SI Vault
Adam Duerson
August 09, 2004
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August 09, 2004

Under Review

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USC quarterback Matt Leinart was not too thrilled about the rendering of his counterpart (a Trojan quarterback wearing number 11) on the multiplatform video game NCAA Football 2004, released last year. "I was a righty," Leinart laments, "and pretty terrible. No one knew I'd be good, but is it too much to ask to get my throwing arm correct?"

Count Leinart's delivery—the game's USC QB is a southpaw at last—and skill (after his 38-touchdown season) among the tweaks EA Sports made to NCAA Football 2005. Also new are stadium-appropriate fanaticism (ON WISCONSIN signs at Camp Randall), historic rosters (play as LSU in 2003 or USC in 1960) and screen-shaking distractions at loud stadiums like Florida's Swamp. EA has also added elements that would give Barry Switzer heartburn: You must bench stars to satisfy randomly generated NCAA sanctions, and if big-time recruits sit too long, they transfer. It's high-quality stuff, which is lucky because gamers have no options: EA has run solo on the field of NCAA football gaming since 2003.