I want to encourage EA to keep improving the graphics, keep the simulation and realism in the game and keep listening to the fans of the game. I would recommend speeding the recruitment phase up a little, you can get lost in the moment and spend more time recruiting than actually playing. The other pet peeve I have is the fonts used in the drop down menus. They are very hard to read even on a plasma screen television. This sports fan rates NCAA 08 a 4.2 out of 5 in most part due to the complexity of the dynasty mode, and of the mediocre ?sounds? of the game.


Overall: 8.4 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.4 / 10
Sound: 7.4 / 10

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