College Hoops 2K7 Review

Down 14 with just under three minutes to go, my Trojans are facing imminent defeat at the hands of the top-seeded Arizona Wildcats. With nothing left to lose, I tell my team to play in desperation mode, which means running a fullcourt trap no matter the circumstances. Less than ten seconds later, I’m rewarded as Gabe Pruitt steals the inbounds pass, and tosses the ball out to Lodrick Stewart for the three. Suddenly I’m leaning forward in my seat, and a crowd of people are gathering around the TV, sitting down to watch.

One more steal, a forced turnover, and a blocked shot later, and the Trojans are right back in it; the virtual and real life crowds watching the game are cheering. With only 44 seconds left, I force Arizona to heave up a shot before the shot clock expires, grab the rebound and throw it down the court to Nick Young, who gets fouled from behind while he throws up a three pointer. Count it — four point play. The game is tied with less than 15 seconds left, and I inbound the ball to my best shooter: Pruitt. Arizona quickly traps him, causing him to lose control of the ball. Mustafa Shakur ends up with the loose ball, races down the court and sinks a 19-footer as time expires, sending my team back to Los Angeles with their heads hung low. My face is frozen in a look of shock, and the room quietly empties as people sullenly leave. As good as College Hoops 2K7 is at the game of basketball, it’s even better at raising your excitement, and then dashing it.

It’s rare that a video game can captivate an entire room of people — or keep the attention of people who wander into the room — but College Hoops 2K7 pulls it off. Like the real thing, the game is constantly changed and driven by runs, momentum, and intelligent play calling. Of course, the game isn’t without its faults.

While the gameplay is as stellar as its ever been, some continuing problems plague it, taking away from the experience. For starters, the developers seemed to overreact the complaint about the ease of stealing in 2K6, because now it’s almost impossible to steal the ball without cutting off a passing lane or knocking over a dribbler. Even when a player is standing up straight dribbling the ball high, if you reach in for the steal you’re often whistled for a foul.

Speaking of knocking over dribblers, if you put any time into 2K7 be prepared to see bodies tumble like a human game of Jenga. Whether you’re being pressured while dribbling or trying to spin in the post, the solution to most contact situations is the player falling down, losing his dribble out of bounds and giving up the turnover. This gets very frustrating, as you’ll constantly have the defense bump into you hard enough to make you fall down and lose the dribble, yet the moment you reach your hand towards them you’re whistled for the foul. Thankfully, the only real issues are small ones like this, or graphic oddities like inflating jerseys.

Where 2K Sports gets it right is in the Legacy mode. Much like a franchise mode for pro games, Legacy lets you begin your career as a coach at the lower tier of schools, and over time as you improve that school you’ll be able to move up the ranks, until you land a job at one of the big names like Duke or Kentucky. The New Legacy mode is something only true diehard fans will enjoy (or play), because it takes a lot of time and investment to be able to play as a bigger school. Thankfully, there’s the Open Legacy which allows you to step in as the head coach of any school in college basketball, and take off from where they currently stand.

In the Legacy mode, you make all the calls when it comes to your team. You’re in charge of recruiting players, scouting possible recruits and your opposition, deciding what your team needs to practice on each week, keeping your players’ spirits high, and more. It’s much more in-depth than the franchise mode in a lot of sports games these days, and if you love college basketball it’s an absolute blast. It also gives an incredible amount of longevity to the game, especially if you refuse to just sim the games during your first coaching tenure(s).

Authentic looking arenas and intense (and loud) fans make College Hoops 2K7 a blast to play. There’s no experience like it in sports video gaming, and if you’re a regular attendee or watcher of NCAA hoops you’ll instantly feel the same sort of environment in the game. With slightly upgraded physics and graphics over the 360 version (as well as the ease of updating rosters compared to it), if you have to choose between the two, this is the version to get. The online leagues are fantastic, and between those and the Legacy mode there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this one until 2K8 comes out. If you already own the Xbox 360 version, there’s really not enough to warrant a new purchase. However, if you’re a fan of college basketball and don’t have this game yet, go pick it up now. Maybe it will help you cope with life after March Madness.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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