Review by JokedUp
"Put your rivals face in the mud!"
In my Madden review, I was able to compare last years game with this years... but in the case of NCAA 2004, I don't own the 2003 version, so I can only judge this game on how much of an awesome football experience it is from case to console to your brain.
It's a proven fact... College football is 8 million times more energetic than Pro. Football video games... well that's a different story. But can NCAA 2004 actually capture the energy that comes from a College game, and still be true to the game itself? Oh yeah.
The Teams: There are a ton of them. Well over 100, and all ranging in league. All the big teams are there; Gators, Seminoles, Bulldogs, Vols, Sooners, Buckeyes, Canes... so on and so forth. Plus loads of teams you've probably never heard of. Of course when a game is loaded with so many teams, it's impossible to put names in for all of the players... ok, not really. But I forgive the creators, because position and number on the jersey is small potato's when the game is as good as it is. Plus if you're a huge college junkie, you can name them yourself.
Stadiums: How are you supposed to capture the energy of a real college game? Fight songs, bands, cannons firing, rabid fans, true to life schemes in the stands, mascots... One of the things you'll notice in a real college game is that the crowd is usually decked out in team colors.. but what about the visiting team? There's always a 10% area dedicated to the visiting team that sticks out like a sore thumb. And it's in the game, every game. Plus there's a small chunk for the bands, and the fight songs blare for every touchdown, and every entrance.
The Commentators: I don't know them by name, but they're good. The commentary is pretty wide, and the three of them crack a few jokes every now and then. It's far from the gratingness that is John Maddens 'no duh' commentary, and a billion times better than the awful, 1 joke every three seconds, NHL 2003 commentary. Good stuff.
The Pennants: The counterpart to Madden cards, and in my opinion are just as good. I find myself not using them, so it's all in you personal interest. Some of them are useful for getting new teams. And really, what else are you going to do with all those Madden points?
Game Modes: Going from minor to major, you have the Mascot game. Pick your teams mascot to go against another mascot team. The entire team consists of that mascot, and aside from novelty, it's actually pretty cool. There are rivalry games, where you can win trophies for your trophy room. College classics can be played to unlock older teams, and recreate some of the most amazing moments in the history of college ball. The granddaddy of the game is the Dynasty mode. Pick you're team and deliver them to greatness. Go for the Heisman, and knock down every team that stands in your way. The offseason mode is pretty sweet too. There are literally hundreds of chooses for new recruits,(Some of whom will prefer you), and you have a certain amount of points to manage in order to bring them to your school. Also keeping your non-senior players from going pro requires a nice process of having the coach/assistant coach talk to them.
Buy or Rent: If you're a college freak, buy it now. Stop reading... go! If you're not a college freak, you may end up being one after buying this game. It's an amazing process.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/14/03
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