Review by jeremyw1976

"Does This Year's Version Bring the Hits?"

So every year EA sports releases the next great version of NCAA Football. The question will always be asked "Is this year's game worth my $50?" I have to admit myself that I have become more of a skeptic is recent years about EA sports sequels because they rarely improve from year to year. Read on and find out if NCAA Football follows this trend or not.

Gameplay - 9
EA football games have always been known for their superior gameplay. NCAA Football 2005 still allows all the movements from last year's version. You can still sprint, swim, spin, strafe, dive, switch players, juke, pitch, fake pitch, stiff arm and strip. What I noticed right away is that the tackle animations feel like you have control over the hit on defense. EA has also added a big hit button that allows you square up on defense and make an attempt to pound the ball carrier into the ground. Player movement rarely makes you feel cheated and reacts immediately to the controller. Gameplay is paramount is all sports games and the improvements to NCAA Football 2005 are quite noticeable while adding a few features.

Graphics - 5
I've read quite a few bad reviews about the graphics in NCAA Football 2005. Have they gotten better? The answer is simply no. Have they gotten worse? Again no, the graphics are pretty much the same as last year's game. What i have noticed is that the animations of the players, fans and mascots are more smooth during celebrations and tackles. This makes the lack of graphic improvements a little less annoying.

Music and Sound - 4
Once again every single team has a fight song and the drum interludes are good, but the announcements are the same as last year's game almost word for word. I don't expect much in this department though and so it doesn't bother me that no improvements were made.

Replay Value - 9
Online play, AI sliders, and the dynasty modes make this game's replay value high. The game also keeps track of your user generated stats such as user interceptions, tackles, tackles for losses, sacks, broken tackles and catches. This help you decide whether it is you that is having an impact or you just let the computer make all the plays for you. User initiated player, fan and mascot celebrations keep even blowout games from becoming stale. What can you say about online play? There will always be cheaters and cheesers, but some of the online stats will help you find them out hopefully before you play them. The dynasty features players who commit team misconducts by missing practices or getting in trouble can be disciplined or not and the NCAA keeps an eye on this stuff so watch out. Players also have a new attribute that determines how they perform under pressure. Home field advantage and the toughest places to play also give you something to play for.

Overall - 8
So is this year's game worth the $50? I believe so. The gameplay is better and the new features keep the game fresh. If you decide to rent first, you won't want to go back to last year's game after playing NCAA Football 2005. EA has produced enough new features to warrant a purchase of this year's title. I'm sure online will still have its problems, but dynasty mode should be enough for most gamers to play until next year at least.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/16/04

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