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So does anything taint this revitalized gridiron? Yep, and it starts online. Once again, the NCAA series (along with EA's Madden 08, which we'll review next month) are severely slackin' in this area. Sure, the online matchups run pretty much without a hitch -- but, man, what do we gotta do for an online Dynasty mode across the Internet? C'mon, EA: It's about time you made it possible for a bunch of online friends to join up and battle it out for the BCS crown and recruits. 08 sports some other head-scratchers, including a play-call screen that covers up instant replays (lame) and an utter lack of alternate uniforms (even lamer, especially since EA has said that it won't be offering them via download). These are small gripes for sure, but two that EA really needs to address in next year's game.
Middling annoyances aside, NCAA 08 is easily the best football game yet for the Xbox 360. Sporting a beautiful look and feel and more modes than you can shake a stick at, it’ll cure your football fever all season long.
Armchair Empire, The
That’s basically it for what’s new in NCAA Football 08, nothing one would really consider of game-changing importance. However, what remains from previous versions certainly has created a championship-caliber football game. NCAA Football 08 is still surrounded in the magnificent sensory elements that it has always had that brings the college football game atmosphere right into the living room. The band playing the classic school fight songs, the cheering of the crowd and realistically rendered stadiums combine with the smooth animations that the 60 frames-per second NCAA Football 08 delivers for a magnificent gaming experience, including a perfect balance of solid running and passing controls.
NCAA Football 08 is a great game that really feels like a college football game thanks to the crazy fans, number of turnovers, and just generally zanier games than you’d expect in something like Madden. NCAA 08 is more fleshed-out than its predecessor and by being so improves on the key complaint against that game.
Overall, though, I have to say that I really enjoyed NCAA Football 2008. After what amounted to nothing more than a tech-demo last year, I was expecting to see more out of EA this year as they had a solid shell for an excellent game. Thankfully, they didn't disappoint, bringing back the popular Campus Legend mode, a retooled dynasty mode and a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second performance benchmark. If you are at all on the fence after last year's paltry showing, get off that fence and go to your local game store to get NCAA 08. You won't be disappointed.
If you were a fan of the previous game in the series, you’ll definitely have a blast with NCAA Football 08. Sticking with the usual formula of EA Sport dev teams, the folks at EA Tiburon improved many elements of the gameplay while adding some new ones. While the game feels underdeveloped in some ways (the Campus Legend mode is pretty shallow), it makes up for its shortcomings by offering some great gameplay and tight controls. The online elements are well-done, too, particularly when it comes to sharing your gameplay videos with your friends. While this year's iteration fell just a bit short of greatness, we'll just have to wait to see if the game strikes the Heisman in during its junior year.
In closing I want to encourage EA to keep improving the graphics, keep the simulation and realism in the game and keep listening to the fans of the game. I would recommend speeding the recruitment phase up a little, you can get lost in the moment and spend more time recruiting than actually playing. The other pet peeve I have is the fonts used in the drop down menus. They are very hard to read even on a plasma screen television. This sports fan rates NCAA 08 a 4.2 out of 5 in most part due to the complexity of the dynasty mode, and of the mediocre “sounds” of the game.
Gamers' Temple, The
Online play is functional, providing for both casual and ranked play but that's about it. There are no leagues, tournaments, or anything like that, and you can't play the mini games online. The game had a really tough time trying to launch a game for me from a friend's list invite, and we had to give up on it after an hour's worth of frustration. The online play has a long way to go before it can be considered "next-gen".
Is it a leap and bound beyond last year's game? You bet. NCAA Football 08 is easily improved over a weak effort that was delivered last season. It's on the edge of greatness as well, particularly thanks to a deeper Dynasty mode and inclusion of Campus Legend mode that helps add to the replayability of the title. However, the game still features a number of technical and balancing issues that keep it from being a truly great football game. However, football fans won't be let down by this game, and they should definitely check it out.
All this rounds off a solid playing, looking, and deep football title that should keep you playing longer than the kids do this year. I only expect this to be topped by Madden, but if you are a fan of the college game and not the pros, you may not care about waiting. It's nice to see such a strong effort come forth from EA and I only hope they keep this kind of intensity in the future with their other franchises as well. NCAA Football 08 is a must buy for any fan of the grid iron.
EA has made some strides over last year’s college football game, and the main reason why is that they finally included all of the features from previous console generations game. The brand new features included in this year’s version is very nice, I really enjoyed the new presentation for the entire game. If you are hankering for some college football action then you can’t go wrong with NCAA Football 2008. See you on the field.
Despite the lackluster commentary ("If I hear that line one more time..." has began to annoy anyone watching me), so-so graphics and shady collision detection, and lack of a solid online mode, NCAA Football 08 is still a good game. The gameplay itself is fast and entertaining (for the 360 - we weren't sent a PS3 version, so no comment on how much the reduced framerate changes things), the dynasty and campus legend modes will keep football gamers occupied for a long time, and the leadership control is a nice touch to bring some realism to the game. It's certainly a far better game than NCAA 07; whether or not it betters Madden and All-Pro will remain to be seen.
With all of the new features in NCAA 08 this version feels a lot more in depth and intuitive for fans. The endless amount of customization and recruiting available allow for endless hours of replay in order to build up both your character and team throughout the years. The gameplay could have been enhanced a bit more, but the same great football game you have come to enjoy over the years is still the best any fan can hope for.
While these additions are welcome, it feels like EA skimped a bit on the stuff that happens after the kickoff. The in-game presentation doesn't have much of a college football feel to it, and the amount of turnovers will likely frustrate many hardcore fans. But even with these issues, NCAA Football 08 is a great game and another step in the right direction for the franchise.
Game Over Online
Overall, NCAA 08 is a very good football game. It's not without it minor flaws, such as some clipping in animations, weird AI issues from time to time, and some awkward looking hits and collisions. None of these tend to affect the gameplay at all, however, and for any fan of the series, or of football at all, I can definitely recommend this game for the 360.
NCAA Football 08 is the only college football game on the market, and while it's not a bad choice, it's an example of misappropriated resources. The things that weren't broken have been changed, and lingering issues have gone untouched. With that said, there's plenty of game here, and the problems aren't enough to detract from the overall joy of taking your alma mater to the promised land.
NCAA has always been a good franchise, but it’s a few steps shy of being a great one. The current strategy works, and it’s content can drive sales no matter the how good the product, but for the less hardcore player, these antics age very quickly. I personally challenge EA to rethink their development process, go back to the drawing board, or inquire around the community to find provisions that can be taken to become a true gridiron powerhouse.
I gave this game a 7.8 more because it is better than last year’s version, but not a lot better. In my gut I don’t think it deserves that high a score, but the fact is it has improved graphics and gameplay, it’s just lacking in everything else. Everyone loves nice graphics, but if you want a more complete college football experience, you’ll have to play the PS2 version.
It's an improvement over last year's version but there were things missing in last year's version that should've been in there. Nevertheless, NCAA Football 08 offers some good college football action.
In the end, the “B” grade may seem a bit on the high side, and perhaps it is, but so much depends on how you want to play the game. Playing in a multi-player Dynasty is A Grade fun despite the flaws, Campus Legend is certainly worth investigating and online play remains a bright spot. So even though the game is peppered with major and minor annoyances, there is definitely fun to be had. It just all depends on your perspective.
Because, 08, you’ve still got some work to do. The stadiums, for example, are all here, but the background graphics look suspiciously like the same backgrounds in 05. You’re also buggier than Missouri in July, and I don’t want to see you go bat crazy again like you did when I tried to change the save settings or save highlight film at the end of the game. By and large, these bugs are probably just growing pains, but you better work those issues out with the team therapist before I catch you organizing dog fights.
Cheat Code Central
Overall, I enjoyed playing Dynasty mode, and greatly enjoyed the mini-game mode. Multiplayer mode also works well, both online and off. I can't really rate this one too badly, only because it is fun to play. I just wish that it looked a little nicer, and there was more depth of gameplay added to the Campus Legend mode. But if you're looking for an enjoyable football game, and don't expect too terribly much, then NCAA football 08 won't disappoint.
The Video Game Critic
The game tends to stutter between plays and there are minor glitches here and there. This year's edition seems to focus on collecting trophies and highlight reels, but who cares about that stuff? Another unwanted new feature is "snapshots" taken during big plays, which usually turn out looking like pictures my wife would take - not good! In many ways this game is two steps forward and two steps back. EA got a little lazy with NCAA 08, but at least they got the basics right. Its solid gameplay should satisfy most college pigskin fans, but all in all NCAA 08 seems awfully vanilla.