NCAA Football 07 Review
Written : Sunday, August 19, 2007
By: Tim Billups (GT: rocket x360a)
The roar of the crowd is deafening; the sweat on your palms is making your grip questionable; you step up to the line, survey the field, and pick your target…HIKE! That’s right ladies and gentlemen; College Football is back with the 360’s first installment of NCAA Football, NCAA 2007. EA Sports has produced some fantastic games over the years, and this one is set to become one of the best it has produced. Adding in new game play modes and enhancements on previous ones, you are sure to get months of playtime out of this game.
Too soon Junior!
Let me start out with EA Sports. EA Sports has been the main sports game maker for many years, with titles ranging from Baseball to NASCAR; they have covered every major sport and made it so you as the consumer/fan can live your life through the controller. Now, most sports games are one dimensional. Meaning, you take control of a team and do the same thing over and over again: stomping a mud hole in the computer. This, in all reality can get repetitive after about 1 full season in said game. EA has tried to go beyond that, by adding in Mini-Games, Recruiting, and even creating your own player.
Visually, the game is pretty sound. With the age of the next-gen console, and high definition graphics, NCAA 07 has provided us with a very clear picture of how sports games should look. Crisp and amazing graphics only add to the already outstanding game play. The players on the field look almost lifelike, and the grass stains on the jerseys look like real grass stains. The game allows you to view game play through many different angles, all of which provide you with the ability to play the game how you want.
The sound is another aspect of the game that is stellar. The players calling audible’s sound clear, but feel as though they are the same person. The music played by the bands is very clear, and sounds as though they used a real band to record. If you choose to add names to the players, the field announcer calls their names out, something that to me anyway, is a great thing. I always hated hearing “26 yard pass by number 8”. The only thing that I felt could have been improved is the announcers. They are very repetitive, using the same worn out phrases.
Who’s smuggling grapes?
The controls and game play are like that of any other football game that we have ever played. Hold this button to sprint, press this button to juke left, etc. The Truck stick is an added bonus however. Being able to plow over a would be tackler who is out of position in the first place is always fun. So is completely leveling the ball carrier with a powerful linebacker.
Let’s get the ball rolling shall we? Quick play offers you the ability to play as any team in the realm of NCAA, and play against any team. With that, you can pretty much destroy your most hated school 255-0 but, where is the fun in that though? To me, it gets rather boring after 1st quarter. Quick play can also be used to play against your friends locally. Giving you bragging rights so to speak…that is, if you win. You can also utilize quick play to play rivalry games, in which case if you win; you see a picture of a beautiful trophy appear on screen.
The Dynasty mode; used to take complete control over your favorite team, and ultimately control the fate of the BCS. Dynasty is packed full of innovations this season, ranging from picking and choosing your schedule, to bringing in the Top High School players in the Nation. 60 years in length, you can literally win every game for 60 years, which is if you have the patience for it. With the recruiting feature this year, you have the ability to pick and choose a Pitch and run with it. Trying to convince each and every recruit that your school is the place to play is a lot easier said than done. The recruiting period lasts 5 weeks, and within that time period you have the option of going with the same pitch, or changing it up. All dependent on which option said recruit wants to go with. And just like high school players in real life, each recruit has different likes and dislikes.
Equipped with it’s own set of mini-games, NCAA 07 offers three to choose from: Bowling, Option Dash and Tug of War. With Bowling, you have to score 12 touchdowns in a row to score 300, using only 1 play at a time. Just like real bowling you have two chances to score a TD, and your bowling score will reflect whether or not you get a strike, spare or a gutter ball. In Option dash, your objective is to score as many points as possible using only option plays. Your score will depend on many factors including moves used (spin, juke, etc.), yards gained, “fake” pitches, and whether or not you score a TD. Tug of War is one of the easiest in my opinion, as the objective is to score a TD before your opponent does. The trick is though, that you only get to run 1 play at a time. Back and Forth you go until one of you scores.
Which way did he go?
The game is equipped with the option to play online multiplayer. You can view your wins, losses, points scored, disconnects, etc. The multiplayer is a good aspect in my view. It gives you a break from the task of beating the computer over and over again, and pits you against players from all over. There will be games that you play people with absolutely no skill, and they pick Ohio State and run a QB sneak or Option play over and over again. This gets seriously annoying, and makes you want to just punch the person in the face. And you will get games where you play someone who can run any play on you and score. All I can say is practice on Heisman Difficulty, and you will be a lot better off.
The game comes packed with 50 achievements worth 1000gs with no DLC. The achievements range from throw 4 touchdowns with one player to having the #1 ranked offense and defense in the country. All of the achievements are relatively easy to achieve, and can be gained within a few hours of game play. There is however one that will make you want to pull out your hair: 60 year Dynasty. It will take you a few seasons to gain all of the achievements that are gained in Dynasty mode, and then it is time to sim, sim, sim.
To say the least, this game is one of the best looking games EA has produced. But it is a sports game, so as I’ve said before and will say again, it is repetitive. So, if you are a die hard football fan, and love to terrorize nub’s in online play, then this is definitely the game for you.
The sounds of the game are good overall. The band, hits on the field, and the roar of the crowd are very well done. I do get tired, as I am sure most are of hearing Lee Corso bad talk me for running up the score. And his umbrella line was only funny once.
If you have a HD ready TV, then you are certainly enjoying the picture you get from this game. Adjusting the camera angle is also a treat if you like changing it up a bit. Crisp and sharp picture is a must in a repetitive game.
With the repetitive nature of the game, the overall playability is tarnished. Controls are simple and easy, but after about an hour you aren’t going to want to play much anymore.
A sound presentation was made. New additions and enhancements added well to the overall package.
Other than having to sim 55-56 years worth of dynasty, the achievements were well done. They all relate to playing a football game, and are attainable.
The game is good. An easy and fun game to play, with a few extra’s thrown into the mix. Repetition diminishes some of that fun, but if you are a football fan, and love playing games like this, this is the game for you!