Written by  :  Lawnmower Man (145)
Written on  :  Jun 19, 2008
Platform  :  GameCube
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

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The Good

NCAA Football 2004 has several great features. One of the games top features is its create features. Create-A-Player allows you to make players who look just like you (or how you'd like to look). You can give him a full name, what number he has (depending on what numbers are available for which team), his year in college, equipment, and attributes.

Create-A-Team is one of the best Create A Team options in football game history. After naming your school and their team (several team names can be said by the announce team, helping to bring you into the game), you then choose where the school is located, select its rival and mascot, edit the stadium (which itself features tons of options), and finally get to customize the uniforms (including 2 alternate uniforms). It is simply one of the best create options in video games.

Rivalries are a very important aspect of the game. Beating your rival allows you to gain the rivalry trophy. These trophies can range from giant silver cups to brown jugs and bells, and they are all worth the time taken to get them. Every rivalry game receives special coverage from the press and lead to bigger rewards latter on in the game.

NCAA Football 2004's biggest achievement is its stuffed to capacity Dynasty Mode. Here you start by editing the leagues (you can import your created teams or division 1-AA teams), creating or choosing a coach to lead a team, and then you get to start the football season. Sports Illustrated covers all of the statistics you need in an easy to read format. The game doesn't even end after the first season and you are always in control of everything.

The addition of Pennants (which unlock additional teams, Bowl Stadiums, and power ups) keep the game's life span and replay value high. Historic games are included and allow you to change the face of football forever or challenge you to repeat miracles. Mascot games allow you to play as a massive team of Mascots and are quite fun to play a couple of times.

The Bad

NCAA's flaws are not very glaring but they do exist. The biggest problem is NCAA's loading times. The load screens can take a very long time and are highly boring. This is an especially big problem on Dynasty Mode. To simply replay a game means loading it all the way over again and during the football game itself, there can be several spots where the game slows down which can a bit of a hassle when trying to recover a fumble.

Some other minor flaws include that players don't have names, (but they never have in NCAA games which means there's probably a good reason for not including them). Other flaws include not being able to save screen shots from instant replays (and there have been some rather funny moments worth saving when I was playing) and that some create options are not fully fleshed out. And while its nice to have grade A players and teams from the get go, it's kind of disappointing not having any leveling up moments.

The Bottom Line

NCAA Football 2004 is one of the most fully loaded Football games in history and has almost everything a gamer could want in a football game. With so many options and such a good interface, you will want to play this game until you've seen everything it has to offer.