Tuesday, July 18, 2006

NCAA Football 2007 Review

So, at about 11:40, I entered my local GameStop to wait in line for the midnight release of NCAA Football 2007. There were already about twenty people in line, and an additional 60 or so would show up by midnight. I timed things well and got home reasonably quickly with my XBox version of the game.

From what I understand, the XBox 360 version is quite a bit different from the other versions, so if you're considering going that route, you might want to look elsewhere for info. I went old school with my purchase.

If you want a quick review of the game, here it is: it's a lot like last year's version, but better. If you're the type of person (like me) who's purchased the game yearly since 2002, there's nothing that'll make you hold off. If you only buy every other year or so, there isn't anything in this version that makes it a must-have, so don't feel too bad about holding off.

Those of you hoping for major changes will be disappointed. This is mostly an evolutionary step, not a revolutionary one. The graphics are (near as I can tell) identical to last year's graphics, as is about everything else. Dynasty Mode's changes are minor; the most notable is probably the added spring game, which I haven't gotten to yet, but doesn't seem to be too important. Race for the Heisman Mode has become Campus Legend Mode, a change which consists of adding weekly practices, multiple choice "exams" which can boost your attributes if you do well enough, and a calendar (from Madden's Superstar Mode) that allows you five days of practices to simulate through. I honestly was hoping for a bit more from the modes, and maybe I'll be more impressed as I play more, but I guess there wasn't much wrong with last year's modes, so why change it?

The playbooks were also overhauled, and that's a positive. They've added reverses on kick and punt returns, and they're fun, if not terribly effective. The fake punts and field goals are also fun, and more effective than in previous years. The playbooks are bigger, too, which allows for almost too much variety, as I've taken a couple delay of game penalties trying to find that awesome play a second time. So far, I've had the most fun using the Nevada Pistol formation, but I'm still snooping around.

Overall, it's a good game, slightly better than last year's version. They fixed some bugs and added a few new features, but I was hoping for more. If this was any other game, I'd feel ripped off. But I'd probably buy this game if the only change they made was updated rosters, so I won't complain as much as I probably should. If you're the same way, buy the game and enjoy it. If you aren't so into the game, you may want to wait and go for next year's 360 version, which I'm assuming will be a significant upgrade over this XBox version.

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