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There's something absolutely magical about college football season. Every Saturday afternoon during the fall months, dorms empty, alumni load into their cars, and the marching band struts its stuff to bring the whole campus together in a celebration of one of America's most beloved sports. While great professional football teams can pull in 60,000 to 80,000 fans on a given week, the elite teams of college football routinely seat over 100,000 partisans, making the big rivalry game an event that every fan should experience at least once in his or her life. This year, NCAA Football 09 is more about the emotion and pageantry than ever, and the result is one terrific game.
Overall, NCAA Football 2009 is a solid title and definitely a worthy contender in the world of college football. The generally solid gameplay and the very entertaining Dynasty and Campus Legend won't disappoint. Any fan of college sports or alumni of a college should be eager to pick this one up.
The 2007 NCAA football season was downright thrilling, even for softcore viewers, as the top ranking was tossed from school to school (unranked teams bounced top-5 teams a record 12 times). But as gripping as last fall's real NCAA season was, we can sum up why this fall will trump it in two words: online dynasty.
Even if NCAA Football 09 doesn’t exactly reinvent college football video games as we know them, it’s the best version yet to grace us this generation. While some hyper-casual fans may find it hard to justify dropping 60 bucks on it, those of us who circle two gridiron-based dates on our sports game calendar every year won’t be even slightly disappointed. NCAA Football 09 packs gobs of terrific collegiate pigskin action into a tidy package, guaranteed to satisfy your football jones for another season.
Anyone who has been to a college football game knows it’s all about the atmosphere and how great or little of an impact it has on a team’s performance. From the beautifully render stadiums, to the enhanced player animations, to even the depth of features and modes makes NCAA Football 2009 one of the premiere sports titles to have in your arsenal. Though still plagued with a few issues within the gameplay, this is an all-around experience any fan of football simply can’t pass up.
When all’s said and done, NCAA 09 may have some rough spots and bugs, there are ways around it that keep them from hampering the immense amount of enjoyment that the game offers. From the return of the awesome Shrine to the new Online Dynasty mode and custom rosters, NCAA 09 is definitely the best showing yet for the NCAA series on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 so far. EA still has a ways to go before they the game becomes the amazing experience it can be, but right now, what we’ve got are the first few steps on that path.
NCAA Football 09 certainly lived up to my expectations and is a significant leap from last year’s version. The graphics are superb and the sound is sharp. The Dynasty and Campus Legend modes are more engaging and add plenty of depth to this game. The overall gameplay has also been improved. Every football fan with a Xbox 360 should pick up NCAA Football 09 even with the new Madden right around the corner. NCAA Football 09 is truly a treat as the college football genre has never been showcased in such a great fashion to date.
In this gamers opinion, keep improving the mechanics and character animations of the overall game and realism of the online experience. Gimmicks will never put a game over the top.
We started out talking about the concept of “reinventing the wheel.” Only the totally clueless would assume that NCAA Football 09 would rewrite the books and come out as an A+ title, with only a year gone by since the last iteration—that video-game software scenario is a pipe dream for this console cycle. But what EA has shown in NCAA Football 09 is steady progress and a sincere desire to put out a better product than it did a year earlier. NCAA Football 09 definitely passes that test with flying colors.
Difficulties on defense and an overpowering “icing” technique aside, NCAA Football 09 has put itself in contention for a championship season. With the addition of the online dynasty and the always-outstanding college football atmosphere, all the talent is here to make this a memorable year.
College football is about atmosphere, and NCAA Football 09 manages to capture this environment handily thanks to items like school chants and cheerleader stunts. The improvement of jukes and ballcarrier moves adds depth to your offense, while the inclusion of features like the Quarterback Quiz and Icing the Kicker makes the overall gameplay stronger. The Online Dynasty is an excellent addition to this series, but the mistakes made with the Campus Legend mode keeps this year's title from being truly extraordinary.
When all is said and done, NCAA Football 09 is just the next game in a long line of great games. If you are content with the version you already have, then there isn't enough staggering new content to warrant an upgrade. However, this is the best game in the franchise to date, and I'm glad I made the switch.
This game is going places its predecessors never went, but it's also unwilling to ditch a past that is just slowing it down.
Add this all up and you have a fairly authentic college football experience (minus all the house parties). The gameplay feels like it was dialed in just right with enough complexity to keep football fans tided over. This year, more than any other, it feels like NCAA won't be a stop gap until Madden hits the store shelves and can stand on its own by offering a different experience that the NFL can't match.
NCAA Football 09 is a safe game. While it finally delivers on the features fans have been asking for in recent years, it also doesn't drastically change the tried and true formula which put the NCAA Football franchise where it sits today. Instead, it subtly tweaks the experience. The result is a competent game with the typical nagging errors which will bother the casual crowd more so than the hardcore elite.
All in all, while it is a slight step back from last year’s superior version NCAA Football 09 is a solid football game. College football fans will probably get plenty of satisfaction out of the game and its robust set of modes and options however most may just want to wait for Madden, which will be out very shortly.
Online dynasty, improved game play, and an authentic college atmosphere, NCAA 09 is the best way to spend July before Madden comes out. If you're anxious for football, or simply just love the college game, NCAA 09 is a top-notch game with a few positive improvements from last year.
Thanks to the long-awaited addition of an online dynasty and downloadable custom rosters, NCAA 09 is an improvement over NCAA 08. However, those are the only noteworthy changes to a game that otherwise has a little too much in common with its predecessor to feel entirely fresh. Playing NCAA Football 09 is like watching your favorite college team blow up a lower division opponent; fun, but not very surprising.
All and all, NCAA Football 09 has improved from last year but still has its faults. The major key additions they mention in press, and on the back of the box, are evident, but it seems they cut a few things to make those new features possible. In the end you can't go wrong if you are a fan of the game. Just don't expect to be wowed by any aspect except the online and offline dynasty modes as they have shown the most attention to features in the game. The rest is just window dressing.
Still, even when you stop and consider the problems that the game has, NCAA Football 2009 has finally taken the franchise, if not out from under the shadow of its professional cousin John, then certainly a good distance closer to the light. Certain game modes (Dynasty, Campus Legend) are addictive enough to eat up hours upon hours of your free time. If you’re a fan of college football, or if you just need your pigskin fix without all the self-aggrandizing of professionals, this is your answer. I personally had to own this game, but I understand that for most gamers, Madden is the only real MUST OWN, but you still owe it to yourself to give this one a rent.
In conclusion, NCAA Football 09 is a comfortable college football experience, but not quite the current-gen legacy that EA Sports should've made it to be. It's got some terrific features (including the online Dynasty Mode), but the familiar items and questionable bugs stun its performance. Rent it first. Otherwise, there's always next year.
Overall, NCAA Football 09 is fun but pretty disappointing. You'll still receive a solid football experience. But after last year's strong effort, the latest in NCAA Football falls short of the goal line.
Make no mistake, however: I am not calling Electronic Arts malicious. I’m going further than that. I’m clearing my throat and out and out calling them downright incompetent. Shame on you, EA, for putting this clearly unfinished, frightened freshman-of-a-game out on the field like it’s some senior, finished product. Shame!
Although the play-by-play team provides rich commentary, you'll often hear them say inappropriate things. For example, after one opening drive I heard, "the defense barely had time to catch their breath and they're already back out here!" Whenever Lee Corso chimes in for any reason, he's just irritating ("Just get out there and make a play!"). I give NCAA Football 09 credit for providing a solid game on the field, but if the devil is in the details, NCAA 09 is seriously lacking.