NCAA Football 07


Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


By the end of a console's life span, EA always tries something different. If it works, it stays in the next edition. If it doesn't (vision passing), it's gone. In the current generation version of NCAA 07, it's the Campus Legend mode, and if you enjoy off the field activities, this is worth a purchase.

ncaa071ps2.jpg (61643 bytes)Actual gameplay changes are minute enough that non-hardcore fans will miss everything. Sprint and jukes are available to all players now, and it's always the same button configuration. There are significant changes in the passing game because of this. Quarterbacks can evade even a heavy blitz, which leads to some spectacular plays when timed properly.

Defenders can now get a jump on the line. If performed correctly, this can be a devastating move, plowing over the defender leaving a clean line to the QB. Blocking kicks is actually possible now, and there's the addition of the analog kicking system which leaves plenty of room for error on even the short chip shots. After pulling back on the stick to set power, you'll need to quickly slam it forward (hopefully straight) to set the direction.

The overall play feels tighter and more refined as well. It's a little harder to get caught on the line, holes open up wider, and tackling has serious impact behind it. There are still collision problems (nothing is more frustrating than being stuck on a lineman during a run), but there are obviously steps being taken to eliminate this typical football video game issue.

On the side of gameplay modes, Campus Legend is the key way to play outside of standard dynasty play. Here you'll live a student athlete's life. This includes taking part in practices, attending "social events" (getting drunk would have caused ESRB problems most likely), and studying. Yes, actual studying for actual tests. Your major can be in a number of categories, and you'll need to spend your time wisely.

Do you head out for the night to become popular around campus? Do you go to your tutor for help? How about an extra practice session to increase your stats? It's a wonderfully designed interface and concept. While the idea of taking literature tests in a video game doesn't sound appealing, it adds an oddly additive layer outside of playing football. Besides, it's important to pass. If your GPA slips, the NCAA steps in and prevents you from playing.

Very few tweaks have been made anywhere else. Nothing seems to be new in the dynasty mode, and all the recruiting options are present. The playbooks have been increased, and do represent the team's style of play better. By now, nearly all the stadiums are rendered properly, while almost no changes have been made to the player models. The ESPN live ticker is back if you're PS2 is able to go online too.

It's not a revolution in the way we play football games. NCAA 07 is standard fare actually outside of the wildly original Campus Legend mode. There are few surprises here for fans of this EA Sports property. For as many copies are sold each year, that seems to be exactly what fans want.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 08:56 PM