College Hoops 2K7

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 9

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9


Following up one of the best sports games the industry has ever seen in NBA 2K7, College Hoops is another masterful update to 2K Sports previous effort on the Xbox 360. This no longer feels like an upgraded port from the Xbox or Playstation 2, as the significantly changed engine feels new and fresh. Simulation fans now have a second basketball game they need in less than few months time.

collegehoops2k7360.jpg (60951 bytes)Removing the slightly flawed analog stick moves from NBA 2K7, "Advanced Ball Control" offers a staggering variety of offensive moves. This uses a combination of the left analog stick and all four face buttons to create a cavalcade of maneuvers that can send an experienced player straight to the lane. Even with the added complexity, this never once feels convoluted. It starts off confusing, and then opens into the most varied set of moves you'll find.

The right analog stick now exclusively handles in-close dunk control and free shows on offense. On defense, it can be used to make a steal attempt. With the nearly impossible to count additions to the offense, it leads to a sense of being powerless on the other side. That doesn't mean the AI isn't intelligent. Rarely will you see teammates switch and adjust as they do here. It simply feels archaic by comparison, with only a few simple moves available to stop the opposing squad.

Team Unity is another new on-court feature, attempting to simulate how well the five players on the floor play together. It's definitely the lesser of the new additions, relying little on how the team is playing and almost exclusively on who is playing. Excellent commentary including a staggering amount of available names in the create-a-player does ensure you know who is on the floor.

Coach mode takes an interesting approach, placing the player in a first-person view on the sidelines. While you can do little aside from pace and look around in a physical sense, it makes for an impressive graphical display to see thousands of fans staring down at you. Most of your time is spent calling plays and changing lineups in hope that your team is up to the task.

Presentation is always a highlight in a 2K Sports effort, and College Hoops is the recipient of a nice concept that still needs some work. College Hoops Tonight is an extensive highlight show recapping the best games of the week during your Dynasty or season mode. Virtual versions of Greg Gumble and Clark Kellogg update the player on potential recruits, the best plays of the week and upcoming match ups. It's all impressive, but the digital recreations of the hosts are immobile and completely unbelievable killing the atmosphere.

Online play is behind NBA 2K7. The frame rate takes a hit here, which is undoubtedly to keep lag to a minimum. While not a terrible problem visually, this changes the timing of standard shots and especially free throws. The lobbies allow for plenty of options, including invites, challenges and extra game modes.

Other less noticeable features keep the replay value high. By far the game's surprise stand out is create-a-chant. This is a detailed yet simple to use audio program that pulls countless sound bites together to allow the player to hear their favorite saying when on the court. Create-a-school can make up for any missed colleges.

As expected after the effort put forth in NBA 2K7, College Hoops continues this basketball video game standard. The new control system is an absolute must from here on out, whether the game is college or pro. Unless you're not a fan of simulation play (where full 20-minute halves can produce accurate stats), there's hardly any reason to wait for EA Sports March Madness 360 debut.


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Last updated: Sunday, December 31, 2006 08:03 PM