NCAA Football 09 Review

NCAA Football 09 is a safe game. While it finally delivers on the features fans have been asking for in recent years, it also doesn’t drastically change the tried and true formula which put the NCAA Football franchise where it sits today. Instead, it subtly tweaks the experience. The result is a competent game with the typical nagging errors which will bother the casual crowd more so than the hardcore elite.

The biggest play NCAA Football 09 has in its playbook is Online Dynasty. Finally, we can experience the deep Dynasty experience with twelve other players. Crafting your school’s team while competing with your buddies online is something NCAA Football 09 gravely needed, and I appreciate EA finally listening to their fans. This addition alone is worth a purchase for the hardcore crowd, and some can argue even for the casuals, who wonder what NCAA Football 09 is all about.

Beyond this the majority of the other tweaks NCAA Football 09 all fall within the games themselves. Overall the game controls great, and the new features fit within the system the previous NCAA Football titles have established. Most evident is the home field advantage, which, when used correctly, can really upset the opposing team/player. One of the best examples of this is if the quarterback gets rattled throughout the course of the game. Remember all those routes you can bring up to see just where the players are going? They become jittery to the point where it is impossible to tell who is going where.

This is all usually a result of an interception and the player’s failure at a nice new feature known as Quarterback Quiz. After an interception a screen flips up with three defensive plays and asks the quarterback, which play was just executed against him. Get it right and quarterback keeps his composure. Fail, and the result is what was mentioned earlier.

The kicking game has also changed thanks to the introduction of Ice the Kicker. This kicks in during those amazing college moments when a simple field goal separates a team from victory or defeat. Call a timeout and the kicker is iced. The camera angle changes and making the gaming winning play becomes much harder thanks to the ice which literally coats the kicking interface in the game. It’s a nice touch.

The biggest letdown NCAA Football 09 passes at players is its visual presentation. On the one hand the stadiums look great and the player models are awesome. But at the same time, the crowd looks as abysmal as ever (despite their custom school cheers) and when combined with the terrible flag animations NCAA Football 09 throws at us, it pulls the player out of the experience just long enough for a headshake and chuckle. The same can be said for the player animations. Yes, they are improved but are still rigid, and look more fake than natural. It, like the crowds, is a problem I’ve always had with these football games and NCAA Football 09 hasn’t fully addressed it, either.

Chances are if you are a fan of the NCAA Football series then you’ve already made your decision whether this game is sitting next to your console. While the game plays it safe in what if offers overall, there are just enough tweaks to the experience for hardcore fans to get excited and casual players to hardly take notice. Presentation will ultimately decide whether the casual football fan picks this up. To some it is more about how the game looks then how it plays. Here NCAA Football 09 will have a little trouble winning over new players. But if all you care about is the college experience, crafting a dynasty against friends, and being a critical part of the magic of Game Day, then NCAA Football 09 has no peer.

Any game which dynamically has the crowd leave the stadium based on how the game is going definitely has earned the right to be tried by sports gamers.



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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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