NCAA Football 07

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


When Madden 06 arrived on the 360, it was slightly easy to forgive its glaring lack of features. With an extra year to play with, it's become inexcusable for something like NCAA 07. This stripped down, lacking, and completely disappointing effort should have been held back to finish it before release.

ncaa071360.jpg (73490 bytes)Missing from the other versions of this title is the Campus Legend mode, one of the few detailed new additions. In fact, any sort of career mode is missing. Single player begins and ends with dynasty play. The unique and exclusive mini-games are throw-aways aside from tug-of war. Here, there's one play to move the ball up, and then the offense switches over to the other team who then makes progress from that spot, "tugging" the opposing team away from their own endzone. The first team to score wins.

That's apparently all this generation can do for us. The new playbook layout is awful. Text is a poorly chosen font, and at times can be hard to read. It's too many pages crammed into a half of the screen, while space is wasted on a between play camera. This would make sense if anything actually happened between plays.

That leads to this editions biggest issue. It doesn't feel like college football. There are no cinematics between plays, no halftime shows, no close-up of fans, the ESPN license is used sparingly at best, and the ESPN Radio feature is absent entirely. The fully polygonal crowd supposedly does specific motions (the Gator Chop in Florida), but you'll never actually see it. Worse, small schools are given generic stadiums. Bowling Green has been given a new 60,000 seat stadium that would dwarf the entire campus, let alone the real field.

Gameplay additions are few and far between here. The momentum meter is here, supposedly changing the tide of the game. Its impact is sloppily implemented. If a team has full momentum, throws an interception which is returned for a touchdown, the momentum barely shifts. The team with the meter in their favor is supposed to have increased stats, though aside from breaking an extra tackle or two, the effect is minimal.

ncaa072360.jpg (93129 bytes)New controls for the defense, including line shifts and adjustments, are unnecessarily convoluted. There's rarely time to make the needed changes before the snap. Improved collision, improved passing, or anything of the sort are absent. This version has no gameplay improvements at all, and aside from a lackluster (especially where weather is concerned) facelift, you'd never know this was a 360 game.

A few additional moves and control features have been carried over here. The ability to jump the line at the precise moment of the snap adds an extra danger for quarterbacks. A speed boost is set to the right trigger, and the option is easier to run this year. Sadly, Madden 07's upcoming blocker control (which allows for control of both a running back and a linemen) would have been welcome here.

If it weren't for the missing or cheaply added features, there would be some life here. The gameplay itself is fine as it usually is. It's the same game we've been playing since the first edition on the Playstation 2. In this case though, unless you absolutely have to have some extra graphical gloss, there's no reason to pay an extra $10 for this.


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Last updated: Friday, August 04, 2006 08:54 PM