NCAA Football 09 Review
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NCAA 2009 is a step above its previous installment and shows EA Sports is dedicated to improving the brand name they’ve created.
- Online Dynasty is fantastic
- Custom Stadium Sounds system is innovative
- Atmosphere is dead on
- Shimmy can toy with the AI
- Broken defensive zones
- Player vs. player experience
Unlike any review previously done here on PlayStation Universe, I feel that this review will need to be divided into several parts. The first part will handle the bulk of the title including Dynasty mode, Campus Legend mode, gameplay elements and mini-games. However, the second part of the review will focus completely on the human vs. human aspect by covering the various gameplay elements tackled in this style of play. I understand this may seem odd, but NCAA Football 2009 plays like two completely different titles depending on the situation.
As a lot of you know, I covered NCAA 2009 at a press event in New York City earlier this year. The impressions I received from the trip were positive and created a lot of anticipation for the retail release of the title. Now all that was left to find out was if EA Sports was able to fix up the issues and deliver a product worthy of the $60 purchase price come July 15. I’ve included below my thoughts and impressions on this final build and you’ll have to decide for yourself if the game warrants the price tag.
Dynasty Mode has always been the backbone of the NCAA franchise, offering users the opportunity to lead a college program to national dominance. The mode gives the player the responsibilities of red-shirting players, creating recruitment boards, setting depth charts, customizing your schedule and even inviting future prospects to watch your team play. One thing EA Sports has always done is provide this experience at the highest quality possible, and fortunately NCAA 2009 is no exception to this. The studio has added a handful of new features to the mode that make it that much better than previous installments.
One of the coolest new additions in Dynasty Mode is the ability to search for recruits to your own specifications. Are you looking for a wide receiver that is 6’4 and 230 lbs? Then put in the information and the game will pull up a list of available recruits that meet your criteria. This simple addition has made finding the right candidates for your program that much easier. EA Sports didn’t stop there in improving the recruiting process however as they’ve also added in the ability to Quick Call recruits.
If you’re a fan of Dynasty you’ll be aware of the tedious amount of time it usually took in order to call each recruit to find out what they’re looking for and things of that nature; however, with Quick Call, you can pick an allotted amount of time, call the recruit, and the game will give you details as to what the recruit is looking for. This can range from a great fan base to academic prestige to even early playing time. Knowing these details allows you to pitch your school to these plays at your strongest points in order to convince them to committing to your program. EA Sports has also added in recruitment strategy sliders that allow you to set how important certain positions are during recruiting and what type of player you’d like at that position whether it is a hard-hitting free safety, a coverage safety or perhaps a balance of the two.
Outside of the new recruitment features, the developers have added in NCAA News and Campus newspapers to the Dynasty mode. These cool little rotating papers allow you to know what the mood around campus feels like and how the national media thinks of what is going on this season in college football. This component adds to the overall authenticity of the title and definitely works to immerse the user into the college atmosphere that much more.
All of these new additions combine with the Dynasty of old to provide a great experience that will enthrall and engulf users for many months to come post-release.
Have you always wanted to be a wide receiver but your 5’4 vertical frame made that incredibly unlikely? That exact situation is why Campus Legend was such a brilliant addition to the franchise in the past, and EA has continued to build on that success by improving it even further this year. For those of you unaware of what Campus Legend ... (continued on next page)