BACK TO SCHOOL: Nothing says college football season is around the corner like the arrival of EA Sports' annual juggernaut of a title, NCAA Football. The action is more wide open than ever this time around though the degree of difficulty is a bit higher as well. You'll have to know what you're doing to succeed this time around, but that just makes the big plays that much more satisfying.
RESPECT FOR TEBOW: Florida's No. 15, Tim Tebow, the only sophomore to win a Heisman, is rated a 99 across the board and is a hoss to bring down from the dreaded "Gator Heavy" formation. NCAA 09 does noble work in bringing the Urban Meyer "Spread" offense to life with Tebow at the helm. Though the learning curve is steep, once you figure out how to get the ball to your insanely fast receivers in space there's no stopping you.
INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN: Florida's No. 1 receiver, Percy Harvin, is a god in this game. During a Dynasty season, he averaged 50.1 yards per punt return. But it's not just Harvin. Virtually any return man with some speed can get into the clear and return a kick or punt to the house. This adds a tasty extra dimension to the game and helps compensate for how tough it can be to score on the higher difficulty settings.
BMOC: The Campus Legend mode isn't perfect but it will maintain your interest long enough to rack up some easy achievement points on the 360. Create yourself at any position and dress up in your old high school colors to play in a state tournament. Once you win that, you pick from among dozens of scholarship offers to either start or back up as a freshman. In college, you can decide to spend time working out, doing homework or studying your playbook, and your decisions affect your attributes. The games themselves are fun too because you can fast forward to when you have the ball. The only complaint I have is that the play-calling can be too predictable (student body left, student body right, etc) and if you picked any position other than quarterback you can't call an audible.
WHAT GAME ARE YOU WATCHING? That's what your wife/roommate/girlfriend will say when they see this game on a high definition TV. The graphics are that good, bordering on photo realistic. Bravo job by EA on this front.
MASCOTS GALORE: Upon reaching the end zone, you get an extra few seconds of time to run around and find your school mascot. Go up to him and a sweet animation will kick in. With Albert the Alligator for instance, you put the ball in his mouth, he does a dance and then spits out the ball and does the cabbage patch.
THIS IS SPORTSCENTER: You can create and save up to five video highlights at a time from any game in any camera angle you want and then upload them for online viewing. It takes bragging to your friends to a whole new level, though on the downside I have to say that the upload for videos took several minutes. Another highlight for Live users is the online Dynasty mode, so you can have the best of both worlds -- playing online against your friends while building your program.
Check out NCAA Football 09 in action:
Things We'd Change
TOO MANY PICKS: Throw into double coverage and it's an automatic interception. Float a ball over the middle for a post pattern and it's an interception. In fact, do anything other than hit a wide open man on the sideline or the flat and you're probably going to be throwing a pick. There are just too many turnovers in general, and my suspicion is that EA did it on purpose to compensate for how ridiculously hard it is to play defense straight up, which leads me to ...
OK COMPUTER: The CPU is just annoying to play against. Human opponents take chances and often hurt themselves with aggressive play-calling. But good ol' CPU couldn't be any more conservative. Game after game of watching the CPU throw unstoppable 5-yard square-ins and slants and matriculating the ball down the field will make you want to pull your hair out if you are playing on anything above Varsity difficulty level. I couldn't even stop Vanderbilt on 3rd-and-12 because the CPU consistently completed passes right at the first-down marker. I finally figured out a way to force an occasional punt: Go to dime and nickel defenses on first and second downs, then do "Super Sim" for the third-and-long.
SACK DANCE? Rushing the passer is just way too hard. The "finesse" and "power" moves don't do anything to evade the burly offensive linemen. The only way to get a sack is to do the Lawrence Taylor move around the tackle and hope the quarterback scrambles into you.
NOWHERE TO RUN: Too often my running back is tackled as soon as he gets the ball. What am I supposed to do here? You're better off passing and running the option the majority of the time and sneaking in a conventional run now and then.
RECRUITING: The recruiting mode is a little overdone if you ask me. Actually having to call every single recruit and having a clock tick on how long you talk to them is too much. There is a low-maintenance level that makes for a fun recruiting experience, and EA has achieved that in the past with this title, but this time around it's better to automate your recruiting season after you set your targets in the preseason.
SUPERMAN? I ran a play in which Tebow failed to gain any yardage at all running up the middle, which is preposterous. Not only that, but he was slow getting up, almost as if he were injured, which is impossible. And Tebow being intercepted is just not acceptable. Nothing can stop Tebow from dominating. EA Sports should know that.
Though a bit frustrating at times, this is once again a must-own game for any college football fan. The graphics alone make it a nice eye candy game, with the dozens of stadiums rendered to near-perfection. The animations of the individual players are extremely varied and more for a more realistic experience than ever. You'll feel like the season is already here once you start playing.
If you're going to review sports games... I think you should have a more unbiased opinion. About 3% of the country wants to sit and waste 5 minutes of their day reading about how good the Florida Gators are. We would all like to know how good some of the other teams are as well.
How can you possibly give it a 9 when the gameplay is so bad? Perfect CPU QBs, no pass rush, no running game- EA should be embarrassed. The fact that you have to turn your defense over to the CPU to get a 3rd down stop is ridiculous. The Wii version is programmed different- does that have the same issues? I'll probably save my money for Madden, but since it was designed by the same people I'm worried about that one too.
Wow - that's a surprise. An EA Sports game that is high on flash and low on playability or realism. They finally got it right last year for Madden 08 - looks like this title hasn't followed suit.
Who the heck wants to even play a football game where there are a million turnovers? What, the programmers can't program dropped or incomplete passes? No, that's because they're too busy spending their time on the rediculous other modes and games.
EA has a monopoly on the football game market and has proceeded to ruin it. How about a football game where strategy and statistics actually play a part in how the game turns out?
could you suck up to Tebow anymore? Can't be stopped? Just check the UGA game last year and see if he can be stopped. GO DAWGS!!! Number one on NCAA '09 - that being said, I lost to Ohio State in the first game I played with the Dawgs, West Virginia's offense is NASTY on this game, just run the option with White and Devine, they can't be contained
Last I checked, Tebow was hurt when UF played UGA last year. Well, he's not hurt anymore, but Richt remains classless for this "unplanned" team celebration. Bring on the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party 2009 - there's your national championship game, baby!
How about we have some one review the game that actually has an understanding about how to play it. Dline only gets past on crashes while using the finese move. To get a stop on third send a de in zone and bring more linebackers. And whats with all this fan love affair with florida.
How about we have a guy review the game that actually knows how to play it. To get a stop on third down drop your DEs In zone and bring more linebackers. For the dline to get to the Qb you have to crash while using the finese move. And whats with all this fan love affair with florida.
wow. too many people on here take things way too seriously. its a great game. all of the flaws they mentioned are exaggerated. it is tough. if you were to really throw a ball into double coverage. it will probably be picked off. the game is realistic. i dont want to play a game that is too easy. do you?
Wow, could this guy be more of a homer? I think this infatuation goes past the football field from the sound of it. He probably cut out picture sof his head and put it on peoples bodies in pictures with Tebow. His walls are covered in them and "practices his montra" to them all night.
Anyway, I would be willing to give some of the great graphics back in the game for a little bit more game-playability. It's too jerky and I hate all the interceptions. They are as bad as the roughing the passer calls last year.
Interceptions are much easier to avoid than in the '08 version, you simply need to use the stick to put touch on the ball away from the defender. Crossing routes are also much safer than vertical ones. Moreover, fumbles almost seem to be taken out of the game completely. I've played numerous games since the release and have yet to see one fumble, while my interceptions totals have been perfectly reasonable. I think the turnover rate is actually much, much more realistic than NCAA '08, which is a good thing because that game drove me up the wall.
I will say that rushing the passer is difficult, but that's better than having DEs in the backfield all day long, so it doesn't bother me as much. Rushing also requires patience, so stop sprinting up the middle and you'll probably have much more success. Actually aside from the sacks (which you rarely get except when blitzing), I think the game plays very well and realistically. I was hoping that the online dynasty would be different, but aside from that I'm pleased with my purchase.
I don't know if the reviewer is just no good at the game or what, but I have DOMINATED the computer on Heisman difficulty level since I got the game. If they computer wants to throw short routes in the flats, then COVER THE FLATS.
Mostly I just bring the safety up the line and blitz him. The CPU QB has to get rid of the ball early and I get a tackle short of the first down marker.
Also, the single biggest OMISSION from this game is the lack of package options. In NCAA 08, you could move your receivers and running backs around the formation in the play call screen. I don't know why this option was omitted.
NCAA 09 still needs improvements! 1. EA Sports needs to bring back Formation Subs! 2. Why did EA Sports take away the custom control settings on NCAA 09? Those you have been playing the NCAA game for the past few years will understand this. You can only change/customize a limited number of controls on offense & defense. The one that bugged me the most was the fact that you have to press B to cycle through the players on the defense instead of any button you want (preferably A). The graphics are great & the game play is fun but these two things really stick out to me.
This review bit. All you really had to say was that the SI staff reviewing this game has a man crush on Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer. This review really tells little of the game itself, and more of how biased SI is. Why not stick to the Brett Favre 24 hour drama you guys produce and leave the real reporting to actual writers, and real game reviews to real people, and not UF/Tebow/Meyer drones.
wow you must be horrible at ncaa football dude. if you cant stop slant ins and 5 yard passes you shouldnt be playing the game. and you can stop sucking off tebow because he is overrated as hell and is definitely not 99's across the board. he has no accuracy throwing the ball, basically he is a white running back with a little speed that can throw 10 yard passes at most. this is a terrible review and you shouldnt even be reviewing this game since you dont even know how to play it.
yeah the game seems wack... I used to love the 03, 04, 05 versions, but since then they added too much detail to recruiting and have done nothing to make for realistic and entertaining game play... The FGs and kick returns are the same year in year out and can be played on auto-pilot, this on top of the junk the reviewer mentions (which is true - played the demo) makes this game a complete waste of time.
that was the most biased review of a video game EVER. Maybe you just really don't like the game but as a Florida fan you couldn't but love the fact that EA has crowned the Gators even before the season has started. Seriously, waxing poetic about both Tebow and Harvin in the same review? Lame.
First off, you can throw into double coverage and get yardage all the time . Two, recruiting is OODLES better than 08. QB's aren't perfect on the game. The fact that speed guys return kicks so easily is irritating. My biggest complaint is the difficulty level. I was playing on Heisman from the get go and beat OU with Baylor.
I ran a play in which Tebow failed to gain any yardage at all running up the middle, which is preposterous. Not only that, but he was slow getting up, almost as if he were injured, which is impossible. And Tebow being intercepted is just not acceptable. Nothing can stop Tebow from dominating. EA Sports should know that.
Hey were you in another country when Georgia beat down Florid last year. Tim Tebow sucks and so do you. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!
I think it is a great review, because he is talking about the Heisman Trophy winner. Tebow has become the face of college football for this season as the other big names have gone on to the NFL. People are just jealous because Gators will be back on top!
This game is amazing.. if you have some type of football background, you will be able to dominate on offense because it is really really easy to read the defense...playing defense is difficult... you really do have to mix it up (if you are playing against another user) because the O LINE is really good and the QB's have a lot of time to throw...the computer is NOT unstopable...I have played 3 years in my dynasty on heisman with the computer AI turned all the way up with Illinois and I have lost once to Indiana when the computer stopped me on 4th and 8... the special teams was DEFINITELY over corrected but I like it alot better than not being able to gain more than 10 yards per return like the previous games... still not enough punt and FG blocks (espcially for teams who specialize in that area (texas, va tech, etc))... and you CAN MAKE FORMATION SUBS by selecting your formation and simply pressing over on the right stick... and what is with the complaining about the interceptions!!! if you watch ANY football, 90% of the time ANY qb throws into double coverage its a pick!!! Dont expcept to be bailed out for making a bad read and...STOP COMPLAINING AND LEARN HOW TO THROW THE BALL AWAY IF NO ONE IS OPEN!!!! The only thing that is really hard is rushing the QB but that is hard in real life so it should be hard on the game as well...a true gamer will love this game because of how much control you have over your players...a casual gamer will probably not like it as much because they cant just drop back 25 yards and chuck it deep
i don't think i would take anything this moron says about games seriously. the reviewer obviously doesn't know much about games and spent an entire paragraph saying how mediocre tebow is. if you can't deliver with a quarterback who has 99 ratings across the board, then you should be reviewing ngage games.
I hate the fact that the Running Back is LB and not RB. I hate dropping back and getting rushed right away and having an open running back heading to the flat and I hit the LB button, throwing the ball away and loosing yards. Just so used to the running back be RB from past years and running back and the button RB, c'mon!